With many of you, this Fall I have been cheering vigorously for the “Water Protectors” of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their heroic challenge to the fossil fuel industry, I sense in this powerful movement of indigenous people—and in the alliances forming and strengthening as I write this—great hope for earth. I want to help in every way I can, so I pay close attention to the news daily (from trusted sources like Democracy Now). As I am able, I show up at demonstrations of solidarity, contribute financially, spread the news throughout my social networks, and perhaps most importantly, I pray for help from the unseen realms. I know I am not alone in my passion.
From the sacred place where I live, along the edges of the Wissahickon Valley, Philadelphia, I offer this poem and an image from my late October rambles. I imagine the undeniable Presence many of us have met in this valley—the one I’ve called the “Lady of the Wissahickon”—I imagine her joining the angelic chorus in joyous support of what is happening now on the Missouri River in the name of all water everywhere, in the name of all life.
Where I Live
brings the same happiness
as May. So says the spring in my step.
If not the same, well,
an upsurge of comparable magnitude
and sadness too of equal strength.
The blues, yellows and greens
of these weeks sound undeniably
deeper tones than those
sweet, fresh notes in spring.
Autumn rusts and reds, reaching low in the belly,
make a listener want to
kiss the ground.
Who could ask for more
than to walk in the darkening light
taking in this season’s music?
I hear the wild songs the wind plays
through the nimble fingers of the trees,
my bones swinging and swaying
with them as I walk.
And all around me finished leaves,
starved of their sugars, are falling gold now,
from the heaven of high branches. I see them
curling and speckling, giving up
their colors at my feet.
I could stand in this place forever.
I could learn to sing these songs.
May it be so.
Wherever and whenever this message finds you, please know it comes with
PS: In early December I will offer two Wissahickon Writing Circle sample sessions at The Cedars House in the Wissahickon Park. If you are in the Philadelphia area and would like to try out the process, see the details in the Upcoming Events section of this page and let me know of your interest. You may join us for either or both. I would be delighted.
- Wissahickon Sample Writing Circles: Fridays, December 2 and 9, 2:30-4:45 PM. The Cedars House (In the Wissahickon Park, Forbidden Drive and Northwestern Ave, Philadelphia, PA.) Fee: $27 for each session. $50 for both. Register for one or both by November 25.
- Writing Circle at Big Blue Marble Books, Sunday January 8. 4-6 pm, 551 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119.
- Weekly Winter Writing Circles in Susan’s kitchen, Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. Dates coming soon!
Through the Gates
Letters and poems illuminating each of the forty-nine days of the Omer, the ancient Jewish practice marking the days between the spring festival of Passover and the summer festival of Shavuot—for spiritual explorers of all traditions! Read more or purchase….