A Word Like Light: TEACH

         I was a teacher for 45 years, but now, in my 81st year of life, I’m realizing more and more that I am now, in retirement, the most serious student I have ever been, and luckily, I am being taught by truly master teachers. I call them Mrs. and Mr. Professor Universe, because they were born when the universe was born, and have been teaching for zillions of years. I receive their marvelous instructions every moment of every day. For instance, my professors softly set thoughts in my mind and allow me to use them as I wish, either exploring them, or smiling and waving goodbye and sending them off. My teachers gave me the trees I’m seeing right now outside the window, softly shaking in a breeze, which tutors me about how to take it easy and let life move the way it wishes. Mrs. and Mr. Professor Universe even use music on the radio to show me the eternal rhythms of life, so my days can sing like days always want to do, and these tireless teachers are always training me by sending feelings flowing through me and allowing me to select the ones I wish to follow. Sometimes they even have sorrow instruct me about the necessity for acceptance and openness, and they occasionally assign me some worries to work with, in the hope that I can come to see the wisdom in simply allowing life to shine its lights in its own special ways. 

Each morning I rise with the wish to be a good student in this boundless, inspiring classroom called life, instructed and coached by teachers as old and bright as the stars above.  


This morning, we attended the sangha meditation group at All Souls UUA Church in New London, CT, and it was a peaceful and inspiring experience, as usual. Just to be with friends in silence for 60 minutes is a rare pleasure, and I look forward to it each week. After the sangha, we walked with the group to the Washington Street Coffee House, where we had good conversation and – for Delycia and me – tasty cups of herbal tea. Then, after breakfast, we said goodbye to our friends and drove to Bluff Point Nature Preserve, where we enjoyed a brisk and windy 3-mile walk beside the Poquonock Estuary.



Tuesday, July 19, 2022

         On the walk Delycia and I took this morning at Haley Farm State Park, I started thinking about the natural grace we both were displaying as we walked along the trail. We weren’t doing anything fancy – just walking – and yet I saw stylishness in the movements of our 80-year-old legs. We passed over the stones and slopes and dips with senior-citizen poise, moving our old legs with marvelous suppleness. Really, it’s a major miracle how the human body does its daily tricks, and one of its finest feats is the fluid movement of the bones and muscles and nerves of legs.  How does this wonder happen – even the well-worn bodies of Delycia and me flowing along with seeming lightsomeness – and today, on a trail of rocks and rises and bumps? I guess I actually shouldn’t be surprised, since our two vintage bodies do these kinds of wonders on a daily basis – lifting pencils with deftness, walking from room to room with elderly elegance, turning our heads as easily as breezes bend and flow. Truly, a fine finesse is with us always, though I don’t often notice it. Even the act of typing these words has a certain nimbleness in it, arising, perhaps, from the simple grace of just being alive – and, luckily, old.   

Below, my beloved fellow hiker leading the way …

(Bill M., 87, Blessings, CT, USA) 

He knows he is saved by grace - 
by the wind 
with all its wings 
sailing with poise, 
by the easeful brightness 
of even sorrow and darkness, 
and by the light-footed 
carefree or nervous feelings 
that circulate inside him. 
He sees finesse in all the moments 
parading through life, 
even the fearful ones 
that throw and spin themselves at him, 
but then bow with benevolence 
if he gives them his finest gift,
 an unruffled nod 
and a smile.   


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

This morning we took a 5 1/2 mile walk into Mystic and back, sometimes talking, sometimes staying silent just to appreciate what we were doing together, and sometimes simply giving thanks for the accustomed but always captivating scenery.

Our frig poems today …

My poem for today …