#life

DON'T FORGET THE CHANGE

How often do we cross paths with people only for a moment…then

once that moment’s over… our paths never cross again?

 

 

She came into the bookstore with her mom…they went to separate nooks.

Her mom headed to the latest fiction…she…to children’s books.

 

She quickly found a book…then sat in a chair to read it…

“Mom!” I heard her yell across the store….“You see this book…I need it!”

 

“You still have some birthday money.” her mom said, “take it out…and count.

You can buy that book all by yourself…if you have the right amount.

 

“Can you tell me how much this book is?” she asked in a voice low and refined…

“Sure.” I said as I smiled at her.  “That’ll be eight dollars…ninety-nine.

 

She reached into her pocket…I could tell that she was thrilled

as she laid out on the counter… a pile of crumpled bills.

 

She counted each one to herself…at a slow and steady pace

and when she finished counting…a smile crossed her face.

 

“I’m pretty sure I have enough.” she said proudly…(this time I was thrilled)

As she handed me in her outstretched hands…nine still crumpled bills.

 

I counted each one as I un-crumpled them…I said, “Why yes you do.”

(I didn’t have the heart to tell her with tax…it came to nine dollars sixty-two.”)

 

Luckily in my pocket…I had my own crumpled dollar bill

which, when she wasn’t looking, I slipped into the till.

 

I rang her up, handed her the book…and with everything arranged

she started to walk away when I called out, wait…don’t forget your change…

 

I handed her the thirty-eight cents…and her smile…I’ll never forget

Just to see that smile on her face was worth going one crumpled dollar in debt…

 

I wonder if the lesson here as we randomly encounter people

as pleasantries we exchange…

Is to understand if we’re lucky 

 

we all leave with a little change.


THEY CAME TO ENTERTAIN US

They came to entertain us…high school students from St. Augustine

They came to dance…and I have to say their dancing was anything but routine.

 

And they were beautiful, these students, they came in all shapes and kinds

most of them were deaf…and a few of them were blind.

 

I saw the joy upon their face…never once did I see fear

as they danced…and performed together…to music they could not hear.

 

I love to experience moments when my consciousness expands

like watching students who couldn’t hear…dance…while singing with their hands.

 

I love Spanish, French and Italian…romance languages not to be missed

but I wonder…is it possible to add sign language to that list.

 

Spanish, French and Italian are pleasing to the ears…which comes as no surprise 

but signing is the only language that’s pleasing to the eyes.

 

There was a point in their performance when one of the students just by chance

put his two hands out in front of me and invited me to dance…

 

I could hear the music playing…I even knew the song

so I threw off my inhibitions and happily went along.

 

I forgot, however, I have no rhythm…the best I can do is prance

but the young deaf boy was patient and he showed me how to dance.

 

And though he didn’t improve my rhythm…he got me dancing to the beat

and I discovered the joy of music wasn’t in my ears or the joy of dancing in my feet.

 

As I tried to follow his movements…as I tried desperately to keep pace

I found the joy in me that moment could be found upon my face….

 

We all enter this world with certain limitations as well as certain gifts

And as I sat back down in my chair it made me wonder if…

 

The purest joy of life…as these students so easily express

 

Is to never take for granted the wonders we possess.


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Hung

Hanging by a thread, reel me in

Give me something to believe in

Trying to catch up, but it feels like I'm running in sand

I'm terrified of these demons in demand.

 

...the gallows echo my name.

 

Hanging by a string, lying low like fen

I need to be born again, like Jesus of Nazareth

Lost & trapped

My mind is a labyrinth.

 

...the hangman shrieks my name.

 

Hanging by a rope now, instead of a thread

This demolition course of a life,

Now has me dead.

Cut down by the scythe.

 

...the grim reaper carries my head. 

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FOOTPRINTS IN THE LEAVES

It’s been said a million times before…but since we know time can be fleeting

‘Take pleasure in the little things’ is a phrase that’s worth repeating.

 

As an illustration of this point I offer now to you

a day that was filled with little things…little things…times two.

 

Two people take a morning walk…leaving two sets of footprints in the leaves

along the way they hear two mockingbirds chirping in the trees.

 

They pass two people walking…their pace a little slow

what’s slowing down their walk is simple…they have two dogs in tow.

 

Two sets of smiles quietly exchanged in a beautifully natural setting

Two people pause a moment…for two dogs in need of petting.

 

Two eagles sitting on a pole…it is their normal place for meeting

Two people stop and wave to them…it is their normal way of greeting.

 

Two smoothies shared for breakfast keeping two people healthy and alert 

Two tuna melts at a cafe for lunch…and two donuts for dessert.

 

Two people moving silently together…two bodies at Tai Chi

Two people watching TV together…a documentary.

 

Two people reading in their bed…two people turning out their lights

Two people glad they spent this simple day together…

two kisses…

two good nights.

 

Two people drifting off to sleep…and as their dreams take wings…

Two smiles on two people’s faces….as they dream of little things

 

Of donuts, tuna melts, and eagles…of birds chirping in the trees

 

Of smoothies, dogs and a morning walk leaving footprints in the leaves.


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THE GREATEST ADVENTURE

As children they loved listening to fairy tales

of adventures…large and small

then once upon a time they discovered

life …is a wonderful fairy tale

 

and…the greatest adventure of them all


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AN UNFOLDING LIFE

Although it seems at times life moves so fast we have trouble keeping up

(Wasn’t it only yesterday our children were babies…our dog was just a pup?)

 

But there are times we look into the mirror and think as we grow old

how life doesn’t actually fly by….it evolves slowly…it unfolds.

 

And as life unfolds in front of us…at its slow and steady pace…

We see changes in our friends and family…we see it unfold upon our face.

 

So every now and then we stop and take a moment….allowing memories to rise

Memories of bygone moments that unfolded before your eyes.

 

Moments with our family and friends…when we were little girls or boys

Moments of great sorrow…

moments of great joy.

 

It is one of the wonders in an unfolding life…how our memories move so fast

that every now and then our present mixes with our past.

 

And we realize at these moments…before the moment’s done

how our present past and future have become united into one.

 

And for that one brief moment…our past, present and future pause for us to see…

and marvel in that moment…how we’re living in all three.

 

Perhaps that’s why times seems to move so fast…and before we know it we are old…

Perhaps that is the reason…

and the answer 

 

to how and why a life unfolds.


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WHY ARE THE OCEANS BLUE?

When I was young and asked the question why is the ocean blue?

There was a simple answer…one everybody knew.

 

The way the water filters the spectrum of sunlight holds the key…

the red colors are absorbed…while the blues are the ones we see.

 

I didn’t realize how essential the oceans were back then…how vital for all life too…

I only knew there was a lot of water, it was fun to swim in…it was salty…and it was blue.

 

Now I know we need the oceans to live…it’s a certainty that we do!

But here’s something else that I have learned…the oceans needs us too.

 

They need us to stop polluting, stop overfishing…stop causing them so much distress.

They need us to help replenish them 

so they can go back to doing what they do best…

 

Sustaining life for a host of diverse creatures that inhabit the ocean blue

and while they’re at it sustaining life for all the people on Earth too…

 

I’ve learned the oceans are sad because they’re dying…and they have a story to tell

that if we succeed in killing them…we’ll be killing ourselves as well… 

 

Now that I’m older I know the answer to the question is not a simple one…

but one I wish everybody knew

It’s also how we’re mistreating them everyday…

 

that makes the oceans blue.


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INDIANS AND MANBATEES

 

When one of the first settlers asked a Native American, 

“What do you call this land?”

He shrugged his shoulders and scratched his head…

“It has no name…

it’s shared by all

we call it ours.”he said. 

 

The other day we visited sacred Indian mounds built by people we didn’t know

Temple mounds and burial grounds constructed a thousand years ago.

 

The mounds were built next to a river and as we watched clouds drift in the sky

we were blessed as quietly in that river a family of manatees came floating by.

 

And I thought as we stood in the shade and comfort of two beautiful old oak trees

how they have a lot in common…Indians and manatees.

 

How they lived in tandem with the land honest sincere direct

taking only what they needed…treating all things with respect.

 

How they shared this land together…. for oh so many years

until our ancestors came across the ocean and chose to settle here.

 

Chose to endanger their way of life, who they were…who they would be

threatening their individual journeys…endangering their history.

 

And today when I look a Indians and Manatees I see all that we hijacked

how we’ve left them, through our greed and arrogance, with scars upon their backs.

 

And I wondered as we climbed reverentially to the top of the temple stairs

how they must wish for a time when America was not America…

just a land they both called…theirs.

 

for a time when they shared the land, 

the rivers 

and the trees

for a time when they were happy 

 

being Indians and manatees.


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Let There Be Light

Folder: 
The Lectern's Rise

Let there be light
God said, it became bright ,
Earth in the morning
Creatures came, and following

Dawn the first ray
Of early time, always
The silence hollow, all
Atmosphere, the total.

Flower too, looked at up
Sky's blue, the buttercup
Fully open the face
Was comely, quiet and gay,

Asleep, the shadows but
Did me the calmest heart
Pulse struck it oft aflight,
For God said, there be light!

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