A Homecooked Meal

(Betty Crocker image)
The poem I've written today was inspired 
by the writing of Jimmy Pappas.

The Secret Ingredient

For a simple dessert I wash fresh raspberries
to remove any trace of Covid-19.
I pop one in my mouth, let water squish with the flesh
of the berry on my tongue.
Now I make butternut squash soup with produce purchased 
on the first outing in a month:
fresh butternut squash, leeks, onions and potatoes,
unsalted butter and farmer market carrots.
A granny smith apple, peeled and cored
adds a hint of tartness.
After it simmers for awhile I add fresh cream,
a sweet childhood delight, that swirls rich and smooth.
The table is set for many guests.
Please join me.  I have prepared a bowl 
especially for you.

Heartshaped Tears

Each day as the numbers rise, the lump in my throat grows larger as I am reminded that they are more than just numbers. Someone is losing a loved one. Someone is worried they will lose a loved one. Someone is feeling cut-off and alone, like there may be no way out. I feel helpless and the tears cannot be held back. I shed tears filled with love because love is one thing that has not been stopped when the brakes were put on the world as we knew it.

I am posting the link to two songs that I feel offer hope and peace. I send love to you, my fellow readers.

You’re Gonna Be Okay by Brian & Jenn Johnson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjF9IqvXDjY

Be Still My Soul by Kari Jobe

Nothing by David O’Meara

I wanted to write something profound. Something uplifting and fun to help lift our focus… I’m sorry it just isn’t there tonight. So I offer you this poem written by Canadian poet, David O’Meara. However, what I do want to add is that we do have the perfect opportunity at hand to have those deep conversations that we may not otherwise share. Take care, everyone.

Nothing

"Nothing," he said, "it's nothing."
Then nothing was said.  Silence; nothing.

What she asked had come from nothing.
Sweet nothing, really, was all he said.

They cut their links like little wires, said
nothing about it afterward, nothing.

All over nothing.
So never to talk of what they said

until all that was ever said
was nothing, and so nothing was ever said.

Help Others To Tell A Different Story

(internet photo)

A doctor after a 12 hour shift in a New York hospital with only Covid-19 patients stated, “I’m going to change my clothing and get back into my street clothes, after taking a shower and scrubbing any part of the virus from my body, if not my soul.”

None of us believed we would be faced with a situation like this but here we are. Here are our front-line workers, fighting on our behalf. Here we are with more “free time” than we know what to do with.

Maybe we can use some of that spare time to find ways to express our gratitude, although it may never be enough, to those working tirelessly on our behalf to care for our sick, loved ones; for those who are working to keep us safe; for those who are behind the scenes coordinating our front-line workers; for those who are scrambling to find a vaccination or a cure.

Maybe we can use some of our free time to find ways that will lead to the telling of a different story than before. A story where we do not sleep walk through life. A story where we really see and acknowledge each other. A story where we know beyond any doubt, and embody, the essence of the African term, Ubuntu, “I am because we all are.” We don’t have to live in fear. Together we will pass through an exit even if we have to hobble.

Be patient. Be kind, to each other and ourselves. We will persevere.

A Quiet Strength

(internet photo – Ricke)

The past several day I’ve had the pleasure of seeing owls when I am out for my walk. Standing in the space of their presence brings me a sense of joy and calm – a moment to forget everything that is happening in the world around me.

A Quiet Strength

Hope is a great-horned owl.
It is yellow eyes 
that harness strength.
It is open eyes 
that face shadows.

Hope allows you to soar
on winds of change
to leave some old habits
and bring something new 
into your life.

Hope settles 
on a tree limb,
listens, looks
for subtle signs,
sees what usually goes
below your radar.

Hope uses the beauty
of night
to inspire creativity.
Little can stop
an owl once it has set
its sights
on "the prize"

Some Fun Facts About Owls

Owls have specialized feathers with fringes of varying softness that help muffle sound when they fly. Their broad wings and light bodies also make them nearly silent fliers; which helps them stalk prey more easily.

An owl has three eyelids; one for blinking, one for sleeping, and one for keeping the eye clean and healthy.

Rest Is In My Breath

One of my favourite things is the scent of fresh laundered sheets with a hint of bleach and outdoor sunshine lingering on the threads. One of my least favourite things to do is crawl out of a cozy bed to a dark, cold morning. Especially since lately I have been having trouble sleeping.

I love to cradle a hot cup of tea between both hands, savoring a rich blend of Chai spices flaring my nostrils. But I hate hot liquid burning my tongue. Often I choose to guzzle the tepid drink later because it sat forgotten beside my computer screen.

This morning I sat in quiet but not stillness. My body didn’t move, I didn’t fidget, and my hands remained relaxed in my lap. But my mind refused to settle. Thoughts galloped behind my eyes. Before the apocalypse many small bookstores struggled. Since social distancing became mainstream, they have gone silent. I hope they will last until after. After. After we are allowed to be close to one another again. After the locks are opened and we can breathe a little easier. After we can go to the dentist, the hair dresser, the post office, linger with a fresh off the press new book in hand.

These thoughts defy the will to rest, to simply be. They demand attention, they want to be seen and heard. So for thirty minutes I do battle. When it’s over I realize I had thirty minutes of tending to passing thoughts. I’m not sure if that would qualify as meditation but it meant thirty minutes without really thinking about Covid-19 and the corona virus. I didn’t solve the issue of what will happen to my beloved independent bookstores, but the distractions and outside “noise” did provide thirty minutes of welcome rest.

A Mary Oliver Poem & More Street Art

another “gem” on the path this morning

I continue to find little treasures as I go out for my walks. This morning I came across this inspirational painted rock. We had a lovely sunny morning but unfortunately winter continues to be reluctant to let us go into spring. The forecast for more snow helped me choose the Mary Oliver poem I am sharing.

THE STORM (BEAR)

Now through the white orchard my little dog
          romps, breaking the new snow
          with wild feet.
Running here running there, excited,
          hardly able to stop, he leaps, he spins
until the white snow is written upon
          in large, exuberant letters,
a long sentence, expressing
          the pleasures of the body in this world.

Oh, I could not have said it better
          myself.

Joy

I’m re-posting a photo that was taken at Durand Glacier, British Columbia, a number of years ago and I hope it will bring a smile to your face despite all the swirling uncertainty.

Perhaps we can use this time of social distancing and social isolation to regain an appreciation not just for each other, but for our beautiful earth as well.

I wish good health to all of you who read this post. Be kind to each other.