Thursday, August 24, 2023

Everything We Need

            We’d heard a brief bit of music – I’m not sure where – that was identified as “Bach, Unaccompanied Cello.” We liked the small bit we heard, so we asked Alexa to give us more. She complied, and so Kim and I sat in our living room to listen. It was amazingly beautiful. And as we listened, we saw projected on the wall and ceiling a dancing pattern of light, the morning sun reflected from the lake, shimmering through our windows onto the living room wall and ceiling. It was a perfect match with the music, and it was just what we needed after discussing various stressful family matters. The world can surprise us with its beauty. Sometimes everything is just right.


            Everything We Need


The deer snorts and I turn, in my hand

a just-sprouting-legs tadpole moments ago

raked from the pond while I scooped


string algae, and as I glance from tadpole

to deer’s antler nubs, reddish coat,

flanks thin from a cold spring, and he


stares back at me, bends to nibble

tiny buckthorn I should pull from the woods,

and he grazes past the poison ivy I sprayed,


ferns moved up from the fen to behind

the hickory tree, and I say, “Stay, but

don’t eat the flowers,” the cat emerges


from behind the woodpile, creeps

closer to the buck, who looks from me

to the leaves to the approaching cat


and then back to the leaves he snatched

from the redbud we were hoping to save,

and his jaw moves narrow and loose


as he stares, chews, stares, looks back

at the stalking cat, lowers his nose to her,

a tawny white calico blending with


the reddish tan deer, both enclosed

in deep green shadows, dark brown

path and woodpile, vertical rainbow


of gray, brown and green trunks,

diagonal sunlight slicing the air

of our woods, and I balance


our whole life in this one moment

then drop the tadpole into the pond,

and the buck carefully walks away,


lifting his feet high, and the cat

follows him, until all that remains

is everything we need.


            It’s not, of course, quite everything we need. But still, with all the horrors afoot in the world, and with more likely to come, we need to pay attention. I acknowledge that I’m not great at paying attention, as Kim can testify. I spend too much time “in my head” or on my computer. I do, however, wish to celebrate these moments when I was paying attention to the dance that goes on around us all the time.

1 comment:

  1. Love the light show on that wall with music. I have a video of it