View from the Floor

Yesterday

sunny.

Spring snow lingered

on the upper branches

of the evergreens.

As I lay on the floor

readying

for my exercises,

I paused

and cherished

the beauty.

Today,

another April snow

built during the whole day,

 walking became

slippery

even with my boots

which had been

still poised at my door.

Time for the floor again.

Exercises

help me center,

program my body and brain

to help me

navigate

whatever

territory

I travel.

Inner and outer

steps.

Lying on the floor,

I pause,

meditating

on the beauty

of the laden trees.

The skylights

are snow covered,

blocking light,

adding their own beauty.

Lying on the floor

is different

than my soft bed.

The view

is child-like

not high above

where

I may not

notice things.

I pause,

take deep breaths,

savoring these moments.

The daffodils

will survive

enriched by the

water

from the melting snow.

Maybe tomorrow.

May The Road Rise to Meet You

May

the road rise

to meet you.

May the wind

be always

 at your back.

May the sun

shine

warm upon

your face,

the rains fall soft

upon your fields,

and when

we meet again,

May God

hold you

in the

palms of

His hand.

There are many versions

of this Irish Blessing.

There are many

who claim

Irish ancestors.

The Irish diaspora

spreads

far and wide.

Even our first

African American

President

has Irish roots

on his mother’s side.

As the 69th

Regiment

parades down

New York’s

Fifth Avenue,

I claim a

great-grandfather

who was a member of

the “Fighting Irish Brigade”.

I can do a bit of the jig,

dancing to the
Irish Washerwoman toe tapping music.

In 8th grade,

I soloed

the lilting
“Rose of Tralee”.

In cap and gown,

high heeled shoes,

 with my college freshmen class,

we marched in the

parade in the snow.

Memories linger

smiles especially broad

on this green day.

Do you have

a bit of Irish

on this day?

May the road rise to meet You.

Treasure in the Mail

Two inches

of mail

awaited

after time away.

Standing by the trash bin,

catalog after catalog,

three of the same,

campaign

requests,

no idea how

my address and name

on their lists.

Snail mail

names and addresses

are sold.

Annoying

and wasteful,

all of it!

A few bills,

still paid by check,

marketing circulars,

trash, trash,

Trees

wasted

in making the paper.

Nestled

in the pile

was a small envelope

hand-printed.

Smiling,

excited,

I opened it

gently.

Inside

a thank you

note,

from

our newly

nine year old

grandchild.

Treasure.

Thank you words

by e-mail

or snail mail,

so rare

these days.

I keep

these special

thoughts,

sometimes displayed

perhaps tucked in

my top drawer

for discovery,

in a week,

months later,

or

when the year

has passed and

the next

arrives.

Always

grateful.

Treasures of gratitude.

Thank you.

Look at Gratefulness.org

Praying Together

Of all the gatherings,

prayers spoken,

during Pope Francis’s visit to Cuba and the United States,

the 9//1 Interfaith Service

lingers

as the most memorable.

Pope Francis

asked God to

“look on us,

people of all faiths and religious traditions,

who gather today

on this hallowed ground,

the scene of unspeakable

violence and pain.”

During the

interfaith service,

Iman Khalid Latif

Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove

alternated words of peace.

More pairs followed

two Hindu women,

two Buddhists,

two Muslims,

a Sikh father and daughter

and a Protestant

and Orthodox Christian.

The Pope sat in the middle.

and followed in the program.

“God judges us according

to our deeds,

not the coat we wear”

were the words

in Punjabi and English

by daughter and father Sikhs.

Cantor Azi Schwartz chanted in Hebrew

a prayer to honor

the 9/11 dead.

The Eight Beatitudes

were read in the the

ancient Greek

and then in English.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,for theirs is

the kingdom of heaven.

The service was

finished with the Pope

offering a gesture of peace-

a handshake,

an embrace

or a bow.

The Young People’s Chorus of New York City

more than 60 teenage

boys and girls

wearing different colored scarves-

sang

“Let There Be Peace on Earth”.

Glancing around the room,

several members of the

interfaith audience

suggested the faith leaders

stay in the room.

“Lock the doors”, said one, “until the

group

figures out how

to achieve world peace.”

Close Encounters of the Amazing

Gazing out my breakfast window

a hummingbird flew

to face me and stayed there

wings fast fluttering

for

time standing still seconds.

Looking out the same window

at lunchtime

the evanescent bird

savored the nectar of the row of

hosta flowers.

Over summers past

we have put feeders

in the garden.

Rarely did this offering

compete with the real

usually pink, red, purple

real sips of

the 1,500 flowers

needed in a day.

Once,

holding a young grandchild,

a hummingbird came almost

eye to eye

with me.

My red flowered hat

attracted a very close visit

and then

flew to the garden

for the real thing!

Hummingbirds

breathe

250 times a minute

with a resting heartbeat of

500 beats per minute.

In flight their hearts rev to

1,500 beats a minute.

600-800 insects daily

provide more energy.

East Coast ruby-throated hummingbirds

migrate to the

Gulf of Mexico in the winter,

a 21 hour non-stop flight!

When first seen

there,

they were called

“resurrection birds.”

Close encounters

are ordinary miracles.

Where To Begin

You

do not

convince

people

with arguments,

strategies,

or tactics.

You

convince them

by learning

how to

welcome

them.

For that,

it is

necessary

to keep

doors

open,

above all

the doors

to the heart.

Pope Francis, South America, July, 2015

Let there be peace

on Earth.

And let it

begin

with me!

An Unexpected Rainbow

June has been quite dry,

little rain.

While eating dinner

last night,

the sky opened with a loud roar

and heavy rain fell down

refreshing the greenery,

washing the pollens

and dust, leaving everything

looking shiny and refreshed.

The view out the back

is wooded and buildings.

As the pelting rain

eased up,

the remnants of

the sun pierced through

and a rainbow appeared.

Rainbows don’t usually

show up

with the blocked view.

An unexpected rainbow.

We stood and paused,

in the moment

in wonder.

I cannot tell you

how long we stood there

as the rainbow’s edges

faded into the sky

or wherever

rainbows go

after astonishing us.

An unexpected rainbow

can be the bridge

to the surprise

and mystery of life.

Where do they

begin

and where do they end?

Perhaps the rainbow

takes a leap from

one place to another and begins again.

Discovering

as a young child does,

experiencing things

in the moment

never the same,

as we bridge our own lives to another’s.