FATHER’S DAY

photos by patricia

The thick heavy warm night causes restlessness. Sticking to the sheets from the oppressive heat rather than pulling up the quilt to snuggle beneath it from a cooler night wakes me. The dark and quiet is unnerving. Even the errant baby mocking bird has learned to keep its night-time chirps silent.

I roll this way then that way finding no comfort. Still that mind, do it. Stop thinking of each thing you’ve ever done wrong or seems wrong. It’s OK to have made mistakes. Who loves you? Do you? The answer comes back, “No.”

You will find your solace in loving yourself with all your mistakes and past misdeeds. You are the one who needs to do this, and you can. That is where solace lies, within. Go there and love her. Why in the night do these things loom so large?

Waking early in my gown I take my snippers and camera to the meadow. The sun is still red as it climbs over the hedgerow, the day’s heat at bay for only a half-hour more. I lie in the dewy grasses to take just the right shot of the daisy smiling at me, “Good morning. How are you?”

A bird flies from the birdhouse startled at my presence. A few circles of meadow grasses have been trampled in a neat circle suggesting deer have spent the night. Clipping wildflowers for a bouquet then heading back to the house, the sun heats the land quickly. House windows need to be shut at once to keep the heat out.

Shaking the blue-checkered tablecloth onto the table I ready for the day’s festivities. It is Father’s Day and we host my son and family for a swim and picnic. The bouquet is a perfect centerpiece. Strawberries from the garden are added to the rhubarb from a friend. It has already made seven jars of jam but enough is left for hand-held pies, the star of today’s cook-out.

The rhubarb mixture is never ending. I keep rolling out pie crusts and crimping edges getting weary. After three batches going into the oven separately they are finally done, perfectly browned at the edges, oozing a trail of juice at the slits, and glistening with sparkly sugar.

The day is complete with swimming in-between thunderstorms, cooking out, then opening some Father’s Day gifts for both Samuel and son Shane. And though I love our time together feeling that our hosting was a success, I also love time alone with nature needing it like sun and air. This morning a gentle rainy day lay before me, the quiet a peaceful respite after yesterday’s activities…

SHATTERED

“Are you sure you want the title to be SHATTERED?” my younger son Cory asks before he begins the design for the cover of my memoir

Without hesitation I answer, “YES!” No doubts there.

“And the cover. Do you really want drops of blood?” he asks with great skepticism, even sounding critical. 

Immediately my answer spills forth, “Yes!” I say with surety, for once without timidness, feeling wrong, or any doubts. Thinking it through a moment my firmness remained.

Although he took every step along the way with me, the first one strong enough to do so, when my feelings were firm about something I stuck to it; a freeing feeling.

Yes, blood drops. What was extracted from me was virgin blood and also a child’s virginity in every way- spiritual, emotional, physical, my innocence and a change in who I was and who I would become. Those drops depict what was taken.

Though Shattered, I am not broken. I may feel broken at times, but the pieces keep coming back into place. They may not make a whole that would have been, but one that is richer. The bumpy surface indicates character and depth, a more beautiful whole in every way.  

 

Do Not Disburb the Peace

photos by patricia

The golden-red glow of the morning sun colors the room with rosy reflections. Pondering the peacefulness, not wanting to disturb it, knowing its grace can be disrupted easily by tiny sudden occurrences due to my tendency towards instant adrenaline rushes… I say a prayer of thanks.

Glorious spring calls me out each day. Little jobs bring deep pleasure. During the meadow walk a basket of rich dirt for the creek garden where my four year old grand-daughter swings hangs in the crook of my arm. She’s been promised a garden with flowers all her own.

Sitting on the lush grass, the birds singing melodies overhead, Cosmos, bulbs, and zinnias are tenderly planted at the base of the tree by the swing. Pausing, looking up while inhaling the fresh air, a feeling of peacefulness wraps her warm arms around me. 

Heading back to the vegetable garden, settling onto the grass once again, chives, basil, and parsley seeds are sowed with visions of upcoming home-made pesto and other luscious, fragrant dishes.

The sweet scent of lilacs hits like a floral wave when turning by the hedgerow after each lap around the grassy meadow. The greens after a dreary winter unfold in their various hues turning greys and browns to a myriad of tints dotted by explosions of complimentary colorful blossoms from cherry, apple, pear and magnolia trees.

The silly mourning dove insists on making her nest once again in the clematis vine that climbs up the porch attached to the new deck. When we sit on the deck she becomes frightened and flies off worriedly keeping an eye on the eggs and us. It makes use of the deck too guilty a pleasure and instead we sit inside the porch to honor her incubation duties.

Mourning doves cannot be the sharpest tools in the shed because why make your nest where there is so much people traffic? But I love them dearly and the soft sing-song cooing that sounds so plaintive and sweet matching their dispositions.

Molly’s cancer progresses due to hearing the low rattle of air moving through her lungs. She is restless except when lying full out on my body exchanging our warmth, then she seems exceedingly content and almost unconscious. She still purrs and bats at toys, so has playful moments. Trips to the store to return food and try others have become too countless to count.

Finally the realization is that some days are better than others. No matter what is presented, whether home cooked chicken, hamburger, or the most expensive can of cat food, she is either up to eating or is not. It is hard to see her hurting, and tears come often along with the reverent prayer to know when is the right time to end it for her.

Each days holds so much. It is fuller by accepting that each one will hold both pain and pleasure.

WHOLENESS?

Picture 014

photo by patricia

I wonder at the tattered cloth, can it ever be whole? Feelings of wholeness seep in then despair. A depth of dark and cold with no succor. The yearning for something unnamed. Resolve to have it. Then tears.

And more tears. An awakening. The present so infected by the past. Go back? Must I go back? Others say, “Be happy.” My happy is back there to that little lost girl I abandoned. I hurt, she hurts.

“Why?” she asks. “When you had college age women to explore your sexuality with. Others who were willing and your age. Why a little sister? Only a child. A little girl who looked up to you, adored you, trusted you?” And she cries as she asks.

Like a tattered cloth that needs mending, the needles pierce with every stitch. To make it whole again the wounds must be lanced and it hurts. To come to the present I must visit the past and I don’t want to. Yet the visit brings me back to the present more fully.

images

GIFTS

Each morning is a gift, cool but also warm, the sun against an azure blue sky decorated with white puffs of cottony clouds, post-card perfect and burgeoning with life. Flowers, fruit tree blossoms, grass, leaves, buds, it is all exploding yet I am calm.

Learning to go into my feelings rather than avoiding them has helped, not trying ‘be happy’ or be like how others appear to be, but allowing for my own inner workings to be felt, then to come up and be released. And for me, a sensitive soul, that involves a lot of crying, crying yet absorbing the wonders around me. Once it seemed impossible to do both. Now I accept it as a way of life.

Walking the lush grass in the meadow is like floating on carpet as the songs of various birds guide my way. Pausing at the creek garden to enjoy the tender opening of the tiny blue forget me knots, a startled duck flies away. Ripples reflect like diamonds and the once dull brown at the water’s edge has turned a lush green mirroring its lively color on the water’s surface doubling the colorful effect. It is an emerald wonderland rich with every possible hue!

“So much is happening I can’t take it all in!” I exclaim to Samuel bent over his work in the garden as he gently loosens the dirt around the asparagus. He nods and smiles as I continue by on the path.

And it is, so much new life, and some appears to happen after every lap around the meadow.  The hostas seem to grow by the minute and so do the lilacs and snow-ball bushes. Under the old, majestic, gnarled cherry tree the ground holds a confetti of its blossoms. Stopping to pick one up the delicate petal feels like a wisp of a feather in my hand. It has a light sweet fragrance. I toss it in the air smiling, walking on.

I’ve done enough if at day’s end one moment of extraordinary beauty has been savored and remembered. It is a gift to behold this wonder of spring!