Connecting the Dots

What if
I created
A map
Dotted with
Colorful pins
And string
Wrapped
Around
Each pin
Connecting
The dots one
To another
And each color
Holding an
Individual
Meaning
Blue? Content
Orange? Unsure
Green? Happy
Gray? Sad
Except that
Those pins
Would not
Mark places
I’ve traveled
Though many
Were beautiful
Memorable
No, this map
Would be
An outline
Of my heart
Veins
Arteris
Valves
Dotted by
The breath
Of hearts
Intersecting
Each change
Of direction

Tangible

Took a walk
Down memory lane
At first, it felt
A little strange
Twenty years
Have passed
And I am
Not the same
Where did the time go?
The answer is not
Found in words
None can
Adequately
Express
No, the key to
Understanding
The then
To the now
Is much more
Tangible-
Experienced
Thru the power
Of a lingering hug
Able to stop time
Inviting memories
To flood the soul
And affection
To fill the heart

Tug of War

Parading around
In costumes
Recognizable
Masks
Distracting me
From the struggle
Taking root
In my soul
Feelings
Can be sneaky
That way

Tricksters thriving
On energy
Expended in a
Tug of War
That leaves
Me trying
To pull the rope
From both ends
There will never
Be a winner
Only the need
To let go
Of the rope
Even if
It means
Falling
In the mud

I often talk about poetry being therapeutic. This poem is a perfect example. It did not provide answers to the questions on my mind. However, writing the words down provided some tension relief. It also reminded me I don’t have to have all the answers right at this moment. Maybe you can relate. ☺️

Simply Sunday

Surprise!

Months on the calendar
Always the same
Each day moving
At the same speed
No single one
Able to outrun
Another
Logic says it’s so
So why is it
All of me
From head
To heart
To toes
Feels surprised
When certain
Times arrive?
In the heat
Of summer
It seemed
October
Would never
Show its face
Yet here it is
Teasing us
With hints of
Cool breezes
And hopes for
Beautiful colors
I’m sure to be
Just as surprised
When it says goodbye

More

Both familiar
And strange
How can this be?
Blonde hair
Streaks of gray
Blue eyes
Edged with lines
Same smile
Pretty much
My reflection
Is not all
I wish it was
Certain changes
Cause that
Familiar smile
To shrink
Until I look
Intently
Beyond
Temporary
Revealing
What resides
Within
Beauty
And ashes
Alike
Evidence
Of life’s
Experiences
Accumulated-
You are
More than
The reflection
Staring back at you

Two instances led to this reflection. The first one, a photograph. One in which I did not like the way I looked. At least, certain parts of me. The second, a comment from a student. I answered the question, What year were you born? 1967. The response-Then how in the world are you still alive?

That made me laugh. And then it made me smile. There is so much more to this life than how I look on any given day. And though I need to take better care of myself, the unseen will always be more important than the seen. So, in case you have any doubts-You are more! ❤️

Ripples in the Water

Each encounter
Holds potential
For change
If only
I look past
Myself
Not get lost
In the currents
And instead,
Gently drift
Mingling with
Other hearts
Passing by
Keeping
Each other
Afloat until
We reach
The shore
Resting
Until ready
To jump
Back in
Experiencing
Each encounter
Creating change

Finding My Way

The feeling of being
Lost-alone-not sure
Which way to go
Is most unpleasant
I remember being
Separated from
My mom once in
The grocery store
A few minutes
Felt like a
Frightening
Eternity-
Other times
I absolutely
Was not lost
Knew right where
I was headed
And yet, that same
Feeling from
The grocery store
Seemed to creep in
Completely
Engulfing me
Perhaps it was that
Still, small voice saying-
It’s ok to change course
Go an unfamiliar way
Yes, it might be a
Little scary at first
But possibilities
In newness
Are endless

This coming June will mark three years since my first blog post. The idea of putting my thoughts out there for anyone to see was a little frightening. I’m glad that fear didn’t stop me.

I continue to be amazed at the connections created with people from all parts of the world. And even though different from close friends and family, they brighten my world just the same.

June also brings the release of my first poetry collection. I am still pinching myself. Thanks to River Dixon of https://thestoriesinbetween.com/ and Potter’s Grove Press, it really is happening! Not available for order yet, but for info about the book, check out the following link.

https://pottersgrovepress.com/product/if-i-were-made-of-glass/

Hearts Breaking

Sometimes
Silence
Is not an
Option
Yet, this day
Words
Fall
Flat
And though
Emotions
Run
High
Attempts at
Expression
Feel
Numb
On this day
Notes
Speak
Loudly
Only as
Music
Plays
Softly
In this moment
It is my
Obligation
To hear
The cries
Of tired
Hearts
Breaking

First Loss
Album for the Young
Robert Schumann

Any Other Way

Yesterday, a little kindergarten girl asked me about my kids. I don’t remember her exact question, but I responded, “They are all grown-up now.” She looked at me with her big, wide, beautiful brown eyes and asked, “Are you still their mom?” This sweet girl has no idea of the impact of her question.

What is it like to be a parent of young adults? It is something I’ve pondered quite a bit lately. My parental role is in a constant state of flux it seems. As are my emotions.

Not only has this season caused me to reflect on my years of parenting, but it has also given me a new perspective concerning my own parents.

In a recent conversation with my mom about my kids growing up she said, “Well, you left home at seventeen and never came back.” I’d never thought about it in such black and white terms. Don’t misunderstand, she was not being negative, simply stating a fact. One intended to help me better understand my feelings.

My children are finding their way as adults, following their own paths. And my reactions are helping me to understand how my young adult decisions impacted my own parents. They loved me through some challenging times, and never stopped being my parents. Our bond has only grown stronger. I hope my children will be able to say the same.

Both laughter and tears will cover the days ahead. And some days, there will also be uncertainty. The uncertainty which accompanies figuring out my new role. That is what it means to be a parent.

One simple question from a kindergartener opened the door for this reflection:

Yes, I am still their mom.

I will always be their mom.

And I would not want it any other way.

Emotions of Change

I survived the first full week of school! By Friday, I had cried several times and was feeling overwhelmed. Not that it was a horrible week, I was just exhausted.

As the relief of the weekend arrived, I began to contemplate the many reasons for my emotions. One answer stood out-change. Change, even positive change, is difficult. And this year is going to be filled with change.

I taught at my previous school for nine years. As far as jobs go, this was a record for me. It was comfortable, familiar. I knew the layout and the great people who worked there.

My new building is beautiful. It is a welcoming space filled with a positive, dedicated staff. And though I love entering each morning, it is still unfamiliar. I’m learning my way around.

For the past five years, I taught with the same two ladies. Teaching art, music, and P.E., we truly were the dream team. We quickly transformed from colleagues to good friends, sisters. I didn’t realize how much I would miss seeing them every day.

My new team is amazing! We are in a larger school, so there are six of us. Two teachers for each subject-art, music, and P.E. They’ve already helped me more than they know. But we are just beginning to know each other.

Learning my way around a new building. Getting to know new colleagues. Connecting with a new set of students.

As I considered these changes, I began to think about my almost five hundred new students. They are facing changes as well. Summer ending and school beginning again. For many, it means attending a new school.

Learning their way around a new building. Getting to know new teachers. Connecting with a new set of friends.

They are experiencing similar changes. And if these changes have such a powerful effect on me, how might they affect my students? Are they also feeling emotional and overwhelmed? Most certainly.

As I approach the upcoming school week, I need to be more aware of emotional reactions in myself and my students. We will work through the growing pains together and come out stronger on the other side. In the end, the results will be worth the change.