Beyond Happy Birthday

It’s all a matter
Of perspective
Well-rehearsed
Full of love
Celebratory
Happy Birthday!
Performance
Complete with
Full chorus
And orchestra

Impromptu
Full of love
Rambunctious
Happy Birthday!
Complete with
Kindergarteners
School hallway
Their stage
It’s all a matter
Of perspective

Each rendition
Delightful
In its own right
In its own space
But those sweet
Kindergarteners
Singing in
The school hallway
Provided a harmony
Beyond music

My birthday celebration this year was topped off with a special treat. My husband surprised me with tickets to see James Taylor and Jackson Browne in Kansas City, MO last night. Road trip! ❤️

Four hours of life’s soundtrack from these two artists who are still going strong. Both in their seventies, I was amazed at their energy. Inspired by their love for what they do. Sharing the power of connection that lives in their music.

I hope to write more about this event. But right now, I want to bask in the harmony beyond music. It started with those sweet kindergarteners and continued right until the final note of last night’s concert.

So close your eyes
You can close your eyes, it’s alright
I don’t know no love songs
I can’t sing the blues anymore
Oh but I can sing this song
You can sing this song when I’m gone
-James Taylor

Simply Sunday

To Know You

Oh, that I would not
Miss the chance
To know you
Past your likes
Past your dislikes
The chance
To offer time
As a gift for us both-
After all, that is
The only way
We truly connect
Occupying
The same space
In the physical
In the technological
Either has the ability
To spark the same magic
Oh, that I would not
Miss the chance
To know you
Due to the foolishness
Of a word
Such as busy-
Is there really such a thing, anyway?

Thanks again to Ali Grimshaw for continuing to facilitate thoughtful, poignant poetry circles. http://flashlightbatteries.blog

Natural Progression

Clinging

The day
Left me
Deep
In thought
A day
Covered
In warm
Sunlight
And falling
Leaves
Sweet life in
Your small hand
Holding mine
As we walked across
Yellowing grass
Rosy cheeks
Squinting eyes
As you reached up
For me to lift you
As you reached up
And touched
The red leaves
Clinging
To the tree
A day
Covered
In life
While also
Holding space
For death-
I am left
Thankful
Clinging
To rest

A Warm Blanket

Just like that
The red leaves
Greeting me
With a smile
Every day for weeks
Fell to the ground
Their days of
Waving
In the wind
Left behind
A few remain
But if I asked
I’m sure they
Would admit
Being ready
To let go
And join
The others-
Though I knew
The day was
Approaching
That red blanket
Was a surprise
I felt sad
For a moment
Until I imagined
The warm grass
Underneath

Twenty-Seven Shares

Early in the morning, on my twenty-seventh birthday, you made a mom. And today, you turn twenty-seven. The significance is not lost on me.

The weeks leading up to your birth were traumatic. Your birth itself was traumatic. Waiting to hear your first cry. Seeing your tiny translucent face. And though I remember those moments well, I now see them thru a different lens. Your dad, me, and you were covered in love by family and friends.

You were a good baby. Your dad and I had no idea what we were doing but figured it out. You always loved music and books. Oh, and Legos. When your sister and brother came along, you loved them, too.

We’ve hit quite a few milestones together. The day you turned thirteen, I turned forty. I took you to your first rock concert. How old were you? Marching band, guitar lessons, prom, high school graduation. I will never forget the day we dropped you off at college. I cried the whole drive there and back.

Now you’re married to the sweetest girl and have your own life. Both of you are passionate about education. And you are working toward your doctorate in educational psychology. A life-long learner if I ever knew one.

I have the privilege of watching as you figure out this crazy, wonderful, beautiful life you get to live with a gentle spirit.

I am so proud of you. And I am thankful we share this day. Happy twenty-seventh birthday, Robert Allan Morris! ❤️

Intrusion

Unwelcome thoughts interrupted my morning. In those early moments when it was unclear if I was awake or still dreaming. Images that made my heart sink.

An image of me trying to secure a class of elementary students in my storage closet. Was there enough room for everyone? Wait, there is a glass view window in the classroom door. Can I lock the closet door from the inside?

Next, my daughter is in a similar scene. Except hers is a high school special education classroom.

I know why these thoughts appeared today. 

A result of the news yesterday. 

Another school shooting…

There have been so many in our country, it is impossible to keep track. That statement makes me sad. And while I know I cannot live in that sadness, it must be acknowledged.

I choose not to live my life in the what if’s. Yet, as an educator, these stories are troubling. As a spouse and parent of educators, they are personal. For all of us, they are heartbreaking.

I do not write to offer a solution. Only to express my heart. The heart of a teacher who loves her students and would do anything to protect them. A teacher, like many others, who are tired of the ugly truths that bring these intrusive thoughts.

I am thankful for all the smiling faces that greeted me as they entered our beautiful school this morning. Those smiles helped push the sadness away.  

Simply Sunday

Ok, well…maybe not so simple this Sunday. 😉 This Thanksgiving was not what I had planned or expected. It did, however, remind me of what is truly important. And it reminded me to be thankful for time with those I love, no matter the amount. So many reasons to be thankful. ❤️

Already in Motion

A child
Growing
In love
Protected
Encouraged
Carried when
Stretches of
Road turn
Curvy and steep
By those
Refusing
To give up

A parent
Fluctuating
Between
Carrying
And being
Carried
Discovering
A profound truth-
Once a child
Always a child
Once a parent
Always a parent

Each role
Evolving
As the years
Slip by
Until a choice
Becomes
Necessary-
Whether
To embrace
Or ignore
Shifts already
In motion

Although
Avoiding
May seem
Easier
Embracing
Offers
Promise-
A heart
Filled to
Overflowing
Even when
It is broken

Thanksgiving Anniversary

Every seven years or so, my parents’ anniversary falls on Thanksgiving Day. This is one of those years. Today marks fifty-seven years!

We had planned to celebrate together this year. Due to my dad’s recent hospitalization and health issues, those plans changed.

Although disappointed we are not together today, I remain thankful.

Thankful for time spent with my parents earlier this week.
Thankful for the example of their marriage.
Thankful for the encouragement and support from my husband, Gart.
Thankful for our three grown children and daughter-n-law.
Thankful for the family I grew up with and the one I married into.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving! ❤️🧡💛🤎

Tended Hearts

Tend to the one
Sitting near
Let them
Tend to you
Better, worse
Richer, poorer
Sickness, health
Isn’t that how the promise goes-
No longer
Left alone
With only
My thoughts
Fighting a fight
I will never win
Now together
Your heart
Close enough
That I can
Feel it beating
In time with mine
Better, worse
Richer, poorer
Sickness, health
Thankful
For each day
Our hearts
Are tended
By each other

Update on Dad. He is home from the hospital, feeling much better. With doctors’ guidance and mom’s help, learning to live with congestive heart failure. I plan to visit again soon. ❤️

Kick Off Your Shoes

We used to live in a two-story house. It was great for growing kids. All their bedrooms were upstairs, making it quiet for mom and dad downstairs.

Whenever they would get home from school, shoes were kicked off at the bottom of the stairs. This was not an expectation or house rule. It is just what they did. At some point, we placed a small storage bench at the bottom of the stairs. A place just for shoes.

I can picture them now. Shoes off, heading up the stairs. It was time to relax after homework and a snack, of course.

Hi, Mom!
Hi! How was school? Homework?

Kids are all grown up. We no longer have stairs. Nor the same number of shoes.

Today, I decided to clean the laundry room. Ours is attached to the garage. And often becomes the drop zone for lots of non-laundry stuff. It is small, but there is a counter for folding.

Once the counter was cleaned off, I knew it needed a little something. Maybe a cute laundry sign. Something small, simple. Just enough to encourage us to keep it clean.

My daughter, Rachel, and I went shopping this afternoon. Looking at Christmas decorations and possible décor for the laundry room. I had just about given up when we saw the perfect sign.

Not at all what I had pictured, yet, perfect!

I know only close friends and family will likely enter our home through the garage. But I hope those that do take the message to heart. Like the kids when they were little, kick off those shoes and let go of their worries. If they’re lucky, there might even be snacks!

Dear Friends & Family

I continue to be amazed at the connections near and far created through blogging and am grateful for all who take the time to read and reflect. And I have a favor to ask. If you have not already, would you consider purchasing my first poetry collection, If I Were Made of Glass?

Friends, family, and my WordPress community, I am thankful for you! ❤️

Available now on Amazon and at Potter’s Grove Press.

A New Day

Bright
Sunshine
Ushers in
A new day
Along with it
A new perspective
Yesterday
The sky was
Sleepy
Gray
Still
Do you think
Like us, it also
Needed rest?
Thinking
Quiet
Still
Appreciating
Each moment
Given
Accepting
Each goodbye
Spoken
Certain
The sweetest
Symbol
For love
Rooted deep
In our hearts
Is a smile
Accompanied
By tears

We will be driving home today. And though I am confident in my dad’s medical care and progress, it was hard to say goodbye.

This morning, the sun shone brightly on Pinnacle Mountain. A landmark that was crucial in my growing up years. Whether viewing it from a distance or standing on its peak, always enamored with its beauty.

When trying to explain where I grew up. Have you heard of Pinnacle Mountain? I grew up out in the country, about three miles from there.

I was thankful for its beautiful colors this morning to guide us out.

I will be back soon! ❤️