Archive for March 2013

Salmonberry Blossom   2 comments


face 3

Crinkled corolla
Escapes from calyx cocoon
Like butterfly wings

Posted March 30, 2013 by pjsisson in Uncategorized

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Brambles and Boundaries   2 comments

A few mornings ago, an otherwise buoyant walk among wild grasses and ancient oaks plummeted into disappointment when an all too familiar barbed-wire fence blocked my path.  Not only did the wiry barricade disrupt the hilly landscape, but I was startled to realize how it also spoiled my psyche. Uncharitable memories of former fences instantly leaked under my mind’s unguarded door: the times I’d been jabbed without provocation, or—in worse cases—when I’d suffered shredded jeans and bitten back for ignoring their steel-clawed warning.


On this occasion, instead of leaving the scene and stewing in my own peppery broth, I decided to dedicate some mindful moments to my antagonist and me. Rose hips glowed red on both sides of the fence, and bird songs splashed among the branches above, oblivious of the sharp metal twine that had stopped me in my tracks. I just sat for a while and considered my alternatives . . .

like befriending the fence, accompanying it from hilltop to slough. Or handling only the smooth spots along the wires, taking time and utmost care to avoid the wicked spines while stepping over or through.  And hardest, but truest to song sparrows and wild roses: simply accepting the fence’s presence, and continuing onward, neither physically nor mentally grappling with the intended intimidation.  I ultimately tried that course (failing a couple of times before it started to take hold); then it wasn’t long before sunshine and floating clouds nonchalantly hijacked my surly mood.


The story of the barbed-wire fence visits our daily lives in endlessly diverse ways, tripping us up in the grocery line, on the long commute, or especially in our over-busy minds. Where are the thorns in your life? And how do you successfully meet these sharp moments with care?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Posted March 27, 2013 by pjsisson in Uncategorized

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Willamette Valley Spring   Leave a comment


My favorite trail bewitched me today with a green explosion of unfurling leaves (snowberry, meadow rue, indian plum, and vanilla leaf among my favorites), and exquisite trillium, wood violet, and salmonberry blossoms. Spring’s birthday celebration started a couple of weeks ago, and promises to gather spirited momentum in the coming month! 

Eternity pauses,
drops her cloak
and inhales fresh radiance of wood violets
waking to their first dappled sunrise.

Posted March 22, 2013 by pjsisson in Uncategorized

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WaTeR bLiNk   Leave a comment

Marshy pool glitters

like moving stars and diamonds

Courting dragonflies


Posted March 20, 2013 by pjsisson in Uncategorized

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Sky & Water   Leave a comment

Shining Puddle

Heaven finds portal
in abandoned parking lot
palette of promise

Posted March 16, 2013 by pjsisson in Uncategorized

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Striding in Mist   Leave a comment

This is not what it seems: not desolate, gloomy, lonely or bleak.  No, this is a late-winter adventure on a coastal peak wrapped in clouds, where white horizons murmur, trackless slopes beckon, and gravity grants wings to your snowshoes.  Here is an exhilarating path where following your breath is second-nature, where a solitary raven calls and cuts straight to your heart. Thoughts dissolve, exuberance empowers, and each second of Now passes without regret. This is snowshoeing in a mountain cloud–no shadows, no shoulds: an exquisite, soft-shrouded gift.


Posted March 14, 2013 by pjsisson in Uncategorized

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Rippled Trees   Leave a comment


Liquid limbs of shore-line trees remind me
None of us are what we seem.
Time to slip out of bony branches,
Dive deep. What are we waiting for?

Posted March 10, 2013 by pjsisson in Uncategorized

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Pink Pearl   Leave a comment

When I was an earnest pony-tailed fourth grader, I relished unzipping my pencil case as soon as the morning bell rang. I’d see my number-two pencils lined up in a tidy row, formal and expectant. They seemed to whisper, “There’s work to be done and not a moment to waste.”  In contrast, my Pink Pearl eraser, casually propped among their uprightness, lent a rubbery whiff of friendliness,  “Relax, don’t worry . . . everything’ll be ok.”  Plunking Pink Pearl down on the desktop seemed to soften my habit of anxiety, and after scooting my chair tight to the desk and sitting up ever so straight, I was ready to tackle my newest task.

. . .then wouldn’t you know, I became a teacher! . . . and  from this vantage point, I’ve become an unabashed advocate of Pink Pearl for her singular role of kindness in our scholastic lives. Year after year I’ve watched countless kids relax a notch simply because Pearl’s within easy reach to help them untangle yet another messy equation or vexing timeline. And though it can take up to a few weeks of reassurance, even my most fretful students finally get it: a failed attempt does not spell failure. Space can always be re-opened for success, and do-overs are, in fact, daily events. The entire classroom, including myself, breathes easier knowing we aren’t pressed to get it right the first time.  New starts and clean slates provide the very remedy we need.


Of course, there’s more than one way to clean a slate. The electronic Delete will be a favorite forever because it’s swift and surgical, leaving no blurs in its wake. And what better way to obliterate pesky errors than the popular Cross-Out? That one’s a winner if you like rowdy pages with bold lines and undulating arrows—such creative chaos can be invigorating. These methods have their time and place, and they work. But when calm order is called for, when forgiveness and flexibility are needed, when the desktop is a tangible one and there’s a disheartened kid holding the pencil, I will always suggest Pink Pearl.  Taking time, making space, letting go, and saying yes to kindness—this is a mantra to live by.

Posted March 7, 2013 by pjsisson in Uncategorized

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Regeneration   Leave a comment

Stony ancestors
Cast weathered souls to the wind
Golden ebb and flow


Posted March 3, 2013 by pjsisson in Uncategorized

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