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Like a cunning lover, last week’s snowfall wooed autumn’s dismantling within the rigors of winter: Leafy branches sported white overcoats; spindly shrubs stooped in supplication; fence posts peaked with medieval turrets. A solitary cardinal flashed toward a neighbor’s woodshed, then alighted and preened like a celebrity caught within the blitz of paparazzi. From a snow mound poked the handle of a red wagon. Flurries outlined swirls of breezes that fashioned ghostly images upon the asphalt street and tousled the green muffler flapping around the snowman’s neck nearby. Only random cars moved about.

All was still: Its pregnant hush evoked an OH! The first morning of creation must have felt like that.

Such OHs burst with silence, trip breathing, balloon joy, and open onto the companioning Sacred within our depths. Yet a tinge of sadness lingers in their wake, such OHs! so fleeting and evanescent. Would that we could hold onto them. That being said, we can still watch for them and give thanks when experienced.

And this year, do watch for OHs! around Thanksgiving tables, graced with family and friends. Go beyond well-worn traditions and bring something new: a new dish, a new prayer, a new listening.

“Bidden or not bidden, God is present.”

Happy Thanksgiving!



Plink, plink—plink, plink, plink—pink-plink—plink—plink …

Following a November gusher, droplets from the gutter pool pin oak leaves within interconnecting light-circles, splayed upon earth-toned pavers. Variegated browns—cordovan, burnt umber, russet, tan, sepia, beaver—quicken our senses to this drama, its ordinariness melding into the extraordinary.

It’s about the circles, many enclosed within larger ones outlined in dark chocolate, ephemeral and translucent. Within our watery depths a corresponding shimmering occurs. It’s like glancing into a parallel universe and relishing its treasure. We feel whole despite the paradox of the leaves’ decomposition within such raw beauty.

Such glimpses of our Creator’s imprints afford a critical wetness in this time of killing drought.

We just have to pause and look for them. They are all around us.


Up ahead is a neighbor’s mimosa tree; its fern-like bipinnate branches heavy with pink “hair-brush” blossoms, a few of which have dried up and litter the grass on the front lawn. I slow down, suddenly aware of a moist sweetness fanned by indolent breezes. I must have more. For long moments I inhale, keenly aware of my sense of smell, then move on down the sidewalk. During previous walks I had noticed the tree’s budding, an early summer phenomenon.

I am not alone in my wonder. Others struck by the beauty and fragrance of the mimosa tree have enshrined their experiences in myths and legends from Greece, Africa, and Indonesia. The protagonists, overwhelmed by trauma, sought the tree’s healing powers and were restored to harmony, not without bearing their scars.

This same tree has also been pivotal in my life challenges: some painful; some joyful. Its fragrance still envelops seekers within scents of the first morning of creation where all is well.


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