PEACE

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In that place that is not now, distracted from the present, and not knowing why, tears fall. Then fall more.

Sometimes an instinctual urge has no name or explanation. Get out. Walk. Doing will help you feel productive, not paralyzed as this new wave of unspoken needs and change take hold.  

Eventually the mind will meet the emotions and the unnamed feelings will make sense; or they won’t. Until then ride the waves and do the work needed to maintain health in all realms; emotional, mental, spiritual and physical. 

Walk, confront the negative voices, bring that dissociated mind back to what is around you now. A scent lifts me, the aroma of lilacs or lily of the valley. The cat splays out on the floor in the sun stretching her expansive furry body able to look adorable even in her sickness. Life goes on…

The feelings move through. Another day arrives, each one a new flavor. 

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BLOOMING PROPERTY

A walk around the house…

Waking the feelings of sadness pull me down and easily defeat efforts of a productive day. Determined to not let an aging cat cripple me with negativity I push myself out onto the meadow. The day sparkles with sunshine not matching my mood. 

On lap five I lay down in the shade on the gentle bank filled with lilacs standing guard offering protection to the precious ever expanding area of lily of the valley.  I begin pulling the stems then relax asking what’s the hurry? Where are you going? This is what you are doing and where you are. Be here and now. 

The scent fills the empty places. Breezes caress my body as the sun flickers through the leaves making moving patterns around me. I say my prayer and it is heard as my insides unwind and pull in the beauty around me. 

Help me be grateful, feel peace and ease my fears. 

I go in for my camera and take a walk around the house filling my soul with more ‘food.’ 

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!

The Deck

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While Samuel’s hard at work, first the deck, now the landing and retaining wall, I have no project and feel a bit lost. For such a small project it certainly is a lot of work and the trips to the local lumber yard are adding up surprisingly in cost. I was even invited to go to pick out the stone path. That was a hot date on a rainy morning, bumping into another couple even older than us also picking out stone for a small garden project. 

“What is our purpose?” I ask Samuel, “Do we just get up and do it again day after day?”

“Yes, maybe that is our purpose,” he answers, barely looking up from his magazine. 

I press on, “You have a purpose. I don’t. The studio bores me,” I stated. 

“Well, maybe you need to do something different,” he responded.

He is right. I need to do something different. But with all the supplies gathered over the years, kiln, clay, glaze, and all the corresponding tools, it had better have something to do with all that. New horizons await. In the meantime, maybe my purpose is caring for this body I’ve spent a life-time escaping.

Being in it scares me, every little nuance making me wonder what is going wrong next. Yet being in it is what can also bring great joy if I work at it and try. Like caring for the burn that turned crimson and scaly. Taking the time to open a vitamin E oil capsule and gently applying it helped, rather than just ignoring it like I might of done.

That’s what others do naturally, care for themselves. And when they do they do great things like become exercise fanatics, yoga experts, lean bicyclists or runners, something physical to complete the whole. 

So my purpose is learning about my body, being in it as fully as possible, which takes work, time, and overcoming the fear. I tend to flee it residing in my head or hovering anywhere else but in it. What wonders await if I allow myself to go deeply into my given gifts?

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Finding Peace

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photo by patricia

The havoca newsletter (Help for Victims of Child Abuse) prompted this post as it relates so much to my difficulty in maintaining equilibrium; especially the following line, though the entire article might be worth the read. Unfortunately one has to subscribe to receive their newsletter but it’s free and so far has not been invasive or a problem. https://www.havoca.org/subscribe/

They have difficulty in trusting their ability to influence their own experiences, and may feel that their lives are in the hands of others and external forces which are beyond their control. This can, at best, put them in a difficult and frightening psychological position.

Samuel wakes three hours after me, and then we share coffee as our son Shane calls on his ride to work. He updates us on the grand-kids doings, and it usually is a great joy to my day. Yet my chest tightens.

Mornings, usual a favorite time, have become stressful. Breathe. I have much to do, the arm exercises, Kegels, walking, meditation, dinner, and on it goes. And these things needn’t stress me, yet the springtime rush of chemicals to my brain makes me, well, kind of loopy.

Samuel takes the phone and they chat. The pressure begins to abate as relaxation techniques are applied. We are sitting on the porch. The geese at the creek are squawking. Shane remarks that even he can hear the birds chirping through the phone.

The tightness unwinds and it continues to be a revelation that one can cause injury to their body by their thoughts, or bring health. Trusting my ability to do this, to go internally where intuition can be my guide is an ongoing journey. It takes work, or at least focus.

After the call we go outside. Samuel works on the deck, but I just sit. So much is popping up from the ground including many spring blossoming flowers that it is hard to absorb. More is spotted each time I look.

Just be, soak it in. The scent of hyacinth wafts up, even the bleeding heart broke the surface of the earth. Time to walk, and at each lap I allow the pleasure of sitting by creek. The frogs have come up from the mud and they sound as if they are gurgling with the mud.

The ability to calm is within…