Compass

I found a magical trail. If I lived nearby I’d walk it everyday.

It’s a dirt trail off a paved trail. It follows a creek that begins as a trickle in a marsh

Then

Widens through rock, under trees and over tree trunks.

The path itself descends and descends some more until I feel I’ve found my magical place. No one there. Barely even a squirrel, although I wouldnt mind.

The kaleidoscope of color and the continuous creek made me want to see more and more.

The terrain became more eroded. There were a couple of ways to cross over to another dirt path. I tool the easiest route.

Then, as highway noise got heavier, this magical path led here….

My hikes often occur to me as metaphors, a compass to show me where I am and point to what might be helpful as I travel on.

🧭 The compass readings:

🧭 Enjoy, or at least,be present for the journey. I don’t know what lies ahead. It may not be what I hope for.

🧭 The journey I’ve taken so far has brought me to see the two sides of my current compass: a lot of what I perceive to be missteps, creating a lot of loss and trauma has caused me to deeply mistrust my self and my steps (hence taking the easiest way across). However, on the other side, if only I dare to flip it over, there is an opportunity to live more deeply in knowing and leaving more of the fear and mistrust behind me.

&

🧭 To descend is where the magic lives. To ascend from there you know more than you did before. 🍂🍁

Travel on,

Nikki, The Soul Reporter

Bench

I definitely think I should have a bench on a walking path.

If my family knew me at all they’d do this for me at my death…

Even in death I don’t feel known and loved.

Carolyn has a bench
She fought tirelessly to preserve the land and paths in which I walk today
Thank you Carolyn.

What did I fight tirelessly to do?

Today I walked to keep myself from drowning in loss, in abandonment

My work is internal
I fight tirelessly for something I still believe in.

If I don’t have a bench how will it be known it was because of my walks I kept fighting

~Nikki, The Soul Reporter

Cascade Trail

Life....
I’m not getting my life right 

Nature.... 
She will keep destroying you until you see what you’ve done 

The Way Back Trail.... 
The Way Back Trail is more
Relaxed and refined 
There’s a calmness to it 
A way of knowing 
The steps slow 
The air breathed 
A smile 
I’m not trying to get anywhere 
I’ve been

A broken tree....
There She is again 
Within Her a touchstone
Circles of life that tell Her Story 
Unburdened now by life, 
A relic of her life 
For me to wonder about 
To receive a lesson 

Back to the Way Back Trail....
The Way Back Trail is a gift I hope all receive 
It tells you more about those layers, those circles within 
So many circles 
They accumulate 
It’s important to sit and rest along this trail 
And listen, feel, understand 
And say thank you 
And ask:
What do I need for my soul?
What does my deepest nature want?


~Nikki, The Soul Reporter

We’re Closing Down Summer

I bought the mums 
and make plans for a plant that’s been outside. 

A man says, how are you young lady
I say alright
He says I’m working too hard— as he throws large logs on the ground— 
But I’ve got to heat the house for winter.

A woman crouches cleaning up her yard 
Soon her Halloween display will turn to Christmas. 

The crickets know what time it is as do the leaves—
ombré then a swath of color. 

I experience the closing down and I’m relieved 
The summer was hectic 
The heat horrendous 
I made it and wonder 
did I prep enough for winter? 

There’s still time. 

~Nikki, The Soul Reporter

You Were a Deep Player

Back then you didn't take on the world's problems
You knew they were there
And set out your worry dolls down on your windowsill at night
Sometimes you were visited by an elf 
Who squeezed your hand tight and 
Told you bad things. 

But you also played

It settled you
At day you explored and refined 
At night the worries surfaced 
And you knew what to do. 

If life is about balance for you
Where is the play now? 


~Nikki, The Soul Reporter
Photo Source: https://www.wiscnews.com/opinion/columnists/stellpflug-column-worry-dolls-are-for-everyone/article_65717998-8115-5936-b473-d9e47df9290d.html

Stains on Streets

Why do I suddenly care about the origins of stains on streets? 
Can't be water— the sun would scorch it and they would disappear. 

Am I poet like the dream-teller told me? 
I don't know how to write poetry. 
Is this it? 
Does it matter? 

Does it matter where the stains on streets come from? 
Just tells me there was life. 



Nikki, The Soul Reporter

Chicken

Together we play a game of chicken
Russian roulette even—
eventually the bullet kills us
Moth to flame—you say it all the time—
eventually we burn
Bait-and-switch—what are we selling that we won't be giving

Game of Chicken
Your freedom or mine
Certainly not ours together

You go your way
I go mine
Now we collide
Toward death or to freedom
Or are they the same

What gives and when
We are at the edge
Which one of us will swerve
Or will we, at the end?

~Nikki, The Soul Reporter

Dad

My dad got into my bones
I didn't know he was there 
until he started to fade away 

The other night at Red Lobster he talked about bunnies eating lettuce—
the kind on his plate
He didn't just talk, he mimicked their bunny eating ways

I thought: what is he talking about....
and what does this have to do with anything....

You see, for me, the conversation has changed 
as my dad's brain gets chipped away by diabetes or 
alzheimer's— we don't know. He says it’s spiritual, he's going "higher" so maybe it's that

But gone is the comfort of bringing him anything 
and him always knowing the right thing to say
or when not to
Now I speak and he munches on his salad like a bunny and laughs

Later we sit on his driveway at dusk
There are the bunnies!
They munch on his grass and 
driveway crack microgreens
I see what he means

There are two chairs on his lawn—
two choices on where to sit and watch the bunnies munch
As we watch together the crows caw and he says
the crows crow, the squirrels squirrel and, yes dad, the bunnies bunny
This is his lesson now

He was once an athlete, 
top of his football and baseball game
Then handball
It's hard to see the cuts and bruises on his body from losing balance 
Once a strong, intimidating man—and still so damn stubborn—
he now laughs, smiles and attunes to my emotions, 
even the angry ones about what is happening to him

Lou, my dad's name, is Lou-ing, 
becoming more real
As he fades and goes higher the strength and wisdom of him 
is in my bones. 

~Nikki, The Soul Reporter

Everything

It’s everything that I love 
Right here in the middle of these trees on a path full of mulch

The sound of crows above me
A light mist falling upon me
The sound of day crickets in august at ear level
A cool breeze through warm moist air
A slate gray sky

I stand still in it and ask for guidance as I sometimes dolately: what is here for me to know?

I open my eyes and everything that I love is right here.

~Nikki, The Soul Reporter