Midnight

You were born beneath an ireful star, launched into a destiny predetermined by a past. So, it is fitting that I wait for your arrival at the darkest hour of night.

In dreams, I am certain you return.

It is winter’s cusp, a time of confusion and crossover. Hail mixes with sunshine. Green shoots wither with frost. A time of sorrows passing and joy’s celebratory re-birth.

I wait on a barren beach, protected by crisscrossed driftwood, tucked in and sheltered from raging winds. Even the gulls have left.

In the distance, the thundering rollers call. Waves tumble and break to slip upon the shore. A heavenly mess, the water’s advance and retreat orchestrated with military precision.

From a safe vantage point, I see only unending swaths of gloom. The sky beyond is thickly brushed with inky, blue-black strokes. My eyes glance up toward the heavens. There waits the moon, full and ripe as a melon. Flickers of starlight sparkle through darkness.

A grey drop cloth of cloud obscures the distance. A split begins to form. Winds rip asunder the gauzy veil. A moon beam illuminates the watery path ahead. In the distance a red rowboat approaches. A man holds an oar.

Slowly, the shroud rises, carried off, held by the beaks of forty-eight diamond doves. Their wings rustle and heave as the curtain rises. You return in peace.

Lost at sea, a drift with one oar, the tides have brought you home. I leave my wind worn shelter and stand at the water’s edge.

Sailing closer to land, you fix your gaze upon mine. The ocean’s song rocks the rowboat with a final push to settle upon sand. My hand reaches out to steady you. Once on solid ground you straighten and pause. Reaching into your pocket, you pull out a stone. “This is for you.” You look away and lower your head.

“Thank you,” I reply.

Cool to first touch, the stone becomes warmer; a talisman nestled in my palm. I turn it and note the imperfections, see the flaws beneath a smooth surface. The passage of time has softened its form. The stone is actually glass. Once fragile and abandoned, its story has shaped over time. It ends in the form of a heart.

“Don’t cast it,” you say.

My fingers reach for a stick that rests upon the sand. Words whisper through wind, “This is for you.”

I press letters at the ocean’s edge.

D-I-G-N-I-T-Y

That is all I seek. It is the gift you gave back to me.

 

 

 

 

 

The Messenger

This is a draft version of the narrator’s “voice;”I will continue to polish the piece. The narrator’s name is, Justus and he is about to leave on a mission. It is from a fictional piece I am writing. This chapter is in the narrator’s POV.

 

“Justus, Get up! Hurry.”

 

Urgent words enter my dream. Their pitch notes rising as I attempt to ignore. The voice calling in my ear speaks louder. “Justus wake up.” I push the covers away from my somnolent body and rise.

“It’s your turn. Go.”

Hurrying to the meeting zone, I stumble, the residue of sleep lingering in its peaceful hold, as I step forth. Pushing back a lock of dark hair and coughing to clear my throat, I straighten. It is time.

I belong to a group of watchmen, messengers from the past; we work for the present and future. Our mandate: listen to another’s story, understand and give voice to it; we are conduits between the souls and their living. The universe is made of tiny stories.
Some people call us angels, which we are not. We are messengers, invisible souls; we walk alongside those lost to grief and sorrow. We know your stories well; we are kin.

Imagine a crowd of people, all strangers. Yet, you pause, turn around and take a second glance back. There is familiarity in a gait, knock, or smile. Something about the way that individual speaks captures your momentary attention. You swear you’ve seen that someone before. The sighting haunts and returns. You believe in happenstance yet you are wrong. Events occur for a reason.

You are never alone. That deer you saw, at the precise moment your mind recalls a loved one’s fondness for all rural fauna is not coincidence. The clock that chimes on the anniversary of a loved one’s death, the one you thought broken, is planned. Consider carefully. The face you see, as it flashes by, in a newborn’s glance. Remember these souls from your past.

 

Every family is an infinite circle of souls. It helps to envision this symbol of continuous unity. The circle enlarges when new members are born or brought in. When death knocks, the circle shrinks. As long as the members hold to one another, reaching forth, the thread that connects remains strong. It is only when one lets go, steps away; when no one reaches back, that the thread that binds, breaks. That is when we enter your world.

It has been awhile since my last assignment, * years to be exact. I recall the details of that mission: to stand beside a family member. Can hope triumph? Love heals; there is nothing it cannot conquer.

 

Imperfect Beauty

Imperfect Beauty

It is important, this deep and personal need to create simple, beautiful spaces. Whether it is, cuttings gathered from nature, vignettes, gathered bits and pieces, sparkle and shine, or a simple lit candle shining brightly in the dark.  Our spaces comfort through their serenity, simplicity, and simple beauty. A book close at hand, a blanket to snug beneath, and a mug of hot tea or coffee to round off the bliss.  Why do we choose to nest the way we do, our individual styles often different?  Our homes tell our stories.  Look and listen.

It works like this.  The beauty and creativity that my mother possessed now passed along to me.  “Always look at an item with fresh eyes, see the beauty in the broken, repurpose a piece,” are her wise words.  Fill your spaces with only that which inspires you or tells a meaningful story.  Sometimes, our stories are sad.  For that reason, I choose to feather my nest with that which makes me smile, the pretty, the broken, the chipped, evidence of love and beauty. Imperfect is beautiful.

The hunt to discover an object of beauty is compelling and sourcing the area for an affordable price point is addicting, an alluring drug to the soul. No apologies, I seek beautiful store-bought and found items. Through writing, decorating, planting and doing, my heart heals. Comfort and joy await those who enter through the door.  Spaces are pretty, soft, unusual, old, and consciously created, staged for effect, purposely creating a careful lived in shabbiness of chic.

A promise to myself, many years ago, that when I became a mother or grandmother, I would be the best that I could be.  When they forgot, I remembered. My family would know love; there would never be a question or a doubt.  No one left, forgotten, dismissed, omitted.  Always, forgiven, always loved. I would have wished as much as a child and now as an adult, those wishing words sent forth on the chilly winter winds. Some can’t hear them, though. Perhaps, you will catch the whisperings in the silent spaces beneath the twinkling stars.

This holiday season I have left many of the Christmas decorations tucked away within the storage space. It will be a simple celebration.  There will be fewer family gathered round the table.  The children are grown and are beginning and continuing their own holiday traditions. In time they will appreciate that it isn’t about them, it is about others.  Love is always about others.

On display, there is a wooden Santa, a symbol of love and generosity.  A tinsel tree adorned with glass birds to sparkle in the winter’s light, a reminder that spring will surely come and there will be new beginnings.  The light will shine a little brighter.  Treats, decadent, rich and chocolate, sit in a glass bowl, delights for the soul.  Offerings.  Mini white lights fill the glass vases and miniature evergreen trees adorn a table.  A glittery box houses a miniature nativity, the Christmas Story. There is a boxwood wreath to grace the front door.  All is calm.

There is an undeniable presence of generosity, compassion, and kindness that gently fills the air.  If only the generous Christmas spirit could stay throughout the year. Note the hope that tenderly rises after the storm has passed. If only these heart-felt beats would live on and on. It is possible.  Love one another. We share this amazing world.  Stand for peace and harmony. Forget self, reach out and offer a hand.  Forgive.  Celebrate family and remember, love is always about others.

I wish you love and happiness.  Forgive another, start the journey to heal, reach out a hand in friendship, and surround your world with love and joy. Thank you for sharing your posts, stories, blogs, re blogs, tweets, “likes,” comments, and writing support.  All is bright!

Snow baby
Snow baby

 

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

x   ~ Grace

December’s Words

Your last, whispered words spoken were, “I love you, honey.” It is as if the words floated through the air between us and found their way inside, under my skin, pumped through my blood stream until they found their home.  The four little words tattooed on my heart. Those four little words have a surging, pulsating power of their own.  The power to reassure me when I doubt, the power to comfort when sadness seeps in, and the power that allows me to offer a hand in forgiveness when I find myself in the midst of anger. Questioning. Just words spoken.  Still, words hold such colossal power over our mind.

On the anniversary of your passing, I take comfort in those four little words for I was wandering lost in a forest of uncertainty and doubt.  Frightened and fearful.  To walk away from a loved one, one must reach a grey place.  For there is no joy in this act. Then, one must switch off a piece of heart cell, much like one switches off a light.  Click, done, off.  Only then, is it possible to turn around and walk away.  Well, almost possible for it never gets easier, just possible.  The scar thickens, providing a protective barrier. For this is what happens when hearts break, something penetrates deep inside, thickening and scarring the core of life.  Just words that hold the power to pull us together, reconnect us, healing our brokenness.  Bits and pieces fall away from our shell until I imagine us finally gone.  As you are now, gone from my life.

I love you, dad.  Just four little words sent forth on a winter wind to you.  Catch them,  tattoo them on your heart.

x

Fall Back

Part 2~

The opportunity to fall back in time, to face him, the questions lined up in rapid fire, the judgements already sealed, words tattooed upon the woman’s heart .  Its every pump, sending forth doubt, frantic searches to find the missing puzzle piece, the never-ending search for an answer to the question, Did you love me?  An answer to the why.  There had been time to prepare the words and wonder, the unsettled musing about, the shedding of tears.  Journeying back in time, the woman rediscovered the place where the stars crossed, the point that they had started from.  It became her only way to find inner peace and a desperate sense of belonging.  Journey back to the beginning of the story.  Mine and scrape the mire off of hope, dreams, and love.  This became the quest.

The woman discovered that the story begins with family strength.  Many generations of men and women struggling to raise their families, surviving the cruelest moments that life has a way of tossing out.  Families living with a strong faith, guided by a belief that their God would provide, in time.  Patience.  It started with love; actions such as the scrapped pieces of poetry, carefully cut from the newspapers, glued into a now tattered book, dedicated to the man.  A mother’s enduring love for a son, the words on the page calling forth wishes, expressing sorrow, and hope. Belief and patience.  The unspoken words on the page, the silent messages of a mother’s undying love.

Did the man appreciate how much he was treasured; was the message softly spoken?  The woman wonders if the man knew his value.  Did the man realize the talents he possessed, the ability to see the details, an eye that could create and fix, rendering works of beauty and function?  Did the man realize that he was good enough? Did the man lose his heart?

There was so much the woman could have said; so many questions to ask.  What was the point?  It is what it is.  It is not what should have been.  The woman and the man both know that fact. The woman stepped forth and took the man’s hand.  The touch screaming the words that she could not express, the questions unimportant now. I love you, dad. For that is all that truly matters.