As early sunlight breaks over the trees at an Alabama state park, a light breeze begins to tickle the lake’s sleepy surface. A cardinal pair chirps nearby. The aroma of hot coffee wafting, I take my first sip slowly and begin to muse on God’s blessing of nature’s uncorrupted beauty,
shadows rippling over
Al W Gallia
A gentle voice I’ve heard so often in my mind reminds me again: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” Jn 14:27
Today, I was privileged to witness another of my wife’s animal whispering encounters! A dragonfly flitting about our blooming gardenia found a rest stop which Bobbie quickly spotted. As she always does, she started a conversation and, for a few moments, they shared some special connection and message. I never stop being amazed!
resting dragonfly her fingertip senses a tentative touch
My friends…many of the haiku I am prompted to write arise from visual experiences as my wife, Bobbie, and I travel in our motorhome RV. If we see something special and meaningful while I drive, she takes photos! Posts like this are collaborative, with a bit of embellishment on my part, and works well for us! Her capture of this old tree along the roadside was my prompt in this haiku/haiga/haibun. Thanks, sweetheart..
Thunder slowly rolls into the distance after the cold rain storm. The old tree never wavered but held its ground as it has for over a hundred years. Water dribbles down its remaining bark, winding through old ridges and crevices and onto the anthill below. A crow circles the tree once and flies on. Somewhere across the field, a cow moos.
I pull back my rain hood, breathe the fresh, crisp air, and walk out from the dilapidated cow shed toward my grandparent’s house across the field. From their chimney, the north wind carries the aroma of woodsmoke and bacon! Picking up my pace, I have a happy “thank you, Lord” in my heart.
A perfect autumn afternoon at Lake Martin, a short drive from home. The kind of day that brings a smile to my face, even when no one else is around, and chases stress and concern quickly away with beautiful earth-tones, stillness, and reflections, and life’s chorus.
I treasure my time in Nature’s solitude; it is my direct channel to meditation and prayer where God is always present. Blessings and peace.
A tinge of autumn in the air this morning! How delightful! The Indian Summer days following will be filled with subtle color changes and countless dragonflies. I love the feel of this season…it promises a rebirth of Joie de vivre if we are just patient and have faith.
Six years ago, while we were spending a stormy day at an Alabama coastal campground, I simply watched the rain and listened to the continuous thunder. Nature photography was my love at the time and I had no inkling then that, over the next year, I would also fall in love with haiku, a Japanese short form poetry which would greatly enhance my aging life.
thunder and lightning…
cuddled around the fireplace
an old man and his wife
Al W Gallia 08/07/21
The world has changed so much since then with social and political unrest, ongoing Covid pandemic, mask wearing, social isolation, and loss of family and friends. At our age, it is hard for my wife and me to adjust to this new stormy reality. But we are survivors and we have a strong faith and hope in our loving God and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. So we face the storm head-on without fear, staying focused on the Truth and Light. Blessings and peace, my friends.
Nothing is more peaceful in the summer than a cypress swamp in the dead heat of day. The stillness is broken only by cicadas harmonizing, peepers chirping, and occasional egrets calling. Nature’s pungent perfume wafts on a random light breeze that gently moves a few lily pads. Sweat drips from my brow onto my camera. I love it! okay
A hot mid-summer day at the beautiful Cypress Island Wildlife Preserve near Lafayette, Louisiana. Not much is stirring on this ‘dog day’ as I walk quietly along, under hanging moss, listening to the cicada chorus in full voice with a random peeper chiming in. It hasn’t rained recently and the earthy smells of sun baked swamp, moss, and duckweed drift heavy in air.
Trickles of sweat run down my neck, but I am happy passing the afternoon capturing nature’s unscripted haiku moments with my mind’s eye and camera. Such moments abound as Serendipity exposes them one by one with each turn in the path. I loose myself in nature,.. some call it ‘forest bathing’.
Finally I am reminded of reality when a mosquito buzzes my face and a nearby owl hoots! A peaceful stillness gradually settles with evening cooling as my day closes with a chug of much needed water and a silent prayer of gratitude to God. In evening’s waning light, a young raccoon ambles across my return path with hardly a sidewise glance and our eyes meet for a brief second. I smile.