PLEASURES

What pleasures can be extracted from the day? Yesterdays cold and rain were soothed with cocoa in my coffee. Today’s breezy, sunny warmth found me digging in the herb garden, harvesting yet another bounty of parsley, basil and sage to use over the winter months. 

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GIRL POWER

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Poppy pushes her on the swing. Baby is on the other side, also with the safety bar down. And I watch, settling in to the Adirondack chair as crispy brown leaves crunch under my flip-flops. My insides unwind, releasing toxin filled thoughts and worries, letting them go to the day, so perfectly fall, sunny, warm, not hot, just rapture.

Then he teases her too much. He is used to interplay with her older brother and doesn’t detect the desperation creeping into her voice as she repeats, “No!” reaching for her baby as if to protect her.

Now cuddling her baby doll on her side of the swing, tucked tightly in her arms, Poppy keeps tickling her. I don’t want to interfere, but this little girl needs to know her voice is heard. And respected. Unlike mine. That she has the power to say “No,” and expect that it is both listened to and respected NOW, the first time.

Poppy backs off but can’t seem to quite stop. So I say again, this time with more explanation, “This is different, a different ball game. She is not like William.”

He pauses, seems to think, and sits a bit next to me in the other chair. She brings her little baby to me, and says, “I like you.”

I cradle the baby and sing to it. She tentatively tries resting baby on Poppy’s lap but he is still smirking, so she won’t.

I say to Poppy, “This is real to her. You have to treat ‘baby’ gently.”

He does finally get it. And she does finally allow for baby to sit on his lap.

THANK YOU CRAIG’S LIST

When watching my grand-son, now 6, trucks filled out living room; the mammoth, light up fire truck, the Hess trucks with lights and noise, an assembly of trucks, a fleet of them. They sit in the old wooden toy box unused. He has moved on, in first grade, and loves every action hero imaginable. An army of them.

This sweet little girl, though tough and strong when she needs to be, doesn’t care much for trucks, or action heroes, or blasting Poppy with her fists, wrestling him to the ground, like her brother does.

So? We need an update. I need to buy something. I realize this Wednesday, and by Friday when she arrived, a new kitchen awaited her.

I had so much fun Thursday, answering an ad that had been posted only two hours prior. Samuel took time from his mowing to drive the truck to fit in this adorable kitchen. After removing the over-stuffed rocker, we carried it into the living room. I spent the afternoon in little girl mode, dressing it up, finding all that I needed in my own kitchen to stock it; emptying snack boxes, orange juice cartons, the last of the milk gallon, bowls, baby spoons, a tiny sauce pot with lid, even her cute little apron that she used to help NaNa bake over last winter.

She clung to Mommy the next morning, until I told her to look around the corner. Mommy was quickly forgotten, waving good-bye, and my grand-daughter just stared and smiled. And smiled, and smiled. Then she got busy, feeding us, washing the dishes, feeding her baby, answering the phone. She did not know what to do first.

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GO TO A DRY WELL, SINK HOLE OR QUICKSAND?

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Do you go to the waters, rushing nearby, clean, sparkling and Healthy?

Or to the place with no remorse.

The people who will hurt you.

I go to the empty well, over and over. I never seem to learn,

The people with no character, depth, or true love.

I have springs of fresh, clear love so close.

I choose to go where none forth comes.

Why do I search for what I can’t have

In places where I need it-

In 9th grade, we moved to a new city.  CHAPTER 5   I made friends who accepted me as I am.  Instead, I tried hanging out with the popular crowd, never fitting in. How could I? Their worth wasn’t about friendship, kindness or truth, but about who, what, or where. Of course I didn’t fit in. And had I been old enough to see, I’d have known I wouldn’t want to.

My son always knew his group of friends were not the popular kids, and their crowd rejoiced in that fact, reveled in it, made sly jokes about it, proud of it. It gave me pause and made me smile.

In the chorale I belonged to for over 15 years, I had made friends with our pianist, yet felt something ‘off’ all along. The way he sought out my son to care for his cats, and going out of his way to insure my son sat on the piano bench next to him turning pages during our concerts. His discussion of teaching at a boy’s school made me wonder why he had left. Red flags were flying. 

He wore flowing pastoral robes when he married my eldest son and his bride.

The congregation where he led the choir, housed him for free in the house next door to the church, including free internet. That is, until he was arrested for crack and a computer filled with young male pornography, so young that an investigation had to be done as to their ages. Children. Not my child who was a teenager at the time and never had alone time with him.

I looked up to this charlatan, because he was a minister, on the library board, directed his church choir, and was our talented, gifted pianist of the county chorale. He had important connections, social status, and many other things I didn’t possess. But that was all on the outside. What lay inside was a liar. A man too afraid to come out of the closet with his gayness, so turned instead to crack, and porn and young boys.

He could have had a relationship with a man his own age. But he was too afraid of losing all the free goodies given to him if he owned his gayness; the free house, the free internet, the high standing in the community that looked up to him. So I was not the only one fooled.

His perversions spoiled chorale for me. He protracted cancer not long after his disgrace. And died. Our chorale sang at his service but not his church. That church wouldn’t have him. Our church, the one where we practiced. I couldn’t follow through after that, starting practices, then quitting. That they honored a true pedophile, one who lacked the courage to be who he really was, and instead lusted after children, soiled the group for me.

I seem to deal with two opposites within. Maybe it’s like losing one of the five senses, another becomes heightened. My ability to trust was shattered. And the result, or one of them is that I’m highly suspicious of others real intentions. I am more aware of what others are really up to. I am glad for this. It keeps me safe. And not.

In opposition, I turn to those that harm, because I’m familiar with outer shells, evil, lies, deceit, and the pretense of kindness… Like a moth to flame, the brightness, the lure of finally receiving what I longed for from my birthright, from a family, looking for it throughout my life in all the wrong places. 

I want to say SHE, but it is me who tends to seek out that which I am familiar with- That which harms and cannot, or will not give back.

Go to the springs of healthy life.

To my massage therapist who says she loves me, hanging my mosaic proudly in her office, genuinely happy for the gift, no strings attached.

Go to my friend who is Always there if I need her- but I will not ask for help. ASK.

Go to my husband, and learn to be open. Discover the gifts that I was too stressed to enjoy during the busier years of our marriage. Keep coming together in ways we never were able to before. Share this beautiful, peaceful life-

Go to the Earth, the Trees, the Flowers, and Critters… Go to where you will be filled…

What other wells have I dare not tapped that are rich, and healthy and full?

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS

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Do you put all the ramifications of someone else’s actions squarely on your shoulders? How much are you really able to control how a human body reacts to post traumatic stress; especially trauma that goes underground, not addressed in a child because no one wants it acknowledged because of their own shame in the matter and how it makes them look.

A child is critically wounded and no one comes. No one helps. No intervention with the way a brain deals with the sudden impact of life and death situations. Without intervention the child lives a lifetime of struggles and challenges. She wouldn’t had someone intervened, talked to her, let her express her traumas, over and over again, until fully processed, until the brain no longer had to protect her with all the ways it uses, because she now knows it won’t happen again. She’s safe, and protected.

That doesn’t happen. She lives with the feeling of death around every corner, even when she is supposed to be safe in her own home. Her brain becomes hard-wired to emergency because emergency is all it knows.

You can find relief, peace, and calm. It will take time. Be gentle. It’s not your fault. Try not to blame yourself for not making everything work right. I know you will because I’m quick to be hard on myself too. You can be soothed, and learn to self-soothe. Life, jobs, kids, etc. requires so much and adds stress, so it’s hard. But it will come…

(sometimes a comment comes from within worth sharing. Thank you MaggieI have seen this exquisite drawing on another site though I don’t remember the name but thank you…)

CARPE DIEM

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As summer drew to the end, before school started, I went to Samuel in tears, “I don’t have a purpose!” I lamented.

Samuel, usually quiet unless describing the way a motor works, said quietly, “That changes.”

Sometimes this quiet man blows me away with his wise insight, and rare sharing. Yes, our purpose changes. I’m sure he must be wondering what his is now that his main one, the wage earner, has completed and come to an end.

I dry my tears. And go about my day with the comfort that another soul understood.

And finally the school busses roll, and my three year old grand-daughter comes three mornings a week. The best and most fun part-job I’ve had or will have, has resumed. I have purpose. I know how to do this. I got this. One thing I know how to do is be there for a child, anticipating their needs because I’m open, wide open to them. And conscientious. And caring. And able to freely love.

This little girl who looks like me. Her mother and two aunts have deep dark beautiful hair. But this little girl’s hair is golden. Like mine was. And I can spoil her, and love her, and snap my head back to the present, because she needs me present.

Yesterday she asked me into the little pool in our back yard. Why not. It looks so inviting on a 90+ degree day. So in we go, dunking our whole bodies and heads, singing, drumming the water, kicking our feet and laughing. Our sweaty skins were refreshed after walking our ‘babies’ with our strollers. And I stayed cool the rest of the day long after she left. 

My chest hurts, and is scratchy with pain from the repeated woundings and the knowledge that speaking up to those who do not want to hear my truths, means they turn their backs on me because of it. These feelings will pass. And in the meantime, I take the day back and make it mine. I find joy, and hope, and love…

Seize the Day…we don’t know how many we have…

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