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A red pencil left on a counter.
A takeaway coffee cup with my name written on it
and written in red ink.
Coincidence? I think not!
A much needed intake of inspiration
and a sign for me that could not be more blatant,
nor more louder.
A question to ponder;
a truth to muse about;
a rhyme to write while I am enjoying my favourite drink.
It always amazes me and invigorates me
when I see things of meaning and clues of a great mystery-
and believe me, when I do look, I see a lot.

Every day is different.
Even when you come back to the same place
you have been countless times before,
you and it are always different-
as if the experience, the sound, the smell,
the air, the feeling, the taste,
but what never changes and only feels even more amazing every time
is the return of energy that you get back
for all the time and the currency of thought
and meditation that you have spent.

A heart beats to be heard.
A mind thinks to be stretched.
A voice speaks to be the outward expression
of a vastly deeper reality of what we see around us
than can ever be said completely, concisely, and clearly,
with any combination or any length of words.
An imagination formulates, constructs,
and imagines infinite worlds of wonder
than life, as beautiful, surprising, and random,
sometimes as it is could ever match.

I am seeing red.
This ‘red effect’ happens to me from time to time.
I start seeing this strong and vibrant of all the colours
worn by almost everyone and I see it for the first time
in and on things I look at all the time,
but for some reason I missed the red before-
like when you hear something said by someone
and you say to yourself: ‘Did I hear correctly?
Is that really what they said?’

Colours have meaning.
Colours show mood.
Colours are revealing.
Colours are an important clue.
Colour is something to take notice of.
Colour is deliberate.
Colour is something that can tell you what you need to know-
whether you are looking at or reading the patterns of the stars
that are always there- even when there is blue sky,
or cloud in the sky above.
Colour is more than colour.
And seeing red, for me-
coincidence? I think not!

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At the bottom of my garden,
there grows a grand, towering, amazing, apple tree-
I still remember planting its seed in the ground when I was a child,
watering it for the first time with its first vital drops of water,
watching it grow year after year until its top branch grew so high
it looked like it could almost touch the sky
and too high for me to see.
I have had this fantasy for years
of climbing to the top branch of the apple tree
and picking the apple that lies the farthest out of reach,
returning it to my kitchen, chopping it up,
and baking it in an apple pie,
but the apple tree is so dense, precious,
and important to me, to our family,
I would hate to see even a single apple come to harm-
I don’t think I could live with myself
if it got sick or died.

As I stood looking up at the beautiful, majestic,
glowing, due-speckled, green, and red, apples,
as golden sunshine streamed through the apple tree’s branches
and cast a shadow on me, the wind blew delicately,
I heard the sound of breaking and then the sound of something
hitting nearly every branch on the way down
and falling from high above to the ground.
As I looked up, I could see the biggest,
and the greenest, apple that I had ever seen in my entire life,
fall like lightning from a thunder cloud.
I had just enough time to be able to catch a glance
at the great apple and reach out with my right hand
to catch it before it fell and touched the soil
covering the apple trees roots-
the apple was heavier than I expected,
and as it lay in the palm of my hand,
and as I considered what had to happen to make it grow so high
and then fall so far,
I had a revelation about life, about myself,
about what lies at the centre of us all-
human beings, birds, the Earth, as star,
as well as what can be found in an embryo,
or in an apple’s core,
and I instantly had this overwhelming urge to bit into the apple
and potentially taste and be reminded what is important in life:
how what grows above ground and below the Earth
is connected to everything that grows
in a thousand acres of rainforest, in every garden-
what flourishes and what can be found on the ocean floor.

I bit into the apple and the sweet taste of it skin
and the juiciness of its pulp overwhelmed all my senses
and took me back in my mind to the day, to the minute,
to the instant that I first put the apple pip into the soil,
all those years ago,
and I felt like I had witnessed, tasted, and had been gifted
something that I had never experienced before,
and it felt wonderful!

When I blinked my eyes, I was now at the foot of the tree again,
looking up, thinking abut the miracle that is growth
and the incredible significance, the insight,
what we can all learn about life
by witnessing the descent of a falling apple.

It must have been something that I read;
it must have been something that I saw, or heard;
it must have been something that someone said;
it must have been something in the colour,
or in the sound of a word.
One minute I am staring at the vibrant red cover of a book,
and then, the next thing that I know, an entire hour has passed-
I am in shock, as if I have been hit by a truck.
I felt like I had been newly thawed-out
after having been frozen in time-
I cannot account for anything that happened in that lost hour;
however, everywhere that I looked now,
everything of the colour red instantly jumped out at me,
more so than before, as if it were by design.
Buses, telephone boxes, post boxes, the Union Flags red crosses-
everywhere that I went, every shade of red was in sight and in my head:
from the crimson curls of a beautiful woman’s hair,
to the attention-seeking red light at some traffic lights
telling me to stop up-ahead.
Cars, clothing, flowers, insects-
a Porsche racing passed me; a man wearing a British Heart foundation t-shirt;
the roses in someone’s garden; the ladybird that landed on my nose-
everything that could be red was red,
from the largest to the smallest of things and objects.

I do not know what was so special about the day,
nor why red of all the colours of the rainbow
chose to brighten the colour of my blood for those few hours-
maybe I looked too close at the pictures of Venus’ transit across the sun,
or maybe my mind needed that gift of a powerful colour
to make me forget about the grey clouds and the showers.
I am sure that I once read that there are some people
who believe that the universe is colour-coded;
I personally do not know for sure, but I do believe
that colour can compel us, on occasion, to see, feel,
and act in a certain way- like the tightening, or the loosening, of a thread-
that is what happened to me:
one moment I am seeing stars,
and the next I am seeing red.

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