We started as strangers with a dance one night,
although neither really liked to dance.
Yet we found magic as we twirled and swayed
to our own version of a country western two-step.
Now we have traveled around the sun forty times
as we flow from season to season together.
Love, laughter, dark moments, loss, joy,
surprises, fear, triumphs,
disappointments, sunshine, magic and music,
wine, travel, cats and kids.
I love you madly still!
May we embrace all the seasons of life
for every day we share.
Happy 40th anniversary!
A post from two years ago.
Day of the Dead –
Paths of flower petals and
burning incense guide
spirits to the house of the living.
Tables with favorite food and drink.
orange and yellow flowers,
all offered to the spirits.
Then the living go to
graves of the dead.
Custom says ill fortune, illness
death or worse
those who make no offerings.
Who will decorate my grave?
Who will bring me food?
Who will talk to me?
Cremation may be best for me.
For more on the traditions of the Day of the Dead check out this website.
Last week I was going through some stacks of papers by my desk and found this vintage postcard addressed to my father. It read:
Mr. Andrew Harvill
Sept. 11, 1935
Hello Boy: We long way from home. Some country here.
In 1935 the United States was slowly struggling out of the Great Depression under Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He would win the presidency again in the 1936 election over Republican Alfred M. Landon. Eighty-one years later this lament could mirror some of the dissatisfaction today as we head toward the 2016 presidential election in November.
(An oil boom around the small Texas town of Freer was pulling it out of the Depression as men flocked to the area for the jobs in the oilfields. In 1935 my father was twenty-five years old and was either helping his father on the family ranch or working in the oil fields. More likely he was doing both. He had a wife and child with another on the way. I wonder what his two long-time friends from Freer were doing in Arizona? Today Chandler is a prominent suburb of Phoenix.)
“Wintering in Port Aransas” by Steve Russell
I Pledge Allegiance to the Earth
And to the Universal Spirit
Which gives us Life;
One Planet, Indivisible
Peace and Justice for Us All.
I Pledge to do my Best
To uphold the Trust bestowed
In the Gift of my Life;
To care for Our Planet
And our Atmosphere,
To Respect and Honor
All her Inhabitants,
All People, Animals,
Plants and Resources,
To Create a Legacy
For Our Children
And Our Children’s Children
In a World of Harmony and Love.
I Pledge Allegiance
To the Universal Spirit,
By whatever Name it may be called.
I align my Life
With the ongoing Process
To grow Myself with Care,
To Act from My Own Integrity,
To Be for Others
How I would want them
To Be for Me.
May We carry this Vision
Into our Hearts,
Into our Daily Choices,
And through Our
Within and Beyond Our Planet.
Edna Reitz, 1988
NOTE: Several months ago I found this pledge from a 2011 post on the blog, The Native HeartLight, and saved it for an Earth Day post. Since then I have not been able to find out anything more about Edna Reitz ,who was given credit for it on a poster, or the pledge itself. Perhaps she got it from someone else. I attempted to contact the author of the blog but never received an answer. If anyone knows anything about it, please share. I still liked it and wanted to share it.
like silky summer clouds
or frolicking waves.
We adapt to the challenges
of love year by year.
You take my hand and
we slow dance on the rug in the living room.
Sunlight warms our souls
while moonlight covers us with dreams.
Our young lovers embrace only in the past.
Take my hand…walk with me…
into this brave new world.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY
Thirty-three years ago I wrote a simple poem for an old friend (REALLY old, I thought at the time) for her 70th birthday. She has been gone for many years, but as I approach my own 70th year I remembered that poem and dug it out of my files. It was composed in longhand and then typed without the assistance of word processing. In those days I often wrote basic rhyming poems for birthdays. I am sure family and friends cringed inwardly when they got one! Here is the poem.
For Nettie…in her Seventieth Spring
Ms. Lynn, if you please,
is a friend of mine,
but hard to define.
A gentle soul,
reaching out to touch.
I see in her past
glory and sorrow.
Yet she’s come through it all,
still standing tall.
She brings sunshine and hope
wherever she goes;
a reminder of giving,
a vision of living
Happy birthday to a
Nettie Lynn was Jewish. Her family came to the United States from Russia. She had only one child, a daughter, who would have been about my age had she not died as a young child.
As I enter my 70th fall…I remember Nettie and look both ways…past and future…and embrace today.
Cold rain covers the city,
dampening every street and soul.
Gulls are earth-bound,
wet feathers puffed to warm them.
Sky and water are diffused
into variegated gray.
and respectfully slows.
Will we remember all this
in the heat of July?
The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows for me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake rests,
in his beauty on the water,
and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things,
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief,
I come into the presence of still water,
and I feel above me the dayblind stars,
waiting with their light,
for a time, I rest in the grace of the world,
and am free.
May you see love, beauty, joy, peace, and hope
in the ordinary corners of your life.
And may the fragrance of a flower,
the careless flight of a butterfly, sun
on a sleeping cat, rain,
acts of compassion and
remind you of
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
A cold north wind is hurrying toward the bluff.
Giving thanks for all I have today…
Mate, daughter, son, grandson, family and friends to count;
And more…rainwater for herbs, feathery-white pelicans floating
on Nueces Bay, black fluffy cat grooming in a chair, flour for baking, music,
strength for running, courage for living, happy hearts and hugs,
connection with the world, purpose for the day,
words to write, memories in scattered black and white,
sunlight sliding through my kitchen window,
moonlight on the bay at night,
laughter, tears and life.