On a business trip to Rotterdam in 2009, I had the privilege of staying at the Hotel New York which was the former headquarters of the Holland American Line. This was one of the departure points for many immigrants leaving for the United States. The hotel was designed like the inner-workings of a cruise ship making it quite unique. I was given a first floor suite right next to the harbor. Upon entering the room, I noted that it was part of the original building dating back to around the start of the 20th century. The wall facing the harbor was all windows but the rest of the room was completely paneled in wood and there was a deep musty smell. The kind of smell that casts off into the air, not only the age of the building, but the stories of its former occupants and those who had passed that way, to begin a new life, in what had become known-as the Isle of Freedom. That night, I was not to be the only occupant of that room, for some of those souls, were still there-for reasons unknown.
Nearby the hotel on another part of the harbor was a dock, the length of which, sat moored, restored sailing vessels of the 19th century. These ships were beautifully redone and looked as if they had not aged a year since they first had sailed. Like the hotel, those ships also had stories to tell.
I later wrote the following:
Ghostly and musty,
Masted vessels of days past,
The Hotel New York.
I am among things an energy sensitive. So whether or not you believe spirits are among the living, trust me they are. I have encountered and connected with spirits in many places, including my present home. Once while in Dublin, we went into a subway shop for a quick lunch on Grafton Street toward the end, near St. Stephen’s Green. The shop was located in an old Georgian home. The only open table was located in what had been an upstairs parlor room. As we ate, I suddenly felt a presence which I determined, was a woman who had previously owned the house. This presence or spirit was apparently angry- because her house had been turned into an eatery.
In the Subway shop,
a spirit interrupted,
lunch in the parlor.
Sunlight reflects off of water differently based on location. For instance the sun which bounces off the Aegean Sea is different than the sunlight that is reflected off of the local creek. The environmental elements have much to do with the different effects, as does latitude. So as nature was playing the music, the sun was dancing away into the mid-day.
Sunlight break dances,
upon the cold creek water,
Early on in mid-March each year, the nearby creek will begin to swell with snow melt. How high the creek gets depends on the amount of snow fall. But if it is high enough, the waters start to flow quickly toward town. There are few places along the way, where the water goes over rocks, creating small rapids which in turn create unique sounds. One day with the sun ablaze and the snow melting, I stopped and listened, as nature’s music played across the open air.
Near the forest path,
the creek swelling with snow melt,
gives a rock concert.
Dublin became a Viking stronghold when the Danish and Norwegian invaders decided to settle there around 841 a.d. There is a part of modern Dublin dating back to this time known as Viking town. It is there that you will find the 1000 year old Christ Church Cathedral. During one of my visits, I went down into the crypt under the church. It was quite humbling to be under one of Dublin’s oldest buildings and as I walked around, the energy I sensed, was both sad and dark.
A sorrowful past,
echos silently in the crypt,
beneath Christ Church.
Some years back during the month of February, I had a business meeting with colleagues over in England. We took a train out of London to Brighton, located on the coast of the English Channel. Starting several days beforehand, extreme weather was generating huge waves with localized damage and flooding. The hotel was just across the street from the channel. In the morning from the breakfast area, through the windows that faced the beach, you could watch these large white foam topped waves crash against and slightly over the sea wall. Sitting there while drinking my coffee, the waves seemed somewhat surreal in their nature.
Large white caps rise up,
ghosts upon an angry sea.
My morning coffee.
We share this planetary home with all types of other sentient life. When we meet in an unexpected manner, there is an opportunity regardless of the distance to create an energetic bond. One day while walking a local trail, I suddenly came upon a deer. We both stopped, stood motionless, and stared at each other. After a few moments the stare softened, as the deer became more aware that I was not there to harm. The deer went about to eating the leaves of a tree, as I continued my walk. As I looked back, the deer looked up, as if we were saying a silent goodbye.
Walking the trail,
A black-tailed deer and I meet,
as kindred spirits.
As previously mentioned, there is an abundance of animal life-where I live. There is a fox, who has a den across the way, just down the road from the house. Almost every morning the fox makes its way across the back grass near the tree line, heading home-sometimes holding a meal, most often not. One morning, the fox stopped and lingered for a few moments.
A fox stops and sniffs,
on the way home from the hunt.
Scent of Northern Pine.
When I visited the island of Santorini, I stayed at a hotel located directly opposite the caldera of the volcano, overlooking the Aegean, and facing toward North Africa. My room was built into a rather steep part of the cliff from which, I could see the small picturesque harbor port far below and the cruise ships mooring off shore.
Every morning to get breakfast, meant climbing up stone steps to the hotel’s terrace-30 feet above. The coffee served was laced with exquisite-intoxicating cinnamon spice, which wafted in the air from its pot, before you even poured a cup.
This haiku captures that morning ritual.
Climbing the steep steps,
for the cinnamon coffee.
A cliff-side breakfast.
I had to move a pile of bricks lying near the house. Now we have a lot of wildlife around, including the occasional snake. This one was about 8 inches long , a baby, who wasn’t one bit intimidated by me.
Moving the brick pile,
a snake rears hissing at me,
an unwanted squatter.