Meditation on the Moment

The following poem of mine, “Meditation on the Moment” was originally published in a book called, True Belonging: Mindful Practices to Help You Overcome Loneliness, Connect with Others, and Cultivate Happiness (c) 2011 by Jeffrey Brantley, MC, DFAPA and Wendy Millstine.

Dr. Jeffrey Brantley was my first meditation teacher in the Duke Integrative Medicine MBSR program. His wife, Mary Brantley, introduced me to the practice of Metta (Loving Kindness). Through both of these teachers my life was forever changed in a most beautiful way. I wrote this poem for Dr. Brantley and he first used it in meditation classes and later asked to publish it in his book. This was an honor I will always hold very close to my heart.


Meditation on the Moment

When I am ready,
I close my eyes
and focus on the breathing;
awareness of air
passing through the nose
down through the body;
the belly rises, falls,
rises again ~
its slow rhythm
setting the tone.

Next, focus on the body,
accepting it for once
as it is right now,
here in this moment,
for the moment
is all we have.

Breathing in,
breathing out,
shoulders soft,
no striving
to get somewhere
for there is no place
to be but here.

No judging of self,
simply letting it be
in the moment
for the moment.

Rain pounds against the glass
this February evening.
The image begins with sound
transforming into a thought.

Raindrops falling,
each one perfectly formed
but then releasing,
allowing itself to lose
what it was alone,
becoming instead
part of something more.


Poem by Mary Kendall, 2007

The Eagles Have Landed…



The eagles landed some time ago and have carefully rebuilt and replenished their nest. I am referring to the now famous Deborah Eagles out in Iowa. For several years now, I’ve been one of their fans watching the live camera feed. The first egg has been laid, and the camera is showing mom sitting on it as the wild winds blow past here high up in a cottonwood tree.


The first egg was laid a day ago. It will hatch in 35-39 days if all goes well.

eagles together close up of egg

Watch it, if you dare. You just might get hooked on this fascinating bit of eavesdropping.

Raptor Resource Project Decorah Eagle Cam, Decorah, IA


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I first watched them in 2011 and was fascinated by the eagles but also by the avid eagle watchers. I learned more about eagles and raptors than I thought I would. For instance, this first egg that was just laid will hatch in 35-39 days. These particular nesting eagles have been very successful, very attentive parents. If you have children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews or if you teach, I can’t recommend this more highly. Technology gives us a beautiful glimpse into the world of these powerful, beautiful birds.
And, since this is my poetry blog, here’s my poem that I wrote for the first eagles I watched learning to fly. Hard to imagine that they need to “learn” but they do indeed. My poem is dedicated to the eagles.
out of the nest

And Then It Flew

Older by only days, the first-born eagle
Was the first to branch, the first to fly~

Young eyes studying the world beyond the tree,
It now stood on a limb, lifting its wings over

And over, learning how to battle erratic gusts,
Learning how to channel the waiting wind,

Understanding now what it would be like to fly.
Again and again, those powerful wings fluttered,

Starting and stopping, gaining strength and nerve,
Gathering courage for that first awkward jump

Until one morning it lifted off the branch and flew,
Joining its parents in capturing the wind, trusting

That once it had made that leap, it too would fly.

His first flight.

His first flight.