GIRLFRIEND TIME

Trying not to feel? Or trying to turn feelings around instead of feeling the scratchy rawness of loss or memories.

As leaves begin to drift down there is both magnificence in their colors and the vibrant sunsets along with a feeling of wanting to go back and recapture a life now over as the next phase moves forward.

A rare gift of a friend stopping by while we gaily drank tea and chatted, then walked the meadow in the sunshine after a week of rain. What relationships built up, not dozens, just a few, drifted away during and after the pandemic.

Those close to me fell away, no phone calls, no visits, and missing girlfriend time became sharp with need. So, with my invite she came, and we made a shopping date also with lunch.

As fall sets in closing around me, breaking free is necessary and doing so with fun times that bring me out to do things. So, what else can be arranged? There are willing partners, but my willingness is also needed. Time to step out a bit.

CRAFTING

Good days in summer just happen. How could they not with sun time on the patio and the meadow invitingly calling with its greens, golds, and all colors of summer?

In the darker months it takes effort to reveal what’s important and fun to make a task of. Delighting grandchildren is one of them.

With the endless rain it was time to dust off the elliptical feeling my heartrate accelerate healthfully. Then onto crafting for Halloween, another package to send through the mail for grandchildren in the neighboring state.

That fills my heart and keeps hands, head, and spirit happily busy.

We Will Never Pass This Way Again

With rest my sanity returns, and with it my mundane life as it sadly turns that way when daylight lessons. Then the challenges of finding fun and magic increase, though it’s the little things that are magical.

Even a moment of being in it, after a life of zooming around it, my mind twirling above my body as escaping from it since the age of 8 has been necessary to survive.

When things feel boring, that is when all is well. Because chaos has been the norm. Boring is peace. So look into every moment. It will not pass this way again.

My Purpose?

A walk to the mailbox…

Once retired, children grown, financially stable, what is my purpose? Living it fully, wholly? Because those are challenges to meet to each day that aren’t easy for me. Is it as simple that, whatever life you have, live it?

Walking before barely light enough to see, the mustard in the meadow is such a deep yellow-golden as if on display. Bunnies surprised by this early morning meanderer look up, freeze, then scurry away. The darkness needs light, so another fire is lit on the patio after 5 times around, bringing a soothing warmth to the cool dawn.

There are ways to think, and things to do which relieve the nostalgic ache that autumn brings, with darker months to come. And they too can be filled with light and love.

SUNSHINE

The sun comes out and with it well-being. The warmth penetrating like a hug. After ten days of dreariness it is welcomed full heartedly. Walking the meadow, kissed by the sun, everything looks brighter especially my mood.

Monarchs circling the sweet scented butterfly bushes swirl over me as if to say, don’t despair, summers not over. My feet feel lighter, and all looks more interesting, out of my head and in to the present.

Todays picks from our meadow…

FIND YOUR HAPPY

Photos by Patricia 9/3/22

Recovering from a simple virus compounded with headache and slight fever, it took my happy away. Camera in hand, down to the meadow I go discovering joy again.

The peace of earth sustains me, flocks of birds getting ready to fly south, startled at my approach, waving grass greening after the rains, a bunny hopping away, and quiet, peaceful quiet settling my mind of its morbid thoughts.

MILD SYMPTOMS

Maybe Samuel brought Covid home from the coffee shop but was asymptomatic. Maybe it’s just sinuses, but with a fever? No one likes being sick, but for me there’s a fear with it that feels scarier than feeling ill.

Spending a good portion of life not being in my body, when it goes awry- that is scary. Unfamiliar with it in healthier times, when off-kilter the territory becomes even more foreign.

When running from yourself, it isn’t possible to care for yourself. Being disconnected how could it?

But these last weeks, especially when night after night a routine of good sleep has developed, and each morning time is spent just being, staying, and not running, a connection with all elements of myself brings a wholeness unfounded.  

With it an ability to care for each aging part which needs more attention than ever before. It is not easy to keep an old car running, spare parts, tune-ups, grease, all sorts of attentive focus.

But when chaos and anxiety fill up my tank, that’s all there is. When peace replaces the foaming buzz, miracles blossom, the miracle of well-being, and feeling there is a place for me here now.

PRESENTS-PRESENCE

Patricia’s gardens…

The stress of trying to camp, then returning knowing that was the last time, wired my body up in such a way that it has taken a few days to calm down. The relief of being home is heavenly phenomenal.

To add to the stress, some people with age develop allergies from pollen due to shrinkage of the nasal passages. Thought my luck was with me, yet not so.

Such seemingly little things throw me off and need tending to.

“Samuel, I am a strong girl but have become so delicate!” I plaintively said while watching the evening news.

He looks at me and nods. Not much of a talker unless it’s about electrical workings or building something, then it’s my turn to zone out.

But still, to have a partner, a caring, devoted, loyal partner is everything to me. And a home with all the beauty ever conceived, knowing that the secret gardens occurred by my hands, all mine. Dug out shovelful by shovelful, then sifted together with peat moss, manure, and sand, because clay is not social to growing flowers.

And experimenting through the years before finding hardy plants that withstand the winters and a gardener who will not baby them. And then?

The magic of sitting among them, their beauty calming me even as they begin to wane with the coming of fall, giving up their seeds to store for next year’s planting of annuals in pots scattered about the patio. The perennials needing no care because they come up right in the earth every year all on their own.

No more buying expensive annuals when it’s so much fun nurturing flowers from seeds, like babies without stress. There are a few that display gorgeous color early and all summer; cosmos, zinnias, and marigolds with their bouncy bright yellows and oranges.

Aging is hard. Leaving one stage to another but still stuck in the past, moving on to the here and now was a mess. I made a mess of it. And it took a long time. Hanging on to Shane, making their marriage harder, making his whole life more difficult with my chaotic needs that no one can fill but me.

It is a life’s effort to let go. Even yesterday after they left from my grandson’s 13th birthday celebration, his entry into the teenage years, that empty nest pang struck a gentle jab.

But in letting go, wonders already present are noticed, inhaled, soaked up… bringing joy- funny bunny too young to know it has to run into the tall grasses to become invisible, not on the path right in front of me at every lap. The white spotted fawn looking up startled jumping away with its fluffy tail bobbing. And the golden crimson glow of the morning sun peeking through, each sunrise its own spectacle taking my breath away.

STRENGTH OF SPIRIT

Though unwilling to venture out ever again for an overnight anywhere, my spirit is strong, my soul heard. Sleep does not come any place but home in my own bed. Selling the camper is being done happily, good-bye.

The pleasures and indulgences right here are abundant. Rather than feeling as if courage has left me, I am an explorer with great strength and bravery.

To be still, sit still, to go into the depths of me takes a will unfounded because chaos has driven me, not peace. Peace finds me among the frogs croaking creek-side, the fronds around it waving breezily, the birds swooping down for insects, and mother soothing my ragged interior.

A robin hopped ahead of me as if to say good-bye. Then another. They have not been seen since. My belief is that they know how much I love them, and miss them when they go. But stopped to say, “We’ll be back.”

As winter approaches and my spirit tends to drift downward, it is the beauty of nature which restores and transforms.

PEACE

Underneath the noise there is calm. Beneath the chatter in my brain, peace, deep peace. Losing it too often to the negativity dwelling from past voices. The gnarled way back on to the path takes presence, and a belief that it can be found, a belief in myself.

The warmth of the morning sun while resting on the patio. Hummingbirds helicopter by, whizzing past my head to the abundant flowers all around and the feeders, so close even a finger movement scares them away. But only for a moment, they come back.

The chipmunk thinks its hidden beneath the Hosta leaves chewing away at a nut swiped from the hedgerow, yet it full view from my comfortable chair. Little bunny comes out from behind the woodpile unsure of what to do next, then finally hops off onto the grass.

This peace evaded me while fretting over an impulse to ask Seth either to come for a visit or go with us camping. Getting to the core of this fervent wish there is the gnawing yearning for the family of origin that could have been, not the existing one.

Why disturb the peace? Why not choose to keep it, which means respecting my own needs, not trying to help or heal others? It is in dealing with my own pain, confusion, and lack of centeredness, that wholeness, self-awareness, growth, healing, wisdom, and peace, oh great peace, finally comes.