Reason to Rejoice

Hidden pondI was walking on a trail in the Watchung Reservation with my three dogs. It was a hot day and this is the best time to go into the woods were the temperature is typically 10 to 20 degrees cooler. There were very few people in the woods, most likely because a Saturday in August draws people to beaches and pools. It was a pleasure and though we did see others in the woods it was very quiet and I felt very isolated.

I sat for a few moments to give the dogs a rest and to watch and listen to nature unveil itself around me. I sat on a log and I was able to spot some deer about a tenth of a mile away. I also spotted a woodpecker. Later while walking I would see some other birds but most are skittish and once they hear me they move so fast I can’t identify them.

Still as we walked through the woods I couldn’t help but wonder how many persons walked through here. I thought back to the times of George Washington and his men and how they probably passed through here on the way to the battle of Union. I thought about the local Indians and how this was their stomping grounds.Then I looked at all the tress that lovers and travelers carved their initials on.

So many people have passed through here. Some may have thought themselves important. But nature always brings you back to reality as the awesomeness raises my own awareness of my mortality and lack of importance. I am humbled as I walk among the trees many that may be as much as one hundred or more years old.

It dawned on me. Life is a gift and the short time we are here we need to appreciate and use to the best of our abilities. By working towards the greater good with a true love for life and the life of all around us we become a very important part of the life of the world. We become givers of life to the next generation and to those that live around us. Now that is an important function and responsibility.

We all have a responsibility to live to our fullest. That is the gift we call life. So I left the woods feeling invigorated and joyful.

I wish all my walks were as productive!

Have a great life!

Miguel Perez-Santalla

2006- Revisited

From: January, 2006

It was about one year ago I made a difficult change in my life. It didn’t affect many people. It was simply that I had decided to befriend and get to know a homeless person. I felt like St. Francis, I had an aversion to the destitute of society and I needed to break that association and come to know them as children of God.

It so happened that there was a colored woman who every morning would sit in front of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral gift shop on 51st street (right over a grate where heat would come up). I remember before the first day I approached her I used to look down at her. I remember there was always crumbled food next to her and I thought it was disgusting. I always averted contact with people like her believing that many are drug addicts, alcoholic etc. and that I should not give them money because I may be supporting their habit. So though I knew in my mind they actually have the same gift of life from God that I have, I treated them like lesser people.

Then I made the effort. It started at first I would just give her a few dollars a day, which made me feel better. However I truly did not change until she asked me my name. Her name was Ann. She had a beautiful smile when you spoke to her. The crumbs she placed on the ground where there to feed the birds. She was an avid reader and enjoyed science fiction. She smoked cigarettes, but only two or three a day. Every day I saw her brought me great joy. She would ask me about my family, my children, my weekend, and my business trips. I would ask her about her health and if she needed anything. She always said she was fine.

Then one week she was not in her spot for a few days. I was concerned and hoped she would come back soon. On Thursday morning she was back. She told me she has a heart condition and had been in the hospital. I told her I would pray for her recovery and I asked her to quit smoking. That was a few months ago.

Recently, I went to mass with a coworker who I had gotten a Mass said for his departed grandmother. I saw my friend enjoy the mass and feel close to his grandmother a year after her death. We came out of the cathedral and went across the street; I was sharing with him my morning routine and so I introduced him to Ann. Ann said to me, “You’re really happy this morning.” I said I was because my friend Gerry was with me. Gerry said hello and I gave her some money and we said goodbye. It was a special morning.

The week before Ann told me one of her favorite book collections is “The Lord of the Rings”. I was planning on bringing her the full collection in paperback as a gift. Then sadly the day after I spoke to her with Gerry she was not at her normal spot. It has now been almost three weeks since I have seen her. I looked for her at lunch time in different buildings with public parks where she told me she is often found. I did not find her. I have been praying for her everyday hoping that she is well and that I may see her gain.

Sadly I fear that she may not be coming back. I know she would have good and bad days with her heart condition and she often talked it down. Now I am thinking that I may not have done enough to help her. I should have tried harder. I know that I did not give to her as much as she gave to me. She opened my eyes and my heart to the love of God. Her concern for me, a person in a much better state in life, made a significant impression on me. She truly cared for me as a true friend. She had love, the kind of love that we should share and have for all people. She had a truly Christian heart and I will strive to be like her.

I still hold hope that she may come back. But if the good Lord took her I am certain that she is in the bosom of his love. I will continue praying for her everyday not knowing for sure what has happened to her. And if she is in Heaven I know that she prays for me to our Lord.

With love in my heart I say God bless you Ann wherever you may be.

Constant Longing

TwilightEarly morning sun
A welcome guest
Too short when it comes
A light-fest

Rising become easy
Like a lover’s kiss
She wakes me
I rise for this

The joy it brings
It warms the heart
Smiles abound
Great way to start

Days filled with laughter
And wonderment
Life enriching
Life’s compliment

Slowly
She begins to fade
Less time for me
I grow afraid

Darkness comes
No rising light
Taking over
The coming plight

Dreams of her
Will keep me going
Her every word
Bright and showing

Be the light
For others to see
Chase the black
Out to sea

Peace and love
Triumph always
Battle charge
Opens pathways

A swift return
This I pray for
A hope that’s full
A dream I care for

Rising sun
Come back to me
I miss you so
Don’t let me bleed

Your light fills
Every essence
Without you
Life lacks presence

Opening eyes
I see your rising
All is right
Blinding and uncompromising

© Miguel Perez-Santalla

Eternally Onward

Eternally Onwards

The age of reason
Has come and gone
Deceit and pleasure
Are number one

Young I thought
Life is long
Now times goes by
A passing gong

The thrill of life
Is in the learning
Living on the edge
Lacks all discerning

Wisdom comes
Too late for most
The body is weak
Our soul’s host

Truth and beauty
Sounds like a chime
Yet evils lurks
Throwing on it
Lies of slime

To seek true joy
In life, ain’t easy
The right path
Not for weak kneed

Many go wrong
With thoughts
Of second chances
There is no going back
No happenstances

Cherish the beauty
Open your heart
To love
Then it will lift
Heart and mind
Way up above

In an instant
This plane is gone
Only good spirits
Spring eternally on

By- G. Miguel Perez-Santalla

Copyright 2015

A Beautiful Place

I had bought a pair of binoculars at least 10 years back at a garage sale. These were in perfect condition. I had no idea what I would use it for and at the time I was going to many baseball games with my sons. Whenever we had nosebleed seats we would bring them along. It’s not very helpful to look through binoculars while at a game. You miss the action trying to track it down. For the most part they have sat on the shelf in my office for many years.

Recently I mentioned we had Robins nest in a pine tree outside our bathroom window. I was able to watch them through the whole process. Nesting, laying the eggs, sitting on the eggs, the hatch-lings, raising their young and finally the young leaving the nest. I began to get curious about the beautiful creatures we call birds.

I bought a book on birds in New Jersey. I got my binoculars out and now I am trying to take note of all the birds and their names. I am checking them off in the book and keeping a journal of my bird spotting. But to be sure I check the correct bird name I need my binoculars ….. my eyes are not so sharp anymore, even close up.

This morning I went for an early morning walk at 6 am. It happens that is when all the birds wake up and start their day. I was able to spot four different birds on my walk. As I was walking I had an interesting revelation.

The birds fly about gather food and enjoy the beauty around them. We humans on the other hand think we need to acquire or make beauty. Spending money on this or that thing. I am not saying that is all together a bad thing but some worry about it way too much. Many feel they need to keep up with the “Jones’s”.

If we step back and behave more like birds we will find more peace and harmony in our lives. They care about the basic necessities and worry about taking care of each other. It seems like loving each other is their top priority. They don’t fret about many things. When the chores are done they sit back and enjoy the beauty that already surrounds us.

Simply put, the focus should be in making our homes a place of love like the birds do. If we do that then beautiful things in life will become more abundant. And they aren’t things you can buy. Our homes become the beautiful place.

PS: The most common bird in my neighborhood is our tenant’s family, the American Red Breasted Robin.

NJ Robbin

A Room with a View

NJ RobbinI have been blessed. Outside my bathroom window is a pine tree where this spring a Red Breasted Robbin decided to build its nest. I have been watching daily as the birds, both father and mother tended to it. First came the eggs then of course the sitting and caring for them. Last week they hatched and now I watch as they feed and protect their young. The other day during a particularly hard rain fall I watched as one of the parents spread its wings over the nest protecting the hatchlings. It was a beautiful scene to observe as the water rolled off its wings. Some times when I walk close to the tree in the backyard the parents would fly off. They would not go far and I would watch them with my binoculars while they remained within view on the nearest oak. I have been careful never to go to close to the nest or disturb it in any way. When thinking about the beauty I am observing in creation I can’t help but realize my parents where there for me and others as well. Somehow throughout my life, with all the mistakes I have made, I feel someone has had their wing over me. These birds sure made it clear that living life is really about loving others. All the toil we have only helps us learn how we should share our strengths and when we can spread our own wings over someone else who may be weaker when the rains come down.

Are We Nazis?

ImageOur country is scarring the hell out of me. When in an article about baby murderer Kermit Gosnell the statement “he is only charged with killing 7 live babies” goes unchallenged by the reporter’s editors it tells the story of evil winning over good. To be fair it is meant to say that only seven out of hundreds.Still the wording of using “only” tells another story.

In a way it is a good thing that the truth about the way abortionists think is coming out unfortunately the major media is doing everything in its power to protect the persons and the industry. Recently a worker at Planned Parenthood openly admitted believing that if a baby is born alive from a botched procedure it is still the mother’s decision whether the child survives. Apparently it is not about the Woman’s body but about her desire to have or not have a child, As if a child is a commodity and not a blessing.

 

The success of the abortionists has been to convince the general public that pregnancy is like a disease. It has also convinced the general public that a baby in the womb is not a baby. However the people are not so dense as to believe that a baby once born is still not a baby. The abortionists’ position that the mother has the right to kill a born living baby is actually the logical conclusion of believing that abortion should be permitted. To those that support abortion and do not condone the killing of a born living baby by decision of their mother, I say you are not consistent. It was a baby before it was born….wake up! You can’t have it both ways.

The way of thinking of our ever increasing extremely self-centered socialist society will lead to the NAZI (National Socialist Workers Party) dream accomplished without war. By the slow Imageacceptance of immoral behavior and the acceptance of the misuse of our human bodies for the use for ends for which they were never intended we are corrupting our society. It will only be a matter of time if we remain on this course when an elderly person will be executed because they can no longer take care of themselves, babies will be killed if they are born ill without consent of the parent and if for any reason a person becomes unable to be productive they will be eliminated. The fireman who goes into a coma for a long period of time after saving others’ lives will no longer be protected from the selfishness of our society. This was one of the goals of the Nazis and this is the trend in the United Socialist States of America.

Is it a wonder that there are so many murderers in this country?  We constantly read of people for no logical reason killing innocent people both adults and children. Yesterday people were attacked by knife on a college campus. For me it is not a surprise when we are raising our people to have no respect for human life.

Kermit Gosnell killed hundreds of living babies and the major media does not care. They support Infanticide. At least somehow their true colors are coming out. I fear that until they start killing people who can defend themselves even slightly the people will not rise up. I hope that I am wrong.Miguel Perez-Santalla