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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The older that I grow…it seems there more and more I do not know

about this world I live in…this wonderland.

When I look at the ocean and the trees…and think of them…then think of me

there are so many things I do not understand.


Like how the sun in the morning can apply…so many colors to the sky

painting a magnificent landscape in pigments dark and light

how that landscape changes through the day…but the sun still finds a way

to return and paint again at night.


How birds and flowers are related…it’s one reason they’re created

a fact nature does not try to hide

and subtly she shows this…for she wants us all to know this

when she creates a flower with a bird inside.


And how often do you wonder when you hear a clap of thunder

how that sound makes its way into the sky

or when you see a butterfly…or two…have you ever wondered who

decided to create a flower that can fly?


I do not understand how natures builds a mountain grand

or how an ocean of water can look like glass

or how a river on the ground can make such a lovely sound

or why there’s so much beauty in a blade of grass.


How it’s impossible to be lonely when you walk in nature only

by yourself without a soul to see…

because when you look around at the sky and on the ground

there are so many things to keep you company 


I guess as long as I am growing…I will find joy in not knowing

so much about the air…the sea…the land…

for I am glad to live in awe of all the things I see…and saw

glad for all I do not understand.




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Each language has it’s own beauty

perhaps that’s why people travel the world seek them…

I imagine they are just like me

and would someday like to speak them…


But there is one language we may never speak

it is a culture without words

It’s one we step outside to seek

in the trees, the sky…the birds.


It’s a language none of us can recreate

as it remains, to us, unknown

because nature does not translate

a language all her own.


When rain drops fall upon the ground

seedlings immediately know…

as the water reaches them without a sound

they hear…it’s time to grow.


And when the sun’s rays touch that soon-to-be flower

as it awakes from its womb

the silent sunshine reveals its power.

when it whispers…time to bloom


The wind invisibly rushes out and in

We try to comprehend but we have no chance

for we only know where she has been

as she invites the trees to dance.


We know all living things talk to each other

We know they’ve found a way

We know they’re listening to their mother

We just don’t know what they say.


But that’s OK with us…for each day

we can enjoy their music and their dance

without recognizing all the words they say

Like when we visit Italy or France.


In a way it’s like we’re in a foreign land

Nature’s land of trees and fish and birds

and tho their language we may never fully understand


we can enjoy the rhythm of their words.

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They found the owl…this morning…”Look!” the young boy said.

On the street in front of their house…a little owl was dead.


“What are we going to do?” the boy asked as he got down on one knee.

“We’re going to take a walk”, Dad said, “to the weeping willow tree.”


He reached down and picked up the owl…as gently as could be

then they walked down to the lake and sat under the willow tree.


“It’s time you learned this tree’s secret.” Dad whispered. “Shhhh…don’t make a peep

It is only in the silence one can hear the willow weep.”


The son’s face beamed when he finally heard it and he asked his father…”Why?

Why is this tree so sad…what makes the willow cry?”


When we feel pain or sorrow, when we’re hurt or when someone we know dies….”

“These are some of the reason”, Dad said, “some of the reasons why we cry.


"But when a rock or tree or a little owl dies…who is there to moan?”

“Who is there to weep when parts of nature die alone?"


“That is where the willow comes in…with this job she has been blessed.”

“While we weep for those we know and love…she weeps for all the rest.”


“When a tree falls in the forest, when a baby owlet dies,

when a rivers dries up or a star stops shining…this is when the willow cries.”


So the little boy and his dad picked up the owl…as gently as can be

and buried her in silence…under the shade of that willow tree.


“She will be well protected here.” Dad said. “our promise to nature has been kept.”

and in the silence of that moment…

they joined with the willow 


while she wept.

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In the comfort of my boat…as on the water I did float

under a cloud filled sapphire sky

From my spot upon the river wide…up ahead along the riverside

one particular tree captured my eye.


I have always been enthralled…how the trees grow straight and tall

How together they create such a beautiful sight

but something was awry…and the tree that caught my eye

was not straight…but leaning to the right.


Yet rooted to the land…this tree continued to look grand

even leaning as it did it still stood tall

For I am must now report…two trees were offering support

using their branches they would not let him fall.


The first tree did astound…it was lying on the ground

and caught the falling tree to help it stop

The second tree still standing with it’s open arms expanding

caught the falling tree nearer to its top.


And I had to smile at the sight…how nature does things right

how she uses all she has to save a tree

And the way, like birds of a feather, trees will work together

is a wonderful and beautiful sight to see.


And I thought we can learn a lot…all that nature knows and taught

for as to life…she seems to hold the keys

For wouldn’t it be grand….if one day we came to understand


How trees stand taller when they stand with other trees

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When I was young I’d pick dandelions…pick them with aplomb

I’d make a little bouquet and take it home to Mom.


I never thought much about it…never saw the need…

after all they weren’t really flowers…just a bunch of weeds.


I was expressing that thought the other day when a dandelion overheard

“Excuse me,” he interrupted, “but your thinking is absurd.”


“I am a lovely flower…grown from a beautiful seed.”

(I can’t believe I was about to have a conversation with a weed!)


I spread out on the lawn and met that dandelion face to face

“OK! I am listening.” I said to her. “Go ahead and make your case.”


“Well, without being too modest,” she began. “people pick me every day

and when they pick a lot of me I become a beautiful bouquet.”


“How many times are we brought to a house and make someone’s mother weep?”

“Did you know I open to greet the morning and in the evening close to sleep.”


“You can travel across the globe…searching everywhere low and high

and you won’t fine another flower who can symbolize the sky.”


“When I am yellow I resemble the sun as it shines in the heavens at noon.”

“When I change into a puff ball…I look just like the moon.”


“And I don’t think I’m taking this comparison a bit too far

when I say that as my seeds fly off…they look just like the stars.”


“There is no doubt when I arrive…from the moment my blooms unfurled

I make people smile and bring beauty to the world.”


“Ok…OK you made your point!” I said.  “There’s nothing more you need to say

but I have to tell you dandelion…you had me at bouquet.”


So now I understand and I’m on the dandelion as a flower bandwagon

Perhaps it’s time I have a talk with that fly 


who thinks he is a dragon.


Thoreau found solace in his pond…trees made Joyce Kilmer quiver

but yesterday I found our comfort…floating on the river.


We paddled and floated in our kayaks…you know…boats…the quiet kind

gladly leaving our computers and technology behind.


If we wanted to watch a video…all we had to do was look around

If we wanted to listen to music…we were inundated with sound.


We had a constantly changing video right before our eyes

we had the slowly moving water, the trees, the clouds…the sky.


We didn’t need a remote…no need to switch the channel being shown

because nature is always changing the view…subtly…on her own.


It’s like a panoramic 3D movie that is shifting all the time

It’s beautiful..it’s breathtaking…and it doesn’t cost a dime.


And if it’s music that you crave…stop and listen as you float

There is a rhythm to the waves as they brush against your boat.


Then music sung by countless birds from their nests in endless trees

finds its way into your heart as it drifts upon the breeze.


You drift along losing track of time…you flow without a care

feeling the coolness of the water…smelling the freshness of the air.


You instinctively stop paddling…as you drift around the bend

wishing this moment would last forever…hoping this feeling would never end.


and there upon the river…far far from the maddening crowds

reflected in the water…you find yourself floating through the clouds.


I understand what Thoreau meant about his pond and Mr. Kilmer about his tree


because yesterday…as if my magic… the river spoke to me.

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As we walk upon the Earth 

under the sky 

among the trees

as we listen to the animals

or the waves upon the seas


As she awakens in the early morning 

or in the evening when she’s sleeping

there is so much about nature we do not know

so many secrets she is keeping.


She understands about balance

about beauty

about grace…

How everything in this world has value

has a place.


She truly understand what it means to be alive

and how only by working together will we continue to survive…


I only hope as we walk upon this Earth 

under the sky 

among the trees

as we listen to the animals

or the waves upon the seas 


she will one day share her secrets with us

and we, with great acclaim…

will smile with the knowledge


our world will never be the same

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