unending

Would you believe me if I told you that
there is so much life within you?

E. Tolle writes that we need to pay attention
to the life within our hands, our feet, our lungs.
As a ritual. As a habit. As a reminder.
That the life within us is
the most abundant and important truth we can encounter
each day.

I think, or wager that
As we begin to recognize the life within our own skin,
That we will begin to notice it
everywhere

unending

Perhaps in
the flight pattern of a dozen geese against a gray winter sky
Or in the aphids, bellies swelling with sap from the brassica garden
Or in the granite and volcanic tuft mountain peaks to the east, chiseled and worn
Or in the decay of the forest floor, brown, wet leaves and fungi pouring over rotted fallen logs

but also in
the red roses growing through the metal fence along the sidewalk
the ants hurriedly roaming through the cracks of the asphalt parking lot
the cashier working at the busy grocery store during rush hour

In your hands today, pay attention to the stirring of your own blood

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-A

On Climate Change

they say there are trees older than mountains –
I would like to know them
I would like to ask how it felt to be unknown

I used to make fairy houses out of pine cones
and twigs that fell from the dogwood I would climb
with grass-thatched roofs
and dandelion fences;
and in the morning they were sparkling with dew,
called fairy dust,
that covered my wet feet
as I crept close in the silent morning
to catch a glimpse of something…
but they were gone,
sometimes leaving just a trail of new
mushrooms in their wake.

now, I sit in an office barefoot
and remember the time that a moth against the
dirty window in lamplight
looked like a fairy
without a proper pine cone home.
I still want to know the redwoods
the douglas firs and the sequoias
but I imagine the ancient General Sherman,
unfairly named,
would stand tall and stoic
as he recounted the danger he has seen
from men and women
who grow up
to no longer care
for fairies.

-L

hidden resistance

in a world of those that notice the shine of my dress shoes
what do they know of the muddy feet underneath?

the feet spent the morning tending to the earth
from garden to garden they guided the body

though the eyes behold the process,
the feet understand how the earth is grateful for that first drink of water
in the same way that they too find comfort in
the soft soil fresh with morning dew

though the hands planted the seeds,
the feet notice, step around, as they sprout above the soil
beckoning the sun to feed them
for the feet also find energy in the light

in this way
i suppose i do not believe that i need to be clean
or fragranced
or styled
in the same way day after day

my prayer each morning is that
i may find delight in the life
that i am surrounded by

outside, in the sun this morning
I wanted to lay down
bury myself in the earth
like a bolita bean seed,
crack out of this shell,
and grow

-A

reflections on a year of rock climbing

I remember the first time I got on the rock,
sunny, sweaty hands trembling, stomach lurching

On a warm August day in Penitente Canyon, junipers and scrub oak line the trails where the spring snow had melted

My new friends and I make our way to the climb with the deep huecos

There,
with the comfort of a top rope,
I fall, and I struggle, and I pant,
kick and curse
and it’s the most imperfect journey to the top of the rock

As joyful as I feel to have reached the top,
I tell myself I need to get stronger
that I could have done it more flawlessly

I cast my eyes downward, feeling shame in my weakness
——————-
Fast forward a year later
new friends have become old and we drive the dusty road to the canyon every chance we get
Colorado monsoon season means we get stuck in the rain once or twice
but there is one afternoon that
I remember so clearly

We make our way to the climb with the deep huecos
and I decide that I am going to lead the route
because by this time,
it has imprinted itself into my memory

I am sweaty and nervous and fear outlines my vision
because I could fall a dozen feet

but I have done this route so many times and
each bolt I clip into is a reminder of my strength and ability
to navigate through fear
by staring it in the face
and climbing up it

I struggle, and I pant
and I kick and curse all the way to the top
and it’s an imperfect journey

but this time, the joy I feel at the top is not eclipsed by
the desire for the flawless strength I think I should have

but an acceptance
and awareness of
the jagged, rough strength that I do have

and how the balance of
all my parts
both wobbly and sturdy
has led me to where I am

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-A

lessons in green

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

mostly
I miss the green. Not just how it sparkled in the dewy mornings, but how it smelled after a summer rain – wet and earthy, worms and muck and warm puddles.
How it felt thick and sticky on my skin
Crickets at dusk, bullfrogs lulling me to sleep

Do I forget the summers? The one where we walked through the woods together
Through the black widows and bike trails and the oaks and maples and sycamores
You held my hand tight in your big white jeep

Can I remember the freedom I felt? In the forgetting. In the letting go.
I remember spinning, 2 AM. Spinning in a circle of my friends.
Stoned, I leave out the back window and my red skirt flies up as I jump. I understand nothing, but feel all the parts of my body like puzzle pieces floating.

All alone, I walk the path I know so well, to the white pine forest right near the water. It is dusk, and the longer I sit still, the more invisible I become.
The great blue heron skimming the water’s surface.
The doe and fawn drinking at the water’s edge.
The river otter gliding on his back through the sleepy lake.
At dark, I frantically pack up and run the whole way back home.

My best friend, in argument, in salsa dancing, in bread making.
The washing machine overflowed and I jumped on your back as we giggled uncontrollably.
We walk down the street singing Little Birdie the night before you hit the road, the streetlights guiding us to the bar.
I didn’t know then that when you returned, everything would change.

In green, I found the freedom to wander. Felt the panic of being alone. And understood, in fragmented moments, to be grateful.

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-A

Sketch: This is a rose bush waiting to bloom.

My hands
remember the weight of charcoal
and what it takes to keep
the image from smearing.
I sketch a rose bush in early spring
when it wants to be blooming
but can’t, yet.

My eyes
capture details like they are new
as if I have just seen
bare limbs for the first time.
With each stroke they become more alive
til I understand they are
just waiting.

I finish sketching
as the day grows cold,
and as I pack up my things
I know:
roses
do not blossom into being overnight
but rather
survive the winter
to triumph in the spring,
and this knowledge that
the beauty
is in the details
calms me.

IMG_6554

-L