Monday’s Meander: More Peaceable Estate Amble (Pt. 2)

I about skipped posting again today, then considered more colorful, unique places we have been. Still, it seemed reasonable to continue with last week’s meander. It was a satisfying outing despite variable light and chilliness. And the funeral is over for our granddaughter. Marc and I go forward a bit more each day, with the telltale heaviness of sorrow. We hiked-at a snail’s pace-over the week-end, visited at a coffee shop outside with family, played with twin toddler granddaughters at a river park. There are yet blessings noted in the midst of the wrenching away of Krystal from our family. (I suspect she’d demand no more drama or long interruptions; she was tough, frank–and vivacious, bright and adventurous. She would move on, too–and it seems as if she has. I no longer feel her slipping about at odd hours, in various places. I hope that doesn’t unnerve too much–it is a familiar experience for me when people pass on.)

But: our walks… They go a long way toward making life more orderly, inspiring, instructive and sweet. And keep the blood flowing. And keep body, mind and spirit in much better balance.

Though the Jenkins Estate buildings were closed due to the pandemic, it was pleasing to explore what we could. The main house architecture seems quintessential Pacific Northwestern, unassuming with simple lines, sturdy and well designed, a lodge-like feel to it–and blends with nature’s palette. My kind of style. It certainly would have been an impressive home and acreage in 1912. Several outbuildings were homey and well built. It is a loss that so many Dutch elms have gone, as noted below, but there are plenty of other NW trees.

We wound out way around the immediate landscapes, enjoyed rhododendrons, azaleas, and other assorted flowers here and there. There were not as many blooms as expected but spring has been fitful, and not enough rain for April/May yet–a surprise in Oregon.

From here, we mosied over to the Gate House of the estate, a lovely place. Please click to view the slideshow.

Though grief stills everything inside and out, it also leaves room for beauty that remains of our earth– and of those we have loved and lost to a far greater mystery than we comprehend.

Blessings on you all.

Friday’s Poem: Bring Out the Light

Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

It may be that you have all a man could want

but now the day is closing doors

as you stand on its long blurred edge,

time careening on without permission

in how or where it leads you. To loneliness.

You have always sought the jewel inside stone,

flowers under frail leaves, peace hidden in the fray

and yet there seems a dearth of light as

life balances on a tremulous hope, and slips.

You could be told otherwise.

That there will be more abundance,

that arms will entwine with yours and joy will gather

and spill like bright water from the well of night.

But this evening as dusk skims the waves

and your thoughts are a web of longing

you remember how she turned a last time,

your name an incantation on her tongue-

as if meant to root itself within the cosmos,

glowing syllables like song as her breath

brought it to a meaning not known before.

But even affections of such import can pass,

evanescent as the misty veil of sea.

So wait now. Rest your heart, empty thoughts.

Bring forward your vestigial light to sunset

as it prepares for twilight blessing.

Let it make a home there and

in your dreaming, and your blood and sinew.

She did not have to search and find it for you.

It was already there, if forgotten, but you

can stand within its prescient power-

you are made for this time, this life and more, much more.

Friday/Saturday’s Poem: Then God Arrives as a Friend

I dreamed a sort of dream of this.

You were standing in the shadow of a tree,

which was much closer to me as I

lingered between earth, water and sky.

That is, between this life and the entirety of it;

this beauty and another that cannot

be enough explored…territories lesser known.

A puzzle, to live in this time and to seek

beyond its borders where nothing can be

mistaken, ruined, lost, made too small.

But then your shadow, an eyelash slip through time,

opened up my mind as tremors of winter’s

coldness taunted me and left.

Darkness creased that greenness and my face

and between those, reflections of light.

I hummed of autumn as winter was tasted

on my tongue, then you were there,

then not, an early snow melting

before it found the place I stood alone.

But I recalled this body and good spirit

and deepening echoes of beyond.

No sadness for leaves laying rust and gold

upon my shoulders, no fear of fickle skies.

Beauty cannot cease when it is never done.

Shadows will not fail in visitation–

the fleeting twins of design I half may see.

They hint of more to be revealed and

it is not one thing or another I will greet

but a motley gathering of known/unknown–

truths patched together, words offered or not,

brush of fingers on bark or softer skin,

a dance given under thirty-one stars.

Yes, I dreamed a sort of dream of this.

You were standing in shadows of trees,

closer to me than silk of breath,

your form near, then receding

as I reached midway between your self and mine.


Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: For Those Who Think They are Lost but are Only Weary

Perhaps to rediscover the bedrock

of all happiness, she crouches

in the creek’s whispering path

where rocks are made of death and life,

and water becomes liquid light.

Above, forest canopy and fleet things hover

as if to pluck out, lift this small woman,

her blood laden with cellular grief,

mind a circumnavigation of hope,

bones compacted with weariness.

Late day gold floats, settles on her skin,

explodes in the air and inside her eyes,

flings her far beyond herself,

startles tears caught in her throat that

sound like the cry of an angel or animal,

that singular voice of life as it emerges

from darker places that would steal us all

if we relented, forgetting the majesty

of it, the Love that calls and recreates us

but we do not forget, we cannot forget,

immortal and mortal, each tethered

to one and another here and there.

And the woman finds power, stands, steps away.

Friday’s Quick Pick: Escape Art

The gauze casts itself over rooftops,

breathes across ridge and foothills

like the breath of Odysseus.

It is pulled into my lungs,

subdues the gong that strikes my heart,

an intake of coolness and love, power

that obscures, protects, reveals, shelters,

secrets away what matters most.

I close eyes once to the bleeding world

and then a whisper vanishes in twilight,

the breath let go, soul aloft,

heart swollen and emptied

as tomorrow awaits more remnants of

Light to hunt and scavenge

for whatever is yet to be escaped

for wherever I must go, shall go