one spirit

Last night, I sat in an expanded circle of women. Twenty of us came together from the two 4-16-13 partial circlecore spring groups of Women Writing for (a) Change – Vermont to share what we have been writing for the past several months about, around and through the paradoxes of our lives. Another thirty-five or more women gathered in growing circles to receive and complete the evening’s exchange. Seated in the gracious and accessible gallery of the South End Arts and Business Association we were embraced with the inviting warmth of Carol Norton’s current exhibit – appropriately enough titled “Winds of Change.” By candle- and gentle track-light, we gave voice to the soft and hard edges of life, the arid and the flowing, the hidden and discovered. We heard it all.

hemock saplingOn my morning walk I noticed a squat stump, shards really of its former self, low-slung in the dank of early spring. Rising proud from its ragged edges, a hemlock sapling barely a foot tall  braved its determined way toward the light flickering far overhead.

What the trees know is what we come to learn through our own rooting in the rubble and stretching toward the sun. We heard it last night in major and minor variations of rage, desperation, longing; in the keys of adapted, broken open, released. We have heard it over and over in the wake of the unimagined attacks on innocent hard work and joyful celebration that are the hallmark of Boston’s annual marathon. Light trumps darkness. Regeneration emerges from destruction. We begin anew each day. Some with hurdles we might never have imagined; all with the same spirit, the same desire for life.


Boston (Photo credit: Bahman Farzad)

fall song

On the rise of wind she sniffs,
nose twitching as it follows what I cannot
though I see excitement,
lithe leaps into frosty air, her shadow
dance among leaves that crunch crisply
beneath my feet – nearly silent under hers

flying gazelle-like over log and under branch
squirrel-bound – as I, earthbound, walk
my spirit soaring free with hers; the brilliant
orange about her neck gleams leaflike
flitting free in circles, swirling, entire
treefall tumbling at once, twirling
down; yet she runs, runs circles,

returns, fleet and frisky, impatient
for each new moment as if she could swallow
entire seasons in one gulp, she glides, gallops
points, returns, endless and effortless in her work,
this work of play in mid-autumn woods,
midway between summers’ light
and winter’s dark, in this late afternoon
glow of setting sun settling
into calmer pace, one she’s not yet
ready to receive; while I recall my
younger Self, revel in remembered bounce
of youthful vigor and delight in autumn’s
edging amber light.