For Poppy

Yes, I know sixteen years is a long time, especially in doggie years. Our sweet Poppy girl, always my shadow. You never missed the chance for just one more treat. And I was always a sucker.

I was not prepared for the grief of losing you. It held tight on your last day with us. Leaving me barely able to breathe, unable to hold back tears.

I keep looking for you around the house. Glancing where your bed should be. Death is a part of all life. Causing an emptiness in spaces and hearts.

In the Sun

Wet nose
Wagging tail
Flipped-back ear
Now held in
Memories
And photos-
Your once
Brown spots
Long-since
Turned gray
Eighty
In our years
You lived
A long life
Especially
For a runt-
Grateful
For our time
Spent sitting
In the sun

I don’t typically post twice in one day, but I could not let the year pass without sharing about our sweet Poppy girl. We miss her so…

A New Start

As the new year approaches, this is my prayer-embrace 2022 with strength, love, and compassion. Noticing the things that may seem insignificant at first. For quite often, those are the things that teach me the most. Happy New Year, Friends! ❤️🕊

Sharing Stories

What a seat
You’ve held
All these years
A quiet observer
As children
Skipped
Up and down
The road
With little
Thought
To their age
Or yours
You watched
As birds
Flittered by
Chuckled
When squirrels
Hopped on
And off
That inviting
Green carpet
Squirmed as
Lizards scurried
Underneath
Then out again
What adventures
You’ve had-
As I walked by
This morning
You caught
My eye
Made me smile-
Thanks for
Sharing
Your stories,
Old mossy rock

No Way to Travel

Painted lines
Mark the middle
Of the road
Move too fast
And the marks
Merge into one-
One long line
Moving me
Faster and faster
Down the road
Leaving
No time
For a pause
No time
For a breath
That is no way to travel!
The goal merely
Getting from
Beginning
To end
As quickly
As possible
Giving no mind
To the trees
Waving hello
To the birds
Singing their song
To another traveler
Holding out their hand
Waiting
To see if I will reach back

No Waiting

For Mom and Dad ❤️

Long drives
Lunches
By the lake
Even on
The rainy days
Waiting for
Sunny days
Means missed
Moments
The sun
Peeking
From behind
A cloud
To warm
My cold nose
Raindrops
Falling
From up
Above
To cool
My rosy cheeks
Your smile
Reaching
Across
The table
To hold
My heart

My mom and I text often. She keeps me updated on doctor appointments and tells me how she and dad are doing. Sometimes there will be a picture to accompany the message. Here are two of my recent favorites. Both with the same message-lunch by the lake.

These two I took from the same spot, different days, months, and visits. Both beautiful in my eyes.

Working on finding the good in each day. Not just waiting for the sunny ones…

Christmas Thoughts

A quiet Christmas morning. Time for us to rest, enjoy each other’s company. No hustle and bustle of last-minute shopping required. Thankful.

A quiet celebration. Occurring in the heart. Reflecting on the roots of my faith. Believing along with my questions. Faithful.

A quiet remembering. Blending memories from Christmas past and present. Children who graciously accepted gifts now thoughtfully give. Hopeful.

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
What Child is This?
In the Bleak Mid-Winter~Kelley Morris, piano

Merry Christmas! ❤️🎄 🕊

To Reach You

I’d forgotten
The distance
Required
To reach you
Just one step
And my heart
Quickened
As I heard
Your voice calling
Thru the trees
Each new step
Taken with purpose
The path
Becoming
More familiar
Remembering
The distance
Required
To reach you
Answering
Your song
With every breath
Until finally
The forest cleared
Revealing
Every drop of
Your roaring
Cascade
Rushing
To the pool
Far below-
And to think,
I almost left
Without
Visiting

After one week of visiting my mom and dad, it is time to go home. Yesterday was our last day together. We drove to Petit Jean Mountain State Park. A place that holds many memories from childhood to the present. Beautiful views, hiking trails, camping. We enjoyed lunch at the lodge and the views.

One of my favorite spots on the mountain is Cedar Falls. As we sat in the lodge, I wondered if the falls were flowing. One trail leads down underneath the falls. I’ve hiked it in years past. But there is also a shorter trail leading to an overlook.

Mom and dad said they didn’t mind waiting if I wanted to walk to the overlook. After a brief hesitation, I drove to the trail entrance and hopped out of the car. So glad I did!

Driving home on this Christmas Eve with a grateful heart. ❤️

Deep and Wide

So simple
So completely
Disarming
We celebrate
Its appearance
On babies faces
Then proceed
Doing everything
Possible to
Encourage
Its return-
A sweet smile
Lighting up
Faces
Lighting up
Rooms
Lighting up
Hearts
When noticed
By a friend
Mine somehow
Grows wider
Reaches deeper
Prompting
Inward
Reflection
Inspiring
Outward
Awareness-
Are the faces
Drifting by
Genuinely
Beaming?
Or are they
Searching
For a reason
To smile?

These five drove four-and-a-half hours to celebrate Christmas with my parents. The visit may have been short, but its sweetness will last a long time. ❤️

Simply Sunday

Christmas Light

Searching
For light
It’s that time
Of the year
Green trees
Adorned
With tinsel
Topped
With angels
Or stars
Drawing eyes
And hearts

Searching
For light
It’s that time
Of the year
Scenes of
A stable
Tiny baby
Surrounded
By animals
Love and
Redemption
In innocence

Searching
For light
It’s that time
Of the year
An awareness
The light is
Searching
For us, to be
Reflected in
Our faces
Our words
Our actions

All packed Up and Ready To Go

Laundry
The night
Before
Means
Packing
The night
Before
Means
Bedtime later
Than normal
Restless sleep
Like a child
Waiting for
Tomorrow
To arrive
Except
No longer
A child
And though
My heart
Will be ready
My body
Will be tired
Counting on
A little caffeine
A little music
A little conversation
To carry me safely
Down the road
From home
To home
And back again…

As I head to Arkansas to spend a week with my parents, I am thankful.

Thankful for my husband who says-Go! This is most important.

Thankful for my adult children who say-We understand! We will see you there!

And for extended family and friends who say-We will miss you! See you another time. Safe travels!

Merry Christmas!

Three Little Words

No, not I love you. I am sorry.

Taking responsibility for our actions is not always easy. A lesson that often needs repeating. A reminder from someone else’s example, perhaps.

The week before Christmas break at school is challenging. Emotions flowing between teachers, staff, and students cover the whole spectrum. No matter how many times we experience this phenomenon, it manages to sneak upon us.

Such was my experience with kindergarten this week…

My classroom management skills are good. But this day, the combination of tired, grumpy, and excited (me and the students 😉) took over. Class ended on a frustrating note.

The next day, one of my little friends saw me at lunch.

Mrs. Morris, I made you something. It’s in my classroom. Something to make you happy!

That afternoon, I received five apology notes. ❤️

May we all remember to say those three little words whenever necessary. And may we receive them with grace and understanding whenever offered.

Waiting for Silent Night

The ground weeps
This morning
Unable
To hold back
The tears
Soaked into
Its roots
From those
Crying above
Hearts
Once light
Now heavy
With worries
Witnesses to
Devastation
Prevailing wind
Moves across
The land
Initially
Unsuccessful
In drying
Their tears
And yet, not
Deterred
I feel it
Right now
Gently caressing
My face
As it whispers
Let your tears
Mingle with
The suffering
Watering
Seeds of hope
Waiting
For Silent Night

Silent Night~Kelley Morris, piano