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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Listening Point

       Everyone needs a listening point. A place where you can hear silence. A place where you can be still and know God. A place where you can hear when He speaks in a still, small voice. A place where you can hear the whisper of your own heart. Life is so noisy and busy, some times you can't hear any thing. So you go to your listening point.
      I found mine a long time ago. I had permission from the owner. I would take my coffee and go listen. They called it Reflections at Turtle Cove. I called it Moonlight Cove. Long before they named it. Long before they built a house there and I couldn't go there anymore. It's still Moonlight Cove to me.
     Because, you know, when you find your self some where on a full moon night. When the air is warm. When there is no wind. When there is not a ripple on the water. Only the huge moon above you, and the water is golden and there are no shadows and you can see the past and the future. Then you fall in love with that place. It will always be yours. Though you be far away, though you cannot go there. It will forever be in the very core of you.
       I know why they called it Turtle Cove. I saw them there. All summer and spring and fall. Turtles. Big ones and wee baby ones and in between ones. They hung out there, like teenagers in a parking lot. Little fish darted there. Frogs boomed and caught unwary dragon flies. Dragon flies with iridescent wings. King fishers croaked from the trees.
      In the mornings the water was gauzy with mist. Mist rising with the warmth of the sun. Mist hiding reality and making it swirl. Then the sun would slip up and the mist would rise, and there would be the shore line reflected in the mist and in the water. Three paintings, beauty tripled. Then the morning breeze would break up the painting. Pieces, like a jigsaw puzzle. Just before it disappeared.
      The afternoon sun . Once I saw it turn the pickerel weed golden. Shimmering golden in the blue water. I reached out and picked one, but in my hand the beauty faded. Evening has mist, too. Eerie mist. Then the geese talk, but you can't see them. Only their voices float over the mist. Bats dart, and swallows.
       Starry nights. When the sky is velvet and there is no moon. When the owls talk. And the coyotes call. Sometimes the wind whispers in the pine trees. Some times the rain dimples the water. Sometimes little wavelets splash, splash against the shore. Sometimes boys skinny dip on the other side of the point. I hear them running through the woods, and I turn my back on them. They never know I am there.
       I tell the owner my adventures, and he loves them with me." You should have seen last night," I say. "The moon was so beautiful, reflected in the water." Later when he lives there, we have coffee and he says" You should see, Annie. Our Christmas tree is reflected in the water at night. It's beautiful." We laugh, he and I, because we both have this place in our hearts.
      Now he can no longer be there. At Turtle Cove. The house is cleaned out. It will be sold. I go for one last tryst . When I know no one is there. I walk out to the listening point. It is fall. The trees are a blaze of glory. The water is still. The spot where I sit is shadowy. The old magic is still there. I can hear the silence. I can feel God. I can hear my heart. My heart sings a song. About moon light cove. About years gone by. About old friendships. About the times and the seasons. About reflections. Good byes are only reflections of hellos. Sadness is a reflection of joy. Here my heart will always find a listening point. Because it is here in my heart.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Adirondacks. What More Can I Say?

       Septembre! Beautiful month to hit the road for a few days.
        Saranac Lake. Where the morning sun lies warm over the water. The sky and the water wear the exact same color. The loons yodel to offset the stillness. The little waves whisper to the shore.
         The mountains rise up and surround you.
        The leaves also whisper, "Septembre. Septembre."
       Tupper Lake reflects the heron and the clouds.
        A little bridge, over tumbling water.
        An old and weathered barn leans into the trees.
        Is this the place of castles and romance?
        And church steeples from afar?
         A beautiful duck, with his one spot of blue.
       And a Pirate ship. "Don't tread upon me." and "Don't give up the ship" say her flags, snapping in the stiff breeze.
         Wild flowers every where.
       Drift wood on the shore.
             Need I say more?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Of Long Ago and Far Away

   Long ago and far away. That's when I knew him. His hair was black. Black and silky. Iridescent. Like a crows feathers. It was long. Touching the collar of his shirt.  His cheek bones were high and his nose was straight and sculptured. His skin was flawless, coppery. He was skittish and wary. Like an untamed colt. I didn't know what to do with him. He was there, and I was too young to know that I didn't know any thing.  I was a moth to the flame of his presence. Once , unable to help myself, I reached over and ran my fingers through that black silk. It was clean and smooth and full of life.
    The day was hot, and humid, and as dusk fell, I walked down to the river. The water was fast and cold and milky , coming tumbling down from the snowy mountains. I stayed in the shadows of the bridge. Sitting on a rock. Feeling the cool dampness of the river swirl around me.
    Then I saw him. Poised on the edge of the bridge. Ready to dive. The freedom of his spirit rose with his arms. His face was lit with the light of reckless joy. His hair flew out behind him as he arced through the dusk. Almost he was a bird, glossy and black and flying and free. My heart twisted, because I fear heights. but his friends laughed and shouted for him, and he came to the shore shaking the water out of his hair and eyes.
    He came, then and stood in front of me. His eyes were black and undecipherable. We said no words. Only I knew then that my life had taken a new path. I would never see the world the same again. I don't know what he saw in my eyes. but he lifted his hand in a farewell salute and he melded into the dusky fir trees.
    I sat for a long time there, in the star light. Cool and unafraid. Strangely lighthearted. Ready to go to the grown up world. Knowing I would be sure and free to be me.
     Many times since, I have found crows feathers. Those who know me, know that I treasure them. They bring them to me, and watch me smile. And I run my fingers over them. And they are clean and smooth and silky. And I think about long ago and far away. And I wonder. Is he still reckless and free? Did some one tame him? How is it now, is that black silk tipped with white? Can he still fly? Are there still friends to shout and laugh with him? Where have his restless feet traveled?
     I doesn't matter that I will never know. But I will listen to the crows when they talk in the tree tops. I will watch them, feathers iridescent in the sun light. I will save me a crows feather. For long ago, and far away.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Stone For All The Soldiers

      The real Wall, in Washington, D.C. is of course, more imposing. Larger. Stiffer. A Capital City monument. Still and quiet, you feel the grandeur and the heaviness of its meaning. The people come to see it.
       The Moving Wall. Well, it's moving. It has heart and compassion. It gets up and moves to the people in the small places. The people who will never get to Washington, D.C.. It comes to the people who know. The mothers, now little and old. The ones who shed their tears so many years ago. It comes to the old shakey fathers with walkers and canes. It comes to the friends who have never forgotten. It comes to the children who have heard only stories. The children who wondered what was behind all the silence. It comes to the slender, lovely teen age girls with daisies in their hair. It comes to slouching teen age boys who never had to know about being drafted. It reaches out to them.
       It was late when we got there. Warm and humid. A three quarters moon hung above us, and the purple clouds scudded across the sky. We have been to the Moving Wall before. Each time it is just as startling. This was our life. This defined what we are today. When you turned eighteen, you got drafted. Lots of boys went to Vietnam for their senior trip. These names on the wall are our friends, our contemporaries. All these names are our lifetime. We saw them go. We saw them come back. No one was ever the same.
       The staff at the wall are gentle and kind and helpful. Finding the name you are looking for. Seeming to know which ones need comfort and words and which ones need to be left alone. We have taken rubbings before, so now we zero in and find our place.


         Now we just walk along that long black wall and we find the names. We reach up and trace them with our finger tips. All along the wall others have left tokens of love and memory. Pictures. Flowers. Poems. Flags. Beer cans. Cigarette packs. We watch those around us. Those men with the long grey pony tails. The big brawny ones with their Harley jackets. The ones still in uniform today. These are the ones who know.
        He  came walking slowly to where she was standing. She traced the name with her finger and looked at him. "Touch it," she says gently. "I don't know if I want to," he answers. His reluctance pours out from him. She turns, away from the raw emotion in his eyes." "It might be your only chance. Reach out and touch him." Her voice is breathless, annoyed, compassionate. His hand trembles. Slowly he reaches out. His hand is work worn. Carefully he traces the small letters. Once, twice, three times. He removes his hat and holds it over his heart, his head bowed. He is crying. Tears splash on his hat brim.

     They walk away, down that long black wall, holding hands as though they were young lovers again. A church steeple stands shadowy in the back ground. The bell rings from the bell tower. Deep and solemn, it strikes the hour.
I have my stone in my pocket. The Jewish people don't leave flowers for death. Flowers are too fleet and fading. But as a sign of respect, when they leave a cemetery they leave a stone. Because a stone will always be there. Love and memories will be as that stone. I like that. I always leave a stone. A stone for all the soldiers. A stone for all the names. A mans lips move, but no sound comes.
"Speak our names in voices like thunder." the song says. "Touch our names with your hands, so we know you have not forgotten us." Some silence sounds louder than thunder. The lightness of a finger tip across etched granite can be felt around the world.
To whom ever is responsible for bringing the Wall to the American people,
our heart felt thanks. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

After the Long Winter

                   Though it's the middle of May spring has been a long time coming. I saw, so, that beauty is still here. The Raggedy Garden lies soft and faded and lovely. Perhaps it is now that I love it best.

                                                  Pear blossoms on the edge of the hill.
                                         A dandelion ready to be wished upon.
                                         A perfect sea shell, collecting the spring rain.
                                       The bird on the sun dial. Faithful and true.
 I got him for Christmas. The rain has filled his pool. He ain't goin' nowhere, because he weighs a ton!
                                  White hat. White ribbon. White rose. Garden d├ęcor.
            Wooden flowers. Some one carved them. The years have turned them muted and soft.
                                     The fringes of my  hammock. Faded , well used blue.
                           Bait bags. From days by the sea. A spot of soft color.
                                           Lovely old favorites for my kind of dirt work.
                               Lilacs beginning to open. Their fragrance rides the wind.
                         I love my old bricks. warm and smooth and standing the test of time.
A stash of pots. Waiting their turn. Yes. Summer is coming to the Raggedy Garden. The sun comes shining early and the rains wash the winter away. The wind blows sweetly and the leaves dance. The grass turns green and the morning dew is a kiss. Tonight there was a rainbow, a perfect  arch of color
 flinging its promise across the sky. Come sit with me, and we can dream, and talk a little and smile, and sigh. For days to come and days gone by.                        


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Riding Around New England Part Four

        "Reno and me, we just laughed, and agreed. It don't matter which way you go. When you're calling the highway your home. Every old town's just your past burning down. It don't matter which way you go." Some days you just need to call the highway home. Burn down those towns and cross all those bridges. Some times you just need to get up in the dark and get out home. Watch the night fade. See dawn come stealing over the horizon. See the world begin to awaken. Tiny lights coming on in the houses. Smoke from the chimneys spiraling into the sky. A thermos of coffee between you. The easy roll of the wheels beneath you. All those towns with names like New London, and Dover ,Portsmouth, New Salem, Bristol, Manchester, Leicester, Westminster. New England towns with old England names. Oh, but the rivers we cross! They have names like Piscataqua, Androscoggin, Kennebec, Contoocook. Wonderful names from the People who were here before.
        The snow lies smooth and untrodden across the fields. It piles up in the corners of the stone walls. But I know, that when spring comes, those corners will be purple. Purple with violets, nodding in the sunshine. The rivers run black and fierce. rushing over rocks, piling up slabs of ice, huge slabs thrown by angry Gods. The forests are dappled with sun shine and shadow, criss- crossed by the tracks of the deer. The lakes are frozen over dotted with islands and fishing houses. A flock of tiny snow birds rises up, in unison, from the snowy corn stubble. They wheel and turn, still as one , and land again. You can hardly find them, so camouflaged they are with the land around  them.


        Long dead trees filled with wood pecker choppings. Huge old homestead trees, bare and gnarly , majestic even now, a lone swing swaying, empty in the winter wind. Two hundred year old houses standing firm against the hills. Granite posts still at the doorways, stone walls still marking the pastures. Horses whispering to each other near the old barns. Sugar houses still empty and waiting for spring. Abandoned buildings with intricate wood work. Once they were loved. Rusty old trucks and tractors.
      Down in the cusp, rimmed by the hills. Ancient old hills. Brooding over years gone by. Standing in the cold bright sunshine, gazing across Golden Pond. The silence rests easy on us. We take the back roads. New England back roads are rough this time of year. So we drive slow, and see all the things that are in this home on the road. Horses standing head to tail. Geese on the very edge of the ice. They look at the narrow strip of open water. I wonder, are they saying "what were we thinking?" in geese talk? Antique shops. Restaurants. White steepled churches. Farms. Schools. Black crows, cruising along above us, one for sadness, two for mirth..

          "Reno and me. We talked it all out. And there's one thing we don't understand. What's the point of a race, if you stay in on place, thinking its somewhere to go?"