Monday, May 25, 2015

The Oldest Trees



We went for a walk in Lacamas Lake Park today. The weekend had been warm but overcast, and I spent a lot of it dealing with a cold and resultant lack of sleep from having to prop up, but once outside and walking in forest and meadow, I perked up.

All the different shades of May green were there. Fir trees, alders, oak, holly, and a carpet of ferns, wild berries and wildflowers spilled at their feet; green lake water smooth as glass, interrupted by colorful canoes tracing delicate wake lines on its mirror. Happy families having picnics at the feet of the lake. Birds everywhere.

Up the hill, where the Camas lilies bloom, the lilies were forming seed pods amid the stony ground and the moss. Oaks in various states of disarray and snags stood boasting their age among the living trees.

Snags

Bounty in barrenness
In summer sun’s gold,
Crone trees with hollow hearts
Reach out, embrace, enfold.
Surrounded by the living green
Of tree and fern and moss,
They stand, their lives given to
The care of creatures lost.

Woodpeckers send messages
Tapping on their bones,
Squirrels store food and scold the jays
In autumn wind’s moans.
Harvest moon and starlight cold
The perfect light for owls
For whom the soft hollows are
Luxurious feasting halls.

The spring wind will sing through them
When forest flowers grow,
New life they will shelter
In the time of melting snow.
And after the winter fells them,
Or when fire leaves its trace,
The living earth will comfort them
In her loving green embrace.

© 2008 Darcy J. Scholts

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Insanely eclectic, or was that the other way around?

Let me throw something at all two of my readers just for fun. This week happens to include the Jewish festival of Purim. Purim is about celebrating Queen Esther, a Jewish woman who married the King of Persia. The short short version of her story follows: She was "in the closet" about her Jewishness until one of the princes in the king's court began to persecute her people and order them killed. She ended up revealing her ethnic/religious "otherness" and wound up turning the tables on the prince, by revealing his plots. The appealing theme is defense of an alternative ethnicity and religion from government (royal) persecution. Purim is partly about reversal of the normal scheme of things, and as I understand it (again a short simplistic version), part of its celebration is feasting, revelry and pranks including costumes and taking on the role of opposites. Intersect my occupation as a contract provider for a local government whose dysfunctional leadership blurred the lines between church and state by insisting on placing "In God We Trust" prominently on the back wall of the council chamber where government business is done and pretending it's because it's the U.S. motto rather than the overt Christian/JudeoChristian God's presence in what is supposed to be a secular milieu. Add my partly Jewish lineage and my freewheeling eclectic Paganism along with my Christian practice in a convoluted timeline. Stir and you get a crazed woman with an urge to come out as a Pagan in response to establishment imposition of religious overtones which deliberately do not recognize religious and spiritual diversity, as inspired by a Jewish heroine from the Old Testament. Notice that said crazed woman has a multitude of spiritual threads woven into her soul in much the same way as the cartoon character Linus from "Peanuts" who is able to recite Scripture at will in class (back in the 60s strips) and then happily evangelize the undoubtedly Pagan Great Pumpkin! Have I managed to confuse everyone yet? Happy Purim, all...!