Thursday, March 28, 2013

Manna in the Morning: SEE YOU DOWN THE ROAD

Manna in the Morning: SEE YOU DOWN THE ROAD


A late March morning, Spring turning and raising a hand for one last farewell to Winter as she disappears around the bend in the road. We will find her again in due time, maybe she will be sweeping up some last autumn leaves into a pile. She will invite us in, as if we are old friends. Maybe a cup of steaming tea in front of a warm fire will do to break the ice as we discuss the wonders of last Summer's sparkling sea, and how good Autumn in the local mountains tasted, like a slice of crisp apple pie mixed with cinnamon laid over with an ample helping of gratitude . We will laugh as she brings out a plate of cookies laced on top with white icing and silver sprinkles, about why Spring had to show off so much this year wearing that dress so loaded with flowers, and how Summer played hard to get by giving June Gloom only a passing nod well into July.

Manna has gone to sleep by Winter's fire. I take her leash in hand and bid Winter goodnight, thanking her for the foggy glass we will note in the early morning kitchen windows, the stark play of storm clouds from the sea that will leave the drape of night cold and dripping for us to wake to at the tip of morning, as well as those few balmy December days to come that I noticed entwined in the tapestry she was knitting while we talked, the ones that remind us of the Summer's long lazy days sometime ahead. As we take our leave, she hands me a bag tied  closed with string, telling me not to open it until the light begins returning to the earth. I pull my coat around me against the coming chill as Manna sniffs the air,  stepping out under a sky of wheeling stars, out on a path lit with the mystery of moments.

A late March morning. Manna is now waking at around 6 AM instead of 4:30, so we celebrate the new light and time with a freeze dried chicken strip on top of her breakfast kibble. It is the simple things you see. One does not always need to travel far to be in paradise.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Manna in the Morning: IT'S THE NOSE, STUPID

Manna in the Morning: IT'S THE NOSE, STUPID


I think a dog collects scents like a child collects memories, storing them up in the tumbled attic of the brain to pull out for future use. Probably white shelving is used as support for clarity and easy cleaning, each item catagorized and neatly aligned. I suppose that some attics are a little more cluttered than others, some a wee bit more carefully arranged, but all seem to get the job done.  It must be a huge space I imagine, as when a dog is walked, or running free, it's nose is the constant rudder of it's hull, steering sharply from here to there in quite an unchartable course. Never mind the tall buildings downtown seen across the canyons, white and new as if just sprouted overnight in some celestial garden , or the lacy spring trees  sporting a  transluscent coat woven of light and air soused with the aqueous air of morning. Nope, but this bush once had a rabbit brush by it and boy, I just cant get enough! And over here, in this patch of grass that looks just like any other to you, theres one spot here that I'm just about to die for. Whatever THAT is, i'm taking that puppy home!

OK then.
I will bide my time tightly holding on to the straining leash,
Allowing you your fill of olfactory stimulants.
I will note that bird knocking awake the trunk of the tree with its beak,
and savor the look of this pine needle strewn trail ahead,
Pretending for a moment we are on some high country mountain trail.
But leave me a moment to sit on this green bench
While you enjoy the heady aroma of what's underneath,
so that I can collect a few trinkets for my own shelves
that sag heavy with the reels of image.

I do agree though, that new mown grass smells delicious.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Manna in the Morning: One Step at a Time

Manna in the Morning: One Step at a Time

One Step at a Time

Mornings. Our first step into a new world. One different than all the others lived before. Either tentative or bold, all creatures must draw a cloak of courage about them, opening a door to a new chapter however it may play out. The day shouts promises of life and love, the stars passively give way of their hold on our dreams, and we find the next turn in the road paved with new light, new vision, new hope.

This early spring has more than most delivered the fine wine of creation's bloom to my thoughts. I find myself  with eyes that want to listen more than see, and to hear through the light of life presenting itself in all it's glorious delivery. The old oak is greening now with starts of leaves in the highest reaches of its crown, the wine-red stars of buds on the Japanese Maple begin to unfurl from their cocoon, like dancers slowly unfolding their limbs to a low upwell of music, each morning more of them appear to fill the stage. The first steps of beginning anew, one step at a time.

Last evening C and I took Manna to the beach. I remember the first time not long ago, when all was new for her. A creature tasting the first food from Earth's morning table, which we sometimes take for granted. The white sand different from the black loam she was used to, the crash of waves and the unfurling skim of surf and foam running up to her and chasing her back up the sand. She, not wanting to go near this strange blue thing alive and beckoning. And yet, over the days she became one to the wet and salty rhythm. Testing it with a paw or two, tasting it, a back and forth dance of combat at first, then giving in to the luxury of its wildness.
Now, she and I find ourselves running together knee deep in a frothy dance of celebration. The water expoloding around us as we run, and I can't keep myself from laughing out loud. It all starts and finishes one step at a time.

And so this morning, after the sky knows the first watercolor brush of light, we will go outside and listen to the changing pallet of Spring, watch intently the upwelling music of life, and feel the binding  crossroads of time that link all of us, and all creation together. Striding into a new world, just one step at a time.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Manna in the Morning: ALL IN GOOD TIME

Manna in the Morning: ALL IN GOOD TIME


Tonight the clocks spring forward while we sleep. A savings of time they say. Since there are no more lines to add or take away in a circle, it's just turning the circle a bit, our point in time unadjusted. Six when it used to be five. Just the lighting has changed. If Manna's internal clock stays the same, we may wake tomorrow at six instead of five. I can be hopeful anyway.

As we balance on this ball of earth, we all experience our lives in time so differently, depending on our position on it. As the bread is browning in the toaster in this kitchen at 5:50 AM, our daughters in New York and Washington DC are already well into their morning. Possibly a late breakfast with friends at a corner cafe is in the works, or maybe heading down an avenue still lined with the snow that fell yesterday, to a bookstore or the grocery. Friends in St. Louis left an hour ago to take their daughter to  an early Saturday morning volleyball practice. They now sit on the cold wood of the gym bleachers sipping coffee from a yellow paper cup, talking with another parent or two as the squeak of a dozen pairs of busy shoes on the hardwood echos around the walls. My Brother in Santa Fe is already at his University office high on that hill, looking out the window that overlooks a tall skyed New Mexico landscape of long morning winter shadows that wake the sleepy adobe eyes of the town, and sweep all the way to the smoke blue hills beyond.

So, let the sun come in its own time. It will eventually drop by, no matter what the round clock on the wall indicates. Let's pour the coffee and butter the toast as Manna sits at the back door, watching through the fogged glass for that first hint of light. And when it comes, I'll stand here in my robe and socks and be glad I'm not one of those poor devils in Virginia who already have to be well into their work day. It's damn good to live somewhere where there is so much extra time.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Manna in the Morning: TURNING WEST

Manna in the Morning: TURNING WEST


I was hesitant on opening the door to morning. Knocking ever so quietly I almost hadn't heard it through the fogged pane of my awakening. I first took a finger and moved it across the glass to clear a spot for looking out. Not finding anything in the darkness beyond of more interest than the warm curl of the bedcover and the dent in my pillow, I tried to ignore it, but like a determined salesman it kept up it's rattle. So, giving in, I put on my bathrobe, heading to the kitchen where Manna waited impatiently to start her day, the warm curl of her kennel long minutes ago losing all it's flavor for a pre sunrise romp in the yard.

Had I known the script the sun was beginning to write while still hiding behind that eastern curtain of dark, I maybe wouldn't have been such a reluctant breakfast guest. While watching the high half moon running with the scattered clouds, and listening as the mockingbirds discuss there promises in different languages, I noticed just the slightest tint of red on the underbelly of the clouds to the west. It wasn't long before the flower bloomed in a spectacular fashion; a pallet lit with crimson  and purple against a pearl blue sky. I envied some friends who live high on a hill to the east who's windows must be filled with a spectacular panorama of light, our front porch being the best place I can catch the show. Holding onto the porch column with one hand and leaning out affords the best alternative for viewing. But, It was beautiful anyway. Manna was happy just to sit in the doorway, more than ready for me to come back in to tend to important her breakfast.

What was interesting is, as I was in Zen mode absorbed in the increasing change of the spectacular to the east, I turned for a moment to the west. There, waiting like the patient eyes of a dog ready to play, was a more subtle, but beautifully arranged fusion of sky, clouds and reflected red sunlight. A wet juicy watercolor running down the paper of heaven. It lasted just for a few moments, then faded as the eastern sky became more intense. I was glad to have noticed such an unintended surprise.

I do tend sometimes, to only see what's played out before me, without making the effort to turn around to see another view, missing possibilities of new horizons. It's easy to to do, to be absorbed in the present picture of things, whether the picture comes from an external or internal source, it's essence being positive or negative. I will try to turn around more often, whether it's to the waking knock and ever changing surprises of Nature,  the open door of a loving family, or the outreached hands of a friend. I will need to be reminded of this from time to time I'm sure.

I think Manna is reminding me now that it's time go out and throw the ball.
Sounds good to me.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Manna in the Morning: A SIDEWALK STIRRING

Manna in the Morning: A SIDEWALK STIRRING


Deep as I can go this morning is about half way into a white chocolate mocha sitting before me on a little iron table outside "Capt'n Kirk's" coffee kiosk. The logo for Capt'n Kirk's is a multi hued Amazonian parrot. I assume the owner named his coffee business after his bird, as I don't remember the Captain of the Enterprise sitting on the bridge of his space ship barking out orders with a parrot on his shoulder, though in thinking about it, it might have been a good addition. " SCOTTY, WE'VE GOT TWO KLINGON SHIPS ON OUR TAIL..I NEED MORE POWER!"  "I CAN'T DOOO IT CAPTAIN! SOMETHUN'S BI'N DEPLEEETING THA DELITHIUM CRYSTALS, IF AYE POOSH IT ENY HARDER SHE'S GOIN' TA BLOW!" Then the bird on Jim's shoulder..."WAAAAK...DELITHIUM CRYSTALS..DELITHEIUM CRYSTALS..WAAAAKKK..DELICOUSE..WAAAKK!"

Manna and I wait a while more to see if the Captain shows up, thinking maybe he will stop by to drop off some beans for later grinding, or water the plants out front. I could maybe drop a question to him on what's up with the bird. He doesn't. Disappointed, I grab what's left of my coffee and we wander down the street.
 Fern Street in South Park at 7:00 in the morning is not exactly a hub of bustling morning activity. I'm not seeing any delivery trucks double parked throwing stuff out the back to waiting customers while taxi's lean on their horns. The sidewalks are not rattled with the countless footfalls of busy folks madly rushing to their work. No construction workers, window washers, street sweepers or shopkeepers setting up wares on the least not this early.  I do see the man who manages the grocery store standing outside wearing a blue hawaiian shirt having a smoke. The little french cafe on the corner has a customer sitting under a red patio umbrella. I'm sure they are preparing his crepe right now on a black griddle shiny with butter, as I am tempted by the aroma as we walk by. I say a brief hello to the pizza guy, who is carrying a box into the side door of the restaurant. Manna pulls on the leash wanting to give him a hearty greeting, one that would most likely involve a box of expensive wines crashing to the sidewalk. I hold her back. The local exercise gym that took over the old fire station has a few intrepid souls inside. I did that for a while last year, and I will do so again. At least I keep thinking that, but first, I'm going to go check out those crepes.

A quiet morning in South Park. Everyone is moving at their own pace, heading in their own direction, following their own compass...just like you.