Saturday, March 30, 2013

Finding Easter

Eagles in Late March

Easter came early or maybe we went looking for it. Today it could be seen, could be felt
along the Mississippi River in Red Wing and Wabasha.

Beneath the bluffs on route to Red Wing we left the urban complexities behind
and looked at mauve and taupe trees on hillsides and bluffs we wanted to embrace.

Hearing the weather was going to be less desirable for an outing tomorrow, we sought
the beauty of Lake Pepin today.

At first the "lake" was shrouded in a bluish gray under an overcast sky. But then the sun
lifted everything and the shadows, the brilliance of the frozen river, held us captive.
My friend and I talked to a bartender who found his spot overlooking the river and there has stayed for nine years. He'll never have an office view so wondrous--and he knows it.

I think my friend was once a Native American. She spotted the eagles and osprey,
hawks, and barn swallows that to me are so fluid in flight.

No one picked today to seek the river out. So it was ours. On the one hand there was still
snow that has it's own unmarked beauty, and on the other, spring was also near.
It was like winter and spring were holding hands.

Fifty seagulls had a family reunion on a block of ice and road the river.

"Do you think they know they're moving?"

"Yes, they know," I answered.

Once an eagle was pointed out for me, I couldn't let it go. I kept watching it sitting on a branch of a tree near the open water. We saw more eagles higher in the sky, but they had a mission they weren't sharing.

We had a feast but it wasn't table food; it was the soul food of nature.

We topped off the day by finding Serendipity Co-Op Art Gallery. I scooped up wondrous photos of perhaps the last healthy moose in MN, Split Rock Light House with the sun reflecting off it's windows in a God-wave, geese with goslings, and sailboats set against sunsets.

Aren't we always looking for redemption? We draw inspiration from an altar, a belief,
and rejoice in the saga of early spring finding God was there--all along. What a prayer.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Angels Over Us - A Letter to my Congressional Representative

Valencia Castle, Valencia, Spain

Congressman John Kline
US House of Representatives

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dear Representative Kline,

I am one of your constituents; I am a poet. I’m writing on one over-riding issue and that is the pandemic of violence in our culture.

How I long to see, to hear--you step forward on universal background checks, mental health services for troubled children and their families, and the removal of assault weapons off our streets. School safety, yes, but more than school safety is required.

I wonder as the days have gone by since the immense tragedy at Newtown, how all those we've lost can bear looking through the clouds. For when they look down, they see the blood of precious human beings bathed in the color of violence. Each luminous face must look at the others and say—not today. Not today. No, change. These links below speak to us—saying act!

We’ve all been rocked by Newtown, Connecticut. But the purpose of this letter is to urge you to look at the whole picture, not merely part of it.  I urge you to step forward with the dignified voice you possess. Later doesn’t work anymore. It’s a new day. It has to be now. It’s what the people want.

I pray your aids look at each other and say: Give him this one (meaning: Give Representative Klein, give you this letter.)

Every story of violent loss bears the name of a human being sent to bless the planet, not be slaughtered on it.

In that light, I wish to support the Mokos family who lost Diane Kriz: a sister, a daughter, a friend in Chicago in July of 1986. At 46, she was a mother of four. No solace can be taken for them in seeing someone arrested for the crime that forever changed Bob Mokos’ family. Imagine how important some controls on gun accessibility are to them. It is everything since they’ve lost someone who meant the most to them.

I ask you to look at causes vs. how to deal with results—on the attack on an elementary school in Connecticut. We must, as the majority of NRA members agree, put in place background checks across the United States. Along with that, we need a data base second to none.

But we also need to honestly look at the horrific amount of assault weapons in the hands of those who shouldn’t have weapons at all. Fear, crazy fear, and unfounded paranoia have lead to many Americans arming themselves like a militia to fight an imaginary army that doesn't exist (to take anyone’s rights).

We’ve created our own hell on Earth.

Focusing on school safety isn’t enough. As the visuals on the Huffington Post today show, it’s almost by doing nothing—we nearly bless the bloodbath.

Let’s change the view below the clouds as those we’ve lost to violence look down upon us.

May they say, with your help, with your courage to step forward: TODAY! Today is the day they’re sanctifying the loss of our lives and over two thousand more. Today they’re taking steps to save more lives.
Please make the difference only you can make. Stand for protecting us all.


Connie Nelson Ahlberg
Writer in Residence
705 E Burnsville Parkway, Unit 106
Burnsville, MN 55337

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Since the World Needs Blessing

 Saint Benin's Church Window, St. Patrick
Kilbennan, Ireland
County Galway, Ireland by Andreas F. Borchert

Since the World Needs Blessing
Ay Be Blessin' Thee

Held by Ye Heavenly Mother
Are Ye
From the day you were born;
Not just for the road ahead
But Grace for the road behind;
In gratitude for Thy father and Mother
That bore ye whether
Mornin' or night;
And what of luck, me darlin',
if not the Grace you
live out under God
In the Trinity Three in
 Thy daily walk,
Not ever proud 
But as quiet an' purposeful as the birds
Soaring above the sea wall,
Making no fuss
Of their flight or wings;
But prayin' as ye go;
and livin' that prayer:
Blessing as you meet
All Irish children 
And those that aren't:
Ye are blessed, Ye
are worthy 
of Abundant Grace!
Look at your face
in the glass;
Put a smile on God's 
Eternal Blessing 
for all of ye days!

By Connie Nelson Ahlberg
March 16, 2013