Nebraska Dawn

I’m in Nebraska at the Lied Lodge conference center of the Arbor Day Farm. I rose early and took a solitary stroll onto their abundant trails. I wandered over wooden bridges, across a gentle creek and into a sentient forest full of woodchip paths and life. Whenever I break my usual daily routine – poetic inspiration is often the result.

Before the dawn, below the light
There is a time, that still is night.
A morning dark festooned with song
In arias from flying throng.
A choral mirth and melody,
A whistling chanting rhapsody.

When rising orb bursts from the dim,
The song and light becomes a hymn
As flashing streaks of morning sun
Ignite the path of stroller’s run.
Then bleaching light and harmony
absorb the dark from plains prairie.

Soon colors shine from leaf and bloom;
Their fragrant scents belie perfume.
When flowers reach to touch the glow,
The dew upon is lit flambeau.
Refracted rays of golden bright
Bring out the rainbow from this sight.

Like the bloom, the mornin’ flowers
Into a day of lazy hours,
But nothing like the early morn’
With it’s Cantata to adorn
The heart of nature and her tone
That lets you know you’re not alone.

The Ugly, The Bad, The Good

There are the new pieces of pain on the planet today.

More death and injury in Iraq, violence in India, destruction and displacement in Texas, new dead in Yemen and there are the old stories of continuing sorrow as ethnic factions care not for the people, but power.

There are the hungry and starving in sub-Saharan Africa and dozens of other places, including the United States where 30 million people, including 12 million children go hungry every day.

But for every dark spot of pain on this earth, there are thousands upon thousands of places and people filled with light.

I am observing one as I write this post. A conference of participants in the children & nature network at the Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska. It is an organization started by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods. These are dedicated people who want nothing more than for a child to have an experience of the outdoors.

Every positive action like this, every act of kindness, courtesy, compassion, every place or thing of beauty, every smile brightens, lightens the density of dark places. The light of positive thought always dispels the negative dark. All we have to do is choose be it.

Mr. Wall Street

What with yesterday’s debacle on Wall Street and the anniversary of the 1929 Stock Market crash coming up. I am reminded of how a bad time made one man famous.

He was Richard Whitney. A hero of that first day of the crash. Prices were plummeting. The ticker tape was hours behind. Whitney’s intent was to restore calm. He began to buy and word spread that he represented New York’s major banks.

The market rallied and the press hailed Whitney as a white knight. He was suited for the role. Richard Whitney was one of the most trusted men in America. He had a townhouse on the elegant east side. He raised thoroughbreds on his New Jersey farm. After saving the market, he left for a weekend fox hunt.

Even though the market fell again, people remembered Whitney’s hour of glory. He became the youngest man ever to head the New York Stock Exchange.

When Congress investigated the crash, Whitney testified first. He was ” Mr. Wall Street”.

But he had a secret. The crash had wiped him out. He mortgaged his estate, borrowed from his rich friends, and when the money ran out he stole from everyone. The New York Yacht Club, Harvard, family trust funds, a widow’s fund.

No one noticed until Whitney missed a routine meeting and a clerk blurted out the truth. Mr. Wall street went to Sing Sing.

Nature and the Soul

Hello All,

I just got back from a week’s trip to the Canadian wilderness. The place was way up in northern Ontario where fall has just arrived. The Moose are in rut, the Salmon are spawning, the Beaver are gathering twigs for the winter hibernation and the residents are stacking cord upon cord of hardwood to keep warm in the coming winter.

It’s always a surprise to leave what we think is summer in the South and travel several hundred miles North and suddenly, as if by acclimation, it’s fall. The early part of the day was in the low 30’s. Mist from the warmer water hid the dawn’s early light on the lake. Splashes of red permeate the Maples. The Birches are intermittent yellow and the Oaks seem to keep their green long past a deep frost and then they keep the lingering brown until a fierce wind forces the leaves to relinquish their hold.

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the haunting sound of the Loon’s call. It is special and reminding to the mind that the spirit is in control and the body is just going along for the ride.

I was gliding in and out of coves and rocky cuts along the lake in my Kayak and came upon, not only the fishing Loons, but also a Beaver heading to his lodge. He tail slapped the water to warn his family and friends of an intruder.

In such times of intimate connections with nature the soul is energize to acknowledge something greater than itself. Perhaps it is itself and the recognition is both a knowing and a surprise for in our busy lives we forget the interconnection.

What I do know for certain is that silence is the pure conduit to Nature and it is renewing to both body and spirit.