Saturday, May 19, 2012

May Love-Letter to my Earth-Home

Dear Gaia & Dear Dragonfly Cottage,

Earth Day's 42nd celebration is a few weeks past.
I hope you forgive this tardy love note.....
but I have been even more mesmerized than usual
by this year's rebirthing and the rekindling of your
green fire.

I live in such a splendid place, a sweet small home I call Dragonfly Cottage. It's snuggly nestled at the edge of the woods, midway up the east flank of Round Top Hill, a hidden retreat in this pleasant city suburb. From this
secluded perch, I look out at the broad expanse of the Susquehanna River approaching around a tree-fringed bend. It's joined there by the waters of Choconut Creek, rising from the Pennsylvania hills just to the south. Then it sweeps around the foot of Round Top and towards the west.

It is my fifth May-time here. The rising sun has reached the position on the horizon that sends it arching over the waters, tossing river-diamonds in at my door. Such dazzlement leads easily to giddiness first thing on sunny mornings.

Just beyond this small dooryard, the wood's humble cathedral has reopened its lofty, tree-canopied corridors. 2012's refurbishment is nearly complete in every imaginable shade of luminous green, myriad patterns of leaf, and the understory's lusty new growth. No longer can I see down to the river, but the wood's verdant tapestry, gently pierced by sun rays and May bird-song, is rich compensation.

Yet an ominous shadow looms over you, over this wondrous, newly-blossoming landscape. Barely 30 miles from here, the "extraction industry" known as fracking is ravaging the Pennsylvania countryside. It grieves my heart. I am allied with others working hard to keep this from New York State as well as those laboring mightily in Pennsylvania to prevent further destruction. So many do far more than I.....

A writer I've long admired, E.B. White, once wrote "I awake each morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it hard to plan my day." 

Not far from where I sit composing these words, our shy resident chorister, the wood thrush, pours forth his ethereal song. Time enough to venture off the Hill to join forces with others to protect you, dear Gaia, and to work to mend so much misguided damaging. For now, I will linger here at Dragonfly Cottage, savoring the ineffable beauties of this blessed corner of the Earth.

With such grateful love from my heart to yours,
 (your devoted Meadow & River Muse)
(both photos can be enlarged by clicking on them)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Under the Wesak Full Moon

While there is not too much I can tell you about Buddha from personal experience, I do know that we're celebrating his birthday today and that that makes for lots of joyful energy the world around. And it just happens to coincide with the celestial event of the year regarding the largest Full in the one closest to the Earth, the Moon in perigee. On a Facebook post I spotted this phrase: Normally sober scientists call it a "super moon."

Via the often wondrous connections of the world-wide-Web, this sweet poem came to my Inbox two days ago (thank you Joe Riley,

Every day, priests minutely examine the Law
And endlessly chant complicated sutras.
Before doing that, though, they should learn
How to read the love letters sent by the wind
and rain, the snow and moon.  ~Ikkyu~

Apart from the promised love letter of tonight, yesterday Spring brought three feathered love letters to Dragonfly Cottage in the form of some special bird neighbors just back from their winter retreats. Dawn brought the unmistakable flute-song of the Wood thrush, and in the evening s/he hopped into the bird bath to splash about, washing the dust of the road off his(or hers) beautiful brown-spotted breast (yes, exercising a bit of anthropomorphic license here!).

Midday I took a break from my work to wash the dishes. The window over the sink gives a close-up view of Round Top Hill against which Dragonfly Cottage nestles. A small dark shape flitted of the butterflies that have been around this week, I thought. And then to my astonished delight, a ruby-throated hummingbird zoomed back into view, pausing for a nano-second to give me a beady-eyed look before darting on with his rounds. "Oh my! Welcome back!" I called after him. Any hummingbird appearance feels magical, and so this first-of-the-season visit lingered in my mind's eye all the rest of the day.

And then, when I went outside to watch the nearly-full Moon rise over the hills beyond the river, two gray-feathered catbirds swooped in full of their loud and saucy bird-talk. I want to think it's last year's duo back for another nesting season. And they certainly did arrive with confident authority, so I'm imagining it really IS them.   

I tend to fret a lot over the oddness of our changed weather patterns, the record-warm winter just past, the record floods of last September. Yesterday's love letters and tonight's promised one are serving to offset this unease, giving me reason to trust the annual promise of the year's growing light with all its potent possibilities.

So enlightenment awaits.
This evening as dusk deepens, may we all....sober scientists, overly-busy priests, techno-entranced consumers, all of us....just let go of all our various busy-ness and preoccupations and step out-of-doors to receive the love letter being beamed our way.

Hope you'll join me in a Marvelous Moon Dance!