Musical Legos

I can’t think of too many birthdays or Christmases for our children that did not include Legos of some kind. There were superheroes, Star Wars, dragons, even the Friends coffee house for Rachel last year. Some of the more intricate sets remain on display.  

I remember watching in amazement as they tore through the instruction booklets. It seemed like building times grew shorter as complexity grew harder. Pieces were sorted according to numbered bags, carefully following each step. A sense of accomplishment once each piece was in its place.

Several months ago, I read a story about a new Lego creation-a baby grand piano. The creator’s wife is a pianist, influencing his idea. Amazingly, this piano was to have working parts, gears, Bluetooth-somehow allowing it to actually play music. Even the piano bench would be adjustable-every pianist’s dream!

Casually I mentioned how cool it would be to have that set. Of course, the actual process of building it didn’t enter my mind. I was, however, fascinated with the final outcome.

Yesterday, we had an early birthday celebration for me and our oldest son, Robert. We share a birthday. Our family loves us so well. We each received thoughtful gifts pertaining in some way to our interests.

But I bet you cannot guess what gift I received from my husband. Yep! That grand piano Lego set! I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning. ❤

As I type, my dining room table is covered with bags of tiny pieces-twenty bags. Wait, now there are nineteen bags. With a little help and supervision, I put together the first two bags last night.  😉

This project will challenge my patience and fine motor skills. It will help me explore other areas of creativity, different from my usual. It will be good for my brain. But most of all, it will be good for my heart. Reminding me how much I am loved and that everything really does come full circle-even Legos.

Thanksgiving Prayer

My heart is seeking
A place of safety
Not to hide
But to sing
At first, quietly
To myself
Until joy that
Runs deep
Becomes
Overflowing
Gladness, and
I can sing
Out loud
With confidence
Hearing my voice
As it mingles
With others
Looking not to
Stir up conflict
Instead, pursuing
Lasting peace…
My heart left full…
Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving will look very different for most of us this year. Mine will be nothing like those of my childhood. At least forty people gathered in my Grandparents’ small house. Everyone would fill their plate and look for a place to sit. It really didn’t matter if it was a chair or a spot on the floor. Even outside on the porch if the weather was nice. All that mattered was being together.

Although those times are long past, the memories are forever inscribed on my heart. I always look back with a smile, grateful for my growing up years.

But there is no denying the difficulties this year brings.
It is my hope we can find ways to express thanks while also acknowledging those difficulties-joy mixed with our sorrow.

Sincerely wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving! ❤

Tomorrow’s Memories

Traditions washed away
Left with a choice-
Create new ones
Or spend hours
Grieving the old
Left with a choice-
Sprinkle drops of
Sadness on those
I love or shower
Them with love
That transcends
Traditions
Left with a choice-
Allow the temporary
To weigh down or
Be lifted up by
Treasures of
The heart
Mingling joy
With sadness
While celebrating
The mysteries of
Faith, hope, love
Family, friendship-
Understanding
Today’s choices
Will become
Tomorrow’s
Memories

Good Company

Everything a chore
Getting dressed
Dishes, laundry
Talking, smiling
Each takes an
Effort beyond
The necessary
Every day is
Not this way
But today…
It is my reality
Trusting that
Giving voice
To the internal
Though difficult
Will bring relief
And if not for me
Possibly another
Not yet able to
Express their struggle-
Finding strength
In good company

This poem was an attempt to give words to a recent low period.
And though I am feeling better, I accept that it will not be my last. Such is this life. I share because it is so important to know we are not alone-even at our lowest. ❤

Sunrise Greetings

A beautiful sunrise has the power to change my outlook on the day.  If…I remember to look up.  I wrote the first poem during a poetry writing circle facilitated by Ali Grimshaw.  Check out her blog at: http://flashlightbatteries.blog/

The second poem was in response to a specific morning.  One of those skies that just could not be ignored. ❤

Untouchable Beauty

Present every morning
A greeting in colors
Variations dependent
On the seasons
On the weather
On the moment
Sadly, the greeting
Is often ignored
The day rapidly
Approaching
Filled with too
Many worries
But then there
Are those times
Where the sky
Is so vibrant
Changing with each
Added ray of sunlight
I cannot help
But look upward
With gratitude
Accept the welcome
And lose myself
In untouchable beauty

Transformation

 Colors bathe the
 Morning sky
 Swaths of pinks
 And blues
 Smiling inside
 Around the
 Next curve
 Bright morning 
 Light peaks out 
 Over the horizon
 Illuminating
 Hints of vivid
 Oranges and
 Brilliant reds
 Another sip of
 Morning coffee
 Smiling on the outside
 Hopeful transformation
 In the morning skies
 Lifting my spirits 

Rock-a-Bye-Baby

My parents rocked me when I was a baby. They sang lullabies, read stories. Made sure I was cared for. I grew up around babies-younger cousins and my brother. I rocked, fed, sang, and played with them. The example had been set for me. When I had my own children, I knew what to do, or at least, where to begin.

Not everyone has that experience. And some that do become so bombarded with the struggles of this life, they forget what is vital. When this happens, the next generation suffers.

Little brains and bodies don’t develop as they should. Gaps are created in connecting, learning, functioning. I see the results of these holes in growth every day. Improvement is possible, but it takes time and focused intention.

And then there are those days…brief moments of light shine through.  A smile, a hug, a lightbulb turning on.  The reason may not always be clear, but the result is cherished.  I wrote the following poem after one of those days. 

Holding on to the hope for more like it in the future. ❤

TOOTHY GRIN

The first time
I saw you
My only thought-
Do you ever smile?
Not even a hint
In your distant
Young eyes
And then one day
A toothy grin
Shone through
Your tough shell
Brief and unsure
But sweetly present
Reminding me
That you are
A child in need of
Reasons to smile
Hoping another
Reason will find
You again soon
Turning that
Toothy grin into
A beaming smile-
Lasting and confident

SAFE PASSAGE

The journey was
Not always what I
Thought it would be-
Rocking chairs
And lullabies
Bike rides and
Skinned knees
Tiny pieces of
A bigger picture
An incomplete map
Unfolding one
Step at a time-
The middle leg
Of the journey
Was much harder
A trusty compass
Guided through
Growing pains
Broken hearts
Moving, marriage
Letting go while
Pushing forward-
Current stopover
Mixes deep joy
With sadness
Yet, comfort is
Found in knowing
The sweet souls
Entrusted to me
Had safe passage
Along this path of
Discovering what it
Means to be a mom

Surrender

Tonight, I will
Lie down
Not as if
Holding a
White flag
In surrender
Instead, a
Sign of victory
Reflecting a day
Well-lived
Energy expended
Through actions
Through love
Now in need of
Replenishing
Tonight, I will
Lie down
And rest
Breathing in
The hope of
Tomorrow
Surrendering
To sweet sleep

STANDING

To stand free
Arms stretched
Wide, bare
Not afraid to
Reveal scars
Admit failings
Like the leafless
Tree-branches
Waving in the
Autumn breeze
Its colors displayed
Only yesterday
Now a quaint
Carpet covering
The cold earth
Trusting the sun
To supply light
And warm its
Exposed form
Confident knowing
Beautiful green
Foliage returns
In the Spring
For truth says
Time is brief
And honestly
Standing sets free

Mask Up!

I do not like to wear a coat. Oh, I’m thankful for the warmth it provides, especially considering the weather here a couple of weeks ago. For several days, the morning temps hovered around freezing.

If I’d only had to walk from my car to the building, that coat might not have been necessary. However, I have morning car duty-about twenty-five minutes outside. So, not only was I bundled up, but I also wore rain boots and carried my umbrella.

Although thankful while outside, I felt restricted while driving to school. That zipped up coat felt like it was holding me back. Constricting my movements instead of protecting me.

Sometimes that is how it goes, even with the things we need. Rules, routines, laws intended to help, protect, keep us safe. And yet, we struggle against them. Somehow afraid they will do the opposite-take our freedom.

Think about speed limits and other traffic laws. We push the boundaries by wanting to drive a little faster or speed through that yellow light. What about our work schedules and expectations? Designed to help us be our best, yet we complain and find small ways to buck the system.

In our current state of a world-wide pandemic, mask mandates come to mind. I wear one to work every day, as do my colleagues and students. No, it is not fun. However, it is necessary. And we wear them to show our respect and to protect each other.

And yet, depending on which business I happen to enter in which town or city, I may or may not be able to count on that same consideration. It is disheartening, to say the least. Something so simple met with such resistance.

As with most things in life, balance is needed. No one wants to feel like they are wrapped up in a cocoon. Yet, we need the wisdom to recognize the times when necessity says mask up and face the facts. You might just save someone else’s life.