September 2018 Haibun, Santa Cruz

IMG_4125I recently spent time at a mindfulness retreat in the Santa Cruz, California redwoods. I re-read Narrow Road to the Interior by Matsuo Basho on the plane ride there, as inspiration for the following short haibun:

traveling solo
offers strength, restoration,
silence, bravery

It smells like I’m camping, with the smoky fire pits and fragrant trees. It brings fall into my heart, even though there still may be one final warm spell when I return home.

two seasons collide
a smoky, warm fireplace, and
sweet honeysuckle

By 11:00 am, I had completed a yoga class, a Qigong class, and a nature hike. I felt alive, alert, and loose.

shoulders fall, loosen
retreating from daily life
mind and body heal

qigong’s fire, earth, wood
body lengthened, awakened
metal and water

After a lovely three-hour reading session, I retreated for the evening to then hear an abundance of crickets – the most I had heard in some time. I walked to the balcony and recorded their music on my phone. Maybe I’ll use it to lull me to sleep upon my return.

bright and crackling fires
crickets repeat their welcome
erase warm summer

I need to remember to cook with a variety of ingredients. The food is local and organic and so very creative. I felt healthy and peaceful sitting outside enjoying breakfast.

rays peer through redwoods
birds sing good morning wishes
beneath verdant gold

 

Writing and image by Jennifer Fifield

See Books and Breezes webpage: September 2018 Haibun.

Advertisements

Elegant Reminder

thumb_img_0021_1024-copyAs we wandered London’s streets the first day, we came upon Big Ben. We had been so busy looking at street signs, and hadn’t noticed we were that close! It was a great reminder to be mindful of all that is around, at all times – and to travel and explore as much as possible.

they wish us welcome
an elegant reminder
chimes call for travel

Writing/image by Jennifer Fifield

Just Lovely

thumb_img_1228_1024Do all Americans fall for a British accent? I would imagine the answer is “absolutely yes.” Before I left for the UK, I told family and friends that, really, all I wanted to do on vacation was sit in pubs and listen to Londoners talk. We were eager to chat with everyone we met, and learn more about the city and British life. And eavesdropping was just lovely!

kinder gentlemen
a tongue to never tire of
king-like and lovely

Writing/image by Jennifer Fifield

Cliffs of Moher

thumb_img_1651_1024The Cliffs of Moher were truly breathtaking. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was ecstatic that there were different paths to take and views to admire. I couldn’t help but think over and over, “I am so absolutely glad I did this!”

the gleam in your eye
welcomes striking, verdant cliffs
ecstasy ascends

Writing/image by Jennifer Fifield

Galway Girl

thumb_img_1724_1024-copy-croppedPub-hopping in Temple Bar was amazing, and just as I imagined it would be. Drinking pints of beer, listening to the music I have heard all these years – but on this occasion, actually in Dublin! A couple of the bands performed the song “Galway Girl,” which I fell in love with.

familiar fiddle
voices and sounds come to life
music fills a tourist’s heart

Writing/image by Jennifer Fifield

Impressionist’s Sky

thumb_img_1150_1024As we walked along the river to Tate Modern, I noticed that the blue lights strung from the trees seemed to accentuate the sky. I couldn’t help but think of Van Gogh. Neither my amateur photography skills, nor my description, do the moment justice. Sometimes beauty cannot be explained.

joyful evening lights
sapphire hydrangea halos
impressionist’s sky

Writing/image by Jennifer Fifield

Never Leave Me

thumb_img_1184_1024While making our way from Buckingham Palace to Thames River, I happily gazed at the changing trees and fallen leaves. It was a beautiful time of year to visit London, and a moment to forever cherish. I knew then that London would never leave me.

leaving Buckingham
fallen leaves snap beneath steps
autumn in London

Writing/image by Jennifer Fifield

An Irish Love

14391021_1290626467638466_8154958907714047152_nThe Irish are known for their kind spirit and friendly personalities. I found this to be very true of everyone we met, whether we were in pubs, in taxis, in airports, or while dangling from Blarney Castle.

for where else do men
refer to women as “love”
-only Ireland

Writing/image by Jennifer Fifield

Dunguaire Castle

thumb_img_1678_1024While in Kinvara, Ireland, we partook in a banquet dinner at Dunguaire Castle. In addition to dinner and many goblets of wine, the staff presented skits, stories, and poetry. As I watched the Irish tales and listened to the verse of Yeats, I promised myself to remember how unique of an evening it was.

Irish tales and rhymes
warm this castle and the soul
-or is it the wine?

Writing/image by Jennifer Fifield

Bath, England

thumb_img_1948_1024We stayed in London two nights in a row, but otherwise never spent the night in the same city twice. We wanted to see a lot of the UK, and that meant moving from place to place fairly quickly, and I wouldn’t change that. But during afternoon tea in Bath, we sank into our chairs and truly relaxed. We mindfully experienced the history and beauty of our surroundings.

steeped English breakfast
though warm, an afternoon tea
cools, calms busy minds

Writing/image by Jennifer Fifield