Nature is full of surprises…you never know what she will make:

on our favorite beach..a stone’s throw from the ocean…she’s created a lake.


And I wonder about the water in the lake…if it ever yearns or dreams or craves

to leave the safety of the lake…and join the ocean waves.


Ever wonders what it’s like to be so wild and free

never knowing where it will end up as it travels across the sea.


And I wonder about the ocean waves…what kind of dreams they make…

Do they ever wish upon their return to join the waters of the lake?


To have a spot to call their home…a quiet place out of harms way

surrounded by the trees and sand…visited by the same birds every day.


But I imagine these are my thoughts…easy for me to make

not the thoughts of the waves upon the ocean or the water in the lake…


I imagine they are happy and this kind of thinking in them never arises…

I imagine this is one of nature’s gift…another one of her surprises.


To all her creations: 

the ones that remain in one spot or the ones that travel far

she has given the gift of contentment…

for whatever and wherever they are…


And we would be wise to learn this lesson…

and all envy in us…dispel

for as nature is trying to shows us…


It is in contentment where happiness dwells.

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I saw it as I walked one day…an acorn in the snow

and I stopped for a moment to wonder…what makes this acorn grow?


What makes this little tiny seed…barely bigger than a pea…

what makes this little acorn transform into a tree?


Certainly it must be planted with care…for it’s roots need to take hold 

If it’s ever to withstand the summer heat and endure the winter cold.


And an acorn needs to be cared for…of this I have no doubt 

It needs love…it needs to be nurtured…if it’s ever going to sprout.


And once it peeks out of the ground…once it’s leaves begin to show

that little tiny acorn…needs a lot of room to grow.


And it will always need nature’s protection as it’s life ebbs and flows

it will always need her patience and her caring…no matter how tall it grows.


As I saw that little acorn…and fancied it a full grown tree

standing in it’s imaginary shade…this thought occurred to me


Every child…every baby…is like that acorn in the snow.

They need what every acorn needs if they ever are to grow.


As parents we must understand…how tall our children grow


depends on how we care for them…when they are but acorns in the snow.

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Sometimes he walks before the town wakes up.

He walks a path down by the bay.

It’s usually quiet and serene…usually…but not this day.


Usually he walks in silence

where only the softest sounds are heard

that changed when he reached the center of town

and was confronted…by a bird.


A mockingbird began chirping loudly

then she flew around his head…

She stopped on the sidewalk in front of him…

“Follow me.” She said.


At least that’s what he thought she said.

After all…he didn’t understand a word

for he is just a man

and she…a mockingbird.


But he followed her across the street

where she landed in a tree

and as she kept chirping loudly he wondered

‘What does she want from me?’


He saw that she was in her nest

making bird sounds he’d never heard

and then he saw what she was fussing about…

On the ground…a baby mockingbird.


Her baby must have fallen 

and here she came to rest

so gently…softly…he picked her up

and returned her to the nest.


The mother mockingbird thanked him

He could see it in her eyes

And he smiled as he walked away

listening to a mockingbird lullaby.


At least he thought it was a lullaby

After all…he didn’t understand a word

for he is just a man


and she…a mockingbird.

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On our walk the morning as we made the turn 

down a tree filled lane

we were greeted in the silence by a tender…misty rain.


We could feel a slight coolness brush agains our face…

and yet

so delicate were her droplets that we did not get wet.


So light…so mild was that touch of rain 

we barely could perceive her

so gentle even the most fragile flowers 

had to lift their petals to receive her.


I looked up to try and glimpse the mist 

floating against the backdrop of the dawn

but as quickly as she started…that misty rain was gone


And once again I had to smile 

as I thanked the rain for the simplicity of her greeting

reminding me to enjoy both life and beauty…


for both of them are fleeting.

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You may think this is a little crazy but I think of it as more carefree

When the other day I found myself having a conversation…with a tree.


This tree stands next to the ocean…and when I saw him I had to grin

There was an eerie beauty in the way he stood.

The way he was influenced by the wind.


I said, “You look a little old and weathered.”

The tree replied, “That is true….I have a few wrinkles on my bark

but then again…so do you.”


“I’ve lost most of my leaves,” he said, “as year after year has passed me by.”

I smiled as I leaned against his bark…“That’s funny…so have I.”


“But look how strong you still are,” I said,

“Even after all the storms that you’ve been through.”

The tree chuckled and I felt his laughter.

“But then again…so are you”.


“I like to think I’m still beautiful.” the tree said as he let out a deep sigh…

“Oh but you are .”I answered quickly…“and I like to think…so am I”.


“What is your secret to a full and happy life?” I asked the tree

“what do you recommend?”

“The key for me”, the tree replied “lies in my ability to bend”.


We talked a little while longer 

about our branches

About our trunks, our crowns…our roots

About how we love the wind and the rain

and other shared attributes.


As I walked away I stopped, turned around

then waved and smiled at that old tree…

And I can’t be sure but I think I saw him wave and smile back at me…


And I remember thinking as I left him gently bending by the sea….


How lucky and proud I was that day…to have a conversation with a tree.

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He often pauses in the forest…

gets down on his knees as if he’s praying

to gossip with the wind


and listen to what the trees are saying.

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She loves to walk in sunflowers…surrounded by the mountains and the trees

Where stretching out in all directions…sunflowers are all you see.


She loves to touch the baby sunflowers…still developing…still quite small

And stand dwarfed by the adults…the ones over six feet tall.


She thinks there are more to sunflowers than our eyes will let us see.

She thinks perhaps her sunflowers are more like you and me.


“What if,” she asks, “when two sunflowers looking across an open field

What if the love that’s housed within their stem, when their eyes meet, is revealed?”


“We know sunflowers move.” she says. “because they all turn toward the sun.

So isn’t it possible if they want to be together…sunflowers might also run?


“Run…veiled by the dark of night…no matter what the weather…

Run into each other’s arms…just to be together.”


“Look how some of them are hugging.” She says, making her point with ease.

“Look how many of them are smiling as they dance together on the breeze.”


“And tell me you can’t feel it….their happiness…their bliss…

When you’re lucky enough…when you get the chance…to see two sunflowers kiss.”


“It’s a feeling”, she says, “I wish I could bestow on every girl and boy…

How when you walk among the sunflowers…you can’t help but share their joy.”


We have different reasons for loving a walk in sunflowers…

she…for the emotions that they stir

My reasons is a little more selfish…


I love walking in them…with her.



We love to walk in the morning…we know our walk is not complete

unless we walk the way the native Americans did…

as if we’re kissing the Earth with our feet.


At home we walk to the ocean…at our cabin mountain paths we take

our walks of late to our delight have centered around a lake.


We walk early as the sun is rising…before the summer day gets hotter

It’s also the only time we get to watch the fog dance across the water.


As the sun peeks over the mountains signaling the day’s about to begin

Her sunlight widens like a smile and the lake reflects her grin. 


Water spiders dash in and out of the fog…perhaps eating…or just having fun

Every fitful movement they make…highlighted by the sun.


A family of deer sees us coming…they also like to rise at dawn.

The mothers eyes us cautiously as she devotedly protects her fawn.


When she is confident we mean no harm…we see her trepidation decrease.

Her family goes back to eating and she let us pass in peace.


We see spots of yellow quickly moving and wonder…

is the sun playing tricks on our eyes

until we realize it’s not the sun but a family of goldfinches flitting by.


We stop and listen to their singing….from their nests in the trees they've made

and we feel privileged to hear a rare treat…a goldfinch serenade.


In another tree just up ahead a squirrel…enjoying the view

We wonder is he watching us…or did he stop to listen too?


Much of our walk is done in silence…because in silence it is clear

all the wonders we can see…so any wonders we can hear…


Around the lake we see our house…another wonderful morning walk complete


It’s amazing how much beauty we see when we kiss the Earth with our feet.

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We had wandered through the art show…enduring all the crowds

when he happened upon an artist…who only painted clouds.


“Excuse me”, we said asking the obvious, “and this is by no means a complaint

but we have to ask if clouds…are the only things you paint.


The artist smiled then turned toward us and silently shook his head

“I like to think I’m painting more than just the clouds.” he said.


Then he walked us around his different paintings, commenting as he went

showing us with each new frame…exactly what he meant.


“These clouds depict happiness, you can feel the joy…the fun.

Why it’s as if they all are smiling as they’re backlit by the sun.”


“And these clouds show a sadness,, a sorrow, or a pain.

You can sense they are about to cry, and their tears will be the rain.”


“And look at these sunrises and sunsets, painted in colors bright and loud.

They would not be near as beautiful…if not for the clouds.”


“Do you notice how each painting is different, it’s because clouds constantly rearrange

reminding us how life is always changing, but there is beauty in the change.”


“All these clouds are simply clouds,” he continued,

”though they may have different names.

Like them our beauty is in our differences…

and like then we’re all the same.”


He took us to each painting, sometimes he spoke softly, sometimes loud

and by the end we were convinced he does paint more than clouds.


We thanked him for the lesson, it was enlightening…and so much more

for we will never look at clouds the way we did before…


But what made us smile, as we left, was a voice shaky and faint


as a young girl asked, “Hey mister, are clouds the only thing you paint?”

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