To Do List


Leave a crack in the door,
for you are always available;
leave a part of your garden
untended
so the wild can have its way.

Leave the milk out —
don’t worry,
it won’t go bad.
It will culture,
and then you can make
creamy butter.

Go to bed earlier
and let go
into the night
to find that the dream world
was never far away.
Open your soul up
to the mystery.
Try not to see all there is to see
so that there’s something left
for the rest of your life
and the lives you won’t remember.
Don’t say all you need to say
so that silence
can speak for you,
so that chance
can have some room.
Don’t fill yourself up too much
or there will be no space
for everything else —
and we all know magic
loves space,
even though its vastness
frightens us.

Stack stones for someone else
to find along their path,
leave notes for loved ones,
tie a ribbon around the branch
of an old oak tree for love —
what you feel of it
and what you remember of it.

Nurse something back to health
just because you can.

Friends, energy in this world
flows like a river.
What we do to the river
upstream
affects all downstream.
Therefore,
we each have the opportunity
to play magician,
sending others
gentle, cosmic nudges
of support and promise —
for at each
and every moment
the river is moving through you.
They will never know your name.

Keep a door open for the mystery.
Keep a part of you wild.
Remember those who are downstream,
even though
you will never know their name.

March 23, 2010

*I began constructing this poem while sitting at the Wooleyshot Stream which flows over the land I live on now. After living in the city for the past 7 years, I am constantly comforted by the sound of this running water. I haven’t lived near wild, running water in a long time…so, I have a deeper appreciation for it than I ever have. While sitting by the stream, I felt honored to witness its bold flow into the world below.

So many streams and creeks have been rerouted, covered with concrete or asphalt, or filled in with debris for construction purposes. I love that some cities are ‘day-lighting’ creeks and streams that were covered in urban areas (Berkeley, CA and Portland, OR for example). This is a good sign. Our bodies need clean water to live, just as creatures and ecosystems need clean water to live and thrive. By slowing down and observing it, I can begin to find an honorable relationship with it — and I am still learning. I was raised in a fast world…it’s going to take me awhile to slow down.

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