Ice, not ice


Reflections on creek and her transformation

She is cold shouldered, hard edged. She is lifted above herself and perched topside, hard memories filled with small stones wait for the bottom to fall. She is thick with gathering.

dsc_0156How she wears so many faces; still and impenetrable under the overpass and upstream where she breaks tumultuous along fault lines, falling into herself again and again along breached edges.

Sometimes I see her clearly, other times she is shrub obscured, a stark backdrop to rich shades of ocher and brown, left-right axis to sky pointers, cottonwoods, Sunday afternoon walkers.


A slit widens in her breast. She opens herself to a black and white diver brave enough to discover sustenance below her horizon. He floats and dives, floats and dives, finds a way where she appears solid as stone.


Further upstream she is more exposed, her heart warmer, more willing. She flows wanton here. Mallards and Mergansers dip and fly.



Eagle’s view of her is wider still. He anticipates the taste of spring salmon, how creek’s scent and navigational pull will entice a pink run and then exhausted demise. He watches from cottonwood, preens his tail, waits for the inevitable.


She is ice becoming open water. She seeps from concrete abutments and along gravel pathways seeking the path of least resistance back into herself. She is the heart of greening.

She may soon rise above these banks. She will carry everything in open hands, her shoulders wide, and powerful. She will make herself known.  She is just beginning to remember words like ebb and flow. She feels the sharpness of each necessary fissure. She breaks into smaller and smaller pieces.


I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.

John O’Donahue.

Step 2 ~ look at your life with gratitude

I’d vaguely heard of it before, but it came up clearly in conversation with a friend who said, Hey, I know how you like the practice of spiritual disciplines and there’s this one called “examen” you might enjoy. So I googled it immediately and today I practiced my very first examen and wrote it into my prayer blog that is now at its 100th post. (Not that I’ve been counting but wordpress does it for me and told me today I was at 100.)

Wow, so amazing this hindsight and seeing God is drawing me in new ways into him and how I can now say I have been given a gift of a spiritual habit that is meaningful and something I want to do and enjoy doing.

Examen is a way of finding God through intentional examination of a day, or, in the words of another writer, rummaging for God by praying backwards though your day. I love that idea. And so I ventured into this still space today, in the quiet of my office after all had gone to work and school, and began to dig around in the good, bad, bright and ugly of the past 24 hours of my life. I looked for God and found God and asked God to be past, present and future in all the bits that make up my days.

Examen includes 5 steps, a template of which is found here: 

Step 2 is looking at your life with gratitude, which I have decided to also note here in a continuation of the ongoing list of gifts the father lavishes daily upon me;

534. the discovery of the practice of Examen, ancient, new, drawing, opening, compelling…

535. My young friend and our conversation about similar things we long for and long to do

536. The sudden appearance of the ladybug on my binder as I prepared for tomorrow night

537. The kindness in words from other poets and friends who will pray and support by their presence

538. My family all arriving home safe from work, together for dinner, the slow evening of being in each others company

538. TV… the final episode sitting with him

539. Him picking her up from soccer

540. Hugs, kisses, words

541. The late evening sun over the garden and the warmth of it, the weeding, the watering, the joy of those dirty hands in the dirty dirt

542. Friends finding me

543. Quiet to prepare

544. A knowing that you are in all and inspiring all choices, empowering the words, quickening me to do what needs to be done in due course, encouraging my heart, giving me the strength I need as I rely upon you

545. experiencing this as truth in my ordinary and everyday life…DSC_0153