all at once I know…

I cannot yet say that there’s a welcome chill in the air

…but it is finally September…

Could you hear the sigh in me

As I wrote it out full…

September…

Last night a deer felt at home in the field

This morning,

A hawk graces the sky above me

My creek saunters on

As lyrically as always

To wherever it goes

But to my gaze it all seems the tiniest bit different

Far more exquisite than mere words

Can tell

It shimmers from the inside

As though by a faery’s whispered spell

I take a step

And another

…and another still

Gentle ones made carefully

So as not to disturb the tender things

That call the ground home

While I search the pine straw for a feather

…there isn’t one to be found

Perhaps there will be when I return

In time for the sun to wish me goodnight

Oh, eventime…

Will the colors be brilliant in their last hurrah

Or faded and comforting

Like my favorite soft jeans

We’ll see

But I don’t want to miss this moment

In anticipation of that one

And so back to now,

Woodpeckers knocking behind me

And turtles preparing to laze themselves long

Hour after hour

Upon the finest fallen log

I wonder at what they will see

While I am away this day

I breathe deeply in

The sweet air of a new dawn

After all it is September…

Some days there is a peace that comes

That nearly overwhelms me,

As silent as a single feather drifting

As mighty as the golden setting sun

All at once my heart knows

Beyond all knowing

That this…

…this is what love feels like…

****

ellie894 September 4, 2019

I could play with these thoughts a while longer and make them just so. I wonder if I’ve made a mistake somewhere that I’ll discover only after I share. So please forgive any missteps. I want only to give them away before this day gets away from me. They’re yours now and my hope is that you’ll find something lovely in them of your very own to keep. May you all find joy and kindness in the days ahead. ❤️

live your story…

The clock ticks away, marking time. Sunday becomes Monday. 2017 falls into history making room for 2018. This minute has sixty seconds, the same as the last minute did but it is new. This year will have the same twelve months as last year did but it is ripe with new beginnings.

It is 2:18. The clock in my kitchen has not moved for weeks now. It’s not the battery. I checked that. I should take it down and let it go. I should make room for a new clock. I haven’t yet. I always wanted a great big round clock to keep the time. My dad took this one off of his workshop wall and handed it to me a few years ago. It has kept me company with its rhythmic ticking ever since, until recently.

I wonder about lots of things. Like, time passing and the way birds puff up in the cold and why am I here? Certainly the answer to the last question is not – to be perfect. Or at least I hope that’s not the answer. If it is, I’m failing miserably.

Do you suppose that if you knew why, then you would get busy taking care of that. Getting down to the business of doing what you’re here to do. Or…do you think you would drag your feet at the seeming impossibility of the task. All by yourself you should see to it that an entire continent has clean water. So, yeah. Good luck with that!

You think you want to know why. But, if you were truly given that answer…crystal clear on a silver platter, what would you actually do with it. Maybe…you already have the why and you just don’t recognize it.

Here I am again in the kitchen, so early in the morning. It’s cold and still dark out but I cannot see the stars. A thick gray sky conceals them from me. The answers to my wonderings are just as hidden as the stars.

Warmth emanates from my small pottery cup decorated with a windmill. It is hot with coffee. Soon it will fill me one bittersweet sip at a time. Even with cream and sugar there is a hint of the strength of the brew underneath. It took many years for me to enjoy coffee. Now that I do, I like it strong and with chicory. I like it to bite a little. Water should taste like water and coffee should taste like coffee.

Bo is stretched out and dreaming at my feet. I move his favorite pillow so that he can be close to me. Otherwise, he stares at me while resting his head in my lap and extending a paw in concern – you should really get my pillow…or pet me…or feed me…or you should put that pen down and pay attention to me…seriously, it’s all about me. But, if I settle his pillow, he will rest. Contentedly he will curl up and fall asleep. Every once in a while he lets out a groan of sorts and I wonder…what he’s thinking.

Growing up, I attended a sacred heart girls school. Yes, there were nuns…but no punishing rulers. Yes, there were uniforms…I still can’t bring myself to wear plaid. But, for me it was a haven. Whatever might be going on beyond those gates, for a few hours every day, there was gentle peace. I knew it was ok to be just who I was and to explore the woman I might one day become.

There was a two story white house on the grounds called…wait for it…the White House! You didn’t see that coming, did you. It looked out over a grove of pines and beyond that was a busy Houston street.

So many years of French class! I can still recite the nursery rhyme – jack be nimble – in French. You never know when that will come in handy…just saying. Quite the party trick, a lot of demand for it. Shall I do it now? No? Ok, then. I’ll save it for later…

Mrs. Doyle started me keeping a journal. My script was So small she could barely make it out and would kindly ask me to write a little larger please. Nevertheless, she encouraged me to write…thank you Mrs. Doyle…

Mrs. Finch was known to the senior girls as Babs. I never left her class without a smile. Her command of history was incredible! One morning I looked down only to see she had worn two different shoes to school. One black and one navy. An honest mistake, especially when you learn that the electricity had been out at her house. A dark closet, it could happen to anyone. It wasn’t so much the different colors that gave us a chuckle though. It was the different heel heights… Babs spent that day good natured as always but with a colorful limping down the hallways, one shoe a solid two inches taller than its partner.

Beyond reading, writing and arithmetic there was an underlying and gentle nod to what others in the world might be going through. Bring a can of soup tomorrow. What we collect will find its way to those who need it. Your own lunch will be… a bowl of soup. You will assuredly make it to the end of the day without starvation. And, if you do feel momentary hunger…there are those who fall asleep that way…nightly.

I waited too long to take that last sip of coffee. It cooled off in my hand. I have no microwave so there won’t be any reheating. Sometimes I go ahead and finish what I’ve started. Sometimes I don’t. I pour it out and let it go. Both are fine. It’s only a few sips of coffee after all. They will not save the world. But, the young girl in me is always there. Waste not. There are so many who have so little.

I think of all those who haven’t coffee or a home or any of the multitude of things that I am blessed with. Things. Just things. I wonder…if they need more or if I need less. I suspect the answer to both is yes.

At the heart of it, I admit I would love to have fewer belongings. I would also like others to have less. Less true need that goes unfilled…

If only I could translate my odds and ends into food and clean water and safety for those who struggle on without them. Then perhaps there would be peace of heart for two people…instead of one who owns items which collect dust…and another who has a hungry child…

So, I come back to asking, what is my why. But now, I add a new word. Today. Not the why of forever. Not the why of the whole world. Only the why of this one day in front of me. May I know it when I see it and be ready for whatever it may be. Grant me gentle silence to hear the song, and live the story that plays before me.

Time doesn’t stand still for questions or answers. They are worth wondering over though. There are places and people who do make a difference, even when they don’t know that they do. A single bowl of soup may not feed the world. But, it may open someone’s heart to a lifetime of wondering.

Every year offers a new adventure. Every day holds a new surprise. Every moment carries the seed of a new thought. Time always dances forth in hope to embrace the new.

I don’t know what Bo is dreaming of when he groans. I can only guess. I don’t have the answer to why we’re all here. I can only guess at that too. My guess though, is that it’s the same for all of us…

…love…

Clouds have cleared! The sun has come out after a long week of gray skies. How lovely it is to see the future shining brightly before me with hope…

Happy New Years my Dear WordPress Friends!

Thank you for sharing this journey. You are a true delight to me. May each of you have less in the year ahead…so that all the empty places left open may be filled with great love…

suzanne❤️

I believe…

Dear Santa,

I love a letter that begins with Dear. Don’t you? Right there at the start you know this will be different. I cherish you – it says. You are in my thoughts…not just at Christmas… but, always.

We are waiting for a cold front here. It should arrive in a few hours. One prediction even calls for snowflakes on Christmas. Oh! how lovely it would be to have an honest to goodness White Christmas!

Rather normal for you, I imagine. For me though, it would be a magical first.

I’m writing this letter to you in the sweet place where I do most of my writing…my kitchen island…home within home.

Some days it is more of a writing desk than a kitchen. Funny how it can be as much a place to be still as to be busy. I love it so. I wonder Santa, do you have such a place. One where you go to be quiet and just think…

A tree is tucked into the corner of the room. It sits cradled between a window with a lovely view of the bird feeder and a bookshelf full of favorites. Its top grazes the ceiling! A tree that’s taller than me please – I always ask. Giggles. It sticks out in places and is far from perfect yet oh so very right… lighting up the whole room with its joyful presence. I’m happy for its sharing and being…just being here with me. It draws me in as much as the candle flame that flickers nearby. One hypnotizes me with dozens of twinkling lights and the other with its dancing flame. Has a sky full of stars come to rest in the confines of my cozy home…

I am lifted and carried beyond roofs and treetops and even outside of myself…upwards to another place altogether…a place where I ride the night sky with you…wind in my hair…cheeks rosy from cold…delivering gifts across the wide wide world.

Your life’s work…giving love to others…

Toys! Each teddy and train, has his own story. They journey to a new home…to warm the heart of a child…to take their place and bring great joy and comfort…thank God for toys…thank God for you…

My tree is like that…like your sack full of toys. Every ornament bears a memory, is the keeper of a moment in time. Branches are full with them, imperfect, ragged, faded. The white felt rocking horse with a few hand sewn sequins still attached…the white rabbit on his sleigh made of candy cane ribbon…the shiny cluster of grapes…the treasured Mexican tin ornaments, hand hammered and colored then carefully wrapped and brought from far away…

they hold the stories of what has been, bring beauty to the now…and leave room for those adventures yet to be told…yet, to be lived. There is always room for one more. What new tales will be added this year…

Cookie Day! A flurry of flour and sugar and sprinkles! My little kitchen springs to life in the name of baking. Baking with love to share. A colorful apron tied just so for the occasion, because after all, we make an awful mess. Christmas carols of all shapes and sizes resound from the rafters with glee, keeping us company. These sweet details are just as important as the icing and sugar crystals that decorate our tiny bites of delight.

The warmth of the oven…the glorious sugary mess…the hum and the buzz…and at the end of the day a farm house table laden with all manner of treats. Then, I will gladly drop into the porch swing to catch my breath, rest my feet and… listen…for the sound of sleigh bells overhead…

No worries… I shall save the very best cookies for You!

I confess that sometimes I grow weary with all of the doing of Christmas. Not enough time to Be. Even when I do manage an outer stillness my mind is racing ahead of me with all that is waiting to be done.

For there is much Joy to share…with those I love…and with many more whom I will never know… Whenever I wonder how I can possibly manage it all, I think of you…

You fill my heart. You give me hope. You show me a country lane that flies through the stars rather than the trees. For you do not Do Christmas. You Live Christmas! In every ordinary common day you smile that warm smile of yours and open your heart to All the children of the world – young and old alike…make no mistake…we are all children…

There are so many lovely things in this life that are sometimes invisible to my eye, though they beat on in my heart. Because of you, I trust them. I believe in them…as I believe in you.

Yesterday morning as I crossed into the field a sweet mist lay as soft as a downy comforter resting gently upon the meadow and reaching into every nook and cranny. Over the grass and in the lowest of the trees…gossamer threads were strung with sparkles of dew. Quite magical…

In the nighttime the faeries had danced. And in so doing their sweet song come to life decorated the meadow with delicate lacy treasures. They are preparing for you too…in their own gentle way. I wonder, will you leave them a gift of faery dust as you fly overhead. Does their glittery offering reflect in the stars and light up the ground…even as my cookies which are arranged just so on the dearest plate…my own gift of love…waiting…waiting only to be received.

It is after all, the tiniest gesture in the most ordinary day that often hides warmly in a heart…a cookie shared… a warm smile… a lovely song…a magical bit of faery floss…a glimpse of a sleigh in a dark night sky…

I have no list to send you this year. I ask for nothing at all for myself. Instead, thank you. thank you for every precious gift ever given to me…

rays of hope as warm as any sun drenched afternoon… echoes of laughter…four paws and a tail dancing with joy at the mere sight of me… brilliant dreams delivered in the silvery moonlight…messages that begin, dear…so many invisible gifts tied with blue satin ribbons that wave in the gentle breeze…each one…

Making love visible in the heart of the world…

May your heart be always filled with lovely invisible gifts… suzanne❤️

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!.

P. S. – Ellie, Jack, Huckleberry, Bo, Sonya and Dobby would be very grateful for a stocking full of bacon treats… >

Mud Pies Rock!

Have you ever begun to tell a story only to realize that it won’t make any sense if you don’t tell this other one first. But even that one needs another one and so on and on. There you are bogged down in telling backstories until you lose sight of The story. Wait, what was the point of this? I remind myself to start writing and soon enough the details that matter will work their way in. And if they don’t, they probably don’t need to be there anyway.

I began writing this several weeks ago when it was fresh in my mind. That was late October, and now here I am surrounded by mistletoe and holly. I wasn’t ready then. Everyday seemed to throw something else at me. You know – when there’s too much, or it all comes at once, or you Find ways to be brutal to yourself. Because it’s not enough to face the world. I must seek out new and inventive ways to be unkind to myself. I should have done … I should never have said… If only I had…

When I was a little girl my Aunt had a farm in Slocum. It’s not far from where I live now. Oh, how I loved it there! Most of the time I was the only child for acres and acres. I had a beautiful freedom to wander woods and hills and all manner of places. I cannot think of the farm without remembering dozens of stories and part of me wants to tell them All!

One time I was the youngest in a group of cousins exploring a wooded creek area where a copperhead lay stretched before us. They all ran away quickly… leaving me behind. Somehow, I knew not to get too close to the living S shape. When the kids arrived back at the house without me, my dad came looking. He scooped me up and held me close…safe from harm’s way.

On the farm was a wonderful sliver of a creek that wound itself from the first pond to the second. My tiny legs could cross it in one step. It trickled under wide open skies to my great delight. Because I could be seen from the back porch I was allowed to meander down there by myself and play alone as long as I liked. A sweet joy to me… clay and all!

East Texas has clay, lots and lots of clay! Deep rich red clay. We never made a visit to the farm that my mother didn’t admonish me to be careful Not to get clay on my clothes! She said that the red clay of East Texas would stain them. It would never come out. No matter how long they soaked, no matter what kind of soap you used, your clothes would be ruined… I was never successful at staying clean which was a great frustration to her. Nevertheless, there I was baking rich red mud pies and loving every sweet minute of it.

In late October…

Ellie is still sleeping as well she should be. It’s been a long week for her…for me too. I’m afraid that if I begin to write of it I may not stop for days and that it will be too much.

Tears flow with the ups and downs of life…real life. They are at the edges of me this morning like the rain that Dobby watches from the safety and sanctuary of home. It was only a few months ago that he was lost and without a home in torrential spring weather. I wonder if he remembers that time. I wonder if it makes him happy to have a home and a family now.

Thunder woke me in the night. A gentle rumbling vibrated the whole house. Once awakened the flashes of lightning kept me entranced. Their sudden brightness invaded my dark room like a light bulb flashing on and off as one sleepily grasps at thoughts…it isn’t time for light. A glance at the clock told me it was only 3:30. Blissfully I sank further into my pillows and pulled the soft covers up around me. Not yet…I drifted back to sleep.

The overflow pipe has slowed to a trickle as the water levels in the lake drop from drought. One by one counties all around me announce burn bans. Where is ours. We should be there with the others. Not yet. With this day’s rain we may not get there at all. But I would rather have the rain than the ban anyway.

Not long ago someone built a fire in the woods near the lake. The embers they left behind and that I discovered the next morning were too strong. I let the someone who should know…know. Then, I wrote of fires and fire builders and change – embers and ashes and a lovely place to swim.

Some moments this week were not captured in a photograph.

There was the slow and measured walk around the small room with help. It was a grand achievement! Afterwards, I enjoyed a leisurely lunch with two fine gentlemen. One was a delightful conversationalist with stories of adventure. He reminds me of Santa Claus! The other man was quiet. He has lost his own stories. The way his face lights up is enough for me though.

I sat criss cross applesauce with hands in my lap just like the little ones who surrounded me. All of us were entranced with the firemen and their big red truck. Sharing photos of the children is unwise and could even be unsafe for them. How very sad our world can be. And yet their smiles sustain me all week long!

I had another backyard bunny adventure. Dobby found a prize hidden beneath the dry leaves and handed it over upon request. Perhaps not gladly…nevertheless, he did share. I held the baby gently until he caught his breath, then hopped away. Bouncing joy on four small furry feet!

One whom I love dearly had his very first author event and I was able to be there, to be some small part of it. A moment I will always treasure.

Before all of these, on Monday evening there was a scare at what might have been… I happened upon smoldering ash in a place heavy with trees and underbrush. It frightened me. Instead of a charred forest floor, it could have been far worse…far more devastating. My concern over untended fire has been ongoing for weeks now. I wake with it in the morning. I fall asleep with it at night. I am tired with thinking, what if…

I don’t know who did it. Someone probably walked away unthinking, not realizing that the tiniest embers left unchecked can creep hungrily at the dryness of the forest floor and lap at the bases of the trees.

I made the proper phone calls. And I waited. Ellie stayed close by my side. Night darkened around us as stars began to sprinkle the sky. They had a stunning beauty that hinted at the mysteries of eternity. The coyotes who began to chorus not so far away were an odd accompaniment to the stars. They sent a chill up my spine. We drew in closer, Ellie and I. What other dangers might be nearby. It is the animals who do not announce themselves that concern me. I wondered if she was thinking the same thing. We waited for the sound of a fire truck on a back country road to drive away our fear.

It took longer than you might imagine. When they arrived, the flashing lights frightened Ellie. Still, she never left me. Even when she was afraid, through the dark, the unknown, the flashing lights, the roaring sounds, the threat of danger, she stayed with me. These things should have sent her running for the safety of home. Was she too scared to leave…or, am I her safety…am I her home.

I would have understood if she had left…but I am grateful she stayed. yes, she answered me…

All ended well that night. Are we done yet? Not quite, Life answered…

A few days later dark gray clouds filled the sky as we walked. No rumbling yet, just the hopeful gathering of them. Up from the center of the field eight blackbirds took off making their way noisily to the treetops. Something about their flight reminded me to send my thoughts up high with them, on wings and let them fly. Trust in the air itself. Trust in all the goodness you cannot see.

We turned south at the end of the dam. There is a twenty foot drop that winds into a different kind of woods. We never come this way. It’ll be nice to try something new after so much unrest lately…

A short way in Ellie found a watering hole. She stepped down into it for a drink. In less time than it takes to blink, her back legs had sunk as far as they could go! I could see the panic in her eyes as she began to fight to get free. It scared me! In a flash I wondered if we were both helpless. There was no way of knowing how deep it might be. Once again this week I found myself in a place of fear…Ellie and I both did…

I dropped to my knees reaching for her to pull her towards me and to a landed edge where she could get a strong foothold. Honestly, I wasn’t thinking how or what or even why. I wasn’t really thinking at all… I was just there, holding Ellie as tight as I could and Not letting go. Anything I could grasp, I did. Talking to her…all the while pulling her back to safety.

As she was just about to break free…Dobby went in. Aargh! Dobby is shorter. Even his sides began to disappear in the thick clawing mud. Once Ellie was safely out and catching her breath, I turned my attention to freeing him. It all happened so fast.

Some sort of horrible East Texas quicksand… I finally stopped to breathe…the three of us were covered in wet red clay. My hands had disappeared under the thickness of it. I couldn’t have taken a picture if I had wanted to. The phone never would have registered my fingerprint. I could feel the mud heavy on my arms and splattered over my face. Already it was drying in places, drawing the skin tight underneath it. My heart pounded with what might have been.

With Dobby’s natural coloring he only looked soaking wet. Ellie, however, became my two toned Halloween dog! Her top half was shiny jet black while her bottom half was bright pumpkin orange. There are no pictures, only muddy fur and relief.

Dobby looked around for Bo and Jack and his next adventure. Ellie and I stuck close to each other, much as we had on Monday night. We were thinking the same thing…there’s fresh water a few yards away at the lake.

Are we done?…not yet answered life…

We turned to head towards the lake…when on our right…a magnificent buck bounded past us! He was so close that I could feel his presence more than see him. Leaves rustled as he passed us. If my arm had been outstretched his sleek fur would have grazed my fingertips. He radiated a graceful strength. His fluffy white tail waved goodbye before I fully realized he was even there. Awed by his beauty so close on the heels of our struggle to break free from the clutches of the muddy earth I could only stand and wonder at it all. There are no pictures of him either…muddy fingers and invisible grace. It all happened so fast.

A fresh batch of mud greeted us at the edge of the lake, this time it was dark gray to offset the brightish orange. But at least my hands were a little cleaner. There might be some pictures on our way home.

As I looked from my hands to my unicorn T-shirt I thought of my mother – Be careful Suzanne, your clothes will be ruined… Clothes are easily replaced. The clay of East Texas has seeped through them and into my heart – in less time than it takes to wipe away a stray tear. Stained with hope in the face of whatever may come.

As I caught my breath I thought of my Dad – how he had come for me and gathered me safely from harm. You’re never as alone as you fear you might be.

Ellie and I together fought for safety and freedom twice that week. Unknown strength filled us. And as we breathed in sighs of relief…grace flew past us at lightning speed…leaving us to wonder over all that had been or was yet to come.

Making our way home through the grassy field and happy for the surety of the ground beneath our feet, dark storm clouds closed in around us giving way here and there to glorious pockets of light. All of a sudden… Tears from all of the moments welling up from deep inside of me…

The trials, the struggles, the chaos, the beauty, the hope, the waiting, they come into your days. Each time…yes. You answer a quiet, yes. The moment and what is asked of you…yes. To be held in unimaginable ways that you will never understand. The gift of all that is needed just then and the grace to answer, yes.

How many more moments of yes lay before me. I think it’s better not to know. I might buckle under the weight of anticipating them. And then I would be too tired to answer yes when the time comes. One moment at a time. Right now…this one…a grateful heart filled with the blessings that are as close as my own heartbeat.

I will never be a woman who aspires to perfect clothes all the time or to perfect anything for that matter. Life is rich in the messy places. There is no joy without sorrow. There is no courage without fear. There is no peaceful lake unless first you dig a messy muddy hole and wait for it to be filled with life giving water.

Please be kind to others. Everyone struggles. Please be kind to yourself. You are far more loved than you can ever imagine… Now, go on out there and make a mud pie. In fact, make two, one for you and one to share…because…well…mud pies…they just Rock!

in the shining and in the dark

No dreams last night, or at least none that I can recall. I’m a little antsy. Maybe about writing. Maybe something else. Walking in the rain. Trees that fall down. Clyde and Camellia. Creepy crawlers and all grown up. Growing up is when you learn to not run from what’s in front of you. I’m staring more than writing. Why is it always so hard to get started.  



Before dawn, still sleepy eyed I tiptoed out the back door. With bare feet I took the small step down off the back porch in search of the gentle silvery spotlight of the full moon. Sand gave way under my feet. It surprised me at how soft and cool it was. I dug my toes in just a little. Jack and Huckleberry joined me in honoring the hushed silence of the moment. The sweet moon gathered all round me in a lovely embrace. 


She was perfectly wonderful making her way through the trees…as though she was there…just for me. How funny that always seems. When something so universal feels so intimate. Far off, a solitary owl, his call echoing through the woods…to who…to who… and there I was too, as still as anything in the shining and in the dark, feeling…very solitary. 


I wonder, how many stood under the same moon at the same moment. did they wonder too. did they hear an owl hoot. did they feel special in an alone sort of way. a small part of something so much bigger than themselves. did they wish upon a star. did they hum a little tune.  



Or…was I after all…the only one standing in the light of the moon, looking to the stars for guidance and for hope. Saying a prayer for courage and for grace…


As we headed out on our morning walk the sun began rising behind me. Already he was warming the sand that had been so delightfully cool only moments before. My time worn path lay before me lit from within by a fiery glow. This way!  He called.  Ahead, the moon was still high in the sky.   But with every step I took… it faded just a little more. 



 She became transparent…and then…invisible…right before my eyes. what now? how will I know? My silvery rays of hope…The moon is still there in the sky. I trust that she is…even when I cannot see her… I know in my heart…she is there…always…


tomatoes and channel cats…

Tomatoes!  Thick slices of tomato on homemade bread with a touch of mayonnaise, salt and pepper…best sandwich –  Ever.  Salsa!  Enough said.  Marinara sauce seasoned and simmered will tempt the gods. 

The first tomato of the season is a joy!  It tastes of hope and of long lazy summer days stretched out before you.  Fall tomatoes are rich and hearty in a different kind of way.  You savor every bite because you know that soon they will be gone.  And, you’ll be left…waiting once more.  The closer you get to first frost the more you treasure each bite.  

In East Texas you can purchase tomatoes anywhere during the peak season.  But, there’s nothing quite like having your own “tomato guy”.   A scenic half hour drive  through some lovely country will land you at his doorstep.  Yep, right where he lives.  A table waits in the yard.  He’s almost never there.  But his tomatoes are!  They’re piled high in wooden baskets arranged neatly in a row.    A glass mason jar filled with money sits off to one side.  On a nearby tree is a hand written sign with directions.  Tomatoes $5 per basket.  Leave your money in the jar.


They are the best tomatoes I eat all year.  They are worth the wait.  How glad I am to live in a place where people still trust and others don’t take advantage of that.

Yesterday I found myself with a few minutes to write. I stared at the page. I noticed the kitchen waiting to be cleaned. I thought of how I really should go to the market for a few things. Perhaps I should put away the laundry. No no. Sit still and write, I told myself. After all, sixteen paws are napping. So, I stared at the page again. Waiting…waiting for something to happen…

Should I write about September before it’s over? I do love it so. Should I write about cookies? Mmm the world’s most perfect food!  Should I write about Gift from the Sea?  Life and its ways.  I stared at the page. Waiting… 

I cannot force my writing even if I do have a blank page and a quiet uninterrupted hour. The thoughts will come when they do and the words will follow along at their own pace. It is only my job to deliver them. I wonder if I am really a stenographer, taking dictation from the world around me.  The grass calls to me – could you tell my story please of how it feels when the wind lays me down in the field. 


So I am as surprised as anyone when they do come. Words and thoughts divinely intermingle. Like tomatoes ripened on the vine they wait to be harvested and enjoyed. I wonder whether they will be sandwich or salsa or a rich hearty stew.  

The air is soft this morning and the water is as smooth as glass.  No ripples.  No sparkling light.  Just stillness.  Some days that is just the thing.  

 Jack sent the first ducks of the season aloft.  There were two of them.  It is lovely to see two of them side by side whether they swim or fly.  So sweetly together.  I trust they will return.  This is a safe place to spend the winter.  

 I lingered over feeding the fish, slowing it down and drawing it out.  The channel cats seem to like it that way.  Cross legged at the end of the jetty  I look down into the water much the way I stare at the blank page. Hopeful and waiting. 


The perch come racing in first. The water churns with their hunger.  They have crazy Jack kind of energy!  Perch are not good waiters!  But they do make enough ruckus to get the attention of a few turtles.  Hey, what’s going on over here? Free food?   So, now we are joined by the red eared sliders.  They are shy.  Once they get a bite they swim straight to the bottom of the lake with their treasure.

Two channel cats ascend from the deepest water.  Oscar and Felix (in case you were wondering what their names might be)  are gentle giants at an easy two feet long.  No fish tales here.  They really are that big!  They circle and wait, creating a lovely ballet of sorts.  If I manage to drop the bread just right,  a few inches in front of them, they will gather it into their mouths by the feel of their whiskers.  It’s much harder to accomplish than it sounds but well worth the effort.  Sometimes, they treat me to a whale like flap of the tail in gratitude.  Always makes me smile.  

Then there are my pawed ones! 


Bo is absolutely fascinated by this fish feeding thing.  He hangs his head over the edge of the pier  watching intently as the fish come and go.  I wonder what he would do at an aquarium?!  I imagine the staff would frown upon me finding out for sure so I will simply have to guess.    Perhaps Bo doesn’t care at all about the fish.  Perhaps he only wonders why in the world I would be dropping perfectly good food into a watery abyss…

Jack’s interest lies purely in the realm of the red eared sliders.  He salutes them with both voice and stance! Come hither and let me get a better look at you my small friend!  Um, no thank you – they reply.  Jack is perplexed at their hesitancy to join in his offer of  friendship.  And tells them so, Loudly!


Dobby wanders the wooden planks looking at the hoopla from time to time.  Mostly he seems to be asking – are we done yet?  In case I haven’t noticed his pacing, he will come close enough to slobber on me.  Hm, fun for me. 

Ellie makes her way slowly over the water until she finds the right spot and lays down.  When I sit, she knows that we will be staying long enough for her to get comfortable.  Ellie watches the sky not the water.  Ellie watches the horizon.  Waiting…

Just there…out of the stillness…comes a gentle hint of breeze from the north.  Did I imagine it?  Could it be?  Technically it Is autumn now…early autumn I remind myself.  Still plenty of waiting…

A bird begins to sing, pea shooter, pea shooter, pea shooter.  Or at least that’s what it sounds like to me.  


The bread is all gone.  Fish tummies are full.  Time to go.  A stampede of excitement arises after all that waiting around on the pier.  I am careful not to get knocked off…for today at least.  My crew heads down the path.  It narrows and winds just here.  If I am too slow Bo will double back to check on me.  He will wait but only as long as he can see me.  

Back at home… 


Messy morning glories have taken over the garden, waiting for their chance to shine.  The hummingbird feeder is full, waiting for those who are just passing through.  I’m still watering  plants, waiting for some rain.  Books pile up in odd places, waiting to be read.  And yellow spirals are open and empty, waiting to be filled with thoughts…

One cannot rush the days.  No matter how much I  may want something, most things in life are not within my control.  I love autumn! I wait for it all year.  I cannot make the clock spin faster or the earth either for that matter.  Autumn arrives when it does and without any help from me.  I wonder…if it was always here, if it was always autumn, would it mean as much…  If I didn’t have to wait for it through a long dry summer would it be such a treasure to me… 

Many days my thoughts are jumbled and my words are crooked and ill at ease. I fret that they will not come.  But all I can really do is wait.  Wait for them to sort themselves out.  Wait to understand what tomatoes have to do with anything.  Wait for the north wind to come crisp over the water and the leaves to turn as brilliant as a sunset.  Wait…

I will not worry over tomorrow or next week or anything beyond this day.  Instead I will try to wait gracefully for them. There is hope in waiting. Anything could happen!  Anything could be!  Now, if you’ll excuse me I have something simmering on the stove and it’s waiting to be savored…there’s a lovely world all around you, waiting to be loved…

Shh, listen…there on the breeze…I hear you…whispering my name…


Maybe…

The sun. Our sun,  is a star.  A star is a star through and through, inside and out.  It doesn't have to decide what it will be.  It doesn't question what it is.  A star just rests in its own innate starness. It does not shine for me or for the earth. It does not fret over what it will do today.  It radiates warmth and nourishment because that is the nature of what it is, to only and always give from the center of itself.  Or maybe, it does shine for both me and the earth and that is one more thing I just don't know.  What if the shining and the warmth and all the goodness of it is like a beacon reaching out across all that we cannot see as an act of love to its own love.  What if the two each moved to close the distance between them in deep affection for one another.  Would we be blinded by their oneness? Would they lose themselves sweetly in each other?  What if they shine for each other, not us, and we simply benefit from their gift of love? We come into this earthly world where there are five senses, taste, touch, smell, vision and hearing.  From start to finish in this life, we are called upon to let go, give up, give away.  In this world, one can lose any of the five of the senses. We don't much like to think about that.  When you are faced with such a loss, do you reach out to understand it or do you turn away a bit fearfully? Then, there's Love… I wonder, could love be a sense as taste and touch are senses?  Could it?  Perhaps, it is the one and only sense of our soul.  The only thing needed for a soul to find its way.  Soul, the unseen at the heart of who we are.  We experience life through vision and hearing and such. But when we are born into this earthly way of being we bring love with us too.  It is not something easily explained.  It is more something indescribable deep within our nature.  Love sits at the edges of all that we do waiting patiently for our hearts to open to the sweet truth it offers.  Maybe we bring the only thing, the only sense, a soul can bring into this world, Love.  And as the love of one awakens in the love of another it sparkles and bounces joyfully from here to there and back again.  But, the more we grow into an earthly way of  seeing and doing we forget what the oneness of love can be.  Not do.  Be.  We are always like the star.  Our shining is never outside of us.  Our warmth is not in an other.  It is forever inside of us.  We simply forget that sometimes. It is in the forgetting that we suffer as we look outwardly for something to touch us and give us the gift of love.   The rich blessing that we seek is deep within all along.  You love another just because you do.  You cannot help it.  We mistakenly think we need something from them in return.  But you don't.  Imagine anyone that you have ever loved.  If time or space or circumstance kept you apart, would you stop loving them?   We forget, I think, what love really is.  We tend to think of love through the eyes of this world as something we can acquire and hold.  Love isn't like that.  Love is like being a star inside and out.  Through and through.   We tell ourselves that we must see or touch someone to love them.   We don't though.   Seeing and hearing are of this world and this body.  Love is of the soul.  Love is so much bigger than all of the five senses put together!  A beautiful enormous invisibility that is hard to even imagine.  So glorious in its brightness that like our star, the sun, it is impossible to look at it straight on.  Simply close your eyes and feel the warmth of it.  Be very still and quiet.  Remember the only sense of the soul.  Love.  Love, that comes with us and stays with us even when we forget to know it.  Waiting tenderly to be awakened.  Learn to let go of the world,  remember what you are at heart… soul created from love to love.   Then… it is enough to know.    

Trust in the Bacon

I write everyday.  You probably do too.  A text, an email, a grocery list.  Anytime you string words together for whatever reason, you’re writing.  Writing doesn’t have to look like a story.  I’ve been writing as long as I can recall.  My script was so small in middle school that my poor teacher couldn’t even make it out with her reading glasses.  She asked me very kindly to write larger please.  I hope that I did. These days I wake up before 5am each morning, to write.  Yes, on purpose.  Jack has just a wee bit to do with it though.  I start the coffee, settle the dogs and gather my things.  I write in the kitchen in an old-fashioned grade school spiral notebook with a pencil.  I prefer a yellow spiral but find that other colors accept my thoughts just as well.  It’s silly how we fall into certain routines, isn’t it.  Nevertheless, there they are.  For instance, Ellie at nearly 100 pounds can only seem to rest at night if she’s right up next to me.  I have awakened with more than a few creaks as you can imagine.  But she’s my sweet girl so, there I am.  Back to writing…  Some mornings I’m quite lost and stare at the page not knowing where to begin.  Emptiness waiting to be filled.  There is a beauty in empty spaces.  In Japanese culture emptiness is thought to be Full of Nothing.  And from nothing comes everything… nothing is pure potential… I find that delightfully amazing! When someone asks me out of curiosity what’s in all those spirals.  I giggle and say – a whole lot of nothing.  And it’s true really.  My spirals aren’t meant to Be anything.  They’re just me listening to myself I suppose.  Oddly enough writing that I’m lost often gets me off and running.  How many thoughts do we have in a day, or in an hour, and how many of them are we able to explore and play with to our hearts content.  Not many.  Life tugs at us to keep moving.  So, when I stop long enough to write in my spiral or here on wordpress where do I begin and then where do I go from there.   Do you know where you’ll end up before you arrive or is it more of a wonderful happenstance.  Even if you board the right train with the right ticket punched for Timbuktu, can you  be certain that’s where you’ll get off, where your journey will end?  I will admit a terrible secret.  Often when I begin reading a book, I turn first to the back and check out the ending.  It’s not because I want to judge whether the story is worth my time.  It’s not even because I want to know how it ends.  And it doesn’t spoil the book for me at all.  In fact the opposite is true.  It helps me to let go of reading as a means to find out what the ending will be.  I let go of the worry of what will happen.  It frees me to enjoy the rambling journey of the story itself.  The twists and turns take on a liveliness of their own.  The darkness of the forest holds beauty as well as fear and doubt.  Because I know how the story will turn out I pause long enough to see both rather than hurrying through assuming either the best or the worst.  Of course real life doesn’t allow me to live backwards knowing what will happen.  I’m good with that.  I have no desire to know.   Ellie, Jack, Huckleberry, Bo and Sonya trust we will walk everyday no matter the weather.  They know the lake is ready for a swim when they get there.  They believe there will be squirrels to chase and interesting smells to dig for.  And with every fibre of their being they trust that when the walk comes round once again to Home there will be the wonders of bacon snacks waiting for them as if by magic.  Beyond even the bacon is a soft safe spot to sleep away the afternoon.  No worries.  Perhaps I should read the way I live, forward without jumping to the last page.  Perhaps I should live the way I read, taking one page at a time grateful to be where I am and  wondering at what will come next.  Perhaps I should let go and trust more easily the way my four legged companions do. Perhaps I should face the empty page with the pure anticipation of the fullness of nothing.  Enjoy the journey and Trust in the bacon!

 

img_2383
life is good when you’re me

 

A story

When You read this you will chuckle because you predicted I would write this and you know who you are.  But, it won’t be what you thought it would be.  Everything is something to write about.  A first trip to the grocery store has a secret story to tell. Open your heart to what life has for you and adventure will unfold before your eyes.  All of the experiences that life hands to us have something to teach us.  Yes, All of them! Many of them, I’ll admit, I’d rather not learn or at least not so painfully.  Nevertheless, there they are.  A gift for the unwrapping tied up in plain brown paper and white cotton string.  On a  beautiful Wednesday in the early spring we met in an old house warmed by  years of living amongst its walls.  Warm?! Are you for real? It was freezing, you’ll recall.  Yes, it was.  But, I still say that wonderful old house is warm with the spirit of the lovely people who called it home for so long.  So, there.  I can hear you now, ok, I guess, but it was still cold.   I surprised you with  some old fashioned home cooking complete with cast iron skillet and donning an apron.  I’m a messy cook. As the food baked up in the oven I tucked my feet up under me and we both settled in to the afternoon. Be still and listen.  For a while the world fell away and all that was left was two souls and a story.  thank you for trusting me enough to share.  Just maybe, in that moment the song of life became a little sweeter for someone. I do hope so.