Sometimes, in life, you just have to stop and smell the flowers. Take a breath. Bee with the pollinators. If you sit there long enough, you may spill your tea and petals will bloom out your ears. But, you will know peace. Photo taken at Margaret Franz's serene garden in Glenwood Springs. Photo by James Steindler

JM Jesse
Glenwood Springs 

Wind chimes clang wildly
Sky darkens as gale winds wail
Chimes summon thunder

The uncommon turn
By Jeanne Souldern

What is it on page seven of the Proust novel
that urges you to examine the worlds
beyond the confines of these book covers?

“A sea swallow tunneling for earth’s warmth,” you answer.
You, who love the spicy smells of turning over life’s dark humus,
faithfully migrating back to where the mystery began.

I am 
By Sheila Markowitz
Glenwood Springs 

I pretend. I’m a bird — a gentle bird circling high in the sky. I take it all in, wondering, ‘Should I look down, up and around? or just keep circling, enjoying all the beautiful sights around me?’

I’m a bird walking around on a gravel road trying to find even a small piece of something to eat.

I’m a bird, vocalizing in a tree off the trail.  People come by and hear me singing.  I’m not always easily seen. Often I try to hide from them even though they enjoy my singing so much. Sometimes someone comes by and smiles and waves to me.  When they notice me, I may fly away to a place where I’m no longer in sight.  

When flying with a group of birds, how will I know to turn right, left, go straight, land or take off?  How will we all stay together, making beautiful circles high in the sky?  

 I wonder who will help me direct my life, or should it all be up to me?  I sometimes worry about many things.  I could just wait to be told to turn right, left, go straight, take off, etcetera — but that, too, is hard.  The birds all seem so free and happy. What could go wrong?  

On my 70th birthday I was given the fabulous gift of paragliding.  That seemed, to me, to be one of the closest things I could do to really experience what it would be like to fly like a bird.  I felt exuberant and amazed and unafraid to run off the rim at the top of Red Mountain, strapped to the paraglide swing. I was finally flying up in the sky, moving across the valley and even soaring over the house where I live in downtown Glenwood Springs. I spread my arms and legs and just opened myself up to the experience, grinning wider than I ever thought I could.

I dream. Some of the images are clear when I awake, and then I suddenly can’t remember them. (Diazepam) Who are the people in my dreams? At first I remember their faces, then the image disappears.  Some people who were important in my life have moved on. Sometimes I miss them. Others have faded from my memory. 

My energy level comes in spurts; ebbs and flows. When winding down, it’s time for me to go slower and reflect — but on what? Sitting quietly helps me find out what that might be. While it’s important for me to get done what ‘must be done,’ I love to take the time to dream, contemplate and imagine.  I try to remember that my most wonderful ideas come during those times. 

When I touch something I can more clearly ‘see’ it. The colors start to become more intense; even if the surface is smooth and has no raised areas.  Using all of my senses inspires me to learn more about whatever I’m involved with — sound, sight, smell, taste and, of course, touch. I feel  much more intimately involved with whatever I’m doing when I take the time to use all of my senses.  This makes even taking a walk around town so glorious and fun.