Tuesday, September 20, 2022

            At this time of year, caterpillars are starting to go through an amazing metamorphosis to change into butterflies, and I often wonder whether a somewhat similar kind of transformation is happening to me – and all of us – almost all the time. Every year across the earth, trillions of caterpillars undergo a complete transformation – a change so thorough that it literally remakes them into new creatures. A butterfly is not just a re-tooled caterpillar; it’s a completely new and different animal. As one writer said, it would be as if you dropped off a bicycle at the repair shop and when you came back, it had turned into a 747 jumbo jet. This marvelous rebirth will start happening soon all across New England, and it seems to me that something roughly analogous happens to all of us with amazing regularity. Life, perhaps, is a never-ending school where we are constantly learning and testing and growing and advancing – and completely transforming. Perhaps this kind of ‘school work’ happens every day, right in my ordinary and pleasingly old life – maybe as I prepare an omelet in the morning, or see sparrows floating somewhere, or just gaze out at the promising trees and sky. Maybe, like a good student in an excellent school, or like a caterpillar, I am becoming completely new, over and over again, but don’t realize it. After all, I have rarely stopped to notice and marvel at a caterpillar as it’s going through its metamorphosis, and, similarly, perhaps I’ve never been aware of the radical changes that are happening to me, and to life itself – always. Perhaps youthful 80-year-old student ‘butterflies’ have been bursting out on a daily basis at the good school at 44 Riverbend Drive – and I’ve completely missed it!


(about Bernice D, 61, Blessings, CT

She loves the changes 
that choose her every day -- 
the constant and amazing mutations of her mind, 
the inspiring reshaping of strength 
caused by disappointments and sorrows, 
the way her powers of understanding 
so often seem transformed,
even by leaves letting go
or sunshine on the side of a house. 
A walk down the driveway 
redoes the cells in her body, 
and bringing the groceries in
somehow reorganizes 
all of her past.  
When she needs a total remake, 
she just sincerely welcomes 
whatever’s happening,
and the remodeling 
is instantly done. 


Wednesday, June 23, 2021


            I often am not aware of it, but life – all of it – is infused with a kind of leaven – a pervasive influence that is constantly transforming things for the better.  In the very midst of my busy, sometimes scatterbrained days, the silent power of goodness is slowly reshuffling thoughts into wisdom, and peace, in its hushed and pervasive way, is steadily reworking seemingly disordered events and actions into a blessed kind of synchronization.  Trouble is, I usually don’t notice this powerful, secret influence that’s all around and inside me. I’m part of a sort of boundaryless bread dough that’s always becoming a lovely loaf, but I’m mostly unaware of it. I plod through the days like a heavily-laden old horse, while, at all times, I’m actually a beautifully evolving miracle. All around me, and inside me, life is infused with the irresistible force of friendliness, every disappointment is suffused with the strength of perceptiveness, and sorrow is always ready to stimulate new understanding.  A secret kind of endless galvanization is always going on. Life is continuously perking up, right where difficulty and distress seem to be. Today, I hope I can slow my mind down and see this beautiful enlivening process, this slow and steady easing-up that’s always making the everlasting loaf called life. 


Wear a special ring. 
Set down a trail 
of tender thoughts behind you. 
Let your light shine
so you can see where you are. 
Listen to everything. 
Live the way a table stands, 
in silence, 
in peace. 
At the end of a day, 
lay down that day 
and let it speak. 

Here’a a quick video of our kayak float on Monday ….

And here’s my favorite kayaker …