from Aryae’s Blog: Road Trip — Wild Grass

June 18, 2015 
Selma, Oregon

“If present trends continue, this century may well witness … an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us…

“We were not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature…

“Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes…”

From Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Si”
June 18, 2015

Meanwhile, heeding an
old call, wild grass is pushing
past stones toward the sun.

from Aryae’s Blog: Road Trip — Starting Out

Sunday, June 14
10:45 AM

Finally on my way to Shasta! I start about an hour and 15 minutes late, but not doing bad all things considered. There’s still time to get to the campsite, set up the tent, relax a little, and have dinner while it’s still daylight.

I’m on the road less than five minutes when I see a little convenience store that I hadn’t noticed before, on the side of Highway 1. I need ice, so I pull up the car and go in.

The guy behind the counter, in his 30s, black hair, brown skin, short, slender, smiles at me pleasantly and shows me where the ice is.  I grab a bag, bring it to the register, and he rings it up.

“That’s pretty expensive,” I say.

“What do you mean?”

“Four dollars for a bag of ice? Last year it was $2!”

“Well, I don’t know. This is what we’ve been charging for a while.” He shrugs and smiles. “Everything’s getting more expensive, you know? But the pay for people like me stays the same.”

I nod my head. “Yeah,” I say, “I get it.”

“I’ve been working almost 15 years. When I started, you know what I was making?”

I shake my head, no.

“$20 an hour. That was good money man! I could get married, have a couple of kids, find a good place to live, raise a family. You know what I make now?”

Again I shake my head, no.

“$20 an hour. Same thing man! Everything keeps getting more expensive, more expensive, but they keep paying me the same. And I can’t find any jobs that pay more. My family, we can’t live the way we used to.”

The strange thing is, he’s still smiling as he tells me this. This is tough! I think. What’s he smiling about?

“I’m sorry,” I say. “I’m sorry about what you and your family are going through. This country has become very messed up.”

He shrugs and shakes his head. “It’s crazy, isn’t it?” Looking into his smile, I can see that he has no bitterness. Has he managed to detach himself from life’s vicissitudes and observe the world with serenity? Is he a hidden holy man?

“What’s your name?” I say.

“Angel,” he says.

I look at him a moment. “Mine’s Aryae,” I say, reaching out my hand. “It means Lion of God in Hebrew.”

We shake hands, and talk for another 20 minutes.

from Aryae’s Blog: Colors


I couldn’t see you before.
Summer, in her busy days of growing and providing,
hid you under green work clothes.

Now after harvest time, with your work clothes in storage,
in the radiance of shorter, cooler days,
your golden spectrum, which was there all along,
is on display for all to see.

I sit with you in silent wonder.
If we could decode the deep structure of your patterns,
what would we learn about the tree, the soil, the air, the rain?
What directions could we discern for restoring our world?

People have colors too that don’t get seen on the job site.
In the autumn we have gifts to offer.

from Aryae’s Blog

from Aryae’s Blog: Limitless


Late afternoon in autumn and the garden is going dormant,
as though nature is reaching her natural limits with the waning sun.
But you, showering us with lemons
like a treeful of shining suns,
seem oblivious.

As we schedule our doctor appointments, review our retirement budgets,
watch our friends get sick and die,
learn the news of the world and mourn our losses,
limits fence in our lives.

But your lemons are limitless.
So is love.
So are the sunrise and sunset, the sound of rain, the smell of flowers.
So are the goodness and kindness of the human heart.

What can we do with limitless lemons?

I will give my love a bowlful on our anniversary,
and a smile, and a long hug, and love that will never end.

The only way I can receive your lemons is to pass them on.

from Aryae’s Blog

from Aryae’s Blog: Eighth Stop

After the party
when the guests have gone
when the moon is smaller,
when the sun is scarcer, the days shorter
when my body won’t stop shivering
even after I’ve buttoned my coat,
it’s just us here.

Darkness is coming quickly and I need to go.
There’s work to be done.

But first let’s stay a moment
reflecting on the glory of all that has been
and all that is.

That way when I’m walking into darkness
I can notice the light in the eyes of strangers
recognize my brothers and sisters
and find you there.

And if someone needs a coat
and I have the courage to offer mine
please give us both a hug.

from Aryae’s Blog