Sunday, August 26, 2018

R.I.P. John McCain

John McCain died today.  He lost his year-long battle with glioblastoma, brain cancer.  He was a veteran, prisoner of war survivor, statesman, patriot, and most of all a man of honor and integrity.  As he vied for the presidency, he was quoted as saying "I will not take the low road to the highest office in the land".  It says so much about who he was and what he believed.  He refused to denigrate his competitors, saying only he disagreed with them on certain points.   He was a voice of reason in a Senate which has failed to do anything much, and now his voice is stilled.  We are left with the person in the White House who practices leadership by tweet, wreaks revenge without thought on anyone who dares disagree with him, whose philosophy has stirred the pot of discontent in our country and earned the disgust and astonishment of our international counterparts.   May John McCain's life be an example to young people with political aspirations.

Monday, August 20, 2018


Haibun Monday at dVerse
All about crickets.
Submitted 8/20/18

As a child, I was introduced to Jiminy Cricket, the wee fellow
who was the conscience of Pinnochio in the Walt Disney film.
It was his job to keep Pinnochio in line.  Crickets were common
on our farm, and their reverberations a familiar part of the night
chorus, along with locusts, tree frogs, lowing of cattle, the occasional
crow of a rooster, and  were sometimes joined by the hoot of the
owl in the old oak tree.  Pleasant sounds all, UNLESS a single
cricket found his way into the house and commenced his repetitive,
plaintive, maddening chorus.  Mother would reach for her broom
and proceed to try to ferret out his hiding spot.  On occasion the
whole family, driven half mad by his sound, would engage in the
hunt.  I wish I could say when we found him we escorted him
outside to join his cohorts, but alas his fate was usually sealed by
a good, swift pounce of mother’s broom, and her sigh of satisfaction
as silence reigned once again.  The sound of a cricket conjures
childhood memories for me of Jiminy, the charming cricket,
and mother’s remorseless broom!

autumn sounds at night
fall pleasantly on my ear
nature’s chorus sings


Sunday, August 19, 2018


A recent writing challenge on the subject of heroes gave me pause for thought.  In scripting this topic, a virtual parade of heroes crossed my mind.  It occurred to me often we think of heroes as those who make headlines for great acts of courage, for making outstanding contributions to country, for leading exemplary public lives, or on a personal level those whose words or actions have had great impact on the lives of others.  Beyond that, though,  I like to think there are nondescript heroes among us every day, leading quiet lives, yet touching others such that the results of their actions are wide-ranging and long lasting, just as the ripples in a stream move ever outward when a pebble is dropped into the water.   Sometimes called the “butterfly effect”, simply put the concept is that small causes can have large effect.   Mother Teresa cautions us to do small things with great love.

 So, when I was shopping last week I began to look, really look, at the people about me and wondered who among them was someone’s hero.  What small kindness had they extended that unknowingly influenced the life of another, who then paid it forward to others who in turn had done the same.  A quote by Shirley Abbott says “our ancestors dwell in the attic of our brains as they do in the spiraling chain of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies”.  I am molded, I thought, by all those heroes who came before. Who was that long ago hero ancestor who imparted the knowledge I might have passed on that had positive impact on those I met?  Perhaps he was a barefoot Samaritan on the dusty road to Damascus who stopped to help a fellow traveler.  Perhaps she was an Aztec queen who changed lives with a flick of her finger.  Perhaps a peasant girl sold into slavery who became the favorite wife of an Arabian chieftain, and spent the rest of her life in silken saris surrounded by the scent of mysterious spices.  Perhaps a warrior who charged into battle to defend that which he held most dear.

  It seems perhaps we all have an opportunity to be a hero every day in some small way.  
In retrospect, approaching this writing challenge has made me mindful to give more thought to my own words and actions, to be more aware of their possible effect on the lives I touch on my own life journey, and to be more aware of the heroes among us.


There are times I seem to think in rhyme, and witty or thoughtful poems come to mind readily, sometimes in midnight epiphanies.  There are other times when my muse seems to have wandered off into neverland, and left me without rhyme or reason.   Such is the present.   I've decided to use this blog for occasional idle thoughts for a while.  I'm sure my muse will return in due time!