As we walked along a wooded path beside the river’s edge 

enjoying the evening breeze

we began to notice the sunset…

peeking through the trees.


We marveled at the ever changing colors 

it was like walking in a dream

As we saw the radiance of the sky before us 

reflected in the stream…


As we marveled at the beauty…

(sometimes we’d be walking and we’d freeze)

I wondered: if we’re enjoying this so much...

what about the trees.


Can a tree enjoy a sunset?…Does a tree even have an eye?

Can it marvel at how the colors transform the evening sky?


And then I saw it…

a lonely tree…

one we passed on our walk out…

and I found the answer to my question

now I have no doubt…


For this little tree next to the river growing free and straight and wild

Seemed to be watching this same sunset…

with the wonder of a child.


She was standing tall to get the best view..

a view that was breathtaking

And as I got a little closer to her I could see her needles shaking.


Standing beside her along the river…

as new colors would appear


on the bark of this tiny tree…

I believe I saw her shed a tear.


It is impossible to know what any tree truly sees

It’s possible her needles were just quaking in the breeze…


It’s impossible to know if any tree truly cries

It’s possible that was just sap and not a tear falling from her eyes.


But I like to believe in miracles…

I like to think as we enjoy an evening breeze

we can share a beautiful sunset…

with each other…


and the trees.

View joy's Full Portfolio


He was a story teller, my old man, and he was never more in his glory

than when sitting around a campfire telling us a story.


I’m not sure where they came from but as we sat bathed in the campfire light

we were captivated…mesmerized..we could have listened to him all night.


One of my favorite stories…I still remember the look in my dad’s eyes

in the cool of a summer evening when he told us about fireflies.


He had just kindled the fire when he gathered us around

“Watch the fire closely,” he whispered, “and do not make a sound.”


“Out of these dancing flames.” He continued, “You won’t believe your eyes.

for you will be a witness to the birth of fireflies.”


An evil witch once held three children and in the darkness of the night

fireflies led them to safety as they followed their twinkling lights.


The old witch was so angry…every firefly immediately fell

(as she said mumbled wicked magic words)…under the evil of her spell.


“From this day forward,” the old witch smirked, “because of what you did to me

every firefly in the world shall be encased within the trees.”


The old witch thought she was pretty smart then sat down to have a feast

never realizing in a campfire the fireflies would be released.


And once released from within the tree…those evil words the witch had spoken

could not harm the fireflies again…because her spell was broken.


“So rest your eyes on the fire.” Dad said. “Be as quiet as a can be.

and see if you can count all the fireflies that you see.”


We did as we were told and we couldn’t believe our eyes

out of that fire…out of those flames…we saw the birth of fireflies.


I cannot tell you how many…don’t know the exact amount

because as the fire burned on that evening…the three of us lost count.


Today the adult in me knows they are just ashes…

escaping the fire as they soar up to the sky

but the child in me can’t help smiling every time I witness


the birth of fireflies.

View joy's Full Portfolio


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.

View joy's Full Portfolio


We are blessed to walk in nature where everyday her routine unfolds before our eyes

but every now and then we’re blessed when she gives us a surprise.


Each morning like clockwork thousands of crows set forth

crossing the sky just above us…as they head out south to north..


We usually hear them before we see them…in loud gatherings they fly

calling out to one another as they nonchalantly flutter by.


Today a strong wind was blowing which meant those intelligent crows

with an understanding of aerodynamics…would be flying rather low…


We watched them skimming neath the wind almost touching the water…

or just above the ground

and were amazed how this line of normally boisterous crows…never made a sound.


We could hear ropes hitting masts of ships in the marina 

sounds the wind makes when she blows.

We could hear the waves crash upon the shore…

but we never heard the crows.


And when the crows are silent…when they’re as quiet as a kite

We are treated, in that silence, to the beauty of their flight.


Flying and talking to one another…the beauty of their harmony flows

but there is also quiet beauty in the silence of the crows.


Some of nature’s beauty is in her routines…

her nightly sunsets and daily sunrises

but every now and then she reminds us…


there is beauty in her surprises.

View joy's Full Portfolio


It’s passed down from generation to generation

and though it might seem simple to you and me

their is a knowledge

a method

a spiritualness

an artistry to climbing a tree.


When you find a tree you’d like to climb…you must pause…

as part of the tradition

pause to give thanks for this tree and to quietly ask permission.


For though you are happy to have found a tree that, for climbing, now befits you

you must wait for an answer from the tree…

it is the tree who must permit you.


If there is a nest in the top or it’s branches are to weak 

the tree will tell you now is bad timing

and ask you to come back when the nest is unoccupied

or its branches are more suitable for climbing.


But when you find a tree that is willing

when a tree lets you know it is time

you ascend to the top without effort

as the branches seem to assist in your climb.


And it’s just as important when you’ve finished

when the tree gently sets you back down

to again thank the tree for it’s generosity

the minute your feet hit the ground.


Yes, it seems when it comes to climbing a tree

what’s important is the spiritualness you exude…

It has less to do with your ability to climb

and more with your kindness and your gratitude…


It’s been passed down from generation to generation

and in each generation there comes a time…

when they realize the same magic that works for climbing a tree…


works for whatever in life they might climb.

View joy's Full Portfolio


Plants make food and medicine from light and water and give them both away

still humans think we know it all 

that we’re superior in every way…


But when I see how often humans take from the land while giving nothing in return…

it makes me wonder

plants or humans….


which one of us has more to learn? 

View joy's Full Portfolio


I love spending time in nature…where surprises are second to none.

Today I watched a little bird anticipate the rising of the sun…


I watched the ocean in the morning intimidate and harass

only to calm down in the afternoon and shimmer…just like glass.


I watched a variety of birds jogging back and forth along the shore.

I followed a flock of white pelicans…as overhead they soared.


I watched mullets jumping out of the water…arcing high and feeling free.

I watched a cool breeze wind it’s way through the trees and find it’s way to me.


I played for hours in the ocean with the grandchildren…

until wrinkles formed on our fingertips

We felt the wet sand fall through our fingers and tasted salt water on our lips.


I watched the light of a fading day ride the ocean’s waves onto the sand.

I watched the clouds absorb the evening sun in colors bright and grand.


And as I watched a little bird anticipate the sun about to set…

I thought of all the beauty in nature…but it wasn’t over yet…


For as I said goodbye to another day…lamenting how it ended much too soon


I looked up into the darkness and was greeted by the moon.

View joy's Full Portfolio


Sometimes I wonder about nature’s mysteries… 

how there is so much I can’t explain?

Like why the sand dunes can be heard to sing

or how flowers anticipate the rain.


Like how the sun rises to greet the day

and how at night it bids adieu.

Like how there is a rhythm to the waves

or how the sky epitomizes blue. 


Like how a stream can talk to you.

Like how dew drops nestle in the grasses.

Like how clouds can change right before our eyes 

or how leaves shiver as a cool breeze passes.


Like how life can flourish in the most unlikely places.

Like how the ocean can be so wide.

Like the boisterous sound of crows in flight

or the silence of a pelican’s glide.


Like the sheer force of thunder and lightning

as they announce a summer squall.

Like how a rainbow stretches across the sky.

Like the the wonder of a waterfall…


But then again when I stop to think about it 

I don’t really want to know

what makes the flowers smile

what makes the cool winds blow


because as I look around me…

as out on nature my eyes gaze

I don’t want to know her secrets….


I prefer to be amazed.



Was she mistaken for a flower…

a daffodil…a rose?

What other reason would a butterfly have


to land upon her nose? 

View joy's Full Portfolio