The tent beyond

Image by Evren Ozdemir from Pixabay

The vision was beautiful. Who can say where such things come from?

The tent was reminiscent of childhood camping trips, and the man was my father. He stood in the center of the tent with his hand on the pole in the center. I remember him telling me when I was little not to touch the pole when there was lightning. Always the one to watch over us, I wasn’t surprised that he was standing and my other aunts and uncles were sitting quietly.

“You made it!” he said. That would have been my line if he hadn’t beat me to it. My dad passed last April and the afterlife is never far from my thoughts. One moment I was reclined on my couch recovering from the office virus, listening to a gentle rain recording, and the next moment I was in my father’s presence.

Most things about the supernatural can never be explained. Was this an actual vision, a gift from God or the creative mind at work? It doesn’t matter, really. What I experienced was transcendent and comforting.

A Gekko's Watch

Holding on with sticky pad feet outside my door, the vigilant gekko prepares for an active evening. The ones that live outside my door in South Florida come alive at night. They hover near the lights where moths and other insects are drawn. As I walk up the apartment steps, I see about one gekko on watch per door. They work alone and are apparently territorial.

In a cold snap, gekkos will try to get into the house to wait for the air to warm outside. It doesn’t happen very often, but I keep watch to make sure they get out of the house alive. One time, I was sure that a gekko watched my steps and ran out along side me as I opened the door to leave. That’s when it first occurred to me that these reptiles had more intelligence than I gave them credit for.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images on Pixabay

Dream

In morning fog
Dream fragments still wake
Through solid doors
A crack finds its place

Young love burned hot
Ice buckets with age
Snuff the embers
With dreams the last stage

Lakes were colder
Steep cliffs ragged shear
Pine needles sharp
And the waters clear

Few thoughts retained
With East rising sun
What I can’t touch
Is proof it is done

Marching On

arlington

My tribe scatters far
But what came before
Marches on

Arlington tribute
Restless children walk
Caisson procession
Small girl falls

Rifles and bagpipes
A crisp folded flag
He fought the good fight
We stand tall

A power unknown
Memories deeper
United through miles
Tribal bond

Meeting just today
We walked the same grounds
Lilac in springtime
Yellow corn

Passed to another
Ideals and passion
Righteous with valor
Marching on

A tribute to my uncle Edward L. Burnham
Held rank of Colonel with the United States Air Force
Laid to rest in Arlington this April

Photo courtesy Pixabay

The city possum

opossumLast night, I saw an opossum lurking in front of the apartment’s dumpster. At first glance, it looked like a cat. In our city, we have the Sawgrass Nature Center and Wildlife Hospital to help sick or injured wildlife. This little marsupial looked rather healthy, however.

Kindness to animals is a good habit to cultivate and share with children. Building designs for cohabitation are a worthwhile effort. Being employed in the “build” industry has increased my awareness.

I hope to learn more about this precious animal and its contribution to our natural world. Check out links below.

Sawgrass Nature Center in Coral Springs:  http://www.sawgrassnaturecenter.org.

Opossum Society of the United States: http://www.opossumsocietyus.org.

 

Meditation for slackers and insomniacs

When you think of meditation, does the idea of eliminating thoughts come to mind? It’s really more about substituting one thought for another. A mantra, sound or vision can fill the vacuum that is typically filled with our “to do” list and other annoying thoughts.

Meditation is not so much a destination as it is a journey. Years ago I used to let my brain get a cramp trying to get somewhere. Now I sometimes use a mantra learned decades ago with TM or picture myself under a lovely evergreen tree. You can use the classic OM sound or picture something that gives you tranquility.

Other techniques that required me to remember successive affirmations have long ago been forgotten. I found them burdensome. When I’m awake at night I use the meditation tool to fall back asleep. I’m sure I’ll be scolded by some as you’re taught to sit upright so that you’re in a state of calm consciousness. I think I hit that zone during the transition back to sleep in my bed at night!

Purging songs from my play set

guitarcloseup

I’m a reasonable minimalist. Not too many clothes or much furniture. I live below my means. Closets are precious real estate zones. Recently I’ve been applying a different filter to songs I keep to play. I think there is a great lesson here for my musical path, as well as my life.

I sing and play guitar. My talents are better than some and far worse than others. Playing is a solitary activity and a group event. Adding items to my potential repertoire is easy. Doing something with them is another. I’ve decided that if I keep a tune for a year or so and can’t find a way to play it by then, it should hit the trash. Loving a song is one thing; effectively covering it is another.

Like many things in life, the clutter of the old keeps the new from taking root. If I flip through my music book and keep seeing a song that I can’t “own,” it wastes my time and precious energy. (It’s a little like reading the blogs of others that don’t resonate and purging that site from your reader. I hope you don’t feel that way about this blog.) Why keep a song that you can’t hit the highs or lows well, or it doesn’t sound good without a driving percussive sound?

The trick to a great song collection to cover is to write down the names of songs when you hear them. Also, playing with others gives you fresh inspiration. I’m going to get very aggressive this weekend and tear through that songbook. Does this strike a chord with any of my readers?

 

 

Nature Mural

img_1021On the grounds of the Coral Springs Museum of Art, a 7,000-tile ceramic relief mural graces the grounds. Created by clay artist Jan Kolenda, and dedicated in 2012, it is titled “Imagine Florida.” One side depicts the ocean reef to the beach; side two highlights the hardwood hammocks to the Everglades. It is designed as a scroll, and two quotations grace an end:

“There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth; remote, never wholly known.” – Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

“Wilderness to me is a spiritual necessity.” – Clyde Butcher.

everglades new.JPG