FRIENDS

 And then a friend replies, not one ever known in person, but one you might call a pen pal. Yet when two souls share from the core, do you need to meet?

How are you? She asks via email, as she really cares to know. It’s not the customary social question when you reply by fine though dying inside. So, I tell her.

I say I may be addicted to Xanax, considering how much use it’s been getting lately with sleep issues escalating this past year. Sleep issues began about the time my mother declined before her death, waking in the night eating bread gobbed with butter, never a daytime food choice. Often four or six slices, white soft bread with tons of butter.

Butter? I rarely use the butter dish watching Samuel eat his daily toast slapping on butter, or a blob on his vegetables which I rarely do. And white bread? Never. Samuel requires white, I eat high fiber wheat. My night-time sleep/eating issues began then, about ten years ago.

But this past year the use of nighttime medication has increased to a worrisome amount, each time feeling I failed somehow. That being unable to sleep is my own fault; faulty thinking, not calming myself, somehow, it’s me.

But is it? Couldn’t it have to do with becoming calmer, more peaceful, more connected to my inner core, wiser, and more self-loving? Or self-loving at all, even the tiny tidbits felt for the very first time?

Perhaps it is my doing, but not my fault. Because as my being becomes more whole, less scattered, the part repressed that keeps the memory of Danny’s rape from consciousness might now find a path up. That would make anyone anxious, and since anxiety tends to be my constant companion, anxiety rachets itself up another notch.

Energy comes in small doses, mornings are best. And the energy my body must need to repress such a trauma could be well used for happier endeavors. But that’s up to my internal workings.

I can’t just say, OK memory come up. And who would want to? Weight loss must be connected. Food was used at age 8 right after his coming into my room, and has been used ever since. My body was just as slim as other kids before, then blew up.

When often feeling alone, I am not. While sipping coffee on the screened porch before the sun rises, birds begin their cacophony of wake-up songs, one close by singing loud yet lovely, clear and true.

Wrapping the blanket closer around me, quietly walking towards the screen, there it is atop the shepherd’s hook, one little body singing such a great song!

Finally it’s time to go back inside to open emails, one from the friend I’ve never met. Her response to my lamenting the use of a night-time medication was (as usual) soft and gentle, along with this poem.

So, I am not alone, I have birds, friends… and me.

PHOTO BY PATRICIA

BIKE RIDE

They say old age isn’t for the faint of heart, or something like that. And some say it’s better than the alternative. Yet a simple splash of water left on the floor, meaning to wipe it up yet forgetting, almost caused Samuel to fall.

And that’s all it takes, a tiny thing to cause an accident which easily breaks older bones. It has happened to a few friends needing screws, pins, casts, and way too long in hospitals.

My carelessness could have done that, and the thought made a foul mood drop further. Adding to my funk was another spat with Samuel over who knows what? But he came out to the patio to join me. We let whatever quarrel it was go, enjoying the sun’s warmth, then decided it was the perfect day for a bike ride.

He seemed in a low mood too. But once on the trail depressing thoughts lifted. How could they not when the sun dappled path dotted with daisies were waving a happy hello? Wild roses out in full bloom greeted us with a heady scent intoxicatingly heavenly.

“That’s what we needed,” I said to Samuel, adding, “Nature and exercise cures everything.”

Making some kind of noise in agreement (man of few words), we travel on enjoying the day along with happier thoughts and feelings of accomplishment knowing we are doing beneficial things for our hearts, joints, and emotions.

STILLNESS

My brain cannot handle too much input, especially from humans. It always picks apart every word, gesture, and nuance looking for clues of deception. People do talk in circles, some preferring to come across as strong by denying their pain. That’s look on as brave.

Others prefer to seem more important by touting the latest gadgets or travel excursions, whatever it takes to improve status therefore ego. I am guilty of all these at some point, but my preference around others is that they just be honest.

That’s rare. As social customs require a certain performance, one I’ve never quite grasped preferring to keep to myself because of it. It is more peaceful than a swimming head of negativity trying to figure out just what others are really saying, or meaning.

And so? That has been my life. During the pandemic others suffered from the isolation. Other than anxiety over catching the virus, my life did not change much feeling for once that I fit in. Now that others are out and about like they like to do, the feelings of abnormality crept in again.

That needs confronting daily. You are OK, and it is completely OK to love nature and want to be in it more than being around people, or rushing about from place to place because I can’t be still. Stillness brings my parts together as a whole. The beauty fulfilling. The gifts endless.

DAY TRIP REALIZED

The mist and thundering sound of the water was a lot like Niagara Falls! We couldn’t figure out how to use my video.. boo, you wouldn’t believe the volume of both noise and water…

We went into town and picked up food at a BBQ joint. Brought it back to eat by the rushing water at a picnic table. Then drove back to the falls area and saw this! Called the sheriff and several vehicles came, the park mower man was OK!

Bottom right!

Day Trip

And so the day opens dark, cool, and crisp with thoughts of the winter to come and how to handle it. The winds and rains have ended, calm remains.

Looking out at the steady rain all through the day yesterday, is it possible to still walk? But winds kept me in, restless and bored. There is curative power in fresh air and Mother Nature, the natural healer.

The sun is supposed to peek out so it is a good day for a trip to the falls which ought to be engorged. And though warm nights have kept the trees from turning to colors, now they are beginning and it’s time for a day trip and exploring.

Trail Cam Photos

Wild pears, YUM!

NATURE

Last night’s moon

Often after a dreary, cool, damp day, the sun comes out to kiss us goodnight causing the hill over the meadow to light up as if burning. Then the moon as darkness envelopes the earth, lighting up the surroundings more eerily.  Getting out of my head into nature is the best cure for whatever is causing my negative loops which increase in the cold months. And exercise.

Suddenly my reverie breaks looking over the meadow as my footfalls come to a stop. Even in late fall there is beauty and action because birds and other critters are always busy. They don’t ‘think’, they move, sing, eat and just live. Getting ready for bed the thought arose, what’s the point? Each day awaking to what, what’s my purpose? But maybe, like the animals, it is to just live.

Live as fully as possible in each moment and cherish it.

Sunset in the West aglow on hill over the meadow in the East…taken on our back deck. (moon too)

A Very Berry Breakfast

Photos by Patricia

Samuel’s berries are ready, though the eating is much more fun than picking. And other summer surprises visit, the splendor of nature overwhelmingly beautiful.

So many bird nests filled with hatched babies all around the property, one on the front porch, another atop the wisteria, one on the eaves, and so many more. Daddy robin keeps guard on the tripod when he isn’t feeding the mother sitting on the nest. The tiny bird on the porch sounds like a raptor when going out there, so my visits are limited to watering the hanging baskets quickly.  

All varieties converged one night staring up into the hedgerow from the garden arch into the trees where there was so much racket!

“Samuel, come out, something’s wrong with birds!” I exclaimed, the noise bringing me outdoors.

He clapped his hands then a hawk flies away, hopefully without his meal. So many duties before me, picking bouquets from Samuel’s roses that have gone off the charts with blossoms this year. Everything that blooms seems to have increased in volume ten-fold.

The joys of summer continue to explode…