And so, the dam broke releasing rigidity as joy flowed in. Birds singing, the cacophony filling my soul as they fly above or chirp atop the trees. Sitting creek-side the joy compounded as brown ducks, often so shy but not hearing me sitting so still, swooped down with a splash in the water.
She tried twice to enter the duck box, checking out real estate to nest in but to no avail. Was she too big? No, that couldn’t be it. They leave, but another pair splash onto the water, but these were Kingfishers.
He went to sit on the box as if to say to his mate, “How about this one?”
She swims closer right up to the bank, but suddenly a squirrel dropped down from the branch above and scared him away, then entered the box.
Squatters. Samuel discovers baby squirrels, and we cannot evict a family with babies! After they leave, Samuel will have to move the duck box away from all trees.
But so much splendor, so much thrilling adventure out there in our little meadow!
Plodding through the remnants of winter, there is hope as signs of spring uplift, and nature gives way to warmth after her frigidity. Honking as they land with a splash, two pairs of geese return, squatting in the sun near where they lay eggs each year.
To my delight, a pair of graceful, rather large trumpeter swans also are visiting. They seem to be more than visiting and are intently checking out real estate and might decide to stay. Wouldn’t that be a thrill, to have swan babies afloat. (cygnets-had to look it up)
Another day dawns with red and purple skies wondering what treats lay ahead for exploring on cold walks with warm sunshine…
Sometimes my body does better without hyping up the bloodstream by exercising as if that replicates the hypervigilance always occurring; the feeling of imminent danger at every moment even though my life is as peaceful as it’s going to get.
Some damage won’t be repaired. It would make sense that on nights after an active day, even one when laps were doubled while trying to find my peace after insides became embroiled with memories, that sleep would come deep and long.
Not so, especially in winter months when shorter days that are mostly cloudy keep my spirit just as dimmed and excessively full of worries and negativity.
Winter is tougher no matter what. Keeping my head above water with as much joy and happiness that can be is a good job to have. So, look for the sun, and there you will find warmth and peace…
Thoughts are as dark as winter; emotions too tend to run dryly negative. It takes extra energy to keep afloat. Little things submerge my emotional well-being, tears fall more easily. There is still peace if focusing on all the goodness right there to bring home.
A phone call to the bank’s customer service brought volumes of tears, the strong, gentle, CALM male voice on the other end while his customer broke apart unable to get on the banking site.
His calm ease helped wipe the tears away, success occurred rapidly. And this time criticizing myself was not allowed. The freedom to me with all my quirks, faults and GOODNESS… isn’t that what we all want?
Maybe it came from my grandmother, this joy in the season and its magic. Since childhood nothing swayed my excitement. It has carried me through many difficult times without ebbing. The Christmas closet, where the new stash starts almost the moment Christmas Day ends, and continues throughout the year.
After a scary fall in the middle of the night, efforts to improve an erratic sleep pattern since the time change became crucial. Samuel even awoke from his bear-like slumber to ask if I was alright. My chin is still sore wondering how badly the cartilage might have been damaged, worse a bone could have been broken.
It is not easy accepting body changes from age, that falls can happen in a moment causing devastation. This time I was lucky. But with that scare sleep patterns have regulated though it is one hour less than in warmer months. Not sure how to elongate that.
Now that days and nights are more in sync with a healthy pattern, what next to challenge me? Sometimes it seems that challenges are when my best character strengths are revealed. So, when things aren’t spinning out of control, can you just enjoy it and be grateful?
Shadows appear longer, with mornings dark, cool and wet with dew. The usual fall into fall with a lower mood seems less severe probably circumvented by the incorporation of exercise and a long path to healing which has taken decades– yet continues. The meadow dances with yellow mustard dotted at the edges with sunflowers opening happy faces as if nodding when walking by.
Pumpkins gathered in Samuel’s patch decorate the house and some are fun to paint. Others await painting by grand-children at the next birthday party in October when my son reaches the ripe old age of 40.
How did that happen, as the memory of him in a little powder blue sun-suit carrying his sand pail out to the sandbox is still so vivid? Memories of over 50 years ago are also in sharp focus, my first apartment in college, cooking hamburger helper in the evening, but also the feelings of loneliness that never quite left since childhood.
And that slowly melts once getting to know and make friends with myself. The loneliness of childhood sexual abuse is unlike any other, sharper, emptier, so painful one runs from it until learning to stop, be still, and let it up with all the gunk that my origin family would not hear and barely acknowledged.
Once again the ease of life presents her gifts before me, as she always does, but often my ability to be present, calm, and centered is so off I cannot let them penetrate. The lavender’s scent in baskets can be noted, though it’s been there all along the past week. The scented candle in the warmer seems especially fragrant. And a slight feeling of boredom sets in.
That’s when I know I am there at my center feeling peace. Because after a life of cortisol bursting days where my jumpiness is at the ready along with screams of terror at any little surprise, peace can sometimes be confused with boredom. It’s not boredom, the calm gives me with peace equating to happiness, even bliss.
Days home after camping, walks daily in the meadow with ‘mother’ nurturing me with her bounty of caresses… Hermie the young buck in the field lifting his head wondering what I’m doing in his territory, the graceful heron floating by over the water, the natural bouquet of blossoming milkweeds emitting a luscious scent amidst a spray of look-a-like wild baby breath, all these gifts are finally able to reach my center after a week of quiet, beauty, and plenty of sleep unaided by drugs.
It was quite a feat to travel and stay elsewhere for a week. But wild horses couldn’t keep me away from my grand-children once full immunity kicked in. It has been a year and a half since seeing Cory, his wife, our grand-daughter, and new baby boy, now a year old.
Cory and Guinevere came out of the house after spotting our car arriving early, Guinevere running into my arms squealing while sobs of joy erupted from my chest. Then Cory, my sobs increased in intensity.
But now back home, sweet home, my cat up on my lap immediately then following me the rest of the day while orienting into regular life. But not without more tears upon leaving, taking Cory close, already feeling the pain of missing him.
He has done a stellar job keeping us close with his children, the baby knowing his grandparents from almost daily contact through the tablet’s video. Just amazing!
So no crying from little Dexter when Papa and Nana watched them. The busy parents worked or did chores while we had the splendor of playtime soaking in every millisecond. No longer one to hold back feelings, tears came again when we had to leave, holding them close not wanting to let go, wishing they lived closer than 5 hours away.
My challenges, though not anywhere near ‘shut-in’ status, include being home, enjoying the meadow, and going places nearby. Camping trips, once a week long, have shortened to three nights tops due to sleep issues erupting in my fifties. But after a few days and settling down, it felt like a home away from home. The best second home from anywhere else because love is like that, love is home.
As winter melts into spring, ecstasy abounds. One day up, with seemingly endless energy, the next barely able to drag myself around the meadow. Achy body parts call for a lavender soak. Revived, the next day found me out before sunrise, lap after glorious lap. No aches, and a thrilling emotional lift with my lively step. A fire to warm me was called for.
Samuel came out to the early blaze on the patio with his coffee taking off his shirt because the sun had risen compounding the fire’s heat. We soaked up the morning sun, as more wood was chucked onto the fire.
The walk brought such delights. Sitting creek side an otter ran along the bank, dove in, came out to shake off and run again, unafraid of my presence, causing me to chuckle with its antics. Geese noisily squawked overhead searching for a landing place nearby, so low the flapping of their wings could be heard.
Skunks are out from wherever they stay all winter, their stink evidence of their appearance. Red-winged black birds twirl their distinctive melody announcing their return with a song easily identified from other birdsongs.
Oh spring, magnificent, exhilarating, miraculous spring, what joys await me!