HAPPY PLACES

photos by Patricia

A lower mood descends as it usually does this time of year, like a shroud until the sun moves back, and longer days return. But it is controllable under most circumstances, and accepted for being how it is for me.

If not sucking up early rays on the patio to induce happy chemicals into my brain, then the full-spectrum lights can be used, adding to the ever expanding self- care list for an aging body.

Peace still reigns, even as the heavier mood washes into me to stay for winter. So much to be grateful for, so much to enjoy, and allow into my being each day.

Walking the meadow in its array of yellows, dotted with purple, white, and glorious butterflies, my mind drifts to sad things of the past. NO! Stay with now. Take in the moment, it won’t come again, and the moments are counted. There are only so many.

Happily I was able to re-direct my self to the present, and stay there. Time after lap 5 is rewarded by resting creek side. There the silence enveloped me, as splashes in the pooling area under the willow meant carp were searching for bugs underneath.

After the calming period, my internal tempo centered, the walk back up to the house completed the graceful respite. A time of reflection, centering and wholeness that nature gives freely if one absorbs it. Thank you….

 

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MEADOW JOY

photos by Patricia

Though sitting on the porch is still an option as the cold hasn’t made it too unusable most mornings, at 5:30 AM it is still dark without sound. The quiet is unsettling. Oh, don’t go birds, but they left weeks ago.

Finally a dove coos. She stays, along with a few other hardy varieties. But it is a lonely feeling when my friends leave making me want to fly south right along with them.

The morning crimson breaks over the hill as the low lying fog clears with the sun. Neighbors like to mow their back property right down to the creek, but we like the wildness of the meadow in all it changing hues.

As the warm rays permeate my shoulders, finally feeling it after the whoosh of travel and reclaiming my bearings, the beauty of the yellow meadow descends into me. Yellows of mustard and another plant also yellow, dotted with what’s left of the Queen Anne’s lace sprinkling the yellow field with white.

The mural changes over summer, from buttercups to daisies, to grasses over my head swaying in the breeze, the meadow offers splendor in its flowing growth bringing joy.

The comfort and routine of home has returned, and with it peace.  The world is at my feet.

 

RECOVERY DAY

Bent over my work with movies playing in the background, my body found calm, but it took all day. During meditation it almost became a nap. The walk was put off for another day, though the ever present bully was saying, GO WALK, GO WALK, GO WALK throughout the entire day.

A softer, wiser voice was saying, stay. Stay, let your body rest.

One hundred and fifty photos of garden flowers and meadow surprises were glued onto stationary, some for my uses, others made into packets, wrapped with clear cellophane, and ribboned for gifts.

The work was satisfying, both for my bully and my wise self. It took a day to recover from the day prior where others came so close to my body I could smell their breath. When the great need to advocate for myself, a task so hard it has taken a life-time to succeed at, was faced and conquered.

When something so big, so fearful, so needed growing more dire as the months passed, was taken on and decided. These things take my body to the stratosphere without my permission.

It just happens and is out of my control. More tests next Wednesday, more close-ups of my eyes, making the decision not to go to Cory’s the next day all the more a much healthier route, but also deeply saddens me.

I cannot do what I want. I cannot do what others do. The truth is, that I can, but the cost to my body and psyche is too much right now. Conquering this needed operation is a great feat, one that has been pondered the last few years with enormous trepidation, terror really.

And then there is fall. The fall into sadness, despair, and depression. It is already happening. Each day pick up the beast of despair. Brush her off, make her ready for the day. Make the best of it. Do your best. See the beauty.

The job gets harder, as the days grow shorter.

HAPPY DAY

Spending a good part of the day puttering in the kitchen readying for today’s brunch with Shane and the kids felt so satisfying. Zucchini from the garden made for wonderful muffins with cinnamon and raisins. My famous quiche awaits digging into, along with ‘Pig’s in a Blanket’ easily made with dough from the bread machine.

Quiche is a term loosely used as it’s eggs, milk, cheese, rice and whatever else is thrown in with it but usually kept simple so that the kids will eat it. The kitchen was a’whirling! My happy putter place. 

Bushels of apples were given away, with the top third of the tree still full because Samuel’s ladder doesn’t go up that far.. I whittled away at the last bushel using only half for buckets of applesauce, most of it to go to Shane’s house. Apples unused sit sadly in the hallway waiting for compost or nibbling rabbits. 

Fond memories floated up of son’s coming home from school gobbling up huge bowls of home-made applesauce. The added bonus was knowing no sugar had been added, just plenty of fresh cinnamon.

Samuel was sent out later after the rains to grill garden veggies for dinner. His skills are superb!

 

PEACE UNFOUNDED

photo by Patricia

A lull. A peace unfounded. Gratitude for what is. The first cup of rich, dark, freshly ground coffee is so much more relished when sitting in silence… not doing. Not writing, reading, or busying myself.

Just sitting. The first feeling is escape. Go do something. Yet an insistence arises that encourages my being to just be still. Something bigger than problems occurs, peace and presence.

The yellow birds come to the finch feeder. A rooster crows in the distance, sounding closer in the early morning dew that must amplify it.

My mind quiets as the warmth of the sun soothes muscles while chasing away the foggy puffs above the meadow now filled with the lace of queens.

As the sun comes over the trees, the patch of meadow filled with its glory lights up like jewels, a treasure stolen if my spirit hadn’t paused to absorb the new day.

Fall is coming, days shorten, and become cooler. But for now, mornings belong to the sun. I will soak it in until darker days come.