Friday, January 31,2020

We had another thoroughly uplifting sunrise walk this morning, though with no bright ball of sun slowly rising. Instead, we had lines of clouds of many colors in the eastern sky, and a slowly spreading soft light. Within this light was an especially solemn and stately pelican.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Up at 5:30 this morning, eggs, veggies, and sweet muffins for breakfast, then another sunrise walk on the beach. Here are photos taken within about five minutes as the sun slowly and gracefully arose.

Beach buddies forever …

A young iguana and a young admirer …

Sunset on the Sanibel beach …

And a poem about another sunset on another beach …


At Stonington Point, 4/20/18

It was simply a sunset,

the joyful face of a friendly sky,

but they found their lives just by seeing it.

The traffic of their thoughts

fell thankfully over a cliff,

and confident quietness laughed softly

and showed them their forever lives.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

This morning, I went down to the beach after breakfast and sat in silence for close to an hour, just welcoming whatever I saw – handsome pelicans, soft-looking, spread-out clouds – and enjoying some strong spiritual thoughts as they floated through me. It was some heaven-time beside a sacred-looking sea.


Later, we rode a 12- mile loop up to The Ding Darling Sanctuary, and spent some absorbing minutes browsing among the many exhibits. We especially enjoyed the photographic work of Clyde Butcher (see below).


My poem for today (from 2018)…


He knows each morning 

is freshly washed,

each moment 

scoured and rinsed. 

It thrills him 

that life is so pristine, 

so brand new

and begging to dance,

and he bows 

and dances.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

This morning, around 6:50, we took an inspiring walk on the beach, only 40 minutes or so, but rousing nonetheless. Just seeing the pelicans was enough to uplift us, with their odd but beautiful bodies and beaks, and of course their stately, graceful way of flying. And the sunrise, with a little line of bright light breaking through the horizon’s clouds and in a matter of minutes becoming the spreading morning sunshine – how could we be any more fortunate?

A proud and lovely pelican …



Our first look at the morning light on our way through the courtyard to the beach….



Three views of the slowly rising sun …



Two impressive sand sculptures…



My poem for today, written several years ago, back home …


One day,

an old guy saw glory

all around him.

The flowers in his wife’s garden

seemed famous that day,

and all the shoppers in the supermarket aisles

were illustrious and memorable.

There was even distinction

in the sweltering summer heat

that made him want to praise it,

and all his thoughts

were glitzy and brassy like celebrities

as they strutted in splendor

through his mind.

There was praise in all the breezes

and reverence in the passing of cars

on his street,

so much that the man decided to do homage,

so he held each moment in his hand

and honored it.    



Some of Cia’s shells collected in the past three days …


We rode our bikes up to the Sanibel Cafe for lunch. It was a breezy, easy ride on the smooth trails, often passing riders going the opposite way – riders of all sizes and ages and abilities – and relishing the show of shadows and sunshine and constant surprises this January day devised for us. Our lunch, we agreed, was excellent, and we decided we’d be willing to come back sometime – perhaps fairly soon.







Sunday, January 26, 2020

This morning we rode our bikes up to the Sanibel Library for the weekly farmer’s market festivity, and indeed, it was a frolicsome festival of baked goods and farm produce. We wandered among the stalls, enjoying the look of muffins and carrots and home-produced honey and various lunches laid out and looking ready to be devoured. We controlled our impulses pretty well and purchased just four blueberry muffins and a loaf of cranberry raisin bread, but we promised to go back the next two Sundays with more shopping bags in hand.

I stopped over to see brother Al in the condo where he and Mary Anne are staying for the week, and I was surprised and happy to see Mary Anne as well. I had thought she was going to church, but she said she decided to take the morning off for some easygoing hours after the long journey from St. Louis yesterday. Lucky for me, for the three of us had a wonderful conversation about a few dozen family-type topics – lots of good words and laughter.

My poem for today:

HER ACT (about Sharon Z., 82, Blessings, CT)

Her dad always said

she should get her act together,

and suddenly, at 68,

while shopping at McQuades,

she saw that

it had always been together,

and that it wasn’t just her act,

but that each moment

she performs with countless friends,

like the flowing sky,

and her talented lungs,

and the skillful movements

of sunshine and starlight.

She saw that even her thoughts

are daring dancers

that swirl and sway

with the limitless thoughts

that prance through the universe

as part of an act

that has neither starts nor endings,

and she and all things

are the clever performers,

even when wondering

which cucumbers to choose.

+ + + + +

One final note about today: We walked or rode our bikes about 10 miles – not bad for a 78 and 79er!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

On prayer …

“Just as so many of the mystics have taught, doing what you’re doing with care, presence, and intention is a form of prayer, the very way to transformation and wholeness. There is no trick, no magic formula to becoming one with Reality. There is only living and, as you know, this is much harder than it first seems.” — Richard Rohr 

+ + + + +

We had a smooth flight down the coast to Fort Myers, and then an easy drive across the causeway to the island of Sanibel. It was a bright, blue sky day, and the views from the causeway to the island and the sea and the various inlets and ponds and smaller islands were dazzling. I was lucky to be the passenger, because I was able to watch palm trees and soaring pelicans instead of oncoming traffic. Delycia, as always, was a steady, sure-handed driver, and I was definitely an unwavering watcher of this very special southern coast.

+ + + + + + +

My poem for today …


She simply wanted to serve.

She didn’t care whether it was

raising up a branch of blossoms

weighted down with late snow,

or showing a bee by the window

how to get out to the boundless air.

She thought about ways to serve

almost constantly. She could carry

an old man’s sacks from the store

to his car. She could send her smile

across the street to a stranger

just to help his life raise itself

above its sorrows. She could press

other hands inside hers. She made

lists of services she could perform,

even flowers she could comfort

in her gardens, or a sunset

she could stop and praise.


Friday, January 24, 2020

We are on our way to Sanibel Island, Florida, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been fortunate enough to visit. We left the house this afternoon and drove to a Marriott Hotel near the airport just north of Hartford, where we’re cozying up in our room, ready for a good night’s rest, then an early flight down to Ft. Myers, FL, then a short, easy drive to the island. We’ve rented the same condo we used on our first two visits – a lovely, large place with comfy furniture and wide-spreading windows looking out at the distant ocean. Somehow we’ve been blessed with the chance to do a trip like this. I’m feeling more grateful than I can fully explain.

Children and Summer

Thursday, January 9, 2020

My poem for today . . .


One day,
they chose to be children.
chose to have stunned faces
and eyes as wide as windows.
They walked around
wondering why and how
about everything.
They gaped instead of looked,
studied instead of passed by,
stopped and stared instead of
glanced and went.
They spoke
only questions or exclamations
all day,
because you can’t
say clear statements
if you are constantly