BREATHE

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You push and push. Why can’t you just let go, relax— breathe? Unwind the insides that travel day to day wound tightly coiled ready to spring into overload and overdrive. It’s been a week since the heavy snow dampened any willingness to walk outside along with the effects of a UTI on the body; it tires one out. And why wouldn’t it as it surely inflames delicate internal tissues.

Ahh, the snow tells a story. I plod along the path as some curls up and into my boots at the ankle. I should have worn higher boots or tied these but too late now, keep walking. Snapping out of the reverie where I tend to hover a voice of reason speaks, “Be here now.”

The chapters spill out before me in the muddied snow, bunny footprints across the meadow, and many deer prints. Samuel will not be amused when he learns a deer jumped up on its front feet to eat the delicacy of his rose bushes which rest right smack against the house. Atop the sullied snow farther down lay an array of dry pine husks where a buck rubbed his antlers against the fledgling tree. My body craves the fresh cold air. Has it really been a week? No wonder I felt robotic with feelings entombed.

On lap five after wiping rain off the Adirondack chair, I rested and lingered. Nature’s sweet offerings mend my interior even on this grey day and tears come. Come on, don’t cry, a voice dictates, while a gentler one grants permission to feel whatever is there without censor or judgement. Feelings are better up and out, soothing and satisfying, pushing me out of the head into my body livening the spirit. As the salty drops are released birds sweetly chirp in their busyness,“Hello, it’s OK.”

Rainfall makes soft pats on my coat but I won’t melt and stay longer. Feeling complete, tears spent, it’s time to go and prepare for my son and his family to arrive for our post-Thanksgiving gathering with turkey sandwiches and games. I’m able to be fully present, relaxed, exuding love and receiving love—whole and at peace. Thank you Mother Nature. 

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SNOW DAY!

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A few days ago we hit a record of 73, now 17 inches with 5-8 more to go!

Molly left her footprints. She went out a couple of times meowing with a loud cry saying, “How can I bird and chipmunk watch with all this white stuff!” Each time she zoomed in past me zipping down the hall, then did it again. 

I fired up the stove yesterday just in time. There’s nothing better than morning coffee next to the cozy fire with Molly at my feet. 

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Be Present

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Be in the moment, I tell myself several times throughout the day. Be in your body. Be present. My mind drifts to the past, to the future, to places beyond, pull them back to now. Now is good, safe, take it as it is. The sun beckons so I walk the meadow not needing more than a sweatshirt.

The tall yellowed grasses, dry now, sway in a slight breeze as the brittle leaves rustle, one drifting down adding to the thick carpet of crunching underfoot heralding the true sounds of Fall.

Lap one shortens my breath after the slight hill, but by lap three my legs and muscles enjoy the movement as the blood flushes out the cobwebs.

Lap five, the reward lap, allows for sitting by the creek now swollen by the beaver’s work. Samuel whistles on his way down knowing I startle easy if he comes upon me unannounced. He is carrying paddles.

I’m excited on the sunny day to be able to go for a ride so perfect in its quietness and warmth. We haven’t paddled the creek due to the summer’s drought and the problem of some large trees that have fallen blocking our explorations.

He steadies it for my entry and we paddle under the old steel bridge but had to lay flat in the canoe to get under it. We soon see where the beaver resides and works. The busy beaver has rebuilt his lodge and added a large feeding pile outside it. Paddling past, farther than we’ve been in months, we are in awe of his work. He has dammed up an entire half circle making a falls with a 5 foot drop.

“Samuel, we have our own falls like the ones where we love to camp, and right in our back yard!” I exclaim relishing the delight of such a fortune.

We sit awhile listening to the sound of spilling water onto rocks, one that soothes, centers and relaxes internal quagmires. Samuel once again points out just how much work the beaver has accomplished as the dam continues all around the newly formed pond.

We turn to head back slowly sucking in the quietude of nature, only a bird twittering in the trees near-by, the echo of a wood-pecker, a train whistle in the distance, and the dip of the paddle.

I feel content to have enjoyed the outdoors all afternoon on this lovely fall day, the days of sunshine following one after another. We lay the canoe close to the edge of the creek rather than tying it up as another few days of more stunning weather is expected.

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HEAL?

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This post resonated with me, and so much that I’m thinking of it days later. It seems the crux of why a child cannot and does not heal at the time of the trauma. Families are ashamed and shame the child into silence. How can one heal when traumatized as brutally as being hit by a car with no one to come to her rescue with aid, love, intervention and support?

The family essentially shuns her unless she stays quiet. So she does. She internalizes the ‘attacks’ as her being bad, dirty, and unfit to live. She is grateful her family wants to have her be a part of it and grovels for even a scrap of attention or semblance of what seems like love.

But how can love be real love if it comes with conditions, that of keeping her deep wounds within where they don’t and cannot heal, they fester and grow. The PTSD that often occurs becomes a permanent after effect because no intervention was provided for it to be processed. All the many negative thoughts about herself become part of her forming personality for the same reason.

She attacks herself in countless ways from childhood throughout adulthood because she believes in her ‘badness.’ The so called family encourages this knowing it will shackle her from exposing them, both the ones who committed such horrors but also the ones who knew and didn’t help and kept silent.

When anyone is injured by an accident, surviving a death, or a physical disease, others come with sympathy, condolences, casseroles, gifts, support and many other ways of helping. When a child suffers these horrendous injuries, as bad or in many ways far worse, no one comes. She is re-victimized over and over again; pain, on pain, on pain. It is done to keep her quiet. Better that she internalizes it rather than expose them.

These days veterans are finally receiving some respect for surviving the very horrific aspects of war. The diagnosis of PTSD is not a label that spews negativity. It is one that brings compassion and help; as it should and always should have.

It is time for those attacked sexually as children who suffer the effects of PTSD and the many other devastating after-effects, even decades later, to receive the same support, acknowledgment, and respect, and the freedom to speak openly about it in all forums.

(I use the term ‘attack’ because even though no force is needed with a child who loves and trust her attacker, it is an attack all the same. And it is an attack on so many deep levels of the child’s psyche that the injuries sustained can be life-long)

I LOVE CHRISTMAS

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I have loved Christmas always. By Thanksgiving the gifts are bought and wrapped. Now I can think about stuffing the turkey and other fun things. I saw a candy cane wreath on-line in red & white when looking for a new Christmas backdrop for my desktop. Just had to buy two boxes of candy canes almost immediately. 

So easy! 20 canes, a glue gun and piece of ribbon. Dab both ends of one cane, add another to make a heart. Make 5, then glue the 5 hearts together. A plastic snowflake is glued to the middle, but anything can used. Other decorations can be added, whatever your imagination comes up with. 

If you’re invited to Thanksgiving dinner somewhere, what a lovely hostess gift it would make to kick off the season! Or make one for yourself…

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