birds · nature · photography · poetry · spirituality · writing

In Nature, I Trust

A murder of crows
observes my passage,
anchors my presence

In nature, I trust –
all else is noise.

(Visit me on Twitter for more poetry snippets.  @Vjknutson.  Image from personal collection.)

aging · creativity · poetry · spirituality · writing

Moon Message

I stand on the threshold of change
anxiety and depression howling at my side
the shadows of uncertainty elongated
by the fullness of the moon.

She is no guide, this orb-faced
deity, whose countenance
fails to reveal a directive –
and yet, at some primal level

I feel we are aligned,
know that her pull is primal
her presence a reminder
that life is cyclical and

just as the emotional waters
rise, so too will they ease
and her voiceless essence
calls me to still the madness

close my eyes to the distortion of fear
and attune to a calm inner glow –
to trust the light within, and
move noiselessly into the unknown.

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(Today’s prompt is to select a tarot card and write about it.)

adversity · life · memoir · spirituality

Nature’s Voice

The tiny crayfish slowly made its way over the rocky water bed, climbing in and out of crevices, antennae constantly moving.  Perched on my haunches, trying valiantly not to move and startle the small creature, I watched in fascination.  His translucent body moved with such tenacity over what must surely be a challenging terrain for him.  The wind shifted, creating ripples in the water, and he was gone from my sight.

I lifted my head to listen.  There it was again:  a sudden, slight shift in the wind.  Mother Nature was gently tugging me from my reverie and beckoning me homeward.  I stood and shook the kinks out of my muscles, heeding her kind warning.  Time to go home.

As I made my way through the tangle of trees, stepping over fallen branches, and being wary off uneven ground, I noticed the wind shift again.  Her voice was more urgent now, a warning.  I decided to stay off the beaten path, and stick to the cover of the trees.  Noises ahead told me people were coming.  Boys!  As they approached, I noticed there were four or five of them, carrying something like sticks.  No, not sticks, they were carrying snakes.  And they were looking for someone.  Me!

I ducked behind a bush and held my breath.  Elbowing each other with bravado, the boys failed to see me crouched nearby.  Birds and wildlife scurried out of their path, sensing as I did that they meant only harm.  “She’s got to be here somewhere!” I heard one shout.  “Probably by the creek.”

They stepped into the woods, and not trusting my luck, I made a dash for home.

“There she goes!”

I fled along the path, until I saw the opening to the farmer’s field that bordered my backyard.  Breaking out of the woods, I caught sight of my best friend, Scott.  He knew as soon as he spotted me that I was in trouble.  Hailing his brothers, they met me just as my pursuers were catching up.

“You have a problem here?”  Scott’s oldest brother stood, towering over the tallest of the boys.

“Uh no.”  The boys turned on their heels and disappeared back into the woods.

“What were you doing in there all by yourself, young lady?” the older brother demanded to know.

I shrugged.  How could I tell him I was never alone when Mother Nature was looking after me.  I opened the gate and stepped back into the safety of my own backyard.

“Thank you for the warning,”  I said to the Wind.  The trees before me bowed gracefully at her command, and I knew my gratitude had been acknowledged.

At five years of age, it was easy to trust that life was guided by a loving presence, and I lived my life accordingly.

At fifty, I only wish I had such innocence to guide me once again.

(Image: tabbystardust.deviantart.com)

adversity · dreams · life · spirituality

Riding Without A Handlebar

I have retrieved my old bicycle and am happily pedaling down the street when I realize that the handlebars are missing.  How could I not have noticed that my handlebars are missing?  What have I been steering with?  On closer examination, I notice that there is a partial bar protruding where the handlebars used to be, which seemed to be working for me, but how precarious!  How did I expect to manoeuver over bumps without something solid to hang onto? 

The question that arises for me is not whether or not I can “surf” the chaos – I know that I can – but how does someone raised in a pattern of chaos and dysfunction, learn to ride the calm of normalcy?

I am strong in the face of adversity, but not so strong when things are going well.  There is an underlying anxiety, or nervousness that something is not right, or just around the corner.  I would love to be able to embrace the joy of life, without fear of its instability.

The bike in my dream is reminiscent of the one I received for my ninth birthday.  It had a big banana seat, and long looping handlebars, that rose up above the front tire, in a sweeping ‘u’.  My first wheels of independence, I rode that bike everywhere, confident that I could outride anyone in the neighbourhood.   I still have visions of myself leading a pack of riders down some of our best hills.  Such a feeling of freedom!

In those days, when my handlebars were intact, I was confident of my abilities.  I had a strong sense of purpose, and felt ready to face the challenges ahead of me.  I had a vision.

According to the dream, I gave that bicycle away at some point, and have only just now retrieved it, a little worse for wear.  Amazingly, it still fits me.  The tires are intact; and the seat supportive, but the big sweeping ‘you’ is missing.  So, it is.  Life’s bumps, and times where I no longer had ownership, have eroded that very mechanism that helped me navigate.

I don’t want to be nine again, but I would like to regain the momentum that allowed me to climb those steep hills and soar down those hills, fearless, impassioned, and in the moment: free.

If this bike is going to work for me, I’ll need something new to hang onto.  Something more conservative and practical.  Something that gives me stability and control, and supports me when choosing a direction.