She whispers my name... Only I can hear

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The wave

It is easy to become disconnected
Living here in this small depressed city
Schenectady
The meaning of the word has been all but forgotten
Taken from the Mohawk people, twisted by Dutch settlers
Schenectady
The place on the far side of the pines

The meaning is appropriate to me now
As I look from my windows, down upon a neighborhood
That doesn't seem to care
About itself
About each other
About the world we live in

The city seems to be
On the far side of everything

Priorities
Getting to and from work
Shopping
Small talk
People embrace their small groups of friends
While ignoring each other, looking around with disdain and mistrust

In this way
The cop and the drug dealer
The thief and the victim
The wealthy and the poor
The working and the unemployed
The educated and the ignorant
Can all occupy the same street
Hiding behind locked doors

Without conflict
Indifferent to one another
Going on and on

They seem dead to me
Like lifeless robots
Unaware of everything
But their simple everyday programs

Awareness is the key

They do not hear the rain
Only complain about the wet

They measure snow by the weight of the shovel
Rather than by the beauty of the falling white flakes
Or the subtle white shrouds on the trees and over the ground

They measure almost everything, it seems
By the level of inconvenience it brings
To their mundane daily routines
No one smiles, no one sings

But something magic happens
When I turn from this place
And head to the farm
With it's much slower pace

Schenectady is surrounded with a beauty
Most fail to see
The mighty Mohawk, winding down to the even mightier Hudson
Big water, carrying the collected raindrops of a thousand storms
The two rivers sweep their way through farmland and forest

My spirit soars, like the hawks I see
Rising on invisible thermals
Above the checkerboard of trees and fields. so free
As I pass by, moving from the dank urban misery to rural pastures
I begin to breathe differently, my heart beats with a renewed intensity.

Leaving the highway behind
I find myself on familiar old roads
Surrounded by wilderness and farms
Rising up into the hills, until...

This is farm country now
Not factory style industrial farms
Real Farms, kept running with skill and hard work

Priorities revolve around the weather
And the needs of the livestock
Cows to be milked
Chickens to be fed
Fields to be tended

This is where Food comes from
There is an unspoken importance to it all
The Farmers are aware of everything

Awareness is the key

And then the road takes me up a long, long, hill
Murphy hill, the locals call it
Leaving the Cobleskill valley
It carries you into the Catskill highlands

Life is different here
As I approach the family farm
Winter is harsher
Summer is shorter yet sweeter
The air is fresher
The water, cleaner
The terrain, more rugged

Unpaved roads are the norm
They wind their way
From Farm to Farm
Climbing over long languishing hill tops
Or skirting around them for miles.

The hills can be unforgiving
And survival is more tenuous than down below
But the people know it
And the sense of community
Spread over an area measured in square miles
Is far more inclusive and inviting
Than my lonely block back in the city.

People here don't care about your politics
So much as they care about your well being
They stick together with an unspoken understanding
An attitude of independence and interdependence
All rolled into one.

I once arrived at the Farm in a blizzard
Only to find the road freshly plowed
And as I crested the hill, and the house came into sight
I saw nine strangers on the roof
They were going from home to home
Shoveling the massive snowfall from the rooftops
Lest someone's home should collapse from the sheer weight of the snow

No one had asked them to come
It was simply understood.
They had the means, and the time to do the job
They wanted no reward
Protecting neighbors homes is simply what they do

So I offered them hot coffee, and hot chocolate
Which they graciously declined
Fearing that they might not get to every home in the area before dark

So after some small talk, and much smiling
They were off to the next home
People here work hard
But they seem to smile a lot as well

And so it is
There is a phenomenon here
Something that has always stayed with me
And given me comfort when my faith in people has been less than great

It is a simple thing
Yet I find it very reassuring
As I traverse Farmland and wilderness
On the slow unpaved roads

The people here seem truly glad to see you coming
As they work in their yards or sit out on their porches in the warmer months
They smile at you
And if you make the effort to acknowledge their presence
When you pass by

They wave to you

If you feel any sort of a connection to this place at all
You feel compelled to wave back
So you wave and say hello

And if you haven't already
You fall in love with this place, and these people

11 comments:

Tao1776 said...

Thanks....I can say no more....

adee said...

"They do not hear the rain
Only complain about the wet"

sadly, this is the way of life, this is the way of civilized life these days. we get to know about our neighbors from the newspapers, we make more friends online than offline, we call nature a nuisance and everything that kills her a technological leap.

and then, there are those, who know in tune with nature, who know she is the mother and respect and behave in her presence, who know that all her children are equal. till the time these people live, mother nature will live and such is the bond between two, that till the time she lives, they ll survive.

i wish them all the best. and carry on with my yearning heart in this lonely city of million strangers.

meeta said...

A beautiful piece..i'm sure that a lot of people after reading this will tell u so and also that they can understand how u feel..I'm one of them too..I know what you felt while writing it, but I also wanna tell u that I feel the same on top of that i love and enjoy what I feel..the moments of silence in which I enjoy the pure bliss that nature has blessed us all with :)

Simply Poet said...

awesome !!

human being said...

.

there is always
a window to the world
with a soul
looking through it
understanding the good and bad of
the way of people

there is always
people passing by
never looking up
to see the window
to see the soul
to know more

there is always
a window to the world
and the sun
peeping through it...


.

Mariana Soffer said...

The first poem is amazing, it reminded me too many things I said, copied of written. For example the fact that if you repeat a word over and over again it looses it's meaning, it becomes detached from it and gains indifference a kind of nullity provided by the overexposition to it. It also reminded me of a song from Radiohead called "no alarms and not suprises", read the lyrics and you would like that I think, and understand what I mean.
The two followings wich are indeed the same, told from another perspective are really accurate, that was life is about, being aware, not overwelmed with thoughts, future plans and regreats. Being conscious of the moment, place and situation we are living at is the most magical stage life can attain.
The last one if so sweet and nice too, depicting the marvels of living life the way it should be done. Reminds me of another song dough the message is rather sad, but it is called "say hello" and sang by merchant and stype, I also recomend you to check it out.
Lots of hugs
M

Lydia said...

Epic.

May I reprint this at my other blog, Clutterquake? If not fully, then to link to it?

Citizen of Earth said...

Tao1776

Thank YOU for stopping by & taking the time to comment


adee

Yes, the city of a million strangers
I know these places well, though they are becoming more and more foreign to me now...
Thanks for being one who is "in tune with Nature"
Bending like a reed when necessary and standing strong to defend her with your words.

meeta

Thank you for your lovely thoughts
I am glad you came here and took the time to share
Peace be with you always

Simply Poet

Thank you so for the positive input

human being

Beautiful words
I miss you my friend
Geography and culture
Have separated us
By thousands of miles
But spirit, words, and language
Keep us close enough
To see into each other's Hearts
And minds

My thoughts are with you always

Mariana S

Thank you for the kind words
And for the inspiration
Certainly I will check the songs out
Music often speaks where all else is silent

Hugs to you too

Lydia

Thanks
Of course you may reprint or reuse anything you find here on Zenspace
Reach out and touch as many people as you may
The message is not mine, I am simply a herald
It is the growing awareness that is most important now
Every strand in the web is as important as any other
My heart rejoices that I do not sing alone

Lydia said...

Thanks Bobbb. It is posted. :)

Bob Weisenberg said...

Beautiful poem. I can picture all the scenery because my daughter lives in Schenectady and I always make it a point to drive through the country on backroads when I visit her.

Your snow shoveling theme reminded me of this piece I wrote last year:

"Enlightenment in a Snow Shovel" http://wp.me/PlUox-fl

Thanks to Clutterquake for the introduction. I'll look forward to following your blog.

Bob Weisenberg
YogaDemystified.com

Citizen of Earth said...

Your welcome Lydia

Welcome Bob W to my humble blog
I have been around for a look, but have yet to comment on your blog