Thailand Travels

Thailand Travels
Elephant Ride in Thailand

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Visit To Elmwood Cemetery

Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit is one of the most historic venues around. Begun in 1846 it was the first fully integrated cemetery in the Midwest. The grounds were designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted (the designer of Central Park, New York City).
Brought to mind are some thoughts on a walk through this grand area.

The wind sighs through the trees that filter out the rain-washed sky.
White sandstone lambs are encrusted with shades of green and gray moss.
Time and the elements have erased the identity of some here.
One gravestone bears the signature of the interred.
In another place, a note is left. Respect leaves it unread.
A cross fashioned from crossed twigs is another remembrance seen. Not as fancy as the flowers and wreaths, but meaningful to someone.
The words 'sunrise and sunset' appear next to the dates inscribed on yet another place.

One epitatph reads "the Lord watches between me and thee when we are absent from one another".

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Borrowed Thoughts

     On a recent trip west I came across the following text in a publication at the Mission of San Luis Rey. The author was a nun from the 17th century, but I found the text as current as that of any self-help guru today.
     Lord, Thou knowest, better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old.
     Keep Me from getting talkative and particularly from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject.
     Release Me from craving to try to straighten out everybody's affairs.
     Make Me Thoughtful, but not moody, helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.
     Keep My Mind Free from the recital of endless details, give me wings to get to the point.
     Seal My Lips from my many aches and pains.  They are increasing and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.
     I Ask For Grace enough to listen to the tales of other's pains. Help me to endure them with patience.
     Keep Me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint, some of them are hard to live with; but a sour woman is one of the crowning works of the devil.
     Help Me to extract all possible fun out of life. There are so many funny things around us and I do not want to miss any of them. 

I think that just about says it all, don't you?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Shared Walk

     The woods were empty of anyone except myself. Empty, save for the two deer, assorted birds and a few busy black squirrels. For an hour I engaged in a game of hide and seek with the yearling does.
     Stands of aspen, birch and pine became my shields, allowing me to approach a little closer. Sunlight filtered through the forest floor, casting shadows along the way.
     Tree to tree we moved through the underbrush. We assessed each other with cautious eyes. This was a woodland version of the childhood game of 'statues'. They had more practice at standing still than I.
     A trio of northern black squirrels fielded the middle ground as they scittered from limb to limb above our heads. As watchers, we ignored them, as with tails flicking they mocked our mutual wariness.
     I worked to move with the stealth of an Indian hunter. On taut spindle legs they observed,ears, nose and eyes fixed in my direction. The smallest crack of a betraying twig would send white tail flags and powerful muscles in motion.
     With reluctant patience I'd let them settle in. Eventually they resumed the forage for an acorn morning breakfast. Another interruption came from a tattletale blue jay who persistently spread word of my presence. Aspen leaves rattled noisily overhead in the passing breeze.
     In Nureyve leaps the duo quickly distanced themselves to their perceived 'safe zone'. I envied the nimbleness that came so natural to them. Back and forth our game continued. At times I believed one of the does was deliberately posing. 'See my beauty and grace. Look how clumsy you are", she mocked. I could not disagree. Armed with that immutable truth I left off the foray, leaving them to finish their feed, content to have shared the woods together. Perhaps we will meet again on another day to share another walk in the woods.