Wonder

Pay attention, darling.

Pause in the slightest movements of the universe, the subtle nuances, the unexplained happenings that you call, “lose threads.”  Like a ball of tangled yarn, these very moments twist and turn, specific to you, alone.

Pay attention, darling.

Stand brave and alone at the crossroad of life. Stay unflinching on the page. Allow the truth of time to heal you. When tears fall like rain, know that the seeds of joy awaken to see you smile again.

 

Known as Athena, she holds a vessel of ancient wisdom, beyond that which we could ever know. Trust her vision for you.

Pay attention, darling.

Trust the journey you’re on

As she knits the story of a beautiful life.

 

 

An Elegant Mess

~ making an elegant mess
~ making an elegant mess

I’ve spent the better part of a hell hot summer, wander lusting from vintage re dos to pennant banners. These creative pursuits steal time away from serious wordsmithing. Perhaps this is a wise decision; a necessary rest from deep thought and aching introspection. The “story” writings remain tucked away until autumn returns. Her first kiss, a delightful, wakening chill, will be just enough to spur me forward and back to the keyboard.

In the meantime, I revisit and refurbish my living and personal spaces into what can aptly be described as an elegant mess. This is fine by me.

Hope you wander out this evening, sit beneath the stars, and wonder at the Blue Moon.

I’ll let wikipedia explain the phenom named, Blue Moon,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_moon

“Blue Moon

You saw me standing alone

Without a dream in my heart”

 

It’s Still A Beautiful World

That there is still decency and kindness in the world.This morning on the downtown eastside I sat in my locked car at a busy intersection and witnessed an action that reminded me there is good in people all around us. It also reminded me about judgements.

A woman struggled to get across the busy crossing before the “DON’T WALK “symbol appeared. Confined to a wheel chair and shoeless, she struggled to push the chair forward with her shuffling feet. As she struggled past, I noticed one foot wrapped in bandages and the other covered in a tattered sock.

Suddenly, out from the shadowy streets ran a man, an oddity with his own set of issues. Long hair a mess, eyes unfocused; he jittered forth. This man noticed the woman in the wheelchair and paused. As he bent to whisper words in her ear, he grabbed the handles at the back of the wheelchair and silently pushed the chair through the cross walk to safety, leaving the somewhat surprised woman to negotiate the edge between road and sidewalk. A random act of kindness and compassion toward another.

In fact, I saw several acts of compassion on the downtown eastside from vendors offering a cup of Joe to marginalized people outside the trending coffee shops to two city police officers that knelt beside a forlorn man seated on a blanket. They gently spoke with him.

A reminder to look beneath the surface. One man’s random wish to help another human navigate through this often confused and chaotic world made a view outside the car window a whole lot brighter.

What will you see today and who will you help?

 

Let it Snow

It happens every December. I fall head over heels into the holiday season.The sight of first snow, tumbling flakes dancing across the blog page, to the real version, delights. I imagine the forgotten child who once found beauty in the simplest of gifts. A first snow evokes glorious moments, past holiday memories. I will that child’s sweet feelings of hope to return.

More than the beauty of the season beckons. Yes, it’s true~ possessing a need to touch the shiny surfaces of the glass ornaments laying in shop baskets, I pause and lift one. Glitter and sparkle catch my eye. It is more than the superficial. I know that.

Momentarily, I become a child again. Tip toeing through the quiet living room, wandering to the front window to gaze out, my eyes look up to the heavens. Enchanted. Nightfall blankets, a starry sky twinkling back as the first flakes tumble to earth. Beholden to a powerful spell, captivated by a belief. I know the world truly is a magical place.

So long ago, a tree stood in a corner of the dimly lit room, evergreen boughs laden with twinkling lights. A soft glow illuminated the darkened room. Branches sparkled, adorned with colourful glass baubles. A shiny star graced the uppermost tip of the tree. Tinsel dripped, hung like frozen icicles from the branches. A cheap, chubby plastic Santa leaned into the base of the tree. We begged mother to buy it. Just a doll yet it looked so real.

It’s so simple. A child waits for Christmas to appear. A child believes.

Older now, I muse, If only it was that simple. If only wishes really did come true. Picking the plastic Santa from the ornament box I notice the colour has faded, rubbed away. The eyes still twinkle. Sighing, I need a moment to collect myself. Sometimes memories ache.

I know the world isn’t such a magical place. Poverty is real, children go hungry; they shiver in fear. Disease consumes. War and hatred rage on. Love is fleeting. Tears rain and hearts break. What we do to one, passes to another. We understand that as children.

The plastic Santa remains, a child’s symbol for hope. It really is simple. Be compassionate. Show up for someone. Share friendship, exchange a hug, hold a hand. Donate to a worthy cause. Keep an open heart. Be grateful.

I place the plastic Santa beneath the tree, an endearing symbol for hope.The world truly is a magical place. Believe.

IMG_1881

 

 

Wise Women’s Club

The aroma drifts from the restaurant’s kitchen, teasing all who enter. Encircling, enticing, enveloping, the aroma begs us, sit for a spell. Coffee poured into waiting cups, chatter and laughter bubble forth filling empty souls. Who knew something so simple held such power.

They wait for me in the booth. We embrace, members of a club.  The Wise Women. Well, so much wiser than we were once upon a time before we grew up. Before the littlest moments captured our attention. Our fingers lace around warm cups. We smile; we share our secrets and fears.

We notice little moments now that we’ve matured, like the ladybug drinking the water droplet after the sprinkler’s mist. The golden rim of a child’s greenest eye. We wonder who the government’s new strategist is, chuckle at the lack of strategy. Call us, we muse. We share stories of children, aging parents, trips we’ll take, books we’ve read, journeys we’re on.

My treasured friends, long-standing members of an informal circle of women that joined hands years ago. Once upon a time, we chased our children’s joy, earned our degrees, worked full-time, worked in and worked out. One day, just like that, the years flew by us.

We can’t save the world, some days we only save each other. Aware of each member’s weakest heart spot, we probe gently, cautiously choosing wise words, affirming worth.  We’ve all shivered in grief. My friend turns and asks,

“Will you have regrets?”

“No,” I reply, “no amount of money will fix it or make me happier.”

It’s never about money; it’s always about love for another. At least that’s how it rolls for us.

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We stand, gather our bills, head over to pay the cashier. We embrace, already awaiting the next time. The Wise Women’s Club adjourns.

 

A Hug

“Ms M! Ms M!” the little boy’s voice calls out.  I turn and face a child standing at the end of the shop’s aisle, ball cap pulled down low to the brow, red tee and shorts, summer kissed skin.

“It’s me!” he says.  His big eyes twinkle, his smile wide and gappy; little fists clench together.

“It’s you!” I  gently reply.

He rushes forward, throws his arms around me, and looks up; sweet little rounded face.

It’s been three years since I taught him. I remember this child, a goer, always on the move.  Some mornings he shook me awake!  A thinker, a doer; building structures to navigate all across the carpet, surrounded by wooden blocks or hundreds of  Lego bricks.  Some days, castles stood lining the perimeter, other days building straws reached up, a tower to the sky.  Lego ships and rockets peeked out, partially hidden behind a book or from beneath a table, safe, waiting for another opportunity to play. Each afternoon as our time together came to an end, he’d pause on the landing, throw his arms around me; a hug good-bye.  Until the next day.

Some days, when it came time to work he would say, “I can’t,” or “I won’t.”

“Yes, you can and yes you will.” I’d reply, leading him to the table. Cross, the little head would lower, eyes narrow, as his small fist tightly gripped a crayon or pencil. Slowly, he realized, he would, he could.

“You did,” I’d say each time.  Our eyes meet; we leave each other with a smile.

He wanted to read and his excitement was to the moon when we finally found a reading series he connected with, the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems.

http://www.pigeonpresents.com/books.aspx

Teaching was a passion; every day an opportunity to laugh, learn, and play; to create memories. Truly, the biggest pay off is hearing a little voice call out,

“Ms. M, Ms. M, it’s me!”

Along with a hug.

It’s you, thank goodness! You made my ordinary day so much better. Your heart remains open; your sweet child’s face filled with joy.  Thank you for reminding me that it’s the positive connections we make with others that count most in life.  Lucky me, your teacher.

 

It Was Love

Lately I awaken, the dream remnants lingering cast like a veil over form. An unanswered question hovers. Pushed aside, betrayed; shame surfaces. The frightened young woman deep within whispers, I must be flawed, something is wrong with me. The adult reasons, Perhaps not. Perhaps it was as simple as you didn’t fit in anymore.

 

I am his daughter, patiently holding silences. Chosen memories safe, I snug the precious moments, choosing to believe magical qualities endure. Perhaps not, perhaps fooled into believing an illusion of love.

 

I want to let him go; there are moments I turn and face the skies, a silent scream of anger for one who betrayed. Believing words that ring hollow. Never an illusion the memories stay, resurfacing at the moment between something to believe in and nothing. The unanswered question remains.

 

It is hard to trust. Pausing to view the world, once I ran to greet it, cautious now. Someone said,

“Find a way to let it go.”

When I find that way, it will be final. The world will darken a shade as I face the truth.

A hardened heart will alter. So you see, I hold on to him, cherish what I knew, all for a belief in love; I loved him so.

 

 

 

Gratitude

Beauty

Gratitude. Years ago a thoughtful neighbour brought me a clump of peony roots, dug from her colourful garden, divided for another.  On a walk, I pause to admire the show of beauty blooming so splendidly in her garden.  My eyes covet the peonies, the genus Paeonia, buds wrapped tight, stalks gently holding the shy, unfurling blooms.  Some garnet, pink, and as if this isn’t enough beauty to behold, two weeks later, the white flowers show, shining through the dark night.

On the cusp of autumn, she placed three small bundles at the doorstep. They patiently wait, still, wrapped in brown paper, tied with twine, for me to discover.   Cradling the bundles, I take them to my garden, gently hand them to the earth.  Planting the woody clumps into the soil, I wonder at the magic these simple bundles of wood and roots would conjure.  Seasons changed, the little woody clumps slept snug underneath an earthen blanket.

The following spring the roots anchor, stalks push through the soil’s surface, evolving into small bushes covered with compound, deeply lobed leaves. Three garnet peonies bloom on one of the bushes. Two weeks later, the second bloom opens to reveal the purest white petals. Years later, these small clumps have mothered five beautiful bushes.

Gorgeousness. Some believe peony compounds have the power to heal.  Inhale their fragrance, touch the soft petals with a finger tip, breathe in as your heartbeat slows under this intoxicating spell.  I wonder at such beauty.  

Ancestry

The ad captures my attention~ discover your past, your family’s story.  I begin a quest to discover the history of my family, to know their stories. Regrettably, it never occurred to me to enquire about family when I had the chance.  The relatives I knew kept silences and secret whisperings locked away.

An ancestry membership started me on a journey to discover my past, to discover the men and women whose spirit, hard work, and resilience contributed to my DNA.  Like Alice, I fall down the rabbit hole to emerge in England.  Perhaps this partly explains the allure of floral and chintz.  I cannot pass a vintage thrift shop; I must enter and wander the aisles, linger with the china tea cups and saucers.

Cabbage roses capture my attention. Closing my eyes, woodland hares and rose bushes come into focus.  A calico cat peeks out from behind a stone shed, its stealthy body poised, yellow eyes set upon a morning robin, watching as the bird alights atop the country garden’s netting.  Sweet peas inch up the strings, their perfumed fragrance intoxicating, carried on a gentle breeze.

A paper bag princess, royalty eludes me! Instead, I discover a fascinating world, its simplicity steeped within the doctrines of the Church of England and the land.  I am descended from working class people; tenacious spirits, the farmers and carters beckon me to pause and pay respect.  The great, great, great-granddaughter of hardworking men and women who tilled the beautiful pastoral lands around Shropshire, England.  I wonder if an everlasting thread connects us still. At times, their presence fleeting, their faces mirrored back. Perhaps these old souls smile when they view my humble garden, the sunflower seeds and tightly rounded sweet peas unfurling from seed coat jackets.  Maybe they tenderly gaze back from the faces of those I hold dear.

I stop to study the women’s photographs.  I note beauty and grace, the comforting resemblances to those now here. Standing tall, their proud high foreheads face the camera.  Beautiful dark eyes share the untold stories, the stories of strength and courage.  These courageous women, many sent to work as domestics while still children, some missionaries in China, others interned. Many grieved babies lost to consumption and disease.  Many lost husbands.  All had mouths to feed.  These tireless women, their beautiful, haunted eyes beholden to the emotions, sorrow and joy. Beholden to the land and the seasons.

When in doubt, I imagine these women sending forth heart beats fueled by a fierce strength and unrelenting resilience. Loyal to family, sheltering one another throughout life’s storms, imagining the opportunities, if only wealth or education had happened along their paths.  They forge on, some daring to dream of a future with opportunities and choices for those waiting in line.

Discovering a family’s past, uncovering the mysteries and facts, I set my compass down.  It is an honour to gently sift through the stories, unveil the lives of ones so true.  I take away their gems and stones to polish and shine.  I gather strength from their life stories.  I cherish who I am.