Equinox Sunrise

IMG_5634

IMG_5636

IMG_4527

IMG_5639

IMG_5645

IMG_5647

IMG_5654

IMG_5661

IMG_5663

IMG_9035

IMG_5671

 

IMG_7534

IMG_7150

[remember to click upon the images to beautify your world]

For perhaps  18 years now, I have been conducting sunrise vigils on the Holy Days of the Earth, the Solstices and Equinoxes. For about 13 of those years I have been coming to this particular hilltop from which the pictures above were taken. As you can see, this vantage point offers a most spectacular view across the Minnesota landscape of prairie, woods, and lakes. The land itself is not quite public, which is to say that my pilgrimages here would be considered by some (most) people to be trespassing.

The land to the west of the hill is a residential area comprised of rather lovely homes on winding lanes. Years ago, on my second trip here, I had forgotten to look at a map before hand, and so I managed to get lost in the maze of streets as I looked for the lane where the trail began up the hill.

As I wandered about in my car, a dutiful police officer took note of my rather suspicious activity in the pre-dawn darkness and pulled me over. As he shown his flashlight upon my outdoorsy albeit rather scruffy appearance, he politely inquired if I lived in the neighborhood, and if not, what was that I was up to, driving so slowly up and down the streets at this hour of the morning. I explained matter-of-factly that it was the summer solstice and I was wanting to observe the sunrise from the top of the hill, but I couldn’t locate the cul-de-sac where a trail began.

With a rather blank expression upon his face, he studied me for a moment, scanned the interior of my vehicle with his flashlight, taking note of the mountain bike stashed unceremoniously in the back. Looked at me again, and said, “I think I know the one you mean. Follow me.” It turns out he did know the one, and within 3 minutes I was at the exact parking spot I had been looking for. So, with the aid the police officer I was able to carry out the trespassing that I had been plotting.

Since then, I have been up the hill many, many times, and know exactly how to get to the parking spot. And while I no longer require a police escort to get to my ritual site, each time I park outside one of the fine homes and wander up the trail, I wonder if another inquisitive officer might not be waiting for me when I come back down.

 

IMG_5653

Sunrise at 15 Degrees Below Zero

IMG_5458
The heart of the Sun beats as ardently as ever
though the Earth plays the coy coquette
averting her face from the intensity
of his smoldering gaze
lingering for months in a sidelong glance
as she slowly turns in her measured pace
IMG_5429
and we
perched upon her cold shoulder
of 45 degrees north
a halfway house of latitude
midway between equator and northern pole
the temperate zone, presumably
despite our intemperate extremes
alternating torrid and frigid
the tropics and the arctic
visit us in their seasons
but never, it seems, together
IMG_5438
the arctic now pays its respects
cold rushes in from northern reaches
storied land of the midnight sun
now the land of the midday stars
what a sequenced spectacle
to watch the stars wheel
endlessly across the velvet sky
hour after hour
night after unending night
as the earth pirouettes
beneath one’s feet
Ursa Major and Ursa Minor
chase each other’s tails
around and around the star of the north
polar bears, indeed
IMG_5449
but here
the wind rises with the Sun
and whale sounds erupt
from beneath the frozen lake
as the waters beat against the ice
breath condenses upon eyelashes
ice crystals dangle before ones eyes
illuminated by the sun in perfect orbs
like Christmas ornaments not yet put away
a sprig of Arbor Vitae lies upon the path
tree of life, messenger of life ever green

IMG_5456

IMG_5455
This calls to mind one of my favorite things to say, but it’s so quaint I can only say it once a year, so here goes:
Glove-a-lees are lovely
but I’m smitten by mittens

Rise & Shine

IMG_4282

IMG_4274

IMG_4277

IMG_4281

IMG_4282

 

This Hummingbird greeted me on the sidewalk on my way home:

IMG_4284

The mysteries of the Hummingbird –

Never flapping their wings, but rotating them in a figure 8,

they reach near-infinities in flight –

Wingbeats of 70 times per second when casually flitting about.

Wingbeats of 200 times per second when in a high-speed dive.

Drinking of the nectar of life.

Heartbeats beating for joy 21 times per second.

Indigo Sky

indigo_sky.94190550_large copy
under twilight skies
between the tides
of black velvet night
with its sequenced stars
and the flaming colors
of the silken sunrise
ere morning has broken
when dawn is just a gleam
on the horizon’s eye
an indigo veil
of the celestial Dancer
drawn as a curtain
between the worlds
a pause betwixt
starlight and daylight
we withdraw our pleas
from the distant heavens
and release all hopes
for what the day may bring
there is nothing to remember
there is nothing to imagine
abide in the crystalline moment
of indigo sky

Breathing Into The Sun

IMG_3657
Since the darkest of nights
the sun has not shone
IMG_3658
overcast days
for overcast hearts
IMG_3659-2
when at last the pale shroud lifts
that first ray of hope pierces the sky
IMG_3659
as sifting through the ash
a glowing coal resurrected
from the bon fire of surrender
IMG_3661
the sun emerges embryonic
from the womb of the earth
IMG_3663
breathe into the spark
of one’s own inner sun
IMG_3665
kindle this ember
coax it to waken
IMG_3667
breath after breath
it burns brighter and brighter
IMG_3670
breath after breath
it burns brighter and brighter