Love Stories Everywhere

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There are love stories everywhere,
in the butterflies of first caresses,
in the clouds shaped like hearts.
Love can be found in the flowers
opening each morning to feed the bees,
in a mother’s warm, soothing embrace.
There is love in interlocking treetops,
in their roots intertwined underground
to help each other, and feed the world.
Love builds a mama bird’s nest
for her babies’ fledgling first days,
and makes a rainbow from rain.
Love arches the sun up toward the moon,
and the moon across the breadth of sky,
and love makes all the oceans swell.
Love lets us forgive our gravest mistakes,
and come to believe in new beginnings,
And love lets me reach deep inside,
where I sometimes forget love resides,
and turn all of the darkest places to light,
until I know: love stays, love abides.
 
– Tammy Takahashi
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I am Here

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The day that lumbers on
The life that slips right past
 
And what of in-between?
No dragging on or rushing by
 
But the breathtaking pause.
The moment of, “I am here.”
 
Maybe my shadow slants long,
Or maybe it’s a shadowless noon.
 
Maybe there is verdant splendor
Or maybe there is me, in my body,
 
Breathing in and breathing out,
As my skin cushions the breeze.
 
And I am not dreaming, or hoping
Because it is all already here, inside,
 
And when I face the fear, and look,
I’m overcome: how very full it is. – TS

The Leaf that Would be Rain: A Little Story of Self-Acceptance

Tammy T. Stone

Tammy T. Stone

It was a hot summer day, bright and bold.

A leaf sat on the sill along with many other leaves just like it, not young and not yet old. Despite being taken care of, it was almost wilting in the searing heat when suddenly, the sky bloomed into the moodiest dark and rain began to fall, softly and soundlessly at first, and then louder and more thunderous still.

Soon the rain was pelting the ground, ferocious and resounding. The leaf, protected by a thatched roof overhead, remained dry, though it could well sense that something was underfoot. The air was charged and the day had the feel of magic about it.

It wasn’t long before the rain eased into a light pattering. One of the raindrops splashed up from the ground and landed on the leaf’s broad, sky-facing side, at just the right angle so it could remain there without sliding off.

The leaf shook with electric fervor, and in a jolt of inspiration, felt far more than the raindrop’s mere arrival onto it skin. It came alive to all its senses and more, could see the raindrop, smell and taste it too.

For a second, the leaf merged with the raindrop and knew, for a moment, exactly what it would be like to be so perfectly clear, radiant and engorged with life, which seemed now to the leaf like something we could all be, all at once, now and forever.

The feverish first dance coursing through the leaf passed, and now it slumped a little, aching to be the raindrop, to have come from the great sky beyond the thatched roof, knowing that to the sky it would return, and so it pleaded with the raindrop,

Oh, take me with you!

I am tired of the ground, of my earthly shelter and all the shadows falling upon me.

Please take me on your water journey away and up, let me bounce here and there and fall and melt and slide with you, and absorb all Life has to offer, just like you.

At that moment, another raindrop splashed up from the ground and bounced onto the leaf, right on top of the first raindrop, so that the two became one.

The weight of it was too much for the leaf to bear.

The leaf sighed and then heaved with something emergent in its very core, as the large, world-reflecting raindrop bulged and swayed and started to roll to the edge of the leaf. The leaf felt the raindrop gather at its outermost tip and said,

I understand. You are about to leave me now. This is the nature of things.

I will put all my sadness and grief into this very moment, that we are sharing together, and allow you, the raindrop, to become my most important and courageous tear, and I will cry out all my regret and confusion, and I will let it all go with the rain as you tumble to the ground.

The raindrop lingered for a moment and then spilled over, a big, soft tear of momentous gravity. The leaf rebounded up, and now lighter, began the journey of wanting to be nothing but itself.