on lantern hill road

two gray-haired best friends on bikes

riding through joy’s doors


+ + + + +

This morning, sitting with Delycia on the patio for our early breakfast (around 6:00 a.m.), the thought came to me, as it occasionally does, that death opens the door into life. I’m not talking about life in some far-off, make-believe heaven, but just life itself – or Life, uppercase, because it’s truly never-ending. Only because of death is the circle of life able to carry on forever.

I guess I started thinking about this again this morning because I was looking at some of Delycia’s early daylilies.

I must have known this before, but for some reason I found it somewhat astonishing when Delycia told me a few years ago that daylilies actually bloom for only a single day.  All that work, I thought — all those frozen February weeks, then all those spring and summer days of patiently pushing up through soil and air – all that for just a few short hours of splendor! As she was speaking, I recall, I was looking at a particularly remarkable yellow lily near us (like the blossoms above) and found it startling to realize it would be colorless and shriveled tomorrow. I remember that we strolled among her lilies that day, admiring the intense colors of some, as if they were softly shouting at us about how handsome they were on this single day of their lives. It seemed strange, as we sat at breakfast this morning, that these beautiful blossoms I was looking at would wither and waste away by tomorrow morning, but I couldn’t help thinking, too, that that’s also sort of the glory of life – that things are continually leaving us so that others can come and take their places. New lily blossoms are born each day, but only because yesterday’s blossoms bowed down and departed. We see death each day in Delycia’s garden – the death of dozens of beautiful blossoms – but precisely because of the deaths, we also see, each morning, the delivery of brand new blossoms, fresh and mint-condition miracles of color. I guess it’s part of the strange magnificence of life on this planet, that death, the most feared of all foes, is what opens the door into life.  

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(a voice I heard in a dream)
Hey Ham, are you too busy 
to believe in summer?
Are you running too fast
to follow the footsteps of your heart?
Are you panting 
instead of praising?
Have you signed up 
for the race to confusion and sorrow?
How about taking a break 
from killing yourself?
Kindness is standing on your doorstep,
and wisdom's in the shade of every tree. 
Try a morning among birds,
or a day of doing what rivers do. 
Don't talk or plan. 
Praise this moment and that. 
Think the kind of thoughts 
that take your hand. 
Hold still for holiness.  

Doors into Peace:

a slideshow of some of Delycia’s latest miracles …

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