The opportunity for new insight
can so easily pass us by—
that potential opening to life lost.

With this in mind, I pull on
long johns, then sweatpants,
turtleneck layered with a fuzzy sweater,

knit scarf, puffer jacket,
and my daughter’s alpaca hat
with braided tassels.

And I make my way to the trees
by the estuary, tiny flashlight in hand,
walk silently over wood planks,

through the forest of miniature oaks,
halting to quiet my thumping heart
when unseen animals scurry in the brush.

Soon, a buttercup moon rises
over a distant hill’s rounded breast,
huge and brightly illuminating

the dusky night woods. In that sudden
stillness, only rhythmic sounds
of frogs, some crickets playing

their mating songs, the crashing
of waves on a barely visible shore.
With Venus and Jupiter shining

down on me as well,
I drink dippers of blessings and
give thanks for also being of this world.

:: Carolyn Chiltin Casas