on breeze of a thousand breaths
Heat comes not in waves
but as swarms of scourging sand
stripping earth’s moisture
Photo is from Bridge Over Troubled Waters (Gargi Parsi) as posed on thehindu.com
If there is anything I have learned
from Job’s Yahweh, the ancient bold creator,
and Rahab, the courageous harlot returned,
it is that there is always more, so much more.
If there is anything I have gleaned
from mapping the purpose of my life
and charting divine meanings of dreams,
it is that I need to knock a door, a divine and sacred door.
If there is anything I cherish about enlightenment
as I grieve hypocrisy in Abba’s name,
and celebrate human justice and atonement,
it is knowing that the God who creates us is the same, always the same.
If there is anything I see as I gaze the horizon
at the place where the sun bids us adieu for a while,
and I am tempted to plot life’s destination,
it is that God’s divine shores extend for miles, miles and miles.
Husband, may I speak with you?
Her eyes focused on the space
just to left of his empty rice bowl.
Do you speak of my sons?
Are they studious in their lessons?
Your sons do you honor, my husband.
Number one son is especially well-regarded.
Is this about my mother?
Is she happy and being taken care of?
Your mother is very healthy, my husband.
She is most proud of her son’s success.
Is the household orderly?
Are the servants obedient? Is there anything lacking?
The servants are loyal. We want for nothing.
I do not deserve such a comfortable house, dear husband.
So speak, woman. What thoughts and cares
bring you to my table and time of rest?
I had a disturbing dream about the black dust, my husband,
the dust you invented to explode color through the night sky.
Recall, woman, I was instead seeking the elixir of life.
Creating the black powder was a gift from the gods.
In my dream, husband, it was the black dust of death,
used to pierce the hearts of enemies and the innocent alike.
Think, woman. The night powder brings us the emperor’s favor
and the great wealth of traders from the south and the east.
In my dream, husband, your black powder brings destruction,
It causes children to bleed while the earth moans in pain.
Hush, woman. No demons lurk in the marriage of fire and powder.
Your dream is a foolish imagining of female weakness.
Husband, I speak no more.
She closed her eyes and mourned
for the dual legacy of the fire powder.
Ecclesiastes is a good book in a Great Book. The author, presumed by most to be wise Solomon, tries to explain the meaning of life and includes a clear discussion of contrasts. All good Sunday school children probably know Chapter 3 by heart. I am not one of them because Catholic churches did not have Sunday school in my day. We had to sit through Sunday Mass and behave . . . but that is another story.
Nevertheless, us old hippies remember Turn, turn, turn by The Byrds - To everything, turn, turn, turn. Life is a series of seasons and contrasts. Weep and laugh. Mourn and dance. Keep and discard. War and peace.
Church people use this wisdom to to teach us that, while our present time may suck, the next season will be better. The old by-and-by sermon.
But I don’t think that’s what the writer meant because just a few lines later, he says that God indeed made everything beautiful in its time. And God has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
In other words, all life seasons have beauty. We just don’t know how it all fits into the Big Scheme. We should just trust there is beauty in its time. Everything. In all seasons.
So, my friends, in this time of long dark nights, leafless trees, struggling flowers, mute birds, militant squirrels, treacherously icy roads and scratchy long underwear, look for beauty. It may very well be time.
All photos are from my backyard here in Trophy Club, Texas. I’d like to be a wee bit warmer, but this is beautiful, is it not?
Haleakala is a massive shield volcano that forms more than three-quarters of Maui Island in Hawaii. Its name means “house of the sun.” Legend says that demigod Maui lassoed the sun from this mountain because he wanted to lengthen the day so that his mother Hina could dry her tapa, a cloth made from bark. If you’ve ever witnessed a sunrise from its peak of 10,000 feet, when the sun pushes the black night into the heavens for a time, you will understand its name.
The road leading to top of Haleakala traverses through Kula on the eastern slope of this spectacular mountain. Kekaulike Avenue is narrow and winding and its landscape is a stark contrast to the dry, barren volcanic crater. Upper Kula, or Upcountry as it is commonly called, is punctuated by rolling grassy hills, scented by groves of silver eucalyptus trees and, in late spring, graced by the blue flowers of jacaranda trees.
And, as if the overall grandeur is not enough to impress you, vegetable and flower farms entice you on your journey up the mountain.
The Kula Botanical Garden is a such a jewel. It is at 3,300 feet above sea level and enjoys a dry temperate climate.
Its owners, Warren and Helen McCord, initially established this area in 1968 as a display garden for Warren’s landscape architecture business. In time, the McCords transformed these eight acres into a tropical Shangri-la, with colorful and unique plants, rock formations, and the quintessential stream that meanders through the valley. This labor of love continues to operate as a family business and delights residents and visitors alike.
Mahalo (thank you) to the McCords!
You can learn more about Kula Botanical Garden at kulabotanicalgarden.com
A note on the photos: All are mine except the photo of Haleakala and the sign for the garden (on the garden’s website).
She gathers scattered molecules to descend
to the forest on the lee side of the precipice
where she blurs the shadows of squirming wolf pups
until Mother returns with field mice for their Dawn repast
She weaves shawls of droplets
around sleeping lavender and chamomile flowers
to dress them for the Morning sonata
of bees and beetles and grass bursting through Earth
She glides through an open window on the third floor walkup
to sigh chills that nudge the waking woman
into her man’s arm tattooed with dragons and swords
coaxing Life’s yearning for itself
Mist, she is beholden
She listens for the retreat of Rain’s footmen
and begins to gently twirl infinite prism veils
and arcs her back in the sensuous dance of Rainbow
delighting in a brief glimpse into Heaven’s soul
A note on the photos: I photographed the rainbow while sitting at Hau Tree Lanai in Waikiki, Oahu. The mountain mist is a free image available at 7art-screensavers.com/wallpapers/mist-0/xls/impervious-fog.jpg