What I Know Eby Way

Our Retirement Community

What I Know

This is a poem about the awe, mystery, hardships, and blessings of life.

This is what I know:

I know it’s a fall morning in Cave Junction, Oregon. I prepare to walk my dog, Max, a 15 pound, white, fox terrier.

I live in a gated, retirement community. I look forward to this walk again: comfortable, protected, reliable.

Verdant mountains surround our little neighborhood in the distance. Orange-brown berms with splotches of wild vegetation frame the lower and hill-top streets. Fresh, pine-scented, cool mountain air, definitely provide a sensual treat. I am at peace, safe, and warm.

Turkey vultures and huge ravens glide majestically in the powder-blue sky. White paint-brush clouds swirl, presenting a gentle backdrop to a warm golden sun that makes me high. I feel lifted, loved, enlightened.

As Max and I walk up the hill-top street, a herd of deer rummage through the forest of madrone and ponderosa pines. Max goes crazy. His commotion startles a hidden family of quail into panic flight. He missed the wild turkeys scampering further down the road to a bushy safe-haven out of sight.

There is enchantment here. I know that people less fortunate are hurting and have much to fear. There is wonder here. There is endless time here.

Pain exists. I see disease, war, violence, pollution, homelessness. I have dealt with poverty, abuse, prejudice, addictions, loss, grief, trauma, hopelessness. But, they do not live here.

I know anger explodes; fear paralyzes; anxiety panics; guilt destroys; depression terrorizes. But, they do not live here.

In the distance, the paint-brush clouds merge into a black drape that floats above the mountains. The sun is still out but rain begins. But Max doesn't seem to mind as pelting drops morph into gushing fountains.

I am getting cold, wet, and uncomfortable; but I do not fear. I know a warm safe-haven awaits me. The air smells sweet. Sunlight streams through the cloud-curtain; the rain stops; a glorious rainbow arch appears.

Golden light divides into orange, red, yellow, purple, green. In a flash the rainbow disappears; the sun warms my face; the sky becomes clean.

I know beauty exists. It shines in art, music, rain, trees, mountains, snow, oceans, animals, peace, joy, love, rainbows, poetry.

I know I’m mortal and this physical life will someday end. I feel a glowing light inside. It has rainbow colors. It comforts, sustains, and encourages me to bend.

Today, I have claimed a better life.

Today, I have claimed my unconditional worth and value.

All people have the ability to refute all that is negative, painful, and self-destructive.

All people can walk in the Light; breathe in the Light; move in the Light.

All people can have more life than ever imagined.

Even in the darkest of nights, in the most troubled of life, infinite beacons of rainbow colors are inside of us and all around us.

I know the power of the positive will always overcome all that is negative.

I know that the attitude of gratitude will lift our spirit like wings of an eagle.

No matter who or where you are or come from, you can walk in the Illinois River Valley of Cave Junction, Oregon; where you will find safety, peace, serenity.

This is what I know and one thing more.

I love Robert Hotaling: beloved father, dad, step-dad, grandfather, husband, author, educator, WWII veteran, lover of life.

He died on October 16th, 2011 at the age of 93; active, alert, independent right up to the end.

His soul shines golden with others I hold dear, when rainbows appear again, from the mountaintops in Cave Junction, Oregon.

This is what I know.

This is what I know...





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Comments 53 comments

SwiftFamily profile image

SwiftFamily 5 years ago from Rayle, GA

I'm so sorry for your loss. Like you said beauty is all around us; we've just got to keep on seeking it.


buythewayside profile image

buythewayside 5 years ago from Wilmington, DE

Beautiful - your words create vision.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

SwiftFamily: Thank you for you kind words. Yes, grief hurts. But I see Dad, Mom, and other dear ones we have lost under the rainbows. Peace and Light...Gary.

buythewayside: Appreciate your comments. Sending you yellow butterflies! Peace and Light...Gary.


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

Thank you for sharing this Gary.. I have just written about losing those we know and I will publish it this week. I think, given the content of your hub here, you may well appreciate those words, or share them with Robert, in celebration of his life. Take care.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Pearldiver: You're welcome. I appreciate your sensitive words. Yes to the power of walking in the Light and to celebrating life with all who care. Namaste....Gary


Kellianne Sweeney 5 years ago

Beautiful and a wonderful reminder. :)


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Kellianne Sweeney: Thank you so much for your comments. Yes to being grateful for the beauty of life all around us. Peace and Light...Gary.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

Your description is vivid and touching. Nice work.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Vivaya Ghimire: Thank you. Here's to looking at rainbows from mountain tops. Peace and Light....Gary.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA

I enjoyed the opening description of your community and verdant mountains you see on your walks. I can tell from your writing that you are a very encouraging person, and I am sure you have helped others in your community. Very thought provoking poem.


Shashi 5 years ago

Dear Gary

Its beautiful the way you have described the whole community with the perfect imagery of the area around you.. as well as the wild life thrown around... It will be great to spend some time there, writing. You are living in a beautiful place... full of creative energy I think. I am already loving your community.. live well my friend and live in creative passion...

In the shadow of Bodhi Tree

Young Buddha smiles

What life is?

Shashi

? ??? ?????

Om Namah Shivaya

http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/

At Twitter @VerseEveryDay


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

A wonderful poem celebrating life, light & world. Sorry for your loss. I hope and wish you all the best. Be blessed


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

SweetiePie: I'm really glad you see my poem as much more than an ode to grief. I meant it to be thought provoking, with hints about how we can all have a better life. Sending you purple butterflies today. Peace....Gary.

Om Namah Shivaya: You my friend are the first to perceive that this poem as a spiritual message about the meaning of Life. Yes to the Bodhi Tree. Sending you beacons of turquoise Light. Namaste....Gary.

ubanichijioke: You are the second my friend to see this poem as much more than grief and loss. Yes to celebrating Life, Light, and the Positive World. Sending you rainbow-colored Light. Peace.....Gary.


Lola1929 profile image

Lola1929 5 years ago from Oregon

Very beautiful, peaceful place to be. I think we all strive to get there, but for many reasons many of us never make it there. But... there is always hope, isn't there?


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Thank you so much Lola. Here to the power of Hope, Joy, Serenity. Peace and Light....Gary.


SherrieAnne profile image

SherrieAnne 5 years ago

glcoach~ This is absolutely beautiful! I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear Father. Thank you for sharing something so sweet.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Appreciate your kind and caring words, SherrieAnne. Here's to the attitude to gratitude that lifts our spirits today. Peace and Light...Gary.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

You're welcome. Sending you orange butterflies today. Peace...Gary


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

You paint pictures with your prose as beautifully as a master artist. Loved the vivid description of your community and how skillfully you brought in the dark side of life- the challenges that most of us face at one time or another, and how you showed, through example the way back into the light. Sorry for your loss and am in awe of your loving, generous spirit and capacity to see beauty in every cirumstance.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Hope you don't mind, but I added a link here in the comment I left beneath your entry note on the Patron of the Arts contest thread. I noticed you gave the name of the hub but not the link and I didn't want anyone to miss this lovely entry.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Wow! Happyboomernurse: Thank you so much for your insight, sensitivity, and awareness of how I'm trying to help people move beyond the darkness to find their rainbow-colored Light. Also, appreciate the link you inserted regarding the Patron of the Arts contest thread. Here's to walking in the Light of powerful and effective knowledge today. Peace....Gary.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

What a lovely statement of how to find one's rainbow in life. I like the way you paint a vivid image with words.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Thank you Phyllis Doyle. I'm glad you see this poem is all about helping people find their positive glow in Life. I appreciate your kind words. Sending you beacons of rainbow-colored Light....Gary.


tchadquarterly 5 years ago

Elegant yet powerful insight


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

tchadquarterly: Wow. Thank you for you powerful words. I truly believe there are solutions to all problems, even when faced with life threatening ones. Sending you golden Light today. Peace....Gary.


Jeannette 5 years ago

This is amazing....Thank You for sharing Gary I am so sorry for your loss. His light definitely shine through. God Bless!


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Jeannette: Really appreciate you stopping over. Thanks for your comments and your support. Of course I cope with my loss by a celebration of Life. Peace and Light...Gary.


icountthetimes 5 years ago

You paint such an incredibly rich picture with your words. It's almost like being there. I totally agree that beauty is all around us. Life is a celebration and a gift and that is something we must never forget.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas

I'm sorry for your loss. This is a very inspirational piece and reminds us to not give up no matter the turmoil that may surround and engulf our lives. We have to soldier on....


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

icountthetimes: I'm glad you enjoyed this poem. Yes to the celebration of Life no matter what challenges we face. Peace and Light....Gary.

The Suburban Poet: Thank you. I appreciate your support and insight that this poem is actually about positive coping skills. Namaste....Gary.


zzron profile image

zzron 5 years ago from Houston, TX.

Awesome hub. I love Oregon I have been there many times. I travel all over the country and have seen many beautiful places. Very beautiful and uplifting and inspirational.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

zzron: Great to find out you love Oregon too. I appreciate your comments. Here's to the Light that is the source of my celebration and inspiration. Peace....Gary.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

I am sorry for the loss of your father, he had a good long life obviously filled with love. It is lovely that you see him in the rainbows, that touches my heart.

There is so much beauty and goodness in this world and we should all stop and look at the bigger picture and focus on the good rather than the bad.

This is an inspirational write and I am happy that you feel the peace in your heart. Take care


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Rosemay50: Thank you so much for your supportive comments. Yes to coping with the challenges of life by embracing the "beauty and goodness in this world." Peace and Light...Gary.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 5 years ago

When we are faced with our toughest days your words shine through on a beautiful wind carrying each good thought forward.Sorry for your loss and I am glad you got to share so many experiences with your dad over the years.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Dream On: Really appreciate your thoughtful comments. Yes to getting through dark days with the power of the Light. Peace.....Gary.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

Beautiful writeup qlcoach.

Just by reading sparked so much positivity in me...Thank you!!


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Ruchira: Thank you for the the compliments. Here's to the power of the positive over all that is negative. Peace and Light...Gary.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Thank you so much for responding to the positive energy as my wife and I look for rainbows from the mountaintops of Cave Junction, Oregon. Namaste...Gary.


JinnyMarte 5 years ago

qlcoach this is not just beautiful but also a mesmerizing poem, and an honorable tribute to that man that so obviously has touched your life so deeply, Mr.Robert Hotaling.

You always seem to capture and release details so effortlessly. Your ability to create images that blossom in the mind while we read is simply amazing and breathtaking for sure.

Thank you for such a beautiful reflection of who you are, what you have found and learned from life and for the lesson implied here for all of us to learn...

"Today, I have claimed a better life.

Today, I have claimed my unconditional worth and value.

All people have the ability to refute all that is negative, painful, and self-destructive.

All people can walk in the Light; breathe in the Light; move in the Light.

All people can have more life than ever imagined."

This is a very powerful decree and affirmation. I will sure remember this words for days to come.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

JinnyMarte: Your comments touched my soul. I'm so glad you found the message within this poem. Sending you blue and purple Light today.....Gary.


JinnyMarte 5 years ago

It is you I thank for Gary. People like you who have dedicated their lives at the service of others. Your light touches many...

Be blessed...


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Again, I appreciate your kind comments. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Peace and Light....Gary.


Born2care2001 profile image

Born2care2001 5 years ago from Asheville NC

Gary,

Thank you for demonstrating sensitivity, strength, wisdom and peace while honoring those you love. There are extraordinary people in this world but I rather enjoy the ordinary ones who do extraordinary things. You may be a bit of both, and I completely understand your peace and light.

I hope that retirement brings you joy, but I would ask that you continue to feed your gifts into a needy world, especially young men. As you know, giving is the seed from which all else grows, especially when it is nurtured with love! Some men never learn this because it is not modeled at home. This, we can do together!

Thank you my friend, for reading and for writing.

Peace be with you!

Bruce


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Born2care2001: Wow! I am humbled by your words and your praise. Although I'm retired, I will do my best to help others. My series on emotional recovery shows everyone how to overcome addictions, negative emotions, and low self-concept. Feel free to pass this information forward. Peace and Light...Gary.


Greenhousewife profile image

Greenhousewife 5 years ago

A very moving piece. I worked in a retirement home for about 5 years and some of the people I called my dearest friends were all over the age of 80, one was just over 100 years young. I adored these people and found I had more in common with them than people my own age. Listening to the music of Old Blue Eyes and talking about war times, I believe those are the moments where I found myself most at home. Nothing in the world can replace the feeling you have with shared connections and serving those in need. Thank you for helping to make the world a better place!


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Greenhousewife: I really appreciate your kind and inspiring comments. Thanks for your support. Let's all do what we can to make the "world a better place!" Peace and Light...Gary.


Ritch Duron 4 years ago

Gary,

You are a inspiration to me and it sure looks like a lot of others! I know you have helped kept me optimistic with your positive and itelligent counsel. I respect you very much and am very grateful in a lot of ways. I am a better person after crossing paths with you! Thank you for that poem. I don't think there a lot of illuminous people like you. You are a rare diamond in a world filled with rocks. Peace and light.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 4 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

I am humbled by your comments. Here's to letting our Light shine! Peace.....Gary.


Diane Chirrick 4 years ago

It's all in the attitude of gratitude. Think I'll set a date with your wife and go walking there again.....and enjoy the 'view' with a different perspective! You have a gift with words. Thanks!


Your Neighbor 4 years ago

After meeting you this week, hearing you read your poetry and now reading this wonderful offering...

Thanks for giving me a new way to see our neighborhood. My favorite words... They do not live here. Yes the choice is OURS and you help others see! With much gratitude and appreciation...

Micky your neighbor and new friend.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 4 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Thank you so much Diane. Here's to rainbows, mountains, and serenity.....Gary.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 4 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Wow Micky. Welcome to the neighborhood. As you know Susan and I are going to Hawaii soon. Would you like me to keep you posted on my writing about it? Peace and Light...Gary.

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