The peace left behind

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The last time I felt peace
I was standing
Under a grey November sky
Walking to see the beavers
Building a dam of mud and stick

At 15, and old enough to
Appreciate naked trees
My father pointed out
The progress of the dam
Some things can be measured

The grey sky muted the light
And the New England breeze chilled

I was comfortable in this skin once

Today my thoughts spin so fast
That a lassooing wrangler
Must tackle them at night
As they run, like cattle
At breakneck speed

Each day, bright lights
Dripping sweat, blinding sun
Slammed down by blunt force
No pooled waters of
The life I left behind

A Pixabay photo

A red fox family

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When I was little, my father killed a red fox because of a fear it could be rabid. I remember it came out at dusk behind our barn where we had some food scraps composting. Foxes will behave that way normally.

Others find foxes ruthless because they kill chickens. I’m sure I would be heartbroken if I owned chickens and the foxes snatched them. I know many farmers are very clever with fences and coops.

If I had a farm, I might compost food material far away from my house or contain it well. Cats and small dogs might need to stay inside mostly. I’ve read that foxes are quite smart and a bit on the lazy side. They’ll find food in the easiest way that they can.

Let’s think twice about how we can safely co-habitate with wildlife. Foxes are predators of other wildlife you might find even more bothersome.

Last night I dreamed I was running with the wild animals. We had a common purpose and I wasn’t afraid.

Marching On

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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

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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.

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A three-legged stool and hope

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On display at the Florida Historic Capitol Museum in Tallahassee.

Just in case this is not clear enough on the plaque, it reads “WOODEN STOOL – Governor Chiles used this cedar three-legged stool in his 1991 State of the State Address to illustrate that the three branches of government depend on each other.” plaque-with-stool