Looking at the Trees!

Muir Woods- California

Sometimes we must put aside our tribal differences and focus on what’s good for the greater whole.  Wayne Dyer often mentioned the whole enchilada in his talks for he realized that a bit here and a bit there rarely makes a meaningful force. 

We all harbor hurt feelings or disappointments but ultimately we see that (as one writer wrote), “things don’t just happen; they happen just,” or more pointedly, justly.  The Rolling Stones duly reminded us as they sang “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need!” 

Once we have shaken off the dust of dark, error thoughts, we thank our lucky stars that we were saved from the glittery, metallic doom that we had in view.  We could not see the thick, wooded forest because we were looking at the beauty of the trees. 

But grace reached down and scooped us up and we were saved from a greater harm.  We may have emerged from the dangers of the thickets tattered, torn and even somewhat disheveled, but we came out on the other side with clarity of purpose.  We walked out of the bush with new arms of wisdom, buckets of strength and oodles of renewed fortitude. 

We pause and give thanks.  We then delve into loads of self-care as we regather ourselves and regain our rhythm and coordinated moves. When we finally have the nerve to take a close look at our new reflections in the looking glass, we sigh, ‘Okay.  A little wear and tear but still in one piece.  Not bad.  Not too bad.” And then we think of J. Herbert Brewster’s poem, Be Proud of Your Wounds and Scars and know that we earned every wrinkle which equates the rings of the tree! 

Lynn M. 
June 19, 2021 

What is Love?

What is love? 
Love is not selective. 
It does not pick and choose. 
It is all encompassing
Like a huge circle of arms embracing
All in its sight while giving a big squeeze. 

What is love? 
It is unconditional. 
It does not pick and choose. 
It is expressed during wrongs and rights. 
It still hugs really tight. 

What is love? 
It comforts and soothes
Those who are known 
And those being met for the first time. 
It does not discriminate, 
But flows like a steady stream. 

If these qualities are not being shown
Or displayed universally, 
Well, it just isn’t love.
Period. 

Lynn M. 
June 12, 2021 

Going Through the Locks!

As I read a dear fellow writer’s book, Faring Forth Again on the Shoe (by Val Poore), I can easily compare it to life itself.  She and her skipper companion continually navigate the waterways and canals from the Netherlands in route to France. 

As in life, they cannot proceed on their journey without the skill and mercy of the people who open the locks.  If the operators of the locks are not on duty, are running late or if they even feel contrary, all advancement stops.  Period. 

If we are not shown grace by those designated angel helpers that the Creator has strategically placed, we too are stopped in our tracks. Sometimes, we simply must wait and ride out the tide until the lifts are up and we are allowed to carry on. 

Therefore, we learn to communicate, cajole, shuck and jive, so that we can get what we need from those who can delay or stymy our ability to move forth. Those who are wise, learn to talk the language of the people and acknowledge as well as respect their lifestyles, beliefs, and ways of life. 

I listen to Val and her friend, Koos, switch languages and truly deal with the temperaments of those that they encounter along the way. They know how to negotiate, banter, and recognize a good bargain when they get one. They have learned how to speed it up or slow it down with the keepers of the terrain as they maneuver their way through visiting lands. 

We, too must silently and prayerfully wait for the nod of the head or that gesture which waves us through meaning, “Come on.”  All these movements equate a green light which is what we want most as we advance on our paths.  Once we have gone through, we can let out a huge sigh of relief.  But just as we begin to rejoice, there lies another lock ahead. 

Questions begin to swirl.  Will the next crew be friendly or cordial?  Will it be easy or challenging?  We do not know.  But we do know that our confidence has grown because are no longer greenhorns. We are more seasoned. We feel more assured that we will know how to cross that next bridge or go through that next lock when we get there! 

Lynn M. 
June 5, 2021 

The Rumor Mill


Some may remember Paul Simon’s hit song,  “50 Ways to Leave your Lover,” from the 70’s.  Well here is a list of ways to attempt to diminish a black woman in modern times, even during the stresses of  Covid.

First, you circulate a rumor and say that she is really a man, though you had not heard that one.  Until, the children that you are trying to teach how to count and read ask you if it’s true?  “Are you really a man?”  You think or you don’t think.  You just try to get through the day before you let that one seep in too deeply.  Whew!

Then while in the schools, with breaks being few and far between, your co-workers have a coordinated effort in place to block all toilets before you reach the door.  Perhaps they have also heard the rumor.  If you are lucky enough to get inside the washroom, there is an incessant, earth-shattering bamming on the door as if the Walls of Jericho are falling down.

If you still are not shaking with rage or seething, how about circulating the rumor that you are a prostitute. When you take a walk or go to the athletic club, old, crinkled, wrinkled men walk up to you grinning as if they are about to make a “pick-up.”  How offensive!

Still surviving and thriving?  How about the neighbors overhead stomp throughout the apartment for hours as they go from room to room over the past years?  If you complain, there is a dismissive tone because another rumor says that you are bi-polar.  Hadn’t heard that one either! But with that one being placed on your head, nothing you say really matters. It’s like , “Ugh-huh; ugh-huh.”

Headache, yet?  Well, lastly, when you run your bath water or turn on the shower, the woman upstairs’ non-working, live-in boyfriend, who is on the property illegally, hears you.  Oops!  He immediately rushes to the bathroom and starts his shower as if you are showering with him.  A vicarious thrill to him, you suppose.  But a most sickening thought indeed.

If this exhausts you, then imagine what it is like living it day in and day out; hour after hour.  All of these well-orchestrated attempts to degrade someone that they do not know. But you whisper like Maya Angelou, “And still I rise,” and you vow, this too shall pass.

Lynn M.
June 1, 2021

Overlooked!

I’m not a dime that you dropped on the sidewalk,
As you kept walking ’cause your pockets were overflowing.

But when lean times set in,
You came back around the block, remembering me.

You spotted me and thought, “Voila! There she blows.”
But when you bent down to pick me up, I didn’t budge.

I looked available, but now I am immersed into the pavement.
I am no longer a lost dime. I am an engraved star.

Cemented in place as you are forever reminded,
Of what you overlooked.

Lynn M.
May 30, 2021

Sustained!

Sometimes life can catapult us into a web of darkness.  We may find ourselves surrounded by a subculture that operates at a low, slow medium.  We may be shocked by its foreignness and unnatural feel..

Things are nebulous, cloudy and unclear because that is how forces of darkness do most of their work. They energize through confusion and naivety of its victims.  But we who are blessed, learn to navigate this different terrain.  We may begin to discover that we have been gaslighted , redlined, bamboozled or any other negative term that aligns with abusive behavior by those who see us as sport.

But like seeds buried deep down in the soil, our faith is down there working.  It makes us continue and remain as we cleave to some unknown strength from within. We are sustained by this Invisible Knowingness.

We are being tried and tested. The alchemy is in its process of still creating though we have no idea of what is going on.  Yet, on any given day, the bud of new life reveals itself.  We raise our heads and behold the light which has been there all the time, stationed right behind the dark clouds.

We have wrestled with error and  trickery but we make it to the top where the light awaits our recognition . We realize that we are quite exhausted and we may have loud, snoring nights because we have been through a real struggle.  We wash off the debris, the filth and the stench as we get rid of those pungent thoughts which no longer serve us.

As the adage goes, “Cream always rises to the top!”  The dark night of our souls have been transformed into the newness of light.  The sun-lit sky extends its open arms and we move towards it with a lighter, higher energy!

Lynn M.
May 23, 2021

 

Re-Opening!

We are all reopening now!
The pandemic made us stop, bow,

Our heads and pray to Him above,
To have mercy and send His love.

Beaconing rainbows did appear,
Signaling good omens are near.

Green light! Second chances to know
Whose in charge and Who loves us so.

Let us not forget as we go,
Forward. Walk gently and just know,

Kindness counts. Do practice it well.
For many were saved by the bell.

As we emerge from that cocoon,
Engage with Him and very soon!

Remember all the He has done,
Share your hope. Victory has won!

Lynn M.
May 16, 2021



Out of the Ashes!

Though the horrors of the pandemic were multiple, we now see blessings flowing forth.  Many of us are rethinking our lifestyles. Families have been forced to be in the same tight spaces for over a year now.  Many within  the family are really getting to know each other better or in some cases for the first time.

We have fallen back to basics as it was in the Leave it to Beaver days  Then, it was customary for families to sit down and actually eat together and discuss the events of the day.  We are slowly remembering what really matters in this life. There have been fewer schedules of driving and driving as parents drop their children off here and there for this and that club or activity.

 People have had enough time to even consider growing their own foods and planting seeds for personal gardens, according to one news story.  Families are eating healthier because they have been able to slow down and plan menus as they keep good diets in mind.

Also, due to sparse funds, more chefs have emerged as creative dishes have been prepared for the household.  There have been fewer grabs from the drive-through because all are now watching how those dollars are being spent on a daily basis.

People have been begun to rethink wardrobes because high fashion has been put on hold for those who have not been going into the offices.  There has been less need to impress.  And, with the wearing of masks, even the need for makeup and lipstick have come to a virtual halt unless people are putting on a face for Zoom meetings.

Several are also rethinking how they do work.  Now, many are looking at diverse ways to earn money while eliminating those long commutes which can be stressful.  That stress can roll over and affect all members of the household.  A calmer breadwinner makes a happier home!

And lastly, people have started to find more mindfulness activities.  Those newcomers to the spiritual life are learning to cleave to quiet, breathable spaces as they seek peace, calm and wholeness.  This pandemic has truly rocked the peoples of the world but as the Native Americans chant, “Out of ashes, peace will rise!”

Lynn M.

May 8, 2021

Clearly!

As we grow and evolve, oftentimes we are surprised at the results of our efforts.  New buds emerge and growth spurts push through our watered soil quite like the new, colorful dogwood trees with that have recently reappeared on our landscapes. 

Yes, we have become more cognizant of the importance of caring for ourselves as we eat healthier, sleep more deeply and cleave closer to our personal faiths.  The pandemic has brought us to our knees on so many levels and it has made us rethink some of our former choices. 

We realize that our help most certainly comes from above and from there alone.  It is the only real source of answers to our incessant prayers.  We stop looking to the left or to the right to ask our friends and peers which way we should go.  We can see that they do not have the solutions. Therefore, we are less inclined to listen to them spew out their half-baked ideas which can send us further down the rabbit holes of despair. 

We slowly remember to clearly think for ourselves and recall that most of the answers are buried deep within us.  But we must become still enough to listen.  Truly listen.  Just as we can hear the birds chirp or the mourning dove sing his songs of lament, we will once again hear the still, small voice whispering, “This is the way.  Walk ye in it!”  We will feel more assured as we trust our own inner instincts to lead us forward.  And quite like the late Prince Philip advised, we can then, “Get on with it!” 

Lynn M. 

May 1, 2021 

I’d Rather Be…!

Oh, who would you rather be?
One with things, but without glee?

Or, one with a heart of gold
Gelled in an undaunting mold?

Sufferers whose hearts are ripe,
Are immune to all of the hype.

Blind to the false claims of self,
Not functioning as an elf.

Yes, those cups of eternal love,
Raise you high like a small dove!

Lynn M.
April 18, 2021