Lydia!

I overheard a woman calling out to a little girl, over and over again…. Lydia! Lydia!

Lydia is a pretty name, one that I don’t hear very often. But, there was a certain tone to it this time, a sharpness with a note of command backing it up. I couldn’t help but hear from where I was standing. The sound of it interrupted my thoughts. My thoughts were simple ones of tea towels and autumn inspired linens… and leaves turning and drifting in a beautiful whirlwind of gemstone colors….

Lydia’s mother and grandmother were getting louder and more emphatic all the time, trying to corral her… while Lydia herself, seemed lost in thought like me and cheerfully free spirited.

To be honest, I giggled to myself as a song sprang to mind –

“Lydia, Oh Lydia

Say, have you met Lydia

Lydia, the tattooed lady….”

It goes on from there… This child was certainly no Lydia of that variety! Another young girl named Virginia Weidler sang the rollicking song in the black and white film, The Philadelphia Story, starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. She was absolutely marvelous, playing the piano with vigor and belting out every word with flair! So there I found myself, giggling in a swirl of lost thoughts of my own.

I caught sight of dancing feet to the left of me and so, I looked up. There was Lydia! Her hair was a bit messy, long enough to brush the tops of her shoulders and with a few squirrelly knots thrown in for good measure. Her pint sized glasses were slightly askew. And, she wore a pale pink dress, the kind that little girls love to twirl about in and feel them spiral outwards and let the wind catch beneath them. If one spins fast enough one might just be able to gather enough air to set one flying….

Who knows what adventure one might have then!? I write from experience…

She was clearly smitten with the Christmas decorations, all the colorful displays full of the promise of a crisp winter morning and a stocking full of sweets.

The moment was chocked full of irony though.

Lydia, her name and herself, sailing away upon the air, so genuine and carefree.

While the calling out on the other hand was an earth bound and controlling thing, limited and tethered…like trying to put a leash on a butterfly.

It always strikes me when I see a child so young in glasses. However did they know she needed them. I began wearing glasses in school when it became clear I couldn’t see the blackboard very well. I wore contacts for a while but gave them up and went back to glasses for ease and comfort. The continuous losing of them is another story altogether.

I wonder how long she had had her glasses. Were they brand new. Did the whole world look different, crisper, clearer and brighter than she had ever seen it before!

I shall never forget the day I got my first pair of glasses. I sat still and upright in the straight backed chair with its industrial gray cushion. My feet dangled as I was too small for them to touch the floor. The lady on the other side of the table slipped the glasses with the tiny pink panther emblem onto my face. She ensured that they fit properly in all the right places and ways.

Then the lady sat back and smiled as though she was setting me free. They were all mine now. And, I turned my head to the right towards the plate glass window… and I could see… every last leaf on the wise old trees across the way. Not a mass of green all blurred together. But, every tree and every branch stood out with singular clarity. I could see! It seems fitting now that it was trees that I saw in that moment. Trees have been constants in my life, and I can remember each of them in turn and the vast importance of them to my heart and to my seeing.

I never heard a word at all out of Lydia, herself. She was as silent as a tiny mouse on Christmas eve.

I only heard her mother and her grandmother calling to her. They were far enough away and around a corner so that she was displaced from their view. That is a scary thing for a parent, to be sure. No doubt, they simply wanted her to be safe.

I don’t know what their names were. I don’t know whether they one day twirled in a pale pink dress silently but in high spirits. I don’t know if they were caught up by some small novelty. I don’t know if someone called out to them too, trying to keep them safe… but still, breaking the magic spell of being a child full of wonder… seeing life for the very first time…

Why, I ask myself, would anyone put a leash on a butterfly….

Oh, to be free to dance in the bluest autumn sky…

****

ellie894 October 2, 2022 A very happy October to everyone! Suzanne ❤️

The Book of the Sun

April showered thousands upon thousands of drops of rain

But, the sun kept shining

May flowered tenderly in candy pastels

Gifts from the sun who kept on shining

June danced with the faery beneath a mystical moon

While the midsummer sun kept shining

July searched desperately for shade

As the searing sun kept right on shining

August hoped for a hint of breeze

And the sun refused to stop shining

September whispered words long awaited

Of a bountiful harvest because the sun had kept on shining

October blazed in autumnal glory!

Yet another story, from the book of the sun who kept on shining

November smiled through sleepy eyes

Of gratitude for the sun who all year long had kept on shining

December hurried and flurried in moments of joy

And also some sorrow, but the sun kept on shining

January quietly began it all again

And so, the sun kept shining

February gazed upon soft snow drifting

Steady as a mountain, the cheerful sun kept on shining

Now March is on us

And without a doubt

The lovely sun shall keep on shining….

****

ellie894 March 11, 2022

Love knows…

Bo
Jack

Love knows neither clock or calendar

Love is not bound by place or even by touch

Love is before we met and beyond our being

Love is the crane who patiently waits and the snail who’s never late

Love is the unicorn prancing in the moonlight glowing

Love is the song made visible

And the silence in between

And love is the redbird in the sky

Upon a feathered wing

Love is the honeyed treasure of the pollen searching bee

Ellie

Love is a whisper that journeys in the breeze and finds its way to the very heart of me

Love is the silk that weaves miss spider’s web

Love is the lace crafted of cotton thread

Love is the hand that holds the needle

Love is the needle that stitches the cloth

Love is in the breathing

And in the letting go

Love is pure and gentle

As soft as the falling snow

Miss Fred

Love is September’s brightest yellow

Love is October’s bold tangerine

Love unfolds in twilight

And warms with the setting sun

November love is deep wine red and readies the soul

For December’s gift that is yet to come…

Bo, Dobby, Jack and Ellie
Dobby

****

ellie894 November 28, 2021

far more than even enough…

Once upon a time

The world was as green as a lime

And, there was this Duck, quack quack

Who never ever looked back

Always zooming passed

This Duck was never last

Faster and faster with each new day

In a freight train kind of way

Until…Duck’s flying feathers fell out

All round about-bout

Dear Duck, was quite bereft

As one by one they up and left

The feathers would grow back

But at the time, Duck didn’t know that

Swimming so slow

He was a flightless bundle of woe

Nothing to do

The whole wide world felt a jazzy shade of gray slate blue

Duck was awfully forlorn

Until there came a sunny morn

And He opened his eyes

To find a feathered surprise

Another Duck

Had wandered up

Like sweet ice cream in a root beer float

On wings without a boat

Happy as can be

With all that She did everywhere see

Duck wondered…how

He paddled right over now

Before Duck could get to his task

Get real busy and ask

She gave him a smile

Wider than a wide Texas mile

Here was a Friend to show Duck

That He was far far more than even enough

The race was different then

No more zooming passed, no more blur of when

Everything was better

Like a whole alphabet, letter by letter

With feathers or with none

He was now a Duck who was more than a one

Two, without a boat or an end

Duck and his very dear Friend

Sometimes they swam quickly and sometimes they flew slow

But they were always fast Friends and that was more than enough…don’t you know

Wave goodbye now

… it’s time to fly now

.. time for the Duck Friends to go …

****

ellie894 April 2, 2021

Suzanne ❤️

Light and Hope…

In the spring I plant morning glories. Heavenly blue is the name on the seed packet, and they certainly are all of that! I hope they will begin to flower in the summer. But, it is autumn when they reach their most beautiful.

Some years I get the seeds tucked away in the dirt nice and early. They have taken over whole fences at times! When I am not careful enough in my placement, they have taken over other plants with their exuberant tendrils. Not so good.

Some years, I am late and so are the flowers. This year was somewhere in between early and late. I planted the seeds and I waited. The vines curled upward. The delicate heart shaped leaves multiplied. I had hope.

I waited for the first sign of a flower in June. Nothing and nothing and nothing….

The days sort of melted and meandered. I lost track of their comings and goings.

Until I found myself in a gentle clear morning in October. However did it come to be October?! And Now December?! 31st no less?! I think Dobby and Jack must have done something to the calendar. Yes, that must be it.

Lately, a young buck in velvet is spending his dawn hours at the western edge of an eastern wood. Our silent paths cross often.

A doe and her fawn step gingerly to the lake as the cranes search for their breakfast.

Crossing and more crossing of paths.

And, the feathers! I have lost count of them. There has never been a feather season with so many gifts, of all shapes and sizes. A feather is a lot like a leaf. The one is as unique to the bird as the other is to the tree… as a wing is to a butterfly..

This year some of the wings have come as grounded things.

Once upon a time in early June…

…the caterpillars arrived by mail.

For a week they ate their weight in food and then some. They ate and ate….and ate. They grew and grew….and grew. They were very much like Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Clearly, he did his research!

One day the caterpillars climbed to the tippy top of their tiny home and each one made their very plump form into a jolly letter J. Within hours, the J that they were, had disappeared. Now, they were each closed up tight in a chrysalis of their own creation.

It didn’t look like much, this simple chrysalis. For a week there was nothing much to see or to do. Waiting. Lots of waiting. For me and for them, although I suspect they were doing far more important things with their solitary time than I was.

Then, one by one the chrysalides turned darker. It is when they have reached their most colorless moment that they unfold into the light….

…behold a butterfly…

Oh, what a miracle to see a butterfly unfold! Their wings are soft and crumpled at first, like a blanket fresh from the wash. Right away they instinctively climb upwards to a safe place. Then they wait some more. Their wings slowly straighten, dry out and become strong. It takes from a few minutes to a few hours as they ready themselves to be what they already are within.

They begin to play in a gentle flapping way that is not quite a flutter. That will come in due time.

Over the next three to four days the painted ladies were taken outdoors to be set free among the flowers. Hot days sent a few of them soaring into the sunshine. Some settled in the shade. Most of them flew away…

One remained….

The first time I tried to let her go, she fell from the flower and struggled to right herself. I reached gently all the way down to the pine straw. She grabbed hold of my finger and let me lift her up. She spread her wings and crawled up my arm to see what she could see from my shoulder. But, she did not fly away. She was definitely not ready to go yet.

After a few more tries on the days that followed, I realized that for whatever reason, she was unable to fly. She could flutter like crazy. And, she loved to curl her proboscis to eat and explore. But, there would be no flying for her.

So, I set out to make her as comfortable as I could. I gathered fresh flowers and leaves for her each morning and spritzed them lightly with water. I made her home at the heart of where I spend a great deal of time, the kitchen. How quickly we learned each other’s ways. I knew all of her favorites as she became a sweet part of June floating into July and on into August…

Gilda means messenger. That was her name. I also called her Miss Butterfly or even Miss B. She liked to be held, especially in the afternoons. She adored fresh watermelon to eat, and would “nod” her antennas at me in a cheerful hello of sorts. Seriously. She did.

She could flutter like the dickens although her wings couldn’t take her skyward. I would often reach in and place my finger nearby. Sometimes she would flutter with excitement. Sometimes she would pay me a never you mind and simply drift back to sleep.

Mostly, she would climb onto my waiting hand as though she simply wanted to be held for a while. So, I would. There we would sit, Miss B and me, quiet and still, with her at rest in my hand. She slowed me down in the most lovely of ways.

I offered her as many fruits as I could think of! Her absolute favorite was watermelon. And, so that’s what she and I settled on. Oh, how she loved watermelon! There was a brief stint with bananas. But, after she scared me something awful and got stuck in them….no more bananas.

Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet. I think that’s how she came to know me. She knew the taste of my skin. Perhaps she learned that she could trust me. Maybe.

At 9 weeks old, she moved more slowly each day. I wished that she could have flown but her gentle life was so full of light. She graced my days for three full months! That is a long life for a Painted Lady and I’m grateful for every moment of it that she shared with me.

I still miss her. Cutting her watermelon. Letting it come to room temperature. It startled her if it was too cold. Picking her up and placing her gently on the edges so she could taste that it was there. The simple joy of seeing her eat. The way her antenna would bob. And holding her for a time, just because…

Occasionally she tickled me with her tiny feet. Mostly my skin couldn’t feel her in my hand. My heart always felt her though. Love is like that I think.

So the hot dry summer days kept on.

With them I watched for the morning glories to form and blossom. Nothing. I had all but given up hope for them this season. I had resigned myself to the notion that the green heart shaped leaves would have to be enough this year. There would be other seasons, I told myself.

I thought forward to next spring, planning ahead and determined to get the seeds in the ground nice and early…

Then, in early October as I set out on a morning walk under misty skies, there she was…Heavenly Blue…her light shining from within as soulfully as Miss Butterfly.

I have written on this over and again. Now, here we are on the very last day of the year. It’s time…

This story took months to live and much wandering beneath trees to write. I don’t know why the morning glories didn’t bloom more this year. I don’t know why Miss Butterfly couldn’t fly and spent her life with me instead. I don’t know a lot of things about this year that is nearly over. I only know this – One can make all the difference…

A flower full of light….a butterfly full of hope….Love is like that I think…

May you be safe and well and may you have light and hope.

Suzanne 🦋

****

ellie894 December 31, 2020

in a world…

I want to live in a world

Where dinosaurs roam free

Beasts of ancient days

Rabbits hopping in the shade of them

Monkeys playfully on the tail of them

*

I want to live in a world

Where butterflies roam free

Twice the size of dinosaurs

Landing on the nose of them

Tickling through to the toes of them

*

I want to live in a world

Where dinosaurs dream free

Of whales outside of the ocean

Swimming the skies above them

Blowing bubbles to show they love them

*

I want to live in a world

Where butterflies dream free

Of you and of me

Whispering the stories of all of us

From the noses to the toes of us

*

I want to live in a world

Where love is always the answer

No matter the worried question

Where the wild wonder of us becomes we

And makes a home, in the very heart of me

****

ellie894 December 4, 2020

Photographs taken in Mineral Wells, Texas in September 2019.

I love when….

I love when a late October day is crisp

and I can see my breath

..floating in the air

Faery homes glisten in the early morning fields

..still sparkling

from the night before

Somehow I just know they’ve been dancing

all hours long

in the silvery blue moonlight..

Mist rises

ever

so

slowly

from the silence

of the pond

..as though it is whispering a secret long held within

a weary traveler from the hot dry summertime

Finally,

..letting go

Snow white crane stands triumphantly,

A beacon beneath the crimson leaves

And, there is a tree in the heart of the woods on the right of my path that will turn the color of sunshine soon

But, for now

..tiny star flowers are blooming in its tender shade

Autumn has arrived with colorful fanfare

Tomorrow it will be November…again

And yet, full of moments that have never been

One cannot help but to think of time

at times like this…

I love when a late October day is crisp

And time is of no consequence

when the sky is such a heavenly shade as this

the sort of blue that sings to the very heart of you

its soulful song of everyday

..of always

****

ellie894 October 31, 2020

Take good care,

Suzanne 🌷

my eagle…

The day lilies are budding

They will be as yellow as the sun

When they arrive

I’m smiling already

For the joy of them.

I think

I won’t mow around the juniper

As it’s where the bunny

Has his daily feast

And I wouldn’t want him

To go hungry.

By the time I reach the briers

There is another,

He doesn’t know me as well

So, is more cautious,

Hops away faster

Than the other.

Crows as black as the night

Take off from the open grasses

Calling to each other as they do…

They have a lively conversation

Amongst themselves

How kind of them to let me listen

Even if

I don’t quite understand

The language…

The wind blows strong today

Clouds coming and going

Crossing the sun

Making my shadow long

Then, just as suddenly..

..leaving, and all of me is gone.

I like the gentle shadows,

I guess that’s because I know

The heavy heat of summer

Will be here soon,

And the shadows are a comfort

To tender things

That need protection

..for them to grow.

It is feather season!

I found the first only recently!

It delighted me

From head to toe!

It was downy white and small,

And set my thoughts to soaring

The widest open skies.

This morning there was another,

I went in close

My heart took a leap,

.. and I turned my gaze upward

Knowing he wouldn’t be there

But hoping…

…all the same.

He is never very far away

Although I seldom see him.

I keep watch..

..and wonder

If he does the same for me.

And so I am at the water’s edge again,

Where the wind blows

As strong

As if I’m by the sea..

I search the heavens and wait

For him to fly once more to me…

****

ellie894 May 22,2020

once a snowflake fell…

Once a snowflake fell

Upon a mountaintop

And melted into

..an ever flowing stream

Even then,

It did not stop

As the gentle river became

A dream, floating on…

And on, or so it seemed…

Once a snowflake drifted, now

A drop of water,

In its travels did carry long

Unto the ocean deep

It wound its way

It found its way

In daylight hours

And, in the ones

..of deepest sleep

Around the world

Again and overmore

…how long..and long

no one knows, for sure

No calendar

Nor clock to keep

As gracefully, time did

Pass..

without a warning,

Or fanfare or anything much

The soulful drop,

was gathered and lifted

From where it had been

As if by a purposeful hand

Taken so carefully

From the waves of the sea

..to the dryness of the land

By way of the rolling thunder

Trumpeting, the dawn’s question..

Sounding the awakening

That knows no earthly bounds

And so, given

By sun and bluest sky

This lovely…once a snowflake,

Once a stream

Once a river

Once a dream

Once an ocean

Once a rain

Once a touch of everything….

Now a gentle dewdrop,

..at rest upon my skin…

….for but a moment in forever…

****

ellie894 April 24, 2020

Ode to the Cookie…

On long days

Or short ones

On up days

Or down ones

It is to the simple cookie

That I humbly go to call

It is the luscious cookie

For which I giddily pause

Chocolate chip and

Moeller’s

Sandies too

Oatmeal pecan or

Lacies

Nearly any kind will do

Quite easily,

One of the world’s most perfect foods

Yes,

I confess,

I’m rather biased

In their favor

In their hearty flavor

But what would you have me do

I cannot possibly stop at one

Nor can I even stop at two

I have long been known

To make a meal of them

An in between of them

When time is short

And the chips are down

On goes the apron

As away runs the frown

Sugar and butter, well creamed

Eggs and vanilla, broken and streamed

A dash of soda, a pinch of salt,

Cups of oats, morsels of chocolate

Flour heaping…

Pecans lightly chopped

The mixer revs up

Into a mighty thunderous stirring

Then, to the sheets and such delicate drops

Into the oven

Dial up the heat

The waiting is hardest….

When?

Oh when?

Will the cookie’s be complete!

Warm from the oven

Baked with such care

They’re at their bestest best

When I can reach out and share

I stand by my motto

So strong and so true

When things are bad and getting worse

Keep a cookie in your purse

Or your lunch box

Or your favorite Snoopy jar

Anywhere works

When cookies are involved

Because, it’s a well tested

Matter of fact

There is no day

In the history of ever

That by a cookie

Wasn’t made better

Do you feel it now

Do you…

Please tell me you do

The overriding

Overarching

Ode comes to rest

A nibble of this

A nosh, more than a notion

A dream within a dream

With ice cold milk

Or steaming hot coffee

Can you think of anywhere

You’d rather be

Than here for a moment

Savoring cookies and sipping on tea

****

ellie894 April 9, 2020

My “fevered” thanks to Rory for the inspiration to write about cookies in this time of staying at homeness! 😊

Keep well, safe and smiling!

Suzanne ❤️