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

a song so very whole…

 

Early I walked,

*

As the rain came bold

From a heavy sky

The drums, they thundered

Inviting me to dance along

Yes, I said

Without ever asking why…

*

Soft and steady

Stronger now

On and on they fell

My footsteps, and the rain…

Droplets gathered

On the tip ends of the trees

And not a word was written

Not one, not by me

*

But, they are waiting,

Closer than you think,

Can you hear them rolling in the thunder

Do you know them warming in your soul…

*

Slow yourself,

In a delicious kind of way

And, let the rain sing to you…

*

Let it take you in

Become a part of it

No longer a page,

Of broken notes

Instead,

….a song…so very whole…

It is enough to dampen your skin

But not your spirit,

Everything it touches

Echoes with a different tone

A harmony of melodies

Heretofore unknown

Discover yourself

…wandering,

no longer in the woods

but, through the very music itself

raindrops gently on the leaves

and the bark

and the pine straw floor…

here a piano

there a violin,

drums to the heavens

cellos to the depths

and yes…even upon

your soft wet skin…

the stage is simple…

the composer unseen…

and you the only audience

to this song of a lifetime

played within a dream…

Early I walked in the rain…

*

And so it is,

That I wrote

Nothing at all…

****

ellie894 March 8, 2020

faded colors, sweet potatoes and a shower of champagne…

July 14, 2019

Despite the heat,

I have been outdoors

For the last two days

Tending

To roses

And grasses

And trees

The sunny dappled garden of my days

I even dug in the dirt

To plant the already sprouting

Sweet potatoes

I offered them a better home

Than their pantry basket

Did you know

If given the chance

They make a lovely vine

The tendrils are delicate

The leaves decorous

And the green is decidedly delightful

So it was

That I was

Tired and sore

And, I almost did not walk last evening

But,

I changed my mind at the last

And went ahead anyway

How happy I am for it

For whatever carried me to there

Away from my to dos

And into the fields

Tended by their own dear sky

A wind blew cool from the north

A welcome respite in a Texas July

Bringing along

Snowy whites and threatening grays

It surprised me

And caught me

In a bubbly sparkling rain

How still I stood

To listen

To a thousand fairies

Dancing from leaf to leaf

In joyful innocence

Open the eyes of your heart

Their silvery wings whispered to me

And so I turned

From beneath the cover

And protection of the juniper

To see

An enchanting bow of faded colors

Filling the air with hope

And my dreams with surrender

I imagine it to be a circle

And wonder where it travels to

Beyond where I can see

Into a brightest elsewhere

Of love’s eternal hide and seek

How very grateful I am

That wonder called to me

And I listened…

Behind every poem is a fullness of thought. So it is with this one. On a July day, I planted sweet potatoes. I walked to a hilltop where rain caught me. I marveled at a rainbow arching over field, forest and home. And, I listened.

Recently I read a small book about cultivating silence. Thinking about silence suddenly makes you keenly aware of all the sounds that you hear. Silence reminds me to listen.

Even though everyone, including me is bestowing Happy Autumn wishes, it is still summer in Texas. It’s nearly October and this very minute I hear the sound of the sprinkler rhythmically turning under the holly tree, splashing everything in its path.

Hummingbirds are performing a brilliant “cirque de soleil”. I am the lucky soul with a free front row seat! They twitter and hum as they playfully zip-zing and then rest for a time among the prickled leaves. The hummers eat more in September than at any other time of the year. I think it’s because they’ll leave me soon. They’re fattening up before their long journey. I wonder what their tropical getaway looks like and whether they miss the holly tree.

Those sweet potatoes that I planted are so cheerful! If I can keep Jack and Dobby from romping through them they will grow all the way into December. I giggle that I find so much to love about them. You see, I’ve never liked to eat sweet potatoes. When I was a child I couldn’t stand them no matter how deliciously you dressed them up. Even marshmallows made no difference to me.

Gosh Mimi, those sweet potatoes smell good.

Would you like some, suzanne?

No thank you.

In truth I probably made a squinchy face and said Blech as they were heaped on my plate. If only I had had Bo back then. He would have sat blissfully at my elbow scarfing down every yucky bite I snuck to him. But, that’s a story for another day, aptly titled – The Dog Eats Half My Food!

Now, I eat sweet potatoes twice a year. They’re fine. But, I will never be a fan.

However, I do love to watch them grow. They create a twirling elegant vine. In autumn I buy them fresh at farmers’ roadside markets. Some I cook. The rest wait to be planted the following spring. I know, July is nowhere near spring. I was incredibly late this year. Nevertheless, in the ground they went.

I didn’t have very high hopes for them. After all, we were heading into the hottest driest part of the year. Who plants anything in July?! This year, I did. And, you know what? They have grown above and beyond my expectations. They are the happiest little patch of heart shaped leaves and curling tendrils that you can possibly imagine. They have spread like a low lush forest. You never can tell who might be playing in there…

Back to that July afternoon –

There was rain! Fluffy clouds rolled in and surprised me. It hinted of champagne. A cork joyously popped!! Bubbles spilled over the edges and the sky winked at me as if there was something special about this moment. And there I was caught right in the lovely center of it. I can still hear the drops cascading around me in my secluded hilltop waterfall.

There was a rainbow! Have you ever noticed how silent they are. Not a single sound. They come and go without ever crying out or begging to be seen. How many do we miss because we are occupied in thought or in doing. But this one…I heard. In its own gentle voice it rhymed and sang and invited me to dance. The colors gathered me and sailed me to far away places…into enticing dreamscapes as I wondered where its other half might be. I stayed and stayed not wanting to miss a single tender hue or precious step.

And, then there were sweet potatoes. They lay quietly in their dark underground cavern listening…to the earth and the rain and the colors of the rainbow telling them All that they would become…in time.

The last few months have been parched. I don’t have an answer. Sometimes life is like that. Dry and dusty. You wait, for rain and for hope to come. In the meantime, you do what you can. Turn on the sprinkler. Enjoy the hummers. Be someone’s rainbow. And, listen to the sweet potatoes grow…

May your spirit find refreshment in listening to the soft and silent things that touch your heart.

Suzanne ❤️

****

ellie894 September 29, 2019

Note there are no photos of actual sweet potatoes or casseroles in this post because…you know, reasons. 😉

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. ❤️

in the heart of every moment…

The music beckoned to me

To go

So I went

In search of what

I cannot be sure

But, when I came to rest

Deep within the soul

Of my own belonging

I looked down to my feet

Planted firmly upon the sturdy ground

And what to my enchantment

Did I find there….

…but an ancient,

primeval forest…

A wildness beyond my imagining

As near as my touch…

It contained its own bewildering completion

Before it would ever even begin

I am mesmerized

As I leave it behind me

Will it stay there

Where I first found it

Or will it travel farther than far

To become all that it was meant to be

The music beckons to me

To go on

So I go

Wondering as I do

At how many moments in a day

Hold the vast possibility of everything

Yet, we move too quickly

To know they are there

I see a primeval forest

At home in the depths of your gaze

I see an ancient universe

Dance in the sparkle of your smile

In the heart of every moment

Eternity is hoping

To become the love story

That it was always meant to be…

****

ellie894 July 30, 2019

Listening to Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

wild places and gentle moments…

In East Texas, June air can often be as humid as a rainforest. You pray for it to just let go and rain already. It’s so heavy that I struggle to breathe.

This week hasn’t been that way. The days have had a lovely Novemberish feel to them…inviting me to linger a while…in gentle moments well spent. I have learned much.

Bunnies were born in the yard this week. It began in a frustrating once upon a time, turned into a silly sweet day of caregiving, and finally came to a secure and happy end. I’ll write to you of them soon. Yes, dear Dobby Do was involved.

So, there have been busy hours and not so busy hours, which brings me back to my walking once again….

My breathing changes when I set out to walk each evening. It slows, as do I. To be honest, I don’t walk for exercise. I’m not in a hurry to get anywhere or to do anything in particular.

Forest Bathing is becoming quite a popular thing these days which makes me giggle. It seems I’ve been forest bathing for a long time. Who knew?! I had no fancy name for it or scientific studies to tally up in bar graphs as proof that it was a clever idea. And no, you don’t need soap.

Mostly, it’s about listening…to the trees and the wind…to the birds and the frogs…to the echoes of thoughts in my heart…

In everything there is a longing, to be at peace, to create, to love.

In the wild places everything is a part of the longing and belonging…from the fallen tree to the precious snail. The snail moves as peacefully as a breeze. He pauses often to enjoy the lovely moments…the tiny ones that he knows are worth all the time in the world.

The trees reach ever forth in new creation. Fresh leaves leap into the bluest sky. Fresh roots delve into the deepest earth. Trees create in every which direction from the center of themselves.

And what of love…in the wild places love is everywhere.

Deer keep close to one another in the shade of the sweetgum, listening more carefully than I do for rustling in the leaves. Flowers open in colorful surprise, a gift of last season’s efforts and a whole year’s waiting. Frogs sing to me each afternoon as I blow kisses of goodbye and see ya soon. They probably sing to each other…but it’s nice to imagine it’s for me.

I made cheese ladas this week and had leftover corn tortillas. I shall feed the fish, I thought! No need for waste! The perch were boisterous and seemingly starved! A lone catfish was shy about the whole thing. With time and patience he not only came near but ate straight from my hand. My heart raced in joy!

Then, there was this little turtle. I shall call him Tiny Tim after the turtle in the song that I share with the preschoolers. We giggle and make hand motions and always but always sing it twice…

I have a little turtle

His name is tiny tim

I put him in the bathtub

To see if he could swim

He drank up all the water

Glue glub glub

He ate up all the soap

Nom nom nom

Now he’s home

Sick in bed

With bubbles in his throat

Bubbles bubbles bubbles

Bubbles bubbles pop

Bubbles bubbles bubbles

Bubbles bubbles pop!

Again!!

Tim adores corn tortillas! He easily dispersed the perch and even tried to scare off the catfish who is at least three times his size! He grabbed the tortilla bites from my hand and swam far enough away to gobble them down before returning for more. We went on like this until there was no more. Plus, the sun was setting and it was time for me to get home.

Each day I arrived with something to share. Each day the lake dwellers came in their own way…especially Tim.

Last night I was awfully tired and there had been bunnies all day and I had run out of corn tortillas. So it was that I arrived at the lake empty handed…

The perch splashed at me in gleeful anticipation. The catfish floated gently back and forth at the edge of the pier waiting for my hand. But Tim….he really gave me the “what for”!

He swam close to the pier and popped up…

What’d ya bring me?

When I didn’t give him anything he swam off a few inches only to return and pop up…

Seriously, what’d ya bring me?

He began to come up and just stare at me…quietly staring…

Other times it seemed he had a voice –

Hey?

Hey?

Now?

How bout now?

Now?

How bout now?

Tiny Tim was relentless.

I giggled at his eager enthusiasm. I was saddened that I was such a disappointment to him. I never realized that he would invite me into his world. I never thought they would all come up to the surface of the water because of me. Of course I know hunger was involved, a longing for nourishment. But still, there I am, wondering. I have learned my lesson and shall definitely be taking something to share when I head out to walk later. I have no desire to spend my evening being stared at again by Tiny Tim.

I know there will be more days like yesterday when I have nothing to give. The fish and the turtles will come anyway. I’m grateful for that. Love is not always about doing. Nor should it be. Love is about simply being.

Whether one calls it Forest Bathing or Listening doesn’t really matter. It may be a flower coming up through a sidewalk crack that reminds you of that time…or a single pot filled with herbs that you will use to create a luscious meal. It may be an ocean or a mountain top or a forest with a lake. It doesn’t have to be a big place. You only have to feel the gift of it.

When you find the wild places, the simple ones…you discover they are filled with longing for peace and creation…and they sweetly overflow with love and belonging….

****

ellie894 June 15, 2019

tucked away…

I often write things

that I fear are not worth reading

So, I tuck them neatly away

Fragile thoughts folded in upon themselves

The words fade and the pages yellow

As a memory floats into view

*

…of being ten years old

picking blackberries

in a blazing Texas summer sun

no clouds, no shade, no wind

while my cheeks burn red

my pail remains nearly empty

as i search endlessly

hand to mouth

for the One…

you know which I mean

the One that brightens your lips

in a triumphant juicy smile

of sweet buried treasure

once lost

now found

I eat far more than I put in my pail

it remains nearly empty

so tomorrow

there will be no cobbler

or biscuit jam

tonight

there will be no need of dinner

or dessert

only a cool bath gently run

to soothe my fiery skin

the search was everything

it filled me and fed me

left me weary

in the nicest of ways

sleep will surely come

claiming me for its restful own…

*

Tucked away somewhere

Are some yellowed pages bearing faded words

That I should wander through

It is time

To take them out of hiding

Unfold them

And see if anything has ripened

Sweet enough

To fill a nearly empty pail

Perhaps,

In the morning

We shall have biscuits with blackberry jam

And in the evening

Warm cobbler with cold ice cream

And after that,

When the stars come forth to shine

And the fireflies begin their nightly tango

We shall sleep the weary peaceful sleep

Of being ten years old

At the end of a perfect summer’s day

****

ellie894 June 4, 2019

cookies, real estate values on the north side and yoga pants…

I have come to learn that I am doomed to be eternally five years old. Doomed, in the best possible way. It’s all about the questions. I’m sure you’ve noticed that about me by now. I start with them. I end on them. I throw a few in the middle for good measure. It’s not that I work at them. It’s just…there I am and there they are and what am I to do with that?

Now where is that exactly? And how often do you go there? See what I mean?

Also, I write as I walk. At least sometimes, I do. A question, a thought, a string of words arrives like leaves drifting to the ground in autumn. I pause in silence to consider them as they come to land. Oh yes indeed, that one is quite lovely. I’ll save it for later. This very writing that you’re reading began on a wooded walk peppered with questions.

This duck. The one that huddles next to the pier day after day. What kind is it meant to be? Is it male or female? I mean, would it be male or female if it was real? Why do the other ducks, the real ones, avoid it so? It seems friendly enough to me. Is there something about the plastic that upsets them? And is it lonely? Or is it happy to have the simplicity and beauty of the pond all to itself?

Someone will certainly know the answer to at least one of those. Then there will be one less question for me to fret over. That leaves 999 to go…

When the beaver slaps his tail upon the water, is he saying hello to me or rather a very firm goodbye? And why did he move from the south side of the pond to the north side over the winter? Are real estate values better over there?

Trees that bloom too early, long before they should….are they smarter than the other trees after all and get to bloom twice?

Today is less than freezing and yet the birds are twittering, while yesterday they were silent. Does singing keep them warm or are they chittering about the frigid temperatures? It’s positively icy over here Mabel! Well, put on a sweater Marjorie.

Why are violets so tiny? And why are they blooming right now? Don’t they know it’s colder than cold?

Tights vs leggings vs yoga pants? Oh, yes. I’m going there. Which ones do you love and why? And what’s the difference really? Don’t be fooled by outward appearances. There is a difference. I do know this one…sort of…maybe…

Tights are…tight. Who knew? They’re thin and enclose your feet. You wear them to warm your legs under a dress. Theoretically. Wait, tights are Not warm and they’re miserable to wear! Miserable, I tell you. Am I right ladies?! I honestly don’t see the point of them. If anyone ever invents tights that do their job, I’m all in. Until then…no thank you. Plus, they often try to strangle you. Fun fact, as soon as I was of an age to choose my own clothes without my mother’s input…I gave up tights. Done and done.

Then there are leggings. They are also tight but…don’t have feet. Ah! Ok then. No feet. Gotcha. They are absolutely no warmer than tights on a cold day. However, some indeterminate someone wants you to believe they are. That someone is seriously misguided. Leggings are not warmer. Plus your socks don’t fit right and bump into the offending leg wear in weird ways. And if that’s not bad enough, leggings sag in a “tights” like way that makes you want to…well, I’ll leave that note off for now. Let’s just say they’re as ugh as tights.

Onwards and upwards to yoga pants! I’m really not sure what to say here. Guess what…they’re tight! Who knew? Oddly enough yoga pants are in fact comfortable…unless it’s above 75 degrees. Then, they’re hot! Hot! Like Texas in August Hot! Carolina Reaper Hot! If you see anyone wearing yoga pants on a day that’s above 75 degrees I guarantee you they are moving quickly from an air conditioned building to an air conditioned vehicle. Or they are seriously cold natured. I will award yoga pants a gold star in this way though…they actually fit. It’s brilliant! Brilliant I tell you! By the sheer numbers one sees of them…everywhere…I now have a new question. Is almost every woman aspiring to be a yoga instructor? Or are they seeking the comfort that neither tights nor leggings offer?

So to sum up, all three versions are tight. Some fit. Some…don’t. If you put feet on leggings they could be tights. If you cut the feet off of tights they could be leggings. I think yoga pants would lose their value if you added feet. That would just be strange. Which brings me back to my original question, tights vs leggings vs yoga pants? What’s up with that?

Nursing homes are supposed to be sad places. Why do we think so? Why do we declare nursing homes to be sad while grocery stores and shopping malls are deemed happy?

When I go to a place focused on “stuff” the people don’t seem very happy to me. Just an observation. They’re grumpy and children are often crying. Or maybe that’s me crying because I want to go home. The children probably want the same thing that I do while their parents are devastated that they missed out on some important “stuff”. There’s someone over there looking at the stuff I’m looking at. What if they get it first?! I won’t have the stuff I think I need! That’s when panic sets in and there’s a mad dash to acquire the very important stuff. You know…like the last set of yoga pants on the planet. Going out of business folks. There will be no more yoga pants…in the history of…like…ever. Speaking of ever, how long is that anyway?

Shopping questions are easy for me. Do I really need that? Do I have to go shopping? Can I go home now? Do you hear that five year old talking again?

But when I walk through a nursing home the questions loom large over me. Why is there suffering? Why is there so much pain in the world? Whatever can I do to ease…anything for anyone…in any way…ever? What can I do?

I wander through the doors with my heart open and my eyes too, and discover there are a few quiet answers as close as my next breath. These busy spaces are filled to the brim with gentle souls always ready to offer the lovely gift of a smile. They always have time for a warm greeting. Their stories are always divine and as varied as the books on a library shelf! They will most certainly make you laugh. Sometimes they will make you cry. In truth we need very little in this world…but we need that little so very much…

Which brings me of course to…cookies! A writing about 5 year old me and questions would never be complete without a cookie section. Am I right? Who loves them? Hint…me. Who doesn’t love them? Hint…not me. Can I eat too many in a day? Are they good for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Should one slather them in peanut butter? Should one dunk them in milk or hot tea? Are chocolate chip better than oatmeal? If one adds chocolate chips to oatmeal, is it then a chocolate chip cookie or an oatmeal cookie? Some might declare it to be an oatmeal chocolate chip at that point. Valid argument but now we’re getting into tricky territory, the very nature of a cookie and its ingredients. Philosophy at its utmost! If one adds icing or frosting or glaze does it lose its cookieness? And my two personal favorites –

Are cookies the world’s most perfect food?

Do cookies make everything better?

If you’ve been following me for any length of time you already know my answers to the last two. Smiles and winks.

Are there more questions than I have answers for? Will I ever stop asking? Would I even want to? What about you? Are you eternally five years old? And do you question too?

Welcome to my world. Come rest with me for a while. We shall have cookies and tea and ask questions…together…and won’t that be delightful?

****

ellie894 March 11, 2019

P. S. Dog questions are a volume all their own and will be saved for another place and time…

koko

Last evening I walked the circle of sorts that I so often do. You know the one…dogs by my side… into the depth of the woods, across the gentle creek, careful not to catch on the barbed wire, meadow to my right, pond awaiting me…I wonder if it misses me when I am away as I do it…

I tucked my feet up under me to rest for a time upon the pier. I love that I can be away from sturdy ground for a while and yet so safe. The breeze was elsewhere and I was embraced instead by the stillness of dusk. The mirrored water was broken only once by the beaver swimming across to a new shore. Does he think of it that way – as a new shore. He was barely visible. Only the hint of his head could I see and the rippling V trailing behind him as he cut forth on his determined way.

His journey seemed smallish to me. From where I watched I could see the whole of it at once. He would easily manage it and something very good awaited him on the other side. To him though, it must have felt endless and without view. I know that place…unable to see, nevertheless…keeping on keeping on…

A bevy of doves kept close company, leaving no one behind. I looked that up so I would get it right for you. Doves in a group are called a bevy. I didn’t know. Come along now. Their ebony silhouettes searched for a nightly sanctuary as they cooed gracefully to one another…

Watching them brought to mind a tender moment from another day…

Above me a solitary hawk landed in the topmost branches of a tree. As he left the sky, he dropped a single feather. I stood mesmerized as it drifted softly through the air and I wondered at his letting go of it. I could not find it even though I searched. It disappeared before it came to ground. The gift was not in the having of the feather. The gift was in the being there. I needn’t hold the feather to cherish the lovely memory.

Real gifts are like that. They never reside in a box. They live and breathe in your heart.

Back at the lake sunset played with the clouds until they drifted on and left clear skies in places. I knew it was time for me to go. If I didn’t leave soon, I would lose the light. The woods are darkening then and all of the sounds sound just a little menacing…what was that…probably a squirrel settling in for the night but what if it wasn’t…

Once more the well trod path delivered me to the grassy expanse that I know so well. The sun was fading faster all the time. I love that hushed moment when day is stepping aside for night in quiet anticipation.

A lone bat skittered above me hunting for his breakfast while my own day was already beyond dinner. He moved quickly and was gone almost before I even knew he was there. How much of life flutters passed as I am busy with other living.

And just then…in the tallest pines behind the gentle oak…at the edge of field and night…owls…not one, not two…but three. Three! I have never heard three owls at once. A nearby screech stopped me in my tracks. It refused to give up as it shattered the silence, imploring me to hear. Certainly a nest and a very hungry baby were up there somewhere. There was nothing to see, but the air was brimming with the soulful sounds of the three of them. Who…echoed the parents…soon young hunger was satisfied. It only took their listening to know the answer.

It was enchanting to be there…another gift. It would never need shelf space or repair or dusting. Darkness overcame the moment. My footsteps lightly on the pine straw transported me closer to the safety of home all the time. The wise feathered keepers of the night followed me in gentle protection…and I am grateful…for the real of them…for the goodness of all I cannot see…for the gift of love that surrounds us all…for the magic that is once and always…everywhere…

****

ellie894 November 28, 2018

It’s always something…

Dogs do not sneak quietly into my life with built in good manners.

Misbehavior! Gasp! Say it isn’t so… First they are overly generous with their friendly greetings and not one of them is under 50 pounds. Then there’s jumping. Mostly they reserve that for me. It is no fun to have your feet swept out from under you so that one lands on unmentionable places with a dull thud. Last but not least there’s rough housing…with each other. That wouldn’t be so bad. I admit it does use up some of their endless energy. The dilemma is that they do it within inches of me. My smallish self becomes an unwilling participant in their romping games. Remember that dull thud I mentioned before. Yep, there we are again…

Yesterday afternoon I set out on a walk with Dobby on a leash – we are diligently working on good manners. Miss Ellie came too, not on a leash – she already has good manners. We three musketeers headed to the pond, as we do everyday. Ah, a lone mower was at work in the field. The dogs were content by my side but definitely curious about these happenings in what they consider “their” space. I could see their thoughts ticking away at the idea of a new friend!

He was preparing for this afternoon. There will be a couple hours of skeet shooting for out of town guests. Miss Ellie will be frightened by the sounds of the gunshots. She would never have made a hunting dog which is fine with me. Ellie will stay under my feet until the shooting stops. She likes it best when I take her to a large closet and turn on a loud fan to drown out the noise. I sit on the floor with her, crisscross applesauce and pet her gently until she calms and falls asleep.

It hurts me to see Ellie so afraid. She doesn’t understand. It’s a helpless feeling for both of us and all I can really do is be near so that she knows I’m there with her.

So, I veered from our usual walk on the north side. We reversed our footsteps and took the path to the south instead. Across the creek, through the young pines, onward and upward. At the top of the hill rests a very small very old cemetery…

I looked once….I looked twice…I looked three times… no doubt about it; there was a young bull inside of the cemetery!

My first thought was that there must be a break somewhere in the fence – I explored carefully. The chain link fence was completely in tact and the gate was quite closed. Hmm… He stared at us. We stared at him. All of us were perplexed at such a strange occurrence.

My second thought was to simply open the gate and let him out. I wasn’t afraid of him. But, after all he is not my bull. Perhaps he was separated from the herd temporarily for a reason that I didn’t know. You never know…

Meanwhile, a lovely milk chocolate brown cow wandered up to give us a verbal “what for”. She must be his mother. Now, whether she was admonishing us to go away or to open the gate and set her son free, I can’t be sure. There we all were locked in some sort of weird time warp event. No one in any danger. No one knowing quite what to do next.

Now came the phone call which began like this – hello, this is suzanne. I have rather an odd question… I heard light laughter on the other end and the phrase – it’s always something! The friendly lady said – thank you samantha, I’ll be right over to let him out. Yes, samantha. I guess on the phone on Wednesday afternoons suzanne sounds a lot like samantha. I’m good with that. It makes me think of Bewitched and what girl doesn’t want just a hint of magic in her days.

My musketeers and I continued on our walk content that help was on its way. Yet, I was left wondering of the young bull. However did he get in there. How long had he been trapped. I’ll say this much, the cemetery does Not need to be mowed. How long would it take a bull his size to clean up a grassy area that way. It’s a riddle I’ll probably never have an answer to…

I could have stubbornly kept on to the pond as I usually do and not ventured to the south. But, you know that feeling when something changes. You can’t quite explain it but, there it is. And you change with it… Maybe you ease into the changes or maybe you fight them. Either way, you find yourself on a hill next to a cemetery staring at a bull who needs you. Only five minutes ago you didn’t even know he existed. Now, he’s touched your heart and you are forever different for it…

I know…forever is a long time…but sometimes the biggest changes happen in the smallest moments…

I could write all day about what brought me to this one place in time. Every moment is that way though, built upon others before it; a single step on the winding way to an unknowable future. To be honest, there were storms on this path that I would have gladly done without. Nevertheless, there I am… learning from All of it…not just the good stuff.

Simple really… I walked a different way, saw a bull, made a phone call, the end. And yet, it stays with me. I still see him alone and helpless with no way out looking into my eyes…the key to his freedom as simple as a hand upon a gate.

At times in my life I am Ellie shivering with fear of what I don’t understand. Other times I am the bull alone and helpless…not seeing the gate…not knowing how to open it for myself. I am even the cow unable to communicate my heart’s desire. I hold all of these moments until I need them again, the lessons of them. I need reminding often.

When something lands softly before me or crashes, as something always does…to remember how it feels to be on the other side of the fence or to shiver in the unknown…to give from my heart with compassion and my hand in gentle kindness. I’m never only on one side or the other.

There will always be something and the answer will always be love.

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ellie894 October 11, 2018