Reading from my computer, at the Wikipedia site, “…if a story has a character arc, the character begins as one sort of person and gradually transforms into a different sort of person in response to changing developments in the story.”
And reading from my heart, at some ineffable depth, the moral of the story is that we shall all come around to our best selves, maybe in the twinkling of an eye, or maybe over millenia, but we prodigals, all of us, have a welcome waiting.
Wave born of water,
Mother Ocean sets us free.
Sunlight brings us home.
As per Original Design, our gratitude and blessings for its balance, alignment, measure, equality, and perfection.
Bird’s wing on the left,
another on its right side–
My little dog Bobby, explores his world. He’s almost two years old. He’s still learning. His curiosity is as pretty as a flower blooming in some old wooden boat hull.
Here around the Roughdraft Cabin, along the banks of Waterhole Branch, I don’t strap a collar around Bobby’s neck. He’s not on a leash. I keep an eye on him. In the long shadows of a late afternoon I could see him down the hill, fifty yards away and safe. Then the big owl who’s the boss of this stretch of creek called for twilight to settle into the tree tops.
The owls in these woods have a wing span of maybe five feet. Suddenly I wondered could such an owl take flight with a twenty-pound dog. I was about to whistle Bobby home, when the smart pup settled the issue himself.
Sing, Who cooks for you?
Barred owl’s voice from a branch.
Little dog runs home.
I’m reading a book by a Franciscan priest, Richard Rohr, whose contemplative works I discovered during my Catholic phase. It’s called The Naked Now, and is an invitation to see as the mystics see, those women and men in any age and from all religious traditions who share a gift for not peeving about the past or fixating on the future. It’s a mystery to me how they do it.
Tick-tock, clock, tick-tock.
With ears to hear the works, makes
time’s tricks convincing.
My immunity to the winter cold has gone south like so many honking geese. Time was, when I’d hie off to the beach in January, and on my birthday, deck out in my swimsuit and run into the frigid surf. And, so what if my breath got sucked into the bottom of my lungs and threatened never to come up again.
Now just thinking about it makes me draw up my shoulders and stroke the chill bumps on my arms. My grandfather used to say, “I don’t hold my heat so well anymore.”
Driving down the road the day before Christmas, I saw up ahead a rotund, balding man who was somewhere north of 60 years old, strolling out to his mailbox wearing shorts, rubber shower shoes, an open Hawaiian shirt layered over a wife-beater. It was in the low 40s outside. He threw up his hand as I passed, smiling at me warmly like I was an old pal.
And it occurred to me that even the hard truth of a thermometer is still sometimes a matter of perception. But I wonder can I really change my mind about being cold?
Sounds harder than an amiable discussion with my friend Bruce about our divergent views on politics without wanting to push him face-first onto a fire ant mound.
On the other hand…
A knock at the door.
Winter wind comes in the room
for a fireside chat.
Gray and foggy morning.
Cold clouds settled on wet ground.
Coffee warms my cup.
Cold snap turns the leaves,
frogs and lizards burrow down,
hearth fire’s smoke goes up.
Seated opposite each other in a cafe booth, a man and a woman had cell phones in their hands in front of their faces. They stared expressionless at their screens, thumbs poised, or moving. A thousand miles away from the real-time moment in the cafe. I let the scene dissolve and come back into focus. I imagined them sitting shoulder-to-shoulder, sharing one Samsung Galaxy between them, laughing at a family video posted on Facebook.
Old woman, old man,
sitting knee-to-knee in chairs.
Both of them asleep.