the old pear tree reluctant to give way to solstice light stays green, each branch a banner to its spring heart until one day, one leaf, blood red as summers sunset is cast off to fend for itself in the cold winters wind and the tree relinquishes its hold to acquiesce to autumns desire
In one week, I am leaving the house on the cove in the center of the Ozarks.
We have lived in this home for over 18 years and in the Ozarks for over 30. This land is one of the great loves of my life.
But now we leave.
Moving one thousand miles to the east. To the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and a new life.
I will miss this land of steep ridges and deep fern green hollows. And I don’t know how my writing will change. This beloved land has been my muse for now much of my adult life.
I am excited for this new adventure. And it has all happened with such suddenness and energy that I have no doubt it is exactly what and where we are supposed to be.
And with that certainty, I have little grief over leaving. I know I am being given another great love of my life in our new home. A home very much like my beloved shack in Arkansas, but this time tucked into the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in a small village in western North Carolina.
My husband is going home to the state of his birth and home to his family.
We are both going home to a place we never dreamed of until a few months ago.
I will keep in touch, Dear Reader, and I will find a voice in that new place and my writing will follow its course – The Course of Our Seasons – a new and beautiful adventure.
Its all or nothing with you
as I watch you tear down the structures
that have captivated you for so long.
Pulling apart the seams
and rending the fabric
of the garment we have patched
and mended for oh these many years.
It is a changeable time and the east wind has done its work
turning everyones inner world topsy turvy.
How long will this breeze blow and when will the dust settle
to show a clear view of the remnants left
to weave and quilt and patch together
enough to bring us comfort and warmth
on a cold winters day.
I was in a small boat on a river,
The water swift and clear
But my little boat and I
Steady in the rushing current.
I watch the waters flowing past
Without me and my small vessel.
We are left
As if moored
Or caught on a hidden shoal.
How quickly the days have sped.
Already a year nearly gone
And I remain
Waiting for the tide to rush to lift my boat
And propel me forward into life.
An unexpected change-
a wind from the east
bringing the scent of lake
and sweet grass
and summers ending.
The meadow grasses ripen
golden tassels of seed
sway in the breeze,
bowing to the west
and the hunger
of summers waning
and tiny finches.
August, the month of lengthening shadows
and eastern winds,
the month of fields
golden and heavy with harvest.
the month of summers waning
and all that entails.
Sitting on the porch
as the eastern wind
rings through the old chimes
a new tune,
I find myself singing
in harmony with the changing winds.
Cleaning out closets and desk drawers,
memories piled deep on the floor,
boxes of paper
are brought to the fire
with the satisfaction of flame
burning away years
Rising from the ash
a new idea
Beloved children, coming to terms with change
with tears and unnamed presumptions
then tentatively beginning
the right questions.
I release the past
and present my heart
with a new sign –
Take the idea of change.
Hold it tenderly in your hands.
Place it in the pocket of your coat.
Then, in the midst of your day,
Reach into your pocket and pluck a leaf-
Rub it between your fingers
To release its scent,
Maybe take a taste
To see if its bitter or sweet.
Resist the urge
To remove the whole thing
And fling it into the river.
No, hold steady.
Let change send its tender roots
Deep into your life,
Allow its gentle tendrils
To grow and wrap around your mind.
Let change be what it needs to be
What you need to become.
Great gray stones leave the bank of the river,
stacked with their brethren
between the old cedar trees.
One upon one,
they stand together, shoulder
in deep, masculine force.
Over decades, they settle.
Some, restless, move again
toward the river.
Most hold fast, remembering
*** We went out after the last storm and our old rock wall had fallen. The chipmunks had loosened the soil, giving the rain a place to wash out behind the stones. And it just gave way.
We will restack and make it whole again, but who knows how long ago those stones had been carted up from the river and stacked with their brethren.
in the pond, I saw
ribbons glistening with fragile
black polka dots of life
as though a special present
was joyfully torn open
and the wrappings left
to fend for themselves
lovely elegant skeins
filled with the future
ink dotted children
black comma’ed offspring
creatures of water and air
neither fish nor fowl
born to one elemental force
alive in the gullied water
finding legs within
to leap to the essential element
air lunged full
in the oxygen sky
tree filled world
of moss, mud and marsh
tiny metamorphic saints of change
chanting in the afternoon rain
Self Portrait at Fifty Seven
scarred and calloused the deep etchings
of life lived and the hard
decisions of truth over lies
and gray over dyes
kindness fought hard to win over selfish pride
longing given way
to understanding and forgiveness
both for faults well earned and others too
the needs and wants
now turn to best before good
knowledge hard fought for
and occasionally won
the days swiftly move toward the ultimate end
when the choosing of the now the moment the here
gains the upper hand
and I will go into the dark night
the better for it