worthshire…

In a city

Lived a town house.

Through a window

On the second floor

I could see

A garage.

Beyond that

A street,

Beyond that

More houses,

Looking back at me.

But if,

I sat

Upon the floor

Or,

Laid upon the bed

And,

Cast my eyes

Through the glass

Into

The sky

There was

A grand and towering

Pine tree.

He filled me

With hope.

He carried me

Past the sadness of the day.

He taught me

The story

That

Before there was concrete

There was this

Tall and strong

Waving in the wind

Shelter and home

To many.

He taught me

That green

Is the color of kindness.

He taught me

That to sway with the breeze

Is the secret of strength.

He was always there

As close as

My unveiled window

Upon the world.

He laughed

With me.

He cried

With me.

But always

He stayed

With me.

He never needed

Boat or plane

Car or train

To travel the world.

Instead,

He sailed the skies

And saw a million moments

Come and go…

In every pine I see

Stand tall

There is a hint of him

Within them all.

********

Written and photographed by Ellie894 February 2018

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Clyde

Once upon a time…

There was a crocodile named Clyde. He was rather lonesome and lost.

But, when Clyde slept he dreamed wonderful dreams of a home…

One day,

Clyde fell asleep in the shade of the sweet-gum tree, beneath its branches filled with stars.

And he dreamed…of shy tortoises sunning themselves on an out stretched log.

All of a sudden…

Plink! Plonk! Plunk!

Prickly fruit dropped from the sweet-gum tree onto Clyde’s head waking him from a sound slumber.

So, he stood up on his short legs and plodded along until he found a new place.

Clyde fell asleep in the shade of the wise old oak tree, beneath its branches filled with hidden homes.

And he dreamed…of birds soaring high overhead.

All of a sudden…

Plink! Plonk! Plunk!

Marble like acorns dropped from the oak tree onto Clyde’s head waking him from a sound slumber.

So, he stood up on his short legs and strolled along until he found a new place.

Clyde fell asleep in the shade of a towering pine tree beneath its branches filled with chattering squirrels.

The pine straw made a good place to rest and soon enough he was dreaming again…of frogs hopping playfully in the mud.

All of a sudden…

Plink! Plonk! Plunk!

Pine cones dropped from the towering pine tree onto Clyde’s head waking him from a sound slumber.

With a sigh he stood up on his short legs and trekked on.

He wondered if he would ever find a true home.

His short legs carried him far across the land.

He trudged through cold winter snow.

He tiptoed through fresh spring flowers.

He twirled through dry dusty summer.

He ambled through drifting autumn leaves.

Clyde wandered through wide open spaces

And through busy noisy towns

Clyde traveled on and on…

He saw a great many wonderful things.

But, none of them felt right in his heart.

So he kept on…

Until one day when Clyde was very tired and full of despair…

He came to the edge of a great lake.

There were trees shading the banks.

There were shy tortoises sunning themselves.

There were birds soaring high overhead.

There were even frogs hopping playfully in the mud.

It was just like Clyde’s dream.

It was a quiet happy place underneath enormous skies.

Clyde thought that he would stay.

Then…

Just over there…

On the bank, half in the water and half out…

Half in the sun and half out…

Was a crocodile just like himself!

Slowly Clyde approached her…

He was a little scared…

What if she didn’t like him?

My name is Clyde. What’s yours?

Camellia, she said shyly.

That’s a lovely name. May I sit with you Camellia?

I’d like that – she said with a warm smile.

All at once…

Clyde knew

That he had found…home.

********

Written and photographed by Ellie894 February 2018

the waltz

The sun blazes farewell as it sets in the autumn sky taking the light of day along to another place whose time has come. Strong silhouettes rule this moment where one thing slowly becomes another.

Lily checks her reflection in the glass once more. The long calico dress is simple but it is the best she has. Her chestnut hair falls soft about her shoulders pulled back with the only satin ribbon she owns…blue

Butterflies carry her down the stairs in a fluttering what if…

It is a time before neon lights hide the beauty of the night. Vast countryside is softly bathed in shadow. A half moon curls up as sentinel in an ebony sky.

Music and laughter call out in welcome through the open barn door. The scent of hay mingles with tempting aromas that float above the kettles simmering with hearty fare.

Gingham cloth drapes over and down wooden farmhouse tables laden with the bounty of orchard and fire. Hot cornbread is so golden it just might be worth something.

Pastry has been rolled and filled with the stuff that dreams are made of. A dusting of sugar and time in the oven has them bubbling and sparkling until one can hardly wait.

A few men keep time with their feet as their bows fly fast over the fiddle strings! Sometimes…they slow and soften.

One by one, couples take to the center of the barn. They are timid at first, until the joy of the song fills their hearts. In this place, skirts catch the air and not a single toe will be stepped on…wink

Then, from beyond the hustle and bustle…

the gentleman offers his arm and a warm smile. She accepts both with the raspberry blush of cheek that she knew would come.

No one notices as they make their way past fiddlers and ladies keeping watch over food and even the couples twirling round the dance floor.

…through the open door… into the fresh night air…past the storytellers spinning tales by the fire’s warm glow…

…to the lovely place where moonbeams shine and music can still be heard…

One, two three…step, two three…sweet notes drift in the air above their makeshift dance floor…eyes lost in one another…they waltz…beneath a million stars…

Long after the fiddles stop playing…long after the pies are eaten…long after the world has disappeared…hand in hand…they dance…

***********

Inspired by Ashokan Farewell by Jay Ungar and Molly Mason

written and photographed by Ellie894 February 9, 2018

Fifteen Real Pumpkins

Wish and hope and dream. Some days they are very much the same prayer, inseparable from one another and yet a whole world of possibilities within them. Some days they fill me until there is too much and they spill over with goodness. Some days they are buried in dark murky places and I cannot find them no matter how hard I try. Still…my dreams are always there…waiting for me.

Beneath a cold clear sky I send my wishes to the stars before the day begins. Star light, star bright…

Why do we wish upon a star, so far away…so up high…so out of reach. Why don’t we wish on something closer to home…like pumpkin seeds.

Cut open a pumpkin and reach inside. Feel all those seeds in the slime, held tight to the pumpkin and to each other by strong sinewy strings. It’s a mess in there! Dozens of ecru teardrops wait in the darkness like stars in the sky. Only they are touchable…and they become wondrous real things.

Pumpkin seeds do not have an outward brilliance that catches my eye. As I hold one between my fingers it feels slippery and sticky and yet, full of promise. Every pumpkin seed is a treasure chest locked tight with unseen gold.

How strange that our wishes reach to the heavens, to places we cannot go and cannot touch. Why don’t our wishes dig deeply instead. Why don’t our wishes begin in the earth and reach towards the sprawling beauty of becoming real.

I cannot touch a star or hold it in my hand the way I can a pumpkin seed. The seed is immediate and urgent as I grip it between my fingers and with my open heart it has already become an entire field of fruit, sprawling vines, delicate sunny flowers, and pumpkins one after another as far as my eye can imagine.

No man made plastic pumpkin will ever give way to such luscious possibilities.

In late September I drove to a local market for pumpkins. Fifteen pumpkins! They were a variety of crazy large shapes. No smalls. No mediums. All Larges! A couple of them were so big I could hardly manage them on my own. Would they topple on the way to the car! I had visions of them rolling all over the parking lot and me being rather helpless to stop them.

Then came the dilemma of arranging them in the car. More than one person looked at me with a smile that suggested… better you than me.

Pumpkins are deceptively dusty. Although their bold orange hides it, they carry a layer of soil leftover from their field days. And, they do enjoy sharing it with you. Nevertheless, the pumpkins were glorious and I was happy with my choices and their overflowing nature, rather like having a car full of balloons. It’s just a naturally happy moment.

So it was that fifteen real pumpkins came to reside with me.

Two collapsed before the end of October. One was given over to be carved for Halloween. A couple deflated after the first freeze. A few more were looking grim at the end of November. I lost another and another as December turned to Christmas turned to New Years.

As I head out to walk there are still some spicy orange orbs amongst the fallen brown leaves of winter. Signs of decay are easy enough to spot when you look closely. One by one they will each fall away.

Of course they don’t really go. Instead they transform as surely as the butterfly…from pumpkin to seed to green leafy shoot to yellow flower and finally, back to pumpkin again. They never stop giving.

In years past I have decorated with plastic pumpkins, the cute ones with handles and clever faces. In fact, I still have some of them tucked away in the attic. They last longer, people say. One can use them year after year, people say. You get your money’s worth, people say. Yes, I guess that’s all true enough…

Plastic pumpkins need to be stored and cleaned. Climb into the sweltering attic to bring them down. Put a heavy rock in them so they won’t blow away or be carried off and chewed to bits by a canine companion. Imagine the mess made by lovable canine companion. Weeks later clean them of all the muck they collected in the great outdoors. Trudge back into the attic to put them away. Next year, repeat. Ugh.

With time and weather plastic becomes brittle and its colors fade. It loses its vibrancy. You pull it down from the attic one year and think – hmm, it doesn’t look much like a pumpkin anymore. It toughens to the breaking point. Then sharp edges jut forth, jagged and hurtful to all that dare to come close. In age and time plastic pumpkins harden to the world around them.

Real pumpkins grown by a real farmer in a real field brighten my life and bring me real joy! In age and time they soften to the world around them. Even as they decompose, they freshen. Real pumpkins give way to more life, not less. In the days and months to come they will spring forth again and again in enchanting new ways.

My colorful pumpkins and what’s real and what’s not sends my thoughts back to the childhood tale of The Velveteen Rabbit. To become real one must love and be loved and that is a profoundly messy but beautiful thing.

As time flies before you, are you real or are you plastic…

I love to wish upon the stars in the charcoal sky. I won’t stop anytime soon. I love sending my dreams soaring into the heavens to light up the night.

But the pumpkin with its seeds has something to teach me about wishing too. Even as I write this I wonder if it’s silly to wish on pumpkin seeds. People will laugh at me. Stars are so glamorous. Pumpkin seeds are so…not glamorous.

But I do wish…

I wish for bright pumpkin filled days of joy! I wish to soften with time. I wish for a quiet embrace to protect the promise within. I wish to blossom in love. I wish to be real…

May your wishes flower into a beautiful field of dreams.

Fifteen Real Pumpkins written and photographed by ellie894 February 2, 2018