Above and Beyond

digital illustrationSky Candy

Stars, sun, comets, moon and planets; rain and lightning, clouds and mist;

Birds and butterflies and rainbows; dragonflies by morning kissed:

What a sparkling declaration of the minutes passing by,

What a joy, this constellation of sweet treasures in the sky!

Though I hunger in the silence of shut-in days, sleeping, blind,

I keep constantly the radiance of these jewels in my mind,

Hoping, dreaming, moving, soaring–real, or the internal, eye

Loves the beauties so alluring of sweet treasures in the sky!

I Fall for It Every Time

Autumn, that is. I’m kind of a sucker for all seasonal changes, but there’s something a little romantic in the sweet melancholy of seasonal natural decay and the nostalgia brought on by the beginning of each school year and cultural season that catches at my heart every year anew. Even here in the Texan climate, where autumn is likely, as this year, to arrive no sooner than winter is appearing farther north, once the Fall comes it’s a welcome joy.photo

I love the bold colors of the wild grasses and the few leaves that turn to flame before falling off the branches, and the flocking birds pausing to fill a whole grove of trees with raucous whistles and laughing chatter on their way south. I adore the loamy scent of the finally cold air tinged with wood smoke from nearby chimneys, and the perfumed indoors redolent of clove and cinnamon. I am enamored of the grey spray that airbrushes the sky on a frosty morning and the crunch of dry stems and seeds underfoot during an afternoon’s ramble. And I feel the sting of pure joy in me whenever I look up at the blazing blue of the bright autumnal sky stretching brilliantly in the spaces between the craggy oak and the spiny acacia and the hedge-apple festooned bois d’arc branches as they reach up to draw back those cerulean velvet curtains and reveal that winter’s just ahead.photo

Call me sentimental, but maybe it’s precisely this sense of brevity that makes the autumn seem so desirably rare and refined to me. Carpe diem, I think, for only in the very moment can I hope to revel in such ephemerally earthy happiness. Still, while the moment may be infinitesimal, the falling for Fall appears to be endless, and repeatable, for as long as I live.

White Velvet and 24 Karat Gold

Morning doesn’t always bring peace. Sorrow may linger, grief that is not wiped away by night or sleep or even tears.digitally doctored photo

Beauty, though, can help approximate the sense of peace, help me to recollect a meditative, even if it’s melancholy, calm. This, too, brings some small measure of what I remember as true peace, and lets me know that the capacity remains. In possibility is hope. In hope is rest. In rest, I can let go, if just for now, the troubles of the hour.

A cloudless dawn has its own quiet way of pouring out benevolence that, if not cure, brings respite of a kind and momentarily distracts the heart from its dull void. At the morning’s break, low-lying mist pools, thick and velvety, swirling so slowly in its densely silver gleam, it seems to be a lake–indeed, a mystic lake where it would be no great surprise to see that shimmering arm emerge that bears Excalibur.

Along the horizon creeps that cottony blue, transforming first to palest violet, then rose, then saturated orange, and finally, shooting sun-flares so bright and dazzling they blind when they reflect from glass sky scraper walls, pillars of wholly molten gold blazing beacon-sharp against the now bright-cobalt sky. Silhouetted there, a hawk perches on its lamppost throne, surveying all as if to say, I’m looking out for you. Let go of worry; I will see that all’s as it should be. And with a sweep of his unfolded wings, plunges off the lamp into the broader light of day.digitally doctored photo