Dancing the Hokey Pokey

Poking around Routt County, Colorado (shown above) last week, my husband and I ran across this chalked message on the sidewalk of the beautiful public trail along the Yampa River:

chalk on the Yampa core trail, steamboat springs

It reads, “What if the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about?”

When I read it, I laughed aloud.

And maybe that is an important part of what it’s all about, laughter to balance tears, hope as counterpoint to disappointment.

You know– recognizing the wisdom of Solomon’s poetry, “To every thing there is a season . . .

And the season right now is a lovely one, teetering between summer and the beginnings of fall, offering glimpses of ordinary little miracles such as the structure evident in this seedhead:

seedhead, Steamboat

I found a natural still life while walking along a different area of the same trail:

found still-life Yampa core trail

A hot pink petunia growing in a planter is complemented by wildflowers along the way:

petunia at Freshies, Steamboat

delicate wildflower

wild morning glory

This grasshopper would not be particularly welcome in my garden at home, except as food for resident birds, but along the north fork of the Elk River, I found his eye to be enchanting as he rested on our day pack.

grasshopper on daypack North Fork of the Elk River

A Colorado spotted tussock moth caterpillar echoed the is-he-coming-or-is-he-going design of a solid yellow sycamore tussock moth caterpillar I saw last fall at home in the Texas hill country.

caterpillar on damp sock, steamboat springs

Along our journeys, continually turning ourselves around as we ride a revolving planet, sometimes not  knowing whether we’re coming or going, we perform this hokey pokey dance we call life.

beautiful caterpillar

Writing Practice:

Complete the following:  Sometimes not knowing whether I’m coming or going, I __________________.

Describe what you think–at least for today–that it’s really all about.

10 thoughts on “Dancing the Hokey Pokey

  1. Well I think that the Hokey Pokey is about listening. You listen for whatever the leader tells you to put in or out and shake it all about! I think life is always about listening. Listen to yourself, to the advice of those around you (even when you hate it or it is coming from your mother) and do the things that are right for you in order to be happy and live a good life. (Good meaning pleasurable to yourself AND decent in regard to others). I think if you are happy and live a good life, you spread it to others and make the world better. So keep listening for what comes next! So in conclusion, the Hokey Pokey is pretty much IT.

    • Let’s hear it for a Hokey Pokey Life! 😉 Listening IS central to my life–listening to the evidence around me of a mystery so much larger than myself. Thanks, dear Kristin, for reading! And I’m so excited for the future students who will have you as teacher.

  2. I think I erased my comment so I will try again. First I love seeing your photos as I get to go with you on your “wondering” as you wander

    I use to want to know what life is about but now I enjoy accepting it as too big to know!

    • Thanks, Linda. I find comfort in the idea that life is bigger than me and my own little problems (which seem huge), and in the idea that “the universe is unfolding as it should.” (–Max Ehrmann)

  3. the hokey pokey…..who knew life could be so simple…..I am still smiling. Thanks for the great post and pictures, I also love other people’s comments!

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