I looked out the patio doors and saw a magpie perched on the railing. He was quiet as he looked around. Then with a gentle step towards the feeder he pecked up a piece of suet and flew away.
The crowded planters with their tiny seedlings sing their praise for the first frost has passed. No longer a deep chill to quench their growth. No longer the ominous clouds that threaten snow. They gleam with morning dew. Their tiny leaves speckled with the overnight droplets and reflecting the morning sun.
It is still quiet outside, my slow breathing and the distant sounds of crows cawing the only rhythm I hear. Here I think about the day, in the stillness and tranquility that only crisp early mornings can bring.
I calm my anxious mind, telling it to think in portions of wonder, advising it to seek out synchronicity and recognize wonder. I meditate this thought as though it is the only worry of the day, the only worry of life.
Soon the children will wake, their tired eyes will squint open, their arms stretching out like the tiny seedlings in pots. Their tummies will rumble with morning hunger and their fierce little scowls will denote morning confusion. They will race through the house, in an anxious swirl of activity, recounting the nights dreams in fast talking excitement. Their eyebrows will raise and I’ll look at them with wonder, How do they know so much?
Their small arms will gather around my waist and they’ll nestle their heads in my belly, I’ll tickle their necks and kiss them their morning greeting.
The silence for the day will be over then. The moments of reflection will have passed and in its place something tangible and loud. I can grasp a hold of this and never let go.
Growing up faster-By Markella Mildenberger
Sun is shining
Feel the touch of warm rays through my shirt
Children echoing parental calls in far away yards
They are playing in the mud
The rubber of their boots sinking into the soaked earth makes the squish sound
The sound as addictive to a child as a cigarette to a smoker
They watch the watery mud slide around the boot
In slow motion
They lift their feet to hear the slurp from underneath
mother thinks the giggles to mean
then a song erupts from the child
In off key fluidity
There is now a cake
Formed with bare hands and sticks
Topped with twigs and earthly
remnants from autumn
The chanting continues , it’s a cake for Hailey
The sound of sudden quiet pierces the air
A dog barks and the child squeals with delight
“Happy Birthday Hailey” the child laughs
The dog barks in joy
Mother opens the screen door, I imagine a fowl glare on her face
She scolds about the mess
The muddy cake, the dirty hands
and calls for Hailey to stop eating the mud
“But, it’s a cake mom”
The child defends
“It’s mud. Now get in here.”
The screen door shuts
Hailey barks loneliness
It has been several weeks since my last post. No, I did not forget about my blog, but seemed to have been trapped in the lists that have accumulated in my life. These many things to do often take over and take priority until alas, there is a moment when I can sit down and catch up. This is such a moment.
Spring break has arrived here, at least for Mr.T anyway. I’m pretty sure that means that I will be the one who needs the break. In fact, I have already made a list of things to do while I can take advantage of an extra set of hands. Little does he know he will become acquainted with the duster and learn the art of purging. Speaking of which, how on earth do children acquire so much STUFF? Random stuff, little bits of broken toys, cheap cereal box and fast food plastic nothings and an array of mismatched socks, dust bunnies and just junk! I have nearly perfected the art of purging, and want to teach my kids not to hang on to things that are useless, that being said, I do encourage them to think of other uses rather than tossing things into the trash. I am also furiously working on persuading them to part with belongings that they simply have no need or desire for. Should be loads of fun in our house over the course of next week.
Spring is nearly here. I can almost feel the crisp breeze through my windows now. I can almost smell the smell of clean. I can almost hear the sound of fresh paint being rolled on my walls, and see the kitten made from the collection of dust that lingers inside the light bulb covers. Yes, spring to me means clean. Spring denotes softness and freshness. Spring to me says that summer is on its way. Spring reminds me of new Easter Sunday clothes, family brunches and afternoons at the park. It reminds me that a few months covered in the shadows of clouds and fog were worth it; that even though the worms are out, mud will cake my clean floors and sand will come home in running shoes, it’s a refreshing season.
So, over the next few weeks, as the chaos of life slowly wines down (fingers crossed) I will take little moments to remind myself that I can’t always make a list, and I shouldn’t always make things to do, but just enjoy being in the moment.
I’ve written before at how remarkable my children are-who hasn’t written or spoken about their kids with pride and love ?
Still it never ceases to amaze me, that in one moment Mr.T and Little A can be in a death match over a piece if Lego and the next Mr.T is kindly helping his little brother get dressed, and asking Little A about his preferred type of superpower to save the world.
Mr. T says he will be a scientist to create ‘anti-venom’ to cure cancer AND rabies.
Brothers. So different yet so similar.
Little A often poses questions that are support the fact that he’s three.
Common three year old Questions
Why do we need to brush our teeth?
Same reply day in, day out.
Why do I NEED to get dressed?
Still, this confused even me, so I sit back and barter with him.
How are cars made? And Engines?
Ask your Dad, I can tell you about the alphabet or how to make shades from a few paint colors.
Will IT hurt?
‘It’ being anything, everything and sometimes even nothing.
How come we have snow ?
Proceed to explain precipitation and also spell CANADA, s-l-o-w-l-y.
Why do we have belly buttons?
So you could eat when you lived inside my tummy.
How did I get in your tummy? Did you eat me?
Yes, I ate you. Get your pajamas on, please.
Mr. T on the other hand asks similar questions but tends to add his own , whatchamacallit ….
Common Mr. T questions /Conversations
What does snot smell like? could we use it in an experiment?
Gross. Smell your nose and no, we can’t, your head will cave in (I think this is scientifically proven).
Mom, I don’t want to go to school today. I want to stay home with you and paint all day and write stories. Please?
Why do I need to go to school?
You’re lucky to be able to go to school. You’ll learn all kinds of things, and play with your friends.
But, isn’t that what we do at home? I learn more from you.
No. Get your underwear on.
Are there birthdays in Heaven? I hope so.
I think whatever we love is in heaven buddy.
I had a complicated day, I don’t feel like talking. That’s all I do alllllll day.
He continues to rant.
Why can’t I have video games?
Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.
Mom, why can’t I play video games?
Because, your brain will shrink, we want to spend time with you, use your imagination, read a book, play with your toys, paint, make a craft, play a game, play with play-dough, use your chemistry set, solve world hunger, clean your room,match socks, build a Lego city, build a fort, go skating, swimming, to the park, ski, kick a ball, dig in crevices in the sofa for treasure……..
Ok, ok mom.
My favorite of all…..
If God made people, people build cities, right?
So, people build things?
So, if God is God, then how come he wouldn’t just do it all for us, and then there would be no pollution. Right?
I suppose ….. But then we wouldn’t learn to appreciate or learn from our mistakes.
But then people are just wrecking the earth?!
Yeah buddy, people are.
We should go to the dump and use the junk to make robots to fix things!
Well, bud it doesn’t really….
Lets go to the dump!
Ahhhh conversations with My David Suzuki/ Dahli Lama/Rumi child…..
If you happen to see me picking through a pile of your garbage, point out the stuff that’s useable please. I’ve run out of logical answers.
Had I known 15 years ago that I would have children of my own, I may have chosen a different path in life to ensure their full stability in an economic world. But, as life would have it, I could not, and still can’t see into the future. Thankfully.
I went about life, as was intended for me then. To work hard in my youth, to endure all kinds of trials and tribulations that are often thought of for those twice my age. And, somehow through the rubble, a little piece of wonder glimmered through.
Transformed into passion and roads that were pre-made. I journeyed upon them, thinking this had to be it; the ‘right’ way to live. A great career, steady and solid income and stability of pensions and retirement a feasible outcome on this path.
For a while until an unexpected turn of events made me realize this was simply another pile to dig out of. Sometimes, we don’t even notice we’re underneath heavy weighted boulders until a glimmer shines our way. This is me.
All seemed great, until yet another pile of gravel buried my feet. Stranded, without so much as a clear sense of direction.
Here I stood.
Gazing at my reflection and looking for the glimmer of wonder.
Nothing shone in obvious bursts. No epiphany loomed above waiting for me to capture.
Just rocks, brick walls and hurdles I couldn’t seem to jump.
Sitting in the quiet, day after day, I waited for this supposed burst of vigor to run through my veins. I awaited the juices of creativity to rain upon me in showers. Finally, after waiting, I gave up.
Some think the first part was giving up; it wasn’t. I made a conscious decision to stop waiting for my purpose to find me.
Instead, I choose to seek it out myself, and if it were hiding in some dark crevice or abyss, I would yank it out by the hair!
I worked at it, with a series of unfortunate events trying to cripple me into disparity. I fought each one off with any energy I could muster. Finally, they were beaten down enough to stay a squashed version of my former self. Stay there! And they have.
Lo and behold, I found myself starting at pages filled with words entwined into sentences that were weaved into paragraphs, that formed stories.
Lo and behold, I found stacks of blank canvases that called out for something, anything…. and the affair with art is still at its heightened state. Perhaps, no longer an affair.
I stood, waiting for purpose to grace me like it did in so many inspirational movies and books. I stood waiting for someone to pull me over the beaten brick wall, and nobody did. I had to climb over, with the skill of a newborn to peer over the edge and see just were I was.
Purpose. This path, or the one with rubble, walls, sinkholes…little gremlins waiting to raid pockets filled with wonder.
Purpose is the path. Living with purpose, is choosing either path.
I was going to write a letter to 2012 wishing it good riddance,but decided to write 2013 a letter of love instead. After all, the past is finished, isn’t it?
We haven’t known each other for very long, a few days at best. I wanted to make sure I set the ground rules for our year long relationship. Perhaps I neglected to this in a coherent way with your relative 2012.
In any sense, we need to get things off on the right foot if you and I intend on coexisting in harmony.
Firstly, please no negative surprises at the start, middle, end, or even in each quarter of the year. I plan on remaining a positive spirit and friend of support and love, so again let the Debbie downer idea escape your thoughts.
No that that’s out of the way, here is what I vow to you and myself 2013:
I promise to try. Try and do. Even if I have to dig real deep and feel like giving up, I won’t.
I promise to never stop doing what I love and feel passionate about. Never , not even for you.
I promise to give my family the best of me, all of me, all the time.
I promise to take care of myself. My health, my spirituality, my mental and emotional well being.
I promise to write, to finish and start new projects. To submit my work in hopes for the first rejection letter that will lead to a yes.
I promise to make new friends, even when I feel like being a hermit.
I promise to dream big and act big.
I promise to cry more instead of holding back.
I promise to laugh more, to have more fun.
I promise to keep putting myself ‘outside the box’.
I promise to clear away the clutter in my life.
I promise to forgive.
To say I’m sorry.
To say ‘I love you’.
I promise to stand up for what’s right, always.
I promise to let the small stuff slide.
To smile more often.
To give my time, love and energy where it’s needed.
I promise 2013, to keep my promises.
I know you’ll come through with a surge of love, juju, karma, or whatever. I know you’ll be the light, the way. 2013, you won’t just be one year but we’ll begin an affair, to last a lifetime.
Count me in.
The anticipation for December 25th creeps into every waking thought of each person who celebrates the season. Children are being threatened at every closing opportunity, and adults are out rushing into the hullabaloo of the commercial markets to find the last minute trinkets or treasures to fill the remaining holes underneath the Christmas Tree.
Menus are being devised, to create feasts fit for any king, houses being scrubbed from carpet loop to the grout in the tiles. Preparations for one day of pure joy.
I want you to sit, a few minutes before the magic of the season takes its full force. Sit somewhere quiet, near a window. Look out at the calm or cloudy sky. Clear your errands from your thoughts and for those few moments;
Think of the children in poverty stricken countries. The ignorance of what they don’t have written clearly on their gaunt faces. Their big eyes, filled with the simple needs of survival. Think of their orphaned little bodies holding the hand of an even smaller child. And in your moment, offer them your love, your prayers, your respect. Let your tears be the gift you give.
Feel, in that silent moment for the lost. The people who lost their earthly battles this year, to reunite in another place. Feel your soul feel theirs, and let the humanity you are comprised of, feel for the families left behind. The families who, must go on, everyday. Think of the small children left behind to question why? Or the parents who waited with eager anticipation for their children to discover the treasures underneath the Christmas Tree.
Think of the wound and utter emptiness they feel as they try to hide the pretty wrapped packages from their sight. A reminder of the child lost.
Grieve a moment as your gift. Lest we shall forget.
Think of the battles that rage on in so many countries. The simplicity of freedom a complicated facet of life. Buildings that collapse from bombs and the spitfire from bullets that rape the air and steal lives. Think of the fear, struggles, and desolation that war brings. Let your prayers for peace and gratitude for your freedom be your gift.
Remember those who are struck with illness; their physical battle with disease as evident as any war torn country. Be thankful that today, you are free of this. Let your gift be your life, your acknowledgement of healthy cells and fibers working in harmony. Let your silent prayers reach them to heal their injury. Heros need not be named.
Remember in your silent moment, your life. A volatile chart of happiness and utter sadness. Then, stop and be thankful for your time, your opportunity to be the change. Let this be your gift to your life.
In your moment, reminisce about Christmases gone past. And ask yourself, what truly made you happiest in those days of seasonal magic? Can you, find that happiness and spread it throughout your year? Give this gift to yourself.
Now stop and hear the beautiful silence in your soul. Know that you alone cannot change the world, but you CAN be the change you want to see. Look at your Christmas Tree, your twinkling lights, stockings and freshly polished floors. Celebrate your Christmas, with those you love. Celebrate, to close off a year. Celebrate and remember why we celebrate.
The snow is falling, creating with it a silence that can be heard even indoors. The calmness in the air is distilling, the white haze embracing and shadowing any view of scenery.
For this is the scenery, the frozen tears from heaven falling onto our worldly abyss.
Holding breath, waiting as the quiet engulfs all in its midst. The solitude and melancholy it brings a reminder of the year gone by. Thoughts begin to drift like the sweeps of soft snow piled on banks. A bittersweet pinch in the heart, praying for no regrets but yearning for yesterday. The snow, it’s soft beauty bringing the gift of tomorrow, the peace of goodbye and the anticipation of a new day. Wishing under the snowflakes for a new year, a beautiful year, but trying to calm the ungrateful emotion from a year wrought with the torment of battle and bleeding hearts.
The snow is falling, creating a silence with it that can be heard. The snow is falling, in beautiful wisps of creation. The snow is falling and bringing with it birth.
My iPhone app dictionary defines art as such;
the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.
the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an art collection.
a field, genre, or category of art: Dance is an art.
the fine arts collectively, often excluding architecture: art and architecture.
any field using the skills or techniques of art: advertising art; industrial art.
(in printed matter) illustrative or decorative material: Is there any art with the copy for this story?
the principles or methods governing any craft or branch of learning: the art of baking; the art of selling.
the craft or trade using these principles or methods.
skill in conducting any human activity: a master at the art of conversation.
a branch of learning or university study, especially one of the fine arts or the humanities, as music, philosophy, or literature.
I prefer #1.
It encompasses all art, life and the quality of how we live. Now, I’m interpreting the dictionary….is that even allowed?
Either way, art is
Watching Mr.T fine tune his cardboard robot into a masterpiece, while I ohh and awe on the sidelines, full of proud mommy encouragement and pride.
Art is listening to the silence and finding out the source of my ghost is something trapped in the vent, and realizing how this played into my story telling.
Art is watching the snow fall. Soft puffs of cold cotton gracefully blanketing the cold earth.
Art is painting with no purpose or vision, just to feel the brush on the fibers of the canvas.
Art is sitting down to finish my novel, and then becoming infused with another idea, for ANOTHER book.
Art is early mornings, steaming with caffeine withdrawal and the push to type a little each morning.
Art is teaching a child the simplicity of creating. Then learning to be fueled with childlike vigor and senses.
Art is the utter softness of threadbare sheets, kissing my hands as I slowly escape the comfort of sleep.
Art is writing my book, then editing it into perfection, then editing it into disaster and realizing it was just perfect the first go around.
Art is finding connections in unknown places, making friends who see the world with the same glasses I’m wearing.
Art is getting my face painted at the fair.
Art is buying flowery stickers to cover my notebook.
Art is care. Attention. Growth. Beauty. Art is life. Art is creation, re-creation, determination, passion and the urge that fills the pit of your stomach to create. Art is the reality that wakes you from your slumber.
It’s all around.
The battle is over for one
The body at rest, the soul now comforted in arms of love and light for all of eternity.
We march on, an army of friends, family, and human beings with the desire to live, to fight, to see a new day.
While the fight is over for one and the many who have gone before him, the battle continues for many.
The sad truth is, there will be more. More children, mothers and fathers, friends and strangers, who will be plagued with suffering, pain, and the deep will to fight on!
Without love and support, Without kindness, compassion or camaraderie we will all lose.
Let’s keep this fight alive, this battle this war against……
Continue the legacy of strength, push forward, reach out and find your soul, your heart, your purpose.
The greatest love there is, is to give one’s life for another.
Don’t misunderstand this for laying down your life, but for dedicating your life to serving others. To making a difference in their lives, the lives of so many.
I challenge you, my readers ,friends, family, neighbors and strangers to reach out. There is no better time than now to find a soul, a human being in need of YOUR strength, of YOUR love, of YOUR support. To hold your hand and know, that you really do care.
Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
Holding hearts and hands.