I am North today. By North, I mean geographically in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Edmonton is the area where I grew up as a young boy. I have been with family and friends over the last three days, each aged over the years, as we all have. I’m here for a Celebration of Life, honoring my Auntie Mary Lynne Gould, who died suddenly and unexpectedly in December.

I am North today. The view above is from my parents balcony, looking east over a school yard and playground. I love the sunrises here, coming up over flat prairies and farmlands. The sun rises big in Alberta.

I am North today, loving the book of poetry that my Sister gave to me yesterday, called Finger to Finger, by Keith Garebian. For 35 years my Sister has been encouraging me and my kids to read Canadian authors. I’m glad she has.

One of Garebian’s poems in this collections is called, “My Poems.” What a sweet invitation to live with a “wakeful heart.” In love of family. In love of friends. In love of visiting. And in love of quiet, still mornings.

My Poems
Keith Garebian

My poems do not walk fields,
with dog and notebook.
Nor do they smell flowers
or wet woods at early hours.

I am grateful for leaves
touching my feet,
for the ocean of grass
where Whitman swam.

And for love, where we struggle
in turbulent troughs,
hearts beating at the seam
where we entered the world.

O leaves, O ocean, O grass,
I want you with words
whose wisdom will gather
in waves of a wakeful heart.

2 Replies to “North”

  1. “[where] wisdom will gather
    in waves of a wakeful heart.”

    I love the notion of wisdom gathering in leaves, in grass, perhaps in the crevices of rock. (There is no ocean where I am.) I love, too, the notion that wisdom gathers in me … in the arch of my foot, in the roughness of my elbow, in the soft curve of my belly.

    Wisdom, I welcome you. Gather in me. In the rough path down through the scrub brush into the depths of the ravine. I will go the long way down and through and up again, taking whatever time it takes. I will step away from the bridge that invites me to bypass the journey of exploration and discovery and the effort of breathing my way into the life of noticing.

  2. I smile knowing you’re north taking in the big skies and sunrises and sunsets of home while we’re south. Grateful to know they’re and you’re being witnessed and held under them.


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