the way the setting sun gives the tall old redwood an auburn halo
the leaf pasted to the walkway with water from yesterday’s sprinkling rain: one fallen maroon art piece framed by a watermark, framed by the dry path
one richly fluffy fall dandelion seedhead as eager to repopulate as his springtime forebears
the rugged alto voice of that woodpecker who spent her late summer elsewhere but has now returned to the sycamore in our yard
the infinite views of the sky through the negative space of a tree’s limbs
a happy patch of fuchsia flowers, too tiny to pick, too precious to yank from the source of life just for my fleeting pleasure
rocks, sand, grass, leaves, seeds, flower petals on the ground…an everchanging kaleidoscope of color and texture animated by winds and rains
the drops of dew or misty rain or melted frost as they slide down a tilted leaf to hydrate the earth
venus, jupiter, and red, red, red mars clustered like friends in a still-black morning sky
the gorgeous, peaceful, joyous smile radiating like the sun’s rays beyond the beautifully wise face to all who view it – a smile that is his nature, that transcends boundaries of time and space and sickness, and which weaves and warms the threads of shared history to become the present moment of deepest, significant connection
the painting of sunrises and sunsets: sky as canvas, light and shadow as palette, air as the etcher of texture
the full harvest moon rising up, within reach, above the peacefully sleeping cemetery
two soft curves in the garter snake’s body as he moves toward shelter
the flick of the squirrel’s tail, obese body held on the side of a trunk by clenching feet that do not find vertical running troublesome
the newly visible arc of a now leafless branch
the way shadows create new lives – flat ephemeral puppets
changing views – always changing views: plants that flourish or die back, weather, days and nights and seasons and cycles
one incredibly diverse colorful textured inhabited planet with more than this small life could ever come to know.
We start by noticing those small, local shifts – by remembering to look up and down, sideways, widely left to right and right to left – moving closer for a better look. Paying attention.
Making the decision to care about that chocolate brown spider who has lived in the caulk line edging the tub on the bathroom floor for the past three days.
These are all gifts. Cherishable. Crucial. Sacred.
(Orig. posted in Oct. 2015)