Reflections of Change

Autumn has been kind and gentle to us here in Tucson this season. The nights have not dropped below 38 degrees, the days remain between the ’60s to mid-’70s. Evenings quiet with a slight chill to invite a log lite in the fireplace. During the day, I slide open a door and window to allow the warmth of fall to slip into the house.

As I read through others’ blog posts, and read emails from friends or family, those close to my heart or those of new acquaintance, worries wedge in of health, aging, close calls, and uncertainty. I realize at this age in my life, and looking back, my growth has been like a small tree starting its place in the soil. Each year as I have grown, I grew and gained more limbs and vibrant leaves. Each leaf represents those I have gone to school with, worked alongside in various jobs over many years, relatives I have known since birth and now long gone, introductions to strangers that became a delightful newfound friendship, children, nieces and nephews, and anyone else that drifted onto my path. These leaves became thicker and denser with time, but at a certain point in a year, a certain point in life, they drop and flutter to the ground one by one.

Last Friday Jackie speaks of relationship love, child love, animal love, and sister love; all of which are bundles of leaves clinging to a branch, giving us beauty in small doses when we look closely.

On Monday, Diana speaks of gratitude in nature. She reaches toward our natural beauty as a solid substance, knowing nature withstands what we as humans cannot at the times we are weakened by uncertainties that spring up.

I speak of today, the moments that melt into the sound from our very close friend painting my husbands’ car shop, doing repairs in the house and around, tasks that my husband cannot do right now. A friend who didn’t drive down the road or across town to our home, but drove the long distance from Missouri to assist. The motion of self-sacrifice is one of the biggest gifts to give and receive. Like part of a tree, leaves filter through the seasons, and we season with the stream of life.

Take a moment to peer closer at one of your reflections, write a gift you can give to someone, write the gifts others have given you with their time and gather the leaves that rustle with you on your path.  


This prose poem was written during the excesses of Tucson’s summer heat but the sentiment can be applied to any of God’s seasons. Today, preparing for Thanksgiving this week, I remain grateful and aware of the treasures of nature and the love of family and friends. Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and the gift of gratitude.

Unfolding from sleep I turn toward the open window.

A desert breeze puffs gentle kisses across my eyes and lips.

Sage and desert broom play luscious harmony for my nose.

With feline grace dawn arches blue-gray-pink over the mountaintop

Bringing another day.

Thank you for the new beginning.

I walk the park path in the cool dawn air.

Desert heat will rise soon.

A voyeur, I listen to the gossip of palo verde leaves

Am I the topic of their soft whispers?

The park is alive with rumors of the coming day.

Thank you for nature’s secrets.

Rabbit romps across the path,

Coyote slinks among the shadows, 

Bobcat shelters under the creosote bush,

Quails strut in formation,

Hawk soars in lazy circles seeking breakfast.

Thank you for the companions of morning

Clear skies gather hazy bits of cloud

Building monuments to the midsummer heat.

Monsoons hiss, rumble, boom, crack and clap.

Summer torrents cool, coaxing fragrance from the earth’s bounty.

A kaleidoscope of color frolics among the wrinkles of Pusch Ridge.

Thank you for the intricate interplay of nature’s ensemble.

Pay Attention

I am sitting on our deck this morning before the heat comes screaming in around noon or one o’clock. Colorado may have low humidity, but 95 and above for days makes me complain. That and sadly, the smoke drifting in from fires burning in other states to the north. However, it isn’t all bad. We face the mountains and the view shifts nearly every day. Sometimes, the sky hovering over them reflects into a soft pink or the sun behind mixes oranges with shadows interspersed in the vistas. It’s a lovely painting.

We live on a hill and just beyond us, resting below, are three goats with three kids. I delight in the way the kids just casually stand on their mothers’ backs or when they “feel their oats,” as they say, and charge across the pasture, jumping into the air, kicking their legs out. They are so filled with happiness; they make me smile every time I watch them up close with binoculars (I hope their owner doesn’t see me and think I’m a stalker!). There are also two horses—a pinto and a bay. They are in two different, fenced pastures, so they meet up several times a day, resting their heads together over the fence while swatting their tails to brush off pesky flies. It’s endearing.

 I ask myself, “Why aren’t I out on this deck more, sitting in my favorite brown wicker rocking chair each and every morning, sipping my coffee with cream and a teaspoon of sugar, watching the animals below? There’s no solid answer except that like a big boulder on the side of a mountain, I start rolling and rolling with busyness until I crash. I can’t even tell you what I am doing all those times. Possibly cleaning house, shopping, loading the dishwasher, going somewhere I consider to be an absolute, without a doubt, for sure, absolute task. The morning slips away faster than my dog Rusty when he discovers his leash is unhooked. He’s over ten-years-old and still charges to the nearest tree to relieve himself, even though he accomplished that act at least twenty times on our half-hour walk.

Sadly for so many, Covid arrived and dictated we were to isolate. I had no other choice but to stay put because most of us in the country were homebound, with the exception of the courageous essential workers. For we three, it was decided we needed to use that time and gather our stories and narratives into creating our book. Finally. I truly believe we would never had completed this magnanimous goal if we wouldn’t have been homebound. We learned to use zoom and and nearly wore it out. We certainly met on it more times than we could count. We’re still meeting. As illustrated in our book, Telling Tales and Sharing Secrets, we take turns devising a prompt, write about it, and share the next weekWe relish the time together. Since I’ve moved and we can’t meet in person, well by gosh, we’ll do the second best and zoom!

I know I’m too busy and despite vaccinations, recently contracted Covid, which sent a clear message, being “slo-o-ow down.” My body is in command now. I hope to pay attention to this message. Watch the goats’ kids romp, listen to the horses whinny when one is out of view, wear the rocking wicker chair out. I need to value nature and my own well-being much more. It’s a great goal, an attainable one, if I just pay attention.