Happy May Day!

Happy May Day!  Today is the very first day of the merry merry month of May .  May is a lovely name for a woman.  May Anne Brodie.  Whoever might she be?  “May I?” is one of the nicest ways to ask permission.  May I carry your books, the shy little gentleman asks the young lady.  May bestows great blessing from one to another.  May a blue sky smile above you and your path be always clear.  May day! May day!  A cry for help comes through loud and strong.  How curious that one seems to me.  Perhaps if I add a few more words it becomes more clear.  May I please have help this day!  I wonder if it began just like that so long ago and then someone in haste and emergency shortened it to – May day!  May delights us with all things soft and feminine.  Tradition has it that on this day one should leave an anonymous gift of flowers on someone’s door.  A small bouquet with a satin ribbon for hanging…

May your heart be filled with joy 

May you know beauty in all things

May you ask a wonderful question

May you hear a sweet reply

May your home be filled with laughter 

May you receive help in time of need

and

May you always be blessed with flowers

english dogwood


Happy Happy May Day!

 

 

 

 

island time

There is nothing better than the encouragement of a good friend.  –  Katharine Butler Hathaway

Like the healing power of  “island time”.   Like the soothing respite of shade in the hot summer sun.  Like the surprise of the faery mushroom that always follows the rain.  Like cookies and sweet tea on the back porch swing.   Friendship nourishes the soul.  Friends never have enough time to share all that’s in their heart.   There is always one thing more to say.  And yet no matter how many days have passed on the calendar since their last visit,  when they find one another again it’s as if they had never been apart.  How treasured is the one who slows down to be with you when the rest of the world speeds past.  Friendship like nothing else I can think of is a beautiful beautiful choice.  And how very grateful I am.

Morning whispers 

 this day…

humble beginnings quiet and calm… 

 

 

mystery and treasure hidden in sight…

 

 

swirling and twirling high with delight…

 

 

 whether sorrow or song it will linger awhile and soon drift on…

 

 

 

 questions unanswered… tender mercies i pray… 

 

 

small well placed moments of  brightness and strength…

 

 

wisdom to see…  hope to move on…

 

 

a house woven lightly.  a place to belong…

 

 

 

as the door to this day opens gently, i wonder of all of the joy deep within.  this day.  this one day before me.  i open my heart to all that is.  laughter and sorrow.  hope and despair.  whatever it offers may i face it with grace…  

Enjoy this Rhyme one Word at at Time

Dr. Seuss has been whispering in my ear since I awakened this morning.  I’ve never had a day quite like this.  Almost all of my thoughts came out in rhyme!  I’ve lost track of how many tidbits I’ve scribbled here and there.  Yes, everywhere.  Even now as I write this introduction I’m trying Not to give in to the rhyming.  Clearly, I’m failing.  It’s been pretty silly and ridiculous actually and I’ve wondered more than once if this is how Theodore Geisel spent his days.  Definitely jolly!  I had thoughts of a far different post today.  Alas, that was not to be.  Another day perhaps.  However, I finally gave in to the moment and… Voila!

So many words.

so little time.

if only they’d fit on the face of a dime.

I could carry them with me,

all round the world.

use them up slowly for this thing and that.

even keep some stuffed up in the brim of my hat.

for you never, you never, you never do know,

when just the right word will take over the show.

and when I curl up to fall fast asleep,

I’ll tuck them there too in the dark and the deep.

cause even a place filled with fantastical dreams,

needs a few wonderful words to make it burst at the seams.

graceful and giggle and gotcha and giver,

they set me afire, atremble, aquiver

ah the words that will fit on the face of that dime,

I’d go on  and on, if we only had time.

what about you?

what do you say?

how many words do you keep on your shelf?

are you stingy and share them with only your elf?

bring them out often!

give them away!

they’re free don’t you know?!

oh please let them play!

Please stop rhyming

Everyone’s Hard is Hard



Everyone’s

Hard

Is

Hard

Not as hard as. Not harder than. Not hardest. Everyone’s hard is hard.  Everyone’s?  Yes.  I discovered this statement a year ago while listening to a podcast.  For a while now I have been trying to write about it.  I kept talking myself out of it, because I can come up with so many exceptions. What about the woman who walks hours a day for a single bucket of clean water, wouldn’t that be harder?  Is it harder to lose someone you love to accident or illness?  Is it harder to mother a child with depression or autism?   So I continued to circle around in a disclaimer of sorts.  Hard is Hard, except for this and this and oh wait, this too.  All of those things must be harder than others.  So, I would pull back again.  How can I say that hard is hard, when there is so much “harder” in the world.  Still I returned humbly to the words – Everyone’s hard is hard.  In my heart I believe it to be true somehow.  Undeniably there is heartache in the world and it finds each of us where we are.  The edge of this cliff dropping to nowhere is in the attempt to grade the hardness of personal experience. The harder and the hardest.  When one begins to compare and compete and define what harder looks like then we all lose ground.  We cannot know what it feels like to the toddler falling over and again while learning to walk.  The shy young child away from home for hours at a time in this new and scary thing called school.  Walking the halls wondering if you’ll be the only one not invited to the dance.   Working more than one job to make ends meet and still having to choose between paying the electric bill or buying food this week.   Aren’t each of these hard? If I sat here for just one day this list of what’s hard could fill the world-wide web.  That humbles me.  It is All worthy!  I can imagine That list and even now the suffering and immensity of it brings tears to my eyes.  What I cannot ever  imagine is ranking it.  A list of the top 100 hards!  How awful would that be?! I would never tell the teenager uninvited to that dance that his pain has no value. The child has bumps and bruises from falling but learns to walk.   To Walk!  What an amazing moment!  There are no right answers to the questions I posed in the beginning.  The questions themselves are ridiculous.  One is not harder than the other.  They are each painful in their own way to the one who lives them.  In the last few days I have been touched by more than one person who could easily lay claim to their own life being harder than that of those around them.   But not one of them has.  Not one.  Each of them has inspired me with their smile and their calm or laughing insistence that all shall be well in no time.  They have even gone so far as to point to the hardships of others with concern and empathy.  The struggles we face in life open the door of compassion if we will only let them.   They provide us with the chance to show deep love and concern for those who share this earth with us. It is that compassion learned  through the trials of life that urges me to engage in the sufferings of the world in a meaningful way.   Because I have held a feverish child in the night I want all mothers to rest knowing their baby is protected from polio.  Because I have felt left out at moments in my own life I reach out to the ones sitting alone at the edge of experience.  Because…  I love rocks!  I have loved rocks since I was a little girl.  Everywhere I went I would return with at least one small rock in my pocket.  Oh the dilemma of narrowing it to one or two! All rocks are wonderful just like the ones here.  I suspect you’ll trust me when I tell you that despite their different outward appearances, each and every one of them is hard.  Even the lovely glass dish that holds them is hard.  Their environments and circumstances have led them to be bound tightly together in just such a way that their beauty shines forth and their hardness protects them.  In fact, we value rocks because of their hard nature.  Hard is what makes them strong. However, no matter how well time and effort have crafted them to be what they are, the right amount of pressure in the right spot will  cause them to crack.  Wait though, in this new fissure, sand will accumulate, rainwater will gather, and wind or animal will provide a seed.  Soon enough where there was once something strong and hard which itself was broken by a hard event, there is now the chance to hold and nurture a beautiful new life.  Hard is Hard.  Wherever you are today and whatever pain hides in your heart please know…

Everyone’s

Hard

is 

Hard



Mimi!


First of the season! She’s huge! As big as my hand! As pure as a winter snow! As glorious as the full moon she’s named for! She’s just wonderful!

She never blossoms this early! Twenty five years ago my grandmother gave me the starter for this moon flower plant.   So, I think of Mimi when she blooms. Open only to the night and early morning, in a few hours she will disappear to the day.  I could so easily have missed her. Thank goodness I didn’t. Moon flowers are in the night shade family so they’re poisonous if ingested. But to some night creatures they offer the sweetest life giving nectar.  They only open at night and they only open once.  Although I’m not a night creature, she offers me a beautiful gift as well.  What small world will you see today that will shower you with Joy?!

img_1721

A Celtic Prayer 

         No anxiety can be ours

         The God of the Elements 

         The King of the Elements

         The Spirit of the Elements

         Closes over us eternally 


Hide and seek 

Close upon the ground. Under. Behind. Around. A new way to see the same thing seen a hundred times before…


I’m here! Where are you? Is that you back there?  Not gonna fib you look kinda silly on the ground like that…



I’m confused. Where’d you go? You’re always right here when I get here…




Is that you back there? Are we playing hide and seek? I’m pretty sure I just won…



You’re really not a very good hider… sigh…. I guess I’ll just wait…



nuzzles

 Spring has arrived in East Texas. Signs of it are everywhere I look. Flowers. Butterflies. A thousand shades of green.  Greta.  And of course, this little guy.  He/she is not quite a week old.  Baby bunnies are like kittens.  It’s nearly impossible to tell their gender with accuracy for at least a month.  He entered the world Tuesday April 4 after dark.  I guess it really began a few weeks ago.  I became suspicious when I caught our dog Jack intensely focused on one particular spot of the back porch.  Days later I watched as he chased something from the yard into that very spot.  Both bodies were moving far too fast to decide what our new friend might be but I have had rabbits in the yard before so it was a guess in the right direction.  A few more days later I was returning from an evening walk.  As usual I stood at the open gate waiting for the dogs to trickle in one by one rather like a kindergarten teacher accounting for every little one coming in from the playground, hot and messy and tired.  Jack lingered at the edge of the woods before he began to run around in odd circles seemingly alone in the tall grass.  Soon he was headed straight for me and the open gate.  Good boy Jack!  Wait… Before him as fast as lightning a wild bunny came rip-roaring through the gate  nearly running over the top of my foot.  It sailed past me and straight to its safe spot…you guessed it…under the porch.  So, definitely a bunny under there.  That’s when I began to worry and hope beyond hope that it was Not an expectant female.  For the life of me I can’t imagine why she would want to nest in a yard with four large dogs.  Nevertheless, she Was expectant and Did nest inside the fence!  How do I know?  Well, Tuesday night Jack brought this little guy into the house, brand new.  Now, Jack isn’t bad.  He’s a wonderful dog who simply has a great nose and wants to play.  With everything.  To his mind he had found a fabulous new toy.  Although the mother had been seen diving under the porch more than once, locating a nest wouldn’t be nearly that easy especially in the dark.  Mother rabbits are not very attentive to their young.  They only visit the nest twice a day to feed the babies but otherwise steer clear of it so as not to attract potential predators like Jack.  All those times she lead Jack to the porch was probably a mother’s way of keeping his attention on her and away from where she  would give birth and keep her babies.  The bunny seemed newborn and fragile but otherwise unharmed.  First I made certain that Jack wouldn’t be able to get out for the rest of the night.  Next I lined a small deep basket with a towel and some fleece that I bundled around him for warmth.  Then waited for morning.  He made it through the night.  Check! I walked a slow path around the yard searching for signs of the nest or more babies.  I found both.  Rabbits nest on the ground almost in plain sight.  It’s bizarre how trusting they are and how we don’t stumble upon their nests more often.  A mother pulls back some leaf litter adds some of her own fur for warmth and softness, places the babies in and covers them lightly.  Then she leaves.  That’s it.  And like I already said, she only checks on the nest twice a day.  It would be futile to put a helpless baby bunny back into a place Jack already knew about.  So, there I was with a new baby to care for.  I did find another one.  He had been removed from the nest and left elsewhere in the yard uncovered and exposed to the chill of the night.  I provided him with the love and warmth that I could.  He refused to eat and the night’s exposure was too much.  He didn’t survive the day.  So much sadness right at the beginning.  But this one had a strength about him to keep on.  He accepted me as a surrogate mother.  He sucked down his special formula fidgety but adapting to an eye dropper instead of a mother’s nipple.  Hunger won out over the oddity of it I suppose.  He relieved himself Really Well!  That’s so important with a baby like him.  If plenty comes out then you can rest knowing that plenty is getting in.  So many fun things to think about!  In less than a week he’s become a sizable part of my thoughts and of my days.  Even now as I write his basket is nearby so that I can peer in pull back the fleece and assure my fretful heart that all is still well. He knows the sound of me, the scent of me and perks up his tiny ears and wiggles his tiny nose when I come near.  When Jack brought him in on Tuesday night I was afraid.  I went through this last spring.  It was touch and go for days on end.  That little one didn’t make it. I failed.  I failed period.  I failed him.  I cried…for him, for what might have been, for the loss of a tiny life that I came to love.  I know that wild bunnies are very hard to raise and it probably had nothing to do with anything that I did or didn’t do.  But knowing a thing  and believing it in your heart are two different things.  So, when this baby found his way into my life and my days I was afraid.  The truth is I still am.  He’s far from out of the woods yet.  I keep on.  I hope.  I open my heart and offer him the love that I have doing the best I can to help him live.  I wonder if his own mother is feeling lost and lonesome.  There is already talk of a small piece of fencing that might allow her to enter but keep out Jack if she should choose to nest again in this new favorite spot.  The baby’s sweet days have a simple structure.  Eat and be loved.  On my end there’s more to it than that.  Prepare formula.  Clean and sanitize all of his eating and formula supplies.  Feed him slowly at his own pace.  Clean him. Clean his supplies.  check. check. check.  We humans love to score and to tally.  We love to make lists and cross things off when accomplished.  He ate. He urinated. He slept.  check.  check.  check.  Success!  Life isn’t a giant score card.  My life isn’t and neither is his.  One cannot tally everything and why would you even want to.  Success cannot be measured in check marks.  I love the way he reaches for the sound of my voice.  I love the way he licks his lips.  I love the way he drinks his milk when he’s hungry.  I love the way he nuzzles against the warmth of me when his tummy is full and he’s ready to fall back asleep.    I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.  I don’t know if he will make it.  Although everything that I don’t know makes me afraid, I will keep on.  Choosing to love him and care for him.  And if another tiny life should find its way to me in a week or in a year, I will do all of this again in spite of the fear.   Life isn’t about check marks or crossing things off a list.  Life is about how much love you give.  Life is in the nuzzles.