Tag Archives: nature

Eyes Like Mine

They come running to the fence

Feathers fluffy in the wind

Eager, excited, and laughing

Jackie O with her pearl necklace

Bossy Pants dressed in red velvet

Peaches with her nude stockings 

Dorothy in a glamorous black evening gown.

And I remember the ones that are no longer here

Coco in her best brown pants suit

Sparkles with her golden egg

Silvia who shined bright like a shooting star

Aristotle with her badge of honor.

And I have asked myself

How many times can a heart break?

How can I live with my skin on inside out

And still walk through this world?

How does my heart stay open

to the depth in her eyes

knowing that her light will go out?

They sqwualk and sqwualk and I smile

I kneel down so that our eyes can meet

Their heads tilt with curiosity

their eyes focus on mine

And we are the same.

We both put ourselves to bed

and rest with the moon 

We both wake with the sunrise

and celebrate the new day

We both eat and drink and shit and bathe.

Our hearts race

Our skin itches

Our tempers flare

Our feathers ruffle.

And 

When the world gets quiet

and the temperature cools

When the light goes down

and the nocturnal beings begin to roam

We both very carefully

sweetly and gently

Step closer and closer and lean against one another.

For warmth

For safety

For comfort

For peace

For love.

We both love.

LLM

Dedicated to the rescued Hens at Elephant Belly Sanctuary.

Dear Mr. Thrush

Dear Mr. Thrush,

Good morning, dear one.  How are you doing today? How are you feeling? I was so concerned about you yesterday. I hope that you are doing well and that you are free from harm.

I am up early again today. Monroe, our little dog, has me up between 5:30 and 6am on most mornings these days. I am grateful to her for getting me out of bed. Every morning I get to watch the sunrise and hear the  world wake up. What a gift. I don’t know if I would do it otherwise. 

That is how I met you. Yesterday. I was sitting in my room, writing a poem, and you came flying into my window! Oh , what a bang! that was. So horribly scary. I peeked out my window and I saw you on the ground. Your olive wing spread out awkwardly and unnaturally. Birds like you weren’t meant to lay down. I rushed into my bedroom- where I knew that we kept a rescue box for moments just like these. Funny, I was just cleaning out the area under the sink in my bedroom a couple of mornings ago and found it. Not sure I would have known it was there. 

So I ran and got the box and woke up A*. We rushed out and there you were. Sweet man. Your yellow beak open. Eyes open. Stunned. I knelt down and scooped you up with both hands and placed you on the towel in the box. You are so handsome! I hope that is not an inappropriate this to say in a time like this, but geez…you are gorgeous. Olive back and wings, black speckled underbelly, beautiful circular deep black eyes. I gently put the top over you and took you to the porch. I wanted to be sure that you could breathe- so I removed the cardboard top and there you were. Oh, dear one, you did not look so good. Your eyes were closing, your beak was open and I feared that this was goodbye. 

Could you hear what I said? I said a prayer for you. I put my hand on my heart, and closed my eyes and I whispered “ I am right here for you, sweet one. I am right here. Everything is ok. I am right here. You are not alone. Sweet little one.” Your eyes blinked slowly shut. I covered you with a towel to keep you warm and we let you rest. 

Minutes later, we decided to check on you. I wanted to be sure that you could breathe under the towel…but it was a very chilly morning and I knew you were in shock. I went out to draw back the towel and you were lying there, resting. That is when I got an even better look at you. Your peach feet. The many shades of your wings. How can a being be so strong and so vulnerable at the same moment? I covered you to give you a bit more time. 

A few more moments passed and I returned. This time, I could see some movement under the towel. I lifted it up to see and you flew away! Right up to a tree branch above my room. Yay! I was so happy that you flew away. You must have been feeling much better. Oh what joy I felt in my heart. After that, you disappeared into the leaves and I could no longer see you. I pray that you were able to find your way home and get a good night’s rest. 

I will listen for your song this morning. I will watch for you as I do my daily chores and I will send you love and good wishes.

Yours always,

LLM

Oh Little Dog

my old girl

your bumps and smells

your tender blank stare

your ears full and deaf





our years together 

fill me with such joy and love

the circling

the kisses

the head rubs

the burrowing into my thigh.



my little shadow

my sweet pup

there are moments i can not find you anywhere

searching each room

afraid of what i will find


i arrive at my sanctuary

to see that you have been sleeping there all along

cuddled on the tiger blanket or

spread out along the gray shaggy draping cover or

maybe the poof has molded into the perfect form

and holds your skinny aging body snug



with relief and solicitude

i watch the rise and fall of your belly

as breath breathes your little body

i curl up beside you

wrap my soul around yours

drifting into restful awareness

together.





LLM

Finding Solace

Finding solace

surrounded by the tapping rain

following each drop

from cloud to leaf to soil



the rivers inside

running dry and desperate

for some relief

I stand mouth open to the universe


“the entire path

and all you will ever need

to walk it

you will find inside”




Fill me

sweet drops of cosmic love

so that I may walk in peace

and be on my way.

-LLM

Wind

Oh Wind

Take me away

Take my voice, my tears, my broken heart

You are so mighty 

With your roar 

And your sound

A raging river

A passing jetliner

An amtrak train

 

You who make the trees swing  and sway

You who pull the leaves from their branches

Exposing their true nature

And their bare  bodies

 

You who push and pull the birds in flight

Holding them still in mid air

As they flap their wings in fury against you

A game, a challenge, a test

 

As I sit safe inside

This warm box of love and life

With candles lit

Sweet smells of morning

And my little dog

You storm and scurry

Rage and Remove

Pick up and pass around

The surroundings of this home

 

And somehow I trust

That you will drop everything

Right in it’s place

 

Do that to me

Do that to my wandering mind

Do that to my worry and my woe

Take it

Throw it

Wind it up and send it on it’s way

 

Carry me like the leaf

Pull me from the branches 

Then place me perfectly there

In that place

On the ground

Sound

Asleep

 

LLM

The Bike in 3 Parts: Purchasing, Anatomy, and Basic Repair

Purchasing Your Bike
Purchasing the right bike is your first step. I chose the Surly Long Haul Trucker knowing that my ultimate goal is to bike across the country and this was an excellent purchase.
Steady. Solid. Beautiful. F93445A7-9A7F-4E51-94B4-9FFFEE1EA296
I purchased my bike from Pedal Power in Middletown, CT. Great customer service and since it was right when COVID-19 shut everything down…they were super accommodating and professional. Not to mention really fun to speak with.
Tip: Sizing and bike fit are critical components to purchasing your bike. If possible, go to the store and speak with someone who can help you make the best decision for your body. If you are unable to shop in person, speak to someone that knows the right questions to ask to
Anatomy of Your Bike
It is essential for you to know everything about your bike. Once I purchased Freedom, of course she needed a name, I really wanted to empower myself and learn everything about her.
Tip: It’s best to know anatomy of your bike. There are lots of diagrams out there and it can be intimidating. This one is pretty straight forward.
anatomy-road-bike
Basic Bike Repair
You want to know how your bike works, how to fix it, and how to keep it high functioning and operating efficiently. REI has tons of great videos on everything cycling…I highly recommend them.
Although it is not necessary, I purchased a bike repair stand knowing that bike repair was something that I was going to dive into beyond the basics. REI Good & Used is an excellent place to buy used gear that is in great condition but much less expensive and also better for the environment (less stuff in landfills).
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Tip: Do your research. There are lots of repair stands out there. This one requires that you take the front wheel off to attach it. Others have a clamp that attaches to the seat post or top tube. This one requires a bit more strength to lift the bike and it was a bit awkward until I got used to it.

I have spent a bunch of time just fiddling with my bike on the stand. Removing and replacing the wheels, watching the chain move through the gears, and cleaning the chain after each ride. Paying close attention to the sounds, watching and noticing the mechanics, and feeling the flow of your bike will ensure that you can ride safely and that you will get to your destination.

Next blog…dreaming big and choosing your first journey.

In gratitude,

LLM
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The Bleeding-Heart by Mary Oliver

beautiful bleeding heart bloom blooming
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Bleeding-heart
by Mary Oliver
from New and Selected Poems
Volume Two

I know a bleeding-heart plant that has thrived
for sixty years if not more, and has never
missed a spring without rising and spreading
itself into a glossy bush, with many small red
hearts dangling. Don’t you think that deserves
a little thought? The woman who planted it
has been gone for a long time, and everyone
who saw it in that time has also died or moved
away and so, like so many stories, this one can’t
get finished properly. Most things that are
important, have you noticed, lack a certain
neatness. More delicious, anyway, is to
remember my grandmother’s pleasure when
the dissolve of winter was over and the green
knobs appeared and began to rise, and to cre-
ate their many hearts. One would say she was
a simple woman, made happy by simple
things. I think this was true. And more than
once, in my long life, I have wished to be her.

Where is Your Voice?

Nakalele Blowhole, Maui

Photo: Kent Buckingham.

Are you brave enough to speak your truth in this world? Are you able to ask for what you need? Defend the rights of others? Be the voice for the voiceless?

At 43, I am still learning how to use this instrument. At times, I can feel the fear gathering in my throat- getting stuck in the muck of self doubt, the fear of being perceived as selfish, or worse- the fear of being judged. This fear silences me and it takes away my freedom, my happiness, and my power.

Thich Nhat Hahn tells us that every answer can be found in nature. By going out into the fresh air, breathing deeply, stepping mindfully, and listening carefully we can receive the wisdom from all of the living beings that surround us- the trees as they sway and creak, the waves as they gather and crash, and the wind as it rages and roars. These voices have spoken for millions of years and exemplify the confidence and courage- steadfastness and simplicity- that I long to manifest.

It is through my practice of observing nature, that I have been able to connect with my deepest truth and my unique voice. Whether I am on the trails of Mt Rainier, at the cliffs of Nakalele in Maui, or in the starlit desert of Chaco Canyon, if I sit still- and listen- I am able experience the interconnectedness of all things and tap into the current of the world. In these moments of quietude, I sense that my body is made from dirt and wood, water and salt, space and air. Sinking into this knowing, I can realize that:

Their voice is My voice. 

And although it may last for just one moment, in that moment, I am a bird set free. With that awareness, I am given permission to be brazen, to open my compassionate heart, and to glide into the universe unapologetically. With that awareness, I am released from fear and able to express myself and flourish.

On this day:

May all beings hear the wisdom of the trees, the ocean, and the wind.

May all beings have the ability to be their true selves.

May all beings be free.

LLM

 

 

 

 

Interbeing- Thich Nhat Hahn

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“Interbeing: If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, inter-be. Without a cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are.

If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.

Looking even more deeply, we can see we are in it too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, the sheet of paper is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. You cannot point out one thing that is not here-time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word inter-be should be in the dictionary. “To be” is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is.

Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its source. Suppose we return the sunshine to the sun. Do you think that this sheet of paper will be possible? No, without sunshine nothing can be. And if we return the logger to his mother, then we have no sheet of paper either. The fact is that this sheet of paper is made up only of “non-paper elements.” And if we return these non-paper elements to their sources, then there can be no paper at all. Without “non-paper elements,” like mind, logger, sunshine and so on, there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.”

― Thích Nhất Hạnh