A Dawn Dilemma from A to Z

dawn, New EnglandA few minutes after dawn, I notice some movement outside my window.

Because it’s summer, with flowers blooming wildly and birds singing as if there’s no tomorrow, I assume some kind of wildlife has entered my yard.

Cracking open the back door, I peek out. Despite my admiration for foxes and wild turkeys, I don’t necessary want to tiptoe out into the yard and run into any family squabbles. Continue reading

Come Come My Dears

curtains, spring breezeFrom my window I observe the woman watching the birdfeeder, and I wonder if she is as strange as she seems.

Come come, my dears, come come,” she croons, like a female Frank Sinatra. The birdfeeder is less than half-full or more than half empty, depending on your perspective, and has been for a week now, much to my dismay.

Oreo, the next-door neighbors’ black and white cat, caught one of the lustrous red cardinals in her mouth, mid-air, a week ago Monday, and the feeder has not been visited since. Continue reading

The Answers Appear All Around

Christmas, poem, town, Tiburon, worshipping, spirits

Photo by Eddie Frank, Gas Lamp Productions

In my little town,  the lights sparkle

Like diamond dust thrown in the wind

Lifted by souls of the living

Who search for the gift of pure joy.


Like diamond dust thrown in the wind

Questions fly to neighbors near and far

Who search for the gift of pure joy

While admiring the view of the world.


Questions fly to neighbors near and far

Are you happy, or sad, or just neutral?

While admiring the view of the world

Where the cardinal and pelican play.

 pelican, San Francisco Bay, Belvedere

Are you happy or sad, or just neutral

Living in towns, cities and farms

Where the cardinal and pelican play

With wings full of wisdom and grace.

red cardinal, snow

Photo by Carla Bradley Evans

 Living in towns, cities, and farms

Worshipping spirits and stars from above

With wings full of wisdom and grace

The answers appear all around.


snow falling, winter, New England

Photo by Susan Licht

Worshipping spirits and stars from above

While snow dances or sun sets with a splash

The answers appear all around

If we listen to trumpeting truths.

 sunset, splash

While snow dances or sun sets with a splash

From sea to shining sea

If we listen to trumpeting truths

The message can give us all peace.


From sea to shining sea

We embrace the spirits who soar

The message can give us all peace

Love and joy are in each part of us.

holiday spirit, love

Happy Holidays to you, and may peace and joy abound in your life.


Are YOU Successful?

successFunny, how conflicted a person can feel about success.

And there’s the rub. What IS success, and what is not?

That is what I’m thinking at 5 a.m. as I take in a deep breath, smell the essence of my tropical green tea, look outside my window and glory in the darkness, the blinking lights of the town and the city beyond the bay.

success, morning moon, moon, dawn

This, this is my success.

Waking up at 5.

yoga, stretch, morningStretching and pulling and moving my muscles, yoga style, in bed before encouraging the whole lot of them – the cold feet, the sleepy leg muscles, the torso, the heavy head, to rise up from bed and start a new day.

This is success, starting a new day, every day, with freshness and vigor.

But sometimes I, and a lot of us (let’s be frank, it’s human nature to lie in bed in the middle of the night and …) ask the age-old question —  “why?”.

Why strain and strive for another day, for another “success,” whether it be writing or banking, running a business or running a marathon, selling sailboats or collecting stamps, lawyering or antiquing (and I’m just listing a few of the passions I know of friends and family).

Don’t we all stop once in a while and ask, “what the hell does it matter?”

That’s when we should stop and, well, just STOP, and ask ourselves, “what does matter?”

early morning, shadows and light

I sip my tea and watch the harsh blackness of the night begin to slowly, slowly become a softer dark, a black that silhouettes the hills, the dark floating islands, the deep mystery of the bay in front of me. A black that mystifies and entices. These dark shadows soon will be illuminated by the sun’s rays. Objects that are dark now, will soon glow pink and peach and glory in the day.

dawn, chapel, Old St. Hilary's, morning

Like me.

That’s what matters. I just want to glory in each day, stretch my body and my mind to wakefulness of the light, and the dark. Wakefulness of the laughter that surrounds me, and the sadness. Wakefulness to the aroma of steaming tea, and the soft strain of the classical music in my background.

morning, light, blue

Rosy dawn turns to a blue morning.

That’s what makes my day. I throw out the fear and insecurity of being a “success,” since it means nothing.

Instead, I promise to just stay in the moment, and ignore the rest.

success, morning, rainbow


Here’s to your success!

A Solitary Surprise

Ah, to be able to get away by myself and go for a long solitary walk while my houseful of guests chatter and demand my attention in their sweet, non-demanding ways.

“Have to take the dog for a walk!” I shout out. Leash in hand, dog giving me a wonderful excuse, I nearly leap off the front stoop and race toward the wooded path just a few yards away. The leaves are beginning to turn, so I’m surrounded by mostly green hues tinged with yellows, a sudden brilliant red, an aggressive spray of orange. My spirits lift, and I think alone at last, glory be.

But at the next step, I hear a tingling sound, like chimes, and as I follow the path, crunchy with fallen yellow birch leaves, the chiming becomes louder, more insistent.

Darn. My goal is to get away from civilization. What’s this? The dog’s ears perk up excitedly, and he drags me forward, even though I’d rather find another path.

Suddenly, we walk into a clearing where a small thatched-roof cottage sits unperturbed and peaceful. A curl of smoke rises from the chimney, and a glorious symphonic sound wafts from the open door. I step away, not wanting to disturb the occupant, but the dog races toward the door so excitedly that the leash pulls away from my hand.  He has crashed the party, so to speak.

His tail disappears from the front entryway into the cottage. Mortified, I step up closer, my nose twitching at the delightful smell of freshly baked butterscotch muffins. My favorite! How strange. I raise my hand to knock on the open door, but a voice, strong yet husky and strangely familiar, shouts out, “Come in, Pam. Come in.”

Prickles of surprise course up my spine into my scalp. I hear nothing from the dog. My stomach gurgles in hope, and my foot moves forward, despite my reservations.

I enter a room so cozy and soothing I want to sink into the nearest chair and stay forever. The space is filled with a few comfortable high-pillowed chairs and a loveseat covered in blue-flowered upholstery. The wood floor is covered with a soft blue chenille area rug.  Red pillows and soft cashmere throws add a colorful accent to the inviting room, infused with light from three, large-paned windows.

A figure stands in the far doorway that leads to the kitchen. I can’t identify her at first, she is bathed in afternoon light from the stained glass window that graces the top of the front door. But she moves slightly, and I gasp.

“Amazing, isn’t it?” she says lightly.

I stare at the image of myself, standing as still as a statue while I regain my bearings. She is tall, 5 feet 7, with wavy blonde hair dotted with graying streaks. Her gray green eyes are strong and direct, her full mouth pressed upward in a gentle smile.

It can’t be.

She is exactly what I look like. She moves her head back and forth, as if to discourage me from trying to understand this phenomenon, and then she points toward one of the chairs.

“Have a seat. Let me tell you a story about life, and how little we know of what and who we really are.”

I bolt out of that door faster than a rabbit released from a trap. Even while running, I ask myself, what am I so afraid of? Learning the truth? Or discovering that life has many divergent truths?

Either way, I’m a coward.

Ten minutes later, exhausted and out of breath, I stop. What have I done? I turn around, looking for the dog. He hasn’t followed me. He’s back there, at the cottage. I retrace my steps quickly, heart beating faster than I’ve ever allowed it to. My head spins with a thousand thoughts but only one question. Why did I run?

When I reach the spot, it is only a clearing with some low-hanging underbrush. No cottage. No smells of warm butterscotch muffins. No woman, and no dog.

I have lost my chance at discovery.

“Urf!” My dog is back, leashless, but smiling widely.

I agree with him. We have many solitary walks ahead of us, searching for that path to the answers.