The Woodpecker in the Tree

Sheets of dry leaves rustle in the trees above me.  The breeze spirals them to the ground, making a sound like far-away static, coding a secret out to the universe.

Lasers of sun shine through the thinned foliage, warming my shoulders. The sky is bluish milk.  No clouds visit.

The leaves continue to turn and spin showers of color

as begins a dull, rhythmic whack…vibrating the stillness… over and over.

No one else is around and I am quiet.  Who, then?

A puzzle for the mind.  But the soul is calm and wise.

It aims my eyes upward and straight, zeroing in on the creature so like itself:  open, free, expressive, natural.

The red crown of the woodpecker pierces through the golds, browns and oranges, and my mind instructs me to chill out…the sound is only a bird.

My soul has a different opinion.  It is not just a bird, it is a piece of me, too.

I sigh in happy contentment with the paradox of mind and soul struggling to be what truly matters, and the woodpecker’s fierce intensity against the wood.

I would have had a headache by now if I had been the bird entirely.

— ( c ) St. John 2009

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