stars of everything

stars of everything mandala s

In my childhood, even our suburban house was only half a block from woods and meadows and creeks to explore.  We had no devices to keep us indoors, and we went outside at every chance.  There were still open spaces, for butterflies dragonflies tadpoles bees creeks meadows woods trees rocks sky prickers blackberries colors and clouds and wind—we ran wild, my mother just told us to be home for dinner, who does that now? They would take your children away from you.

I had the companionship of trees plants wild things animals and such clouds to contemplate–I used to lie on my back in the grass and just look at the sky, what was I thinking? Maybe thoughts beyond thought before thought.  Now my mind is so busy it never stops to just be and let the world run through like a river like the wind.

watching my
child-self lying in
a bed of
greentree bird
everything is opened
up, shining—the world

explodes in
to a forever,
endless waves
merging as
they ebb and flow—cascading
landscapes shouting yes!

stars of everything mandala close up s

Sarah at earthweal asked us to think how we connected with nature in childhood.  I took sentences and lines from 5 previous posts–especially I remembered writing about this subject in a collaboration I did with Claudia McGill, and the bulk of the text is from there.

The art was done as a homage to artist Thornton Dial–I took his title, Stars of Everything, and made my own collage and accompanying words.  He knew about the power of art.

“Art is like a bright star up ahead in the darkness of the world. It can lead peoples through the darkness and help them from being afraid of the darkness….Art is a guide for every person who is looking for something.”
–Thornton Dial


25 thoughts on “stars of everything

  1. I felt so close to my own childhood reading this. My experiences were similar to yours. Infinite expanding possibilities as I ride my bike downhill on a road out in the country, under the sun in summer. I think I left the world behind. That is what your poem says to me. It’s beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A childhood like that stays with you forever. My son rambled the hills and fished the rivers as a boy. As a man he camps and fishes every chance he gets.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Sherry. I keep wondering when the line was crossed into a constant worry about the safety of our children. And why things changed so radically. Is the world really that much more dangerous now?


  3. Your words resonate with my childhood experience as well. Kids back then were just turned loose, free to roam and explore. There were city things to explore near my house but at my grandparents’ where I spent so much time, there was a marsh and a creek and muskrats, red-winged blackbirds, rabbits, turtles, and green everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is lovely. You capture the wonder of childhood when we could just roam free in nature observing the world and being part of it. I got swept up in the flow of your words. They carried me back to my own experiences of roaming in nature when I was young.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And the irony is that by trying to keep our children “safe”, we’ve actually put them – and the whole world – in danger. Childhood obesity, mental health issues – all steadily rising. I love this piece – the sudden punctuationless explosions of words convey such joy and such flow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sarah. I’m as guilty as any parent, and I wonder why things changed. My children didn’t really roam free until they were teenagers. And then after 9/11 we all purchased cell phones and we know how that has eaten into everyone’s freedom…


  6. All I can think of is that we must have been the exceptions, to remember those days with such affection, because nobody lets their children roam these days, and children don’t even want to. Their eyes have been trained to gave at their palms from babyhood.
    The poem is lovely. You capture those moments with universality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jane. It’s a puzzle how things changed, even before the advent of technology demanding our attention. We can’t go back but how can we move forward in a better way?


        1. I agree. Are there really more crazy people? More people with guns I guess. At least here in the US. And more publicity for things that may have always been going on.


  7. This is a beautiful take on the prompt. I remember the adventure of my childhood too. We had videogames but were only allowed to play at specific times, no TVs in our rooms so we would go out for long too.

    Liked by 1 person

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