Benediction

February 19, 2021

I’m fortunate enough to have received the final dose of the Moderna Vaccine and so to have joined the still very small percentage of people to be fully vaccinated against COVID.

Some folks, myself included, experience side effects, especially from the second dose (a low fever, headache, fatigue). Others get away with just a sore arm, or nothing at all.  Either way, they say our bodies are building immunity.

Dozing on the couch
slowed by yesterday’s vaccine—
snow slow slow all day

Overwintering in the Pandemic

February 4, 2021

We are almost a year into the pandemic, regretfully habituated to a muted, distanced life with most social encounters occurring via the internet. Like others, I’ve learned to set my computer monitor in front of a sunny window; the light is cheering, especially in winter, and has the advantage of brightening my face so it’s more visible to others online. I also have some nonhuman company in my well-lit location.

Southerly window—
beside a sea of Zoom faces,
potted rosemary

Welcoming the New Year Without Snow

January 1, 2021

A week before New Year’s a warm but powerful storm with lots of rain washed away the layer of powdery snow we had on the ground. But that didn’t prevent the new year from dawning with its own touch of brilliance.

In the sere brown lawn
frost crystals, ten thousand flares–
New Year’s Day sunrise

Mid-November

November 20, 2020

By the middle of November most of the plants and animals have made their preparations for what is to come. We humans, too, have been busy with fall chores for a while, but the leaves are down, the storm windows up and it’s time to come inside.

This year, the social traditions surrounding the season of gathering indoors have been dealt a blow by the worsening pandemic; we need to set a small table and exchange our news, stories, and words of thanksgiving via Zoom. It feels different in a not-good way, but for the outside world things are simply as they are.

gray November sky
above a gray motionless lake—
eagle flying low

A Peaceful Autumn, for Oaks

October 29, 2020

We humans are anxious and troubled these days, but the trees seem to be their normal selves as they slowly progress into winter dormancy.

The oaks, always the last to shed their leaves, are particularly radiant right now, with more  yellow this year than the usual russet and brown.

Still-air, no leaf falls
Oaks lift up their golden boughs
to sky’s infinity

Wind, Sun, Eagle

October 11, 2020

The weather was beautiful yesterday, sunny, breezy, but not too cold. People were out in large numbers, mostly, it seemed, in their cars. The animals had better ideas of how to take advantage of the day.  One in particular captured our attention.

Brisk westerly wind—
eagle climbs each gust, then cuts
swaths of pure fall light

Alas, I did not have my camera handy when the adult bald eagle was in view. So you have not missed anything; there is no eagle in this photo, but I invite you to insert a glorious one in your imagination.