LIGHT IN AUGUST* and a birthday wish

it's astonishing how time seems to move more rapidly the older one gets. i remember as a kid, the summer days stretching long and wide and when labor day and back to school seemed far out of reach. august always brought a warmer ocean and jelly fish up on the shore and even as the days were getting shorter it was the peak of the season. since we always took a family vacation at the end of the month there was still so much to look forward to. august also was a time for celebration for the only Leo in the family, my mom. i always thought it was super cool to have a summer birthday, as mine falls in the dead of winter on a fairly insignificant day submitting to the one before. for me new year's day is a not so subtle reminder that yes it is a new year and yes you are another year older. but something extraordinary happens as you watch your own parents navigate the golden years of their life. as you witness the fragility old age brings you tend to see everything in a much different light. life lessons you can't find in a book. and you suddenly realize that each birthday is a gift and you are blessed with an amazing life and it is your responsibility to live it as authentically as possible. {i'm still learning how}

in my current line of work, it is the flowers and plants and trees... that are a constant reminder of the life cycle and mark the change in seasons so vividly. nature's way of nudging us to make every moment of everyday count. last week i shared my passion for flowers with my mom who celebrated her seventy ninth birthday and begins her eightieth year. after all she is the one with the good genes and the green thumb. you should see her garden.

{ for Norma ~ happy birthday }

Morning Poem

Every morning
the world
is created. 
Under the orange 

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again 

and fasten themselves to the high branches ---
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands 

of summer lilies. 
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails 

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere. 
And if your spirit
carries within it 

the thorn
that is heavier than lead ---
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging --- 

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted --- 

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
lavishly, every morning, 

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy, 
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray. 

~Mary Oliver

{ since i last posted the universe has lost a few artistic souls. some of my heroes. they shared so much while they were here... chavela vargas // anna piaggi // david rakoff }

*. . .in August in Mississippi there’s a few days somewhere about the middle of the month when suddenly there’s a foretaste of fall, it’s cool, there’s a lambence, a soft, a luminous quality to the light, as though it came not from just today but from back in the old classic times. ~ William Faulkner {Light in August}

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