Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Taking a sabbatical

I am taking a blog sabbatical for a time while I pay attention to other things in other ways.   Abundant blessings to all of you.  I shall return.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Glass bell

Sun and cold and snow this morning.  A powerful combination.  My brain dawned clear.  I think through things in the warm house.  I listen to the possibility of music.

The clear glass bell
Within a bell
Within yet another bell
On the Epiphany tree
Sparkles in the sun.
The nest of bells
Hangs silent
With potential;
A certain musical
Within a note
Within yet one more
Musical note.
The daffodils blare silent
With possibility
From the table.
It is oh so cold outdoors.
I organize my life
I listen to potential

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pretty good flosser

Home again with clean teeth.  As I sat in the chair, closed eyes, mouth open, I considered what possibilities the day contained.  I found out that I am a pretty good flosser, which, in the land of my birth, Minnesota, is as good as it gets.

In the dentist’s chair
All I have to do is
Close my eyes,
Open my mouth,
Hear how my flossing
Pretty good
Over the last six months.
I consider
The world of teeth
For a brief time,
Return home with teeth
My tongue now finds
I return home
With the words
That I
Am a pretty good flosser.
Really I know
The tooth cleaner
Says that
To most everyone.

Cold coffee

 Haiku day again.  Thought I could drink yesterday's coffee to start the day.  Clearly the answer is No.

Cold cup of coffee
From yesterday’s pot simply
Doesn’t cut it.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Advent is over

We found our first daffodils at Trader Joe*s this afternoon.  Actually, my beloved found them, and pointed them out to me.  It is good to have a daffodil partner when one is in a low place and not seeing things very clearly.  I am grateful for my beloved who knows the importance of daffodils.

This afternoon I added daffodils
Next to the Nativity,
A reminder of spring
In the midst of snow.
The Christmas tree still has yet
To come down.
This morning*s church bulletin
Offered announcements
For the future
And one announcement declaring
Advent is over,
A way of asking folk
To return their Advent rings
For next year.
Advent is over.
Daffodils grace the area
Next to the Nativity.
When the flowers come full bloom
It will be time
To take down
The Christmas tree,
Store away the ornaments,
Carefully pack up the stone Nativity
Until next year.
Advent is over.
Christmas is over.
Epiphany is underway.
I wait for the light
To come.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Everything is done, one step at a time.  The anteater and me... we are ready to go home.

I complete the next stage
Of leaving:
Pack my suitcase,
Dirty clothes in half,
A range of things
In the other half
Including the anteater.
He often goes with me
On trips.
I almost brought him
To Iona last year.
Anteater packed,
The computer will be the last thing,
Once this is finished.
Now I sit in the hotel room
The next stage before I leave.
The suitcase waits
At the door,
The anteater safely inside.
We are ready
To go home.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sunny and cold in Florida

One more day, then it's back to Illinois.  I figure they*re lowering the temperature in Florida so it won*t be too much of a shock when we return.

I sampled the day.
It is sunny and cold.
Coffee and an orange,
Breakfast in the room
This morning.
I pretend the sun signals warmth.
I know different.
I sampled the day.
This is Florida.
This is also January.
I also know
It is still colder in Illinois.
Sunny and cold
For Florida.
The Florida folk bundle up in hats and gloves.
We practice picking them out
From their abundance
Of warm gear.
The rest of us pretend
We don*t need hats and gloves
At all.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Off kilter

I have learned some things this week I was beginning to suspect.  Somehow the learning makes it possible to consider solutions, including taking this something for a walk.  It is promised cold today... for Florida.  I figure it is getting me ready to return to Illinois on Saturday.

I suspected
There was something off kilter.
Now that I know what it is
Or at least
Part of what it is,
I can:
Fight it
Resolve it
Or perhaps
Share a cup of coffee
With it;
Take a walk
With it,
Even in the Florida cold
And rain.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Even in the rain

Haiku time again.  And once again the commentary is longer than the haiku.  We are almost halfway through the Stephen Ministry Leader training, and I am once more in that odd position of being neither fish nor fowl, not fitting in the right categories.  Am I a priest or a mental health provider?  And what exactly is my role in this particular enterprise?  I've heard these questions before.  I live these questions. I came with one understanding.  Now I must catch the glimmers that are mine, even on a rainy day in Florida, trusting it is indeed a new day.  Even in the rain.

Even in the rain
Day fully dawns even when
I cannot see it

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Looking for God in the cracks

Some days I gotta make my plan small.

Last night I slept
More than an hour
At a time.
Today the plan
Is to hold it together
Until bedtime.
I know:
Such a limited goal.
But still
At 7 AM
It seems a good beginning.
I augment my shirt
With a colorful scarf.
I have packed
For the day.
Soon I will eat oatmeal.
Though rain is predicted
I still hope for sun
During some of the breaks.
Such hopes
Such plans
I determine to look for God
In the cracks.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Eight floors up

Orlando is not Cambridge.  Eight floors up here with a view of another hotel is not like thirteen flights with an immediate elevator and a view of the Charles mid-morning.  Still... some say exercise can be a good thing. Some say.

Eight floors up
We thought to get a view
Not like Cambridge at all
No Charles River with rowers
The sun already half-skied
Eight floors up
We thought:
A view
We are directly across from a hotel
Just like ours
Eight floors up.
I met the cement stairwell
Last night
Eight flights of it
The lines to the elevator
So long
I climbed instead
Exercise is sometimes good.
Eight flights up.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


The day began a half hour later than I planned.  When we got on the airplane to Orlando, the first person we saw was a beautiful woman in First Class clipping coupons.  Really?  Somehow it was a sign.  It remains to be seen what it means.  Stay tuned.

Somehow auspicious
The woman in the first row
Of First Class seats,
Somehow auspicious,
The woman clipping coupons
From the Sunday paper
The First Class woman
The first thing we see
On entering the plane
Somehow auspicious.
I know it is a sign
Of something.
An auspicious sign
Of something.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I woke this morning

Today is laundry and preparation to leave tomorrow.  The tree was slated to come down today.  Most likely it will wait until next week or the week after.  Today is sufficient for today.  Today I sit and enjoy the squirrels and tree, remember there are others who leave the tree up all of the Epiphany season.  Arise, Shine, the Light has come.  Remember.  See the star on top of the tree? The one your son made in nursery school?  See the star?  The star is still there.

I woke this morning
Better able to see
The squirrels at work
In the melting snow,
The Christmas tree.
It may not come down
Until next weekend.
The house will not suffer
For it.
The cat will still ring the bells,
Hung on the bottom branches,
In his winter
Cat fits.
I will be able to return
To a house still celebrating
Our Savior’s birth
No matter that Epiphany
Will be well
The woman who cleans the house
The day after we have cleaned
For her arrival,
She said yesterday
Sometimes she doesn’t dismantle
Her tree
Until February.
We are in good clean company.
The cat will have his bells.
I will remember Christmas again
When I return home.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Snow cling

Will it be warm enough, for long enough, to melt the snow and ice? Perhaps.

We are in the in-between
The snow still clings
To the burning bush.
It has not decided
To let go

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Snow says

I sit and contemplate the burning bush through the front window.  It is positioned between the Christmas tree, slated to be re-boxed on Saturday, and the nativity scene which will also be stored away.  But now... it's almost as if I had planned the way the snow is suspended on the burning bush.

The snow stays suspended
Between the branches
Of the burning bush.
It is warmer today.
Slightly warmer.
The snow has parked itself
On the lowest branches
Because I can
Snow says
My turn
Snow says
To inhabit the bush.
Something has to keep it warm
Snow says
Warmth is found
In many forms.
With enough imagination
Sometimes even
In me.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ours is a lit world

Warmer today, 4F.  It may rise to 12F.  The children are back in school.  My daughter's friend is still stuck in Aruba.  I fly out to a conference in Orlando on Sunday.  The sun is still a pale winter sun.  I give thanks for light... even pale winter light.  Sometimes, like today, I feel like I am writing a lived, daily, Farmer's Almanac.

The pale sun returns. 
Of course it remains
Winter sun,
Not good for sunning,
But perhaps good
For remembering ours
Is a lit world
Even in winter.
The ducks across the way
Eat their corn
With abandon.
This is what they do
To honor the lady
Still dressed
In red,
Now sometimes blue
As well.
This is what they do to live
In pale winter light
And snow,
Because ours
Is a lit world
Even in winter
Even  in cold.
Today I am grateful
For even
Pale sun.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The cat considers

Today is not as cold as predicted.  The temperature is only -5 F.  Positively balmy.  Still, the sun carries no heat for the cat.  He is still trying every possible heat vent, each of which is next to a window.  I also remember it is time for the windows to be replaced come spring.

The cat considers
The pale patch of sun
Lined across
The living room floor.
The beam
Is weak.
The snow and cold
Muffle any heat
The sun might carry.
The cat
Remembers sun
The way it should be.
He considers different heat vents
On the floor.
I sit in the sun
Pale and weak
Though it is.
I, too, remember sun
The way it used to be.
I, too, remember sun
The way it might be

Monday, January 6, 2014


The phone call came in the middle of this poem.  School will be closed tomorrow as well.  Momentary will be a moment longer.  

They predict
These are momentary,
These below zero days.
The thought a child
Might freeze to death
On a bus stop,
Even bundled
Like the Pillsbury dough boy.
Stay in
Stay in
For God’s sake
Stay in
The sun and blue and ice
Are pretty enough
No need to venture
There is plenty to eat
At home.
Stay in
Watch the way the bushes
Hold snow.
Now the phone call
Momentary will extend
To tomorrow.
I will go out
Illinois momentary
Does not count
For a Minnesota girl
Bundled like the Pillsbury dough boy
The way we always were.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

One by one

We decided to stay home for the 12th day of Christmas... because we could.  There is something wondrous about staying home in the cold and the snow.  Especially now that I have no parish responsibilities, particularly responsibilities to make sure the church lot remains plowed.  I do not miss that one At All.  I do not know whether I will venture out tomorrow.  That remains to be seen.

One by one
We decided not
To go to church
Even though the temperatures
Were not quite as cold
As predicted.
One by one
Each of us is home.
We watch the temperatures drop
From inside.
I consider making soup
Perhaps Indian food
From a microwavable package.
I consider
Reading all the books
I have in the stack
Next to my chair.
But first I watch
The temperatures drop,
The still-decorated tree,
The full Nativity with the kings
Already in place.
I remember the hymns
I heard from my office
Last week,
Hymns rehearsed on the organ
For today.
I hum them to myself
As my beloved
Blows snow
My daughter has retreated
to her hidey hole
One by one we chose
To stay home.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


I set up the whole Nativity scene in late Advent this year, including Baby Jesus and the wise men.  My daughter hid Jesus.  We only found him five days after Christmas Day, in the table drawer, where he has always been hidden.  The wise men (numbered four) in our nativity, didn't walk at all this year.  They stood in attendance, waiting for the birth.  They will leave, suddenly, on Tuesday,with the rest of the creche.  Everyone will return to their places.  Even us.

Day eleven
The four wise folk
Wait in bunched attendance
On one side
Of the Nativity scene.
I know.
They traditionally don’t arrive
Until Monday.
We used to have them
Walk across the living room
Until January 6
That day we put everyone away
In a special box
Until next year.
The wise folk
Got a raw deal:
Dropped to their knees,
Handed over the gifts,
Rapidly left
By another way.
They walked
All the way

Friday, January 3, 2014

More tracks

The snow beckons outside.  Paths have been shoveled, roads have been plowed.  There are still vast backyard stretches, even fields, which call for snow angels.

I remember years ago
Fresh fallen snow
In the moonlight
A smudge of tracks
Tiny paw prints,
Thin line connector,
One mouse
Braved the journey.
In the sun
In places no mouse
Even squirrel
Has dared to run,
Vast blank fields
Of snow
Call like Circe
For snow angels.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Snow #108

All snow is, of course, not alike.  This is snow hitherto unknown.  I name it 108... just because.  I am at work figuring my 11:15 client will not show.  Somehow what matters is that I am here, in my office, prepared for normal things, even if normal things do not come to pass.  I forgot my 2013 calendar at home, though my January 2014 schedule is in it.  I have my 2014 calendar in hand.  It is filled with blank pages, white as driven snow, though I do not know exactly what driven snow looks like.  Perhaps it is snow #109.

Everyone agrees
This is not
Heart attack snow,
But fluff and drift
Almost soap flake snow.
Snow numbered
Of the 107 kinds of snow.
It was never recorded
This snow deserves its own
Particular name.
The sun showed briefly
Through the clouds
At North Avenue
And Glen Ellyn Road.
Snow 108 drifted across
The pale disk
Named itself
Completely new.
Still it falls.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Number change

Grateful for a new day, a new week, a new month, a new year.  Sitting here in the warm watching it snow.

Today marks the new year
Even as every day begins
A new year,
Except this time
The number changes.
The world is covered
In snow.
It hangs heavy
On the trees.
Barely risen
To greet
This new world,
Sit warm inside
Watch the numbers