North Star

The North Star- mosaic by Patricia

A guiding light, arms to hold me. A need for warmth where there is none. My insides feel so cold unable to feel self-love. Someone love me so that I can be alright. But a warning. If you do, be prepared to be cast out.

A memory of mother’s love, so unpredictable yet always there, is desperately sought, dug up from the past. Have I never felt love other than those moments, or with my animals? 

Animals are safe; my horses, cats, dogs, chickens, white mice, even a goat. Love freely flows with animals. But friends? Un-abusive siblings? No love flows. Only mistrust. So many relationships wrecked by mistrust, coupled with the inability of voicing any preference or need, or displeasing the other.

Destroyer of relationships. The negatives of my life swamp my efforts of positivity during these long winter months, a macabre shadow my shroud. Regrets eat me up, waking with puffs of remorse wafting up from the far depths of my being, knowing what has been lost along the way due to mistrust pitted in my soul from the first wrong touch of a loved one.

This is my life. I must live with choices made, even if made from a little girl’s wounds that have been carried within un-healed all these years. The rage, the mistrust, the deep bleeding gouges that have lost so many moments of love, warmth, and caring from others. So much lost living in the cold keeping ‘safe.’

And can they ever be healed?

Only with compassion for what she suffered. Only by holding her in my arms, rocking her warm with love. Can I do that? I can try. And keep trying. Because what I need, I need to provide. If I can give it to others, because I have, then I can give it to that wounded child within me, and feel whole. I have to hope I can. 

by Patricia

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SKIPPY

It feels like the dead of winter, and it isn’t officially winter yet. 3 AM. The usual work of trying to stay in bed waiting for sleep to come again just wasn’t working. Sipping decaf, staring at the TV, finally I give in making a pot of regular. No way would sleep return with a head full of thoughts about the present, past, and future.

My grasp at sanity feels a moment away from gone. But you’ve been through much worse. This is only the usual insomnia. It makes no sense because the exercise yesterday was double the usual. Walking the mall took twice as long as walking laps in the meadow. And since energy still buzzed after returning home, why not mop the kitchen floor, and vacuum?

Too much blood pumping excites my easily over excitable senses. Or what? Sleeping well one night, yet not the next with no discernible reason might just be something to accept. Checking the newest piece in the studio, telling myself beforehand not to be too harsh when looking at the finished product, my decision was that it didn’t look half bad.

Stroking the ‘fur’ I began to like it. Samuel gave me the rock, saying it was shaped like a dog so I’d have to make one. Having someone tell me what to make in my own studio raises my hackles. I tried to make it work but gave up. There the rock sat for months. 

It began to speak to me. I thought… maybe. You don’t have to be too literal, just have fun with it. She unfolded in one sitting. The grout is applied the day after so the caulk has time to dry. I am reminded of our childhood pet Skippy, so dearly loved. 

While rocking by the fire with Samuel, I told him the story of Skippy. Mom gave the dog away due to the doctor saying it was the cause of my scalp condition. But Skippy found her way home from many miles away. The new owners agreed to let her stay after Mom relayed to them our joy at having her back; our little group that clung together because that was all we had until going our separate ways just trying to survive.

 

Thank You Mother

Freedom-taking flight, my latest mosaic

The weather chilled from a high of 92 one day into the 60’s the next. The cool air is welcomed. Though sad to say bye to summer, its dragging on became burdensome. It’s a beautiful day and you are the only one needing  permission from to enjoy it. Escape negative thoughts. Allow yourself the freedom to believe you are OK, and worthy of the bounty each day provides. 

Come back to the moment. Remember that? My tendency is to move ahead to the next chore when the present chore is being done. But the present chore is your now. Enjoy it. With that thought my body slows with my mind as the grapes are plucked off the vine. The birds have already been at the vines getting under the nets to eat the very ripest. 

It’s uncanny how they know when they are ripe. The aroma must intoxicate them as much as it does me when passing by lap after lap. Lugging the baskets into the kitchen the real work begins. It is tedious taking each grape off the bunch, discarding the bad ones. Boiling a pot full fills the house with a luscious grape scent. The juice is unique with a flavor and body found nowhere else but my very own kitchen.

The harvest keeps offering her gifts. Grape tomatoes are ready to make into a sauce. Now that the green grapes are done, the purple ones are next, hopefully before the birds have their feast. Thank you Mother….

 

HORSES

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My mother may not have offered dance classes, but she did allow me to have a horse in the backyard. She had her friend put up electric wire from the garage to the side yard turning it into a pasture.

The first animal I had was a pony, but I kept it down the road at the old barn behind Grandma’s house. I stayed overnight in the winter at Grandma’s so I could carry buckets of water to the barn from the house because the nights would freeze the water. It had to be replaced frequently. I trudged through the snow and back before the bus came.

No one monitored my goings on, how I took care of it, fed it, nothing. I did it all on my own, tethering it to a post with a chain in the meadow during the day, and keeping him in the barn at night where the cows once were barred in. 

Then she allowed me to trade up for my horse and keep her right at home. I gathered corncobs from the neighboring field after the farmer had harvested, filling up wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow. I paid for the hay and straw with my babysitting money. 

My ponies and horse made my childhood livable filling it with wonder and miracle… During later years, while raising the boys, I bought my horse Missy, and a pony for Shane, Joey. We had many pleasurable rides together. But once Shane became an adolescent turning teenager, he then wanted rides on things with motors. I became a solo rider, and that was OK too…