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?

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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.

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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!

A Prayer

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I walk the meadow and pray:

Help me be grateful, feel at peace, and ease my fears…

Praying for a thing helps make it happen. By the next few laps my shoulders squared and I felt more empowered, less victim.

TERROR

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Echoes of the past,

Reverberating from childhood,

Haunt me still…

The group of people I was born in was not a family but a place of terror. Terror and anxiety are my companions. Each day is a search for a place of peace and safety…

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PEACE

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Waking, remembering the work of easing anxiety, my breathing slows evenly and deeper. It is almost 5 am, time to rise. My work is calming anxiety that comes each spring. The wiry brain which had plummeted to a lower mood over winter, now sprints into more daylight and an awakening. Anxiety is also an issue dealt with throughout the year as my equilibrium is easily upset.

Spring tends to bring noise in the brain and eccentric behavior, inviting situations that greatly increase the anxiety beast, not tame it. This year the journey is different because I’m feeling more aware of the dilemma, and more aware that this body and mind is not like those around me. I need special care, care I do not know how to provide or feel worthy of.

That feeling is more that a feeling. It is part of my personality that’s staying, formed deep in my core during childhood due to my brothers’ ongoing abuses, other brothers looking away, and my mother’s collusion in the conspiracy of silence; we are a happy, normal family, you will love your brothers, as they continued to creep in my room and attack me.

I don’t like the fact that at my core is a feeling that I am bad, and unworthy, or that whatever is happening is my fault. I run from this fact of what I believe, embedded permanently like a crack in rock. In accepting this flaw, and accepting where it came from, compassion, self-love and a more lenient judge takes the helm. 

I try so hard to function at the fast speed others seem to function at so easily. Then fail, compounding issues of poor self-esteem. My tired body and mind can’t do it. This whirlwind called life has always moved too fast for me. 

There is no one else to provide proper care for myself but myself, as it is for each of us. We can lean on others, help others, but we are each responsible for handling the inner workings of ourselves. And for those like me with chronic, pervasive, and permanent Complex PTSD, it is a daily endeavor that often leads to despair.

What comes as second nature to others and is taken for granted, is elusive for those who have suffered traumas that extended over time. I have to work at it, sometimes every minute of every day, and even then without success. Hence the despair.  

Breathe deep. Keep breathing. The tight chest, is it medical or emotional? Later as the conscious deeper breathing continues, the tightness abates. Anxiety can harm all facets of the body, mind and spirit. And it can cause one to seek out more without being conscious of the urge, adding to the internal chaos.

Be quiet, be still. Bored? That’s not boring, that is called peace…
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SUNRISE

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I have tried to train myself to different hours, going to bed later to wake later but it doesn’t work. I’m asleep by 10 pm awake at 5 am. That’s OK since much beauty awakens in the early morning and I thrive on it. It allows for much needed alone time since Samuel has retired. Even the best of mates need space… 

I await the grand-children and my son and daughter-in-law for egg dyeing and quiche later this morning… 

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