Friday, May 23, 2014

Fifth Summer In Eugene

About a woman I know who probably has the purest heart in the world...

Fifth Summer in Eugene

Jesus runs the car wash
Buddha juggles fire
Dad's in Wyoming
Loving me

Boy stands me up and I wanna cry
Child makes pancakes and I smile through tears
Ride on home on a tangerine bike
In a flowy skirt by the river

Armchair on the roof
Tribe is hugging me
Beers on the patio
In the shade with kind old man

Jesus is a bouncer
Buddha hits on me
Grass smells like sleep
In the fading summer sun, I am twelve

On Your Left

This morning on the river path, the cottonwood blossoms are making a summer snowstorm.  They ride the breeze down from the heights of the trees, cross the path in front of me, and mostly fall in the river.  There's cloud cover today and the air is just cool enough to make it comfortable walking.  Bikes spin by on my left, punctuated by calls of "on your left," cheerfully given as the rider passes by.

Every time I go for a walk, the magic happens; the cares that sit on my mind fade to the background, and the experience of walking takes over.  The scenery floats by at just the right pace to be enjoyed.  Cares fade, and joy deepens.

Soon I am past the river path and into the city streets, and the scenery is less natural.  Still, the rythm of walking is with me.  I am in the city, but as a pedestrian, I'm connected to the people around me. Smiles and hellos are common; I collect them, to be savored later, as my day goes by, each connection with another person precious, no matter how casual.

At the office, I greet my team and work begins.  But the day has a certain luster because it began with a walk on the river path.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Connection Magic

Last night at the pub I sat alone, drinking a beer and reflecting on the day.  And then, there was a woman, about my age.  I was looking up, so I saw she was looking for a seat, and I asked her to sit down.  When we started talking, she was a little teary.  She talked about her recent move from California, how she was staying with her daughter, and trying to figure out what to do next.

I know the feeling.  She said she was having a "weepy day" riding around on her bike, feeling lonesome and maybe a little afraid.  And we connected there, in the place where humans say "see, this is my pain.  What is yours?"

Then she said she wanted to do some work, giving care to people.  And I told her that part of my job was hiring care givers.  Her face lit up, and her whole body relaxed.  And we connected in another human space; the expansive and welcoming space that opens up when we know, once again, that we belong here.

Today she came into the office and filled out an application.

Monday, May 12, 2014

River Walk

Monday, May 12, 2014

Today is positively summery here in Eugene, Oregon.  My walk to work this morning takes me down the river path, and it is its old self now; a long, winding tunnel of green, composed of tall swaying cottonwood trees.  The canopy is far overhead, a hundred feet or more.  Tiny cotton balls drift through the air in front of me, on currents of warm lazy air.  And the river rushes over rapids only a few yards to my left.

Later in the summer, the river will run lower, creating quiet pools to swim in.  But for now, it still has its full winter size and it sill strains against the banks that contain it.  It is blue and green, reflecting the colors above it.  From where I stand, I can see it winding up stream a mile or so.  Rapids create wave crests, white and sparkling, and the Osprey are fishing in the clear morning air.

Next, I am in the office, greeting co-workers and sitting down to my desk.  But the river and the bright, reflected sunlight are still in my head and heart.