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

Simply Sunday

Soft Blanket

Surrounded
By more shades
Of green than
My mind could
Possibly imagine
Attempts to match
Each shade with
A colorful
Adjective
Fall short
Given up trying
Instead, noticing
The curious way
The greens
Compliment
And contrast
One another
Their beauty
Shining against
The backdrop
Of a blue sky
Dotted with
Fluffy, white clouds-
Driving down
The highway
Wrapped
In the soft
Blanket
Of Spring

Gart and I drove to Little Rock yesterday. We are spending the weekend with my mom and dad. Such a beautiful drive this time of year. So many trees budding and wildflowers blooming along the highway.

I had the opportunity to play piano at their church this morning. Not just a solo but also a special duet with my cousin’s grandson. What a treat!

That soft blanket of spring expanded to include family and music. Long hugs, I miss you’s, and sweet melodies. ❤️

Poetry Circle Poems

She Said It

I know she said it
Without a doubt
Though I can’t
Pinpoint one
Specific instance

Wonder if that’s ‘cause I heard it so often?

I say it often enough
To my students
Said it to my kids
When they were little
Anyone feeling
A bit grumpy
Acting a bit
Out of sorts

Do you know what my grandma always said?
You can get glad in the same pants you got mad in.

Boy, do I wish
I could hear
Her say it
One more time
Pretty sure I need
To hear it
Or, at least, I needed
To hear it
Yesterday

Recipe for Success

Yes! You, too,
Can be successful
In just four easy steps

Study hard
Work hard
Work harder
Retire and travel

Is that really the recipe?
Seems a bit bland
If you ask me

True success
Is experienced only
In the minuscule

A tear lovingly wiped away
A raised eyebrow understood only by the one you love
The sweet laugh of a child
The final breath of a friend

And those are just
The starting points
Not four sentences
In a paragraph
But chapters
In the narrative of your life

I continue to enjoy the poetry circle process with Ali Grimshaw https://flashlightbatteries.blog/. Such lovely connections, as well as surprises. I never know what will show up on the page. Or how the words of another will touch my heart.

Simply Sunday

Such is the Bond

There we were
Standing on
Grandma’s
Front porch
Me and Mom
All her sisters
Even Grandma
Was there
Talking
Smiling

Strange how young
She looked
I should have
Been a child
And yet, there
I stood
Seeing her
Seeing them
Thru grown-up eyes
A gift of its own

As one sister
Drove away
We all waved
Thru smiles
Thru tears
Uncertain of her return

Such is the bond
Mothers, daughters, sisters
Pouring love and strength
Thru laughter and tears
Over each new generation
Of mothers, daughters, sisters

I awoke
In a sea
Of emotions
Thankful for
Strong women
In my past
Thankful for
Vivid dreams
And memories

To Be Carried

Smiling
Both of you
Small arms
Wrapped tightly
Around strong
Shoulders
A long walk
From the shelter
Of home
Out into the world
A long walk
For one of you
Anyway
-Loving father
Lowering your son
Until both feet
Are planted firmly
On the ground
Son happily
Running ahead
No thought of
Looking back
Knowing
What it feels like
To be carried

This week’s morning duty involves greeting students as they enter the building. Some hop out of their cars and make the short walk to the door. Others walk or ride bikes from their neighborhood. Still, others ride a bus.

It is interesting to watch all the differing interactions. Parents and children, siblings, friends. Most days, there is a mix of smiles, tears, and yawns, both the kids and me. 😉

This morning, I couldn’t help but notice one scene. A dad was carrying his son toward the building, both smiling. So much love and security. A perfect picture! ❤️

Simply Sunday

Do We Truly See?

Today feels
Anything
But simple
It feels torn
I feel torn
Sunshine skies
In front of me
Clear and blue
A stark contrast
To the images
Of gray skies
Streets filled with
Ash and rubble
Seen on the news-
My mind knows
And history tells us
Not all people
Are free or safe
From the exploits
Of evil men
Yet, my heart
Is unable
To reconcile-
An image of
A Ukrainian mom
Her only thought
Protecting her family
From surrounding
Destruction and death…
I cannot know
The heaviness
Of her heart
Yet, I must not look away
Watching
Praying
For a glimmer of hope
A family reunited
While never
Forgetting
Images snapped
By cameras-
Images of death
And innocence stolen
For all the world to see-
Do we truly see?

Wet With Tears

Way too young
Senseless death
Gun violence
Once again
This time
I can’t ignore
Won’t let my heart
Become numb
This time
I can see
The one left behind
Her heart
Broken into pieces
That may never
Fit back together
No matter
The time
That passes-
Right now
The grief is fresh
Eyes wet with tears
At the mention
Of her loss
Or a gentle hand
On her shoulder
Don’t hide them
Though they fall
Because of loss
They also fall
Because of love

This story is one of many. Too many. Young adults ready to take on this world, taken too soon. Though it is not my story to tell, listening touched my heart. I could not walk away without taking time to acknowledge the grief, the hurting left behind. And also the love and strength showing through the pain. 💔

Simply Sunday

Simplest of Joys

Every day, I drive past a field
A house and barn on one side
Two horses roaming
Rolling hills behind tree lines
It seems so simple
The roots of joy flowing from this place
On certain days
Days when the resident family of deer is grazing
Often in the early morning, I spot them
Spread-out, enjoying a quiet breakfast
Often in the afternoon, I spot them
Playing on the hills behind the trees
I always want to stop and snap a picture
But there’s never time or space for that-
Other cars and such-
I feel sad on the days when I can’t spot
My little family of deer

Simply Sunday

Hearing Again, Listening

Some stories we hear over and over. Ones from our childhood, our family’s history. It is easy to hear without listening. But when we really listen, we often learn something new. View that familiar story in a new light.

Yesterday, I heard a story I’ve heard before. But somehow, this time was different. This time, I saw the parents, my parents.

I was two years old. We lived next door to my grandparents in the country. (My parents still live in the same house.) Mom had done office work but was not working at this time. Dad worked as a carpenter.

One morning, I woke up covered in red whelps. Quite upsetting for young parents. They loaded me in the car, and we headed to see the doctor.

I had an allergic reaction, most likely a food allergy.

Grandpa and Grandma had a milk cow. And I had been drinking fresh, raw milk. Apparently, something in the cow’s feed did not sit well with me.

The prescription was simple. Go to the grocery store. Buy ham and applesauce. Only feed her those two things for an entire week.

Here’s the catch. Mom and Dad only had eleven or twelve dollars to their name.

They went to the grocery store. Bought ham and applesauce. And all three of us had the exact same menu for the following week.

Mom always laughs when telling this story. It is not viewed as a negative story. It is a doing what you must story. But this time, I heard it as a sacrifice story.

My parents did not ask anyone for help. They did not complain about eating ham and applesauce for a week. They did what was needed to take care of me, thankful for a solution.

I can picture them as I’ve seen in photos. Young, first-time parents. Nervous and concerned. Loving their little girl. That little girl just happened to be me.

Morning Drive

The deluge
Was instantaneous
No drops of rain
Marking dry pavement
In individual circles
With their warning-
Here we come!
No, a flood
Soaking me
From head to toe
Leaving me
Floating
On my back
Waiting for the sun
To dry my skin
As it teaches my heart-
Emotions may arrive in a flood
But the memories
They are drawn from
Remain in the warmth
Of the sunshine
On my face

Why is it always during morning drives? It happened just yesterday. Suddenly overwhelmed with emotion. One single thought-Boy, I’m missing the kids.

The missing quickly changed to remembering. Remembering followed by looking forward to upcoming visits.

I know I’ve said it before. But that’s how it goes when you’re the parent of adult children. Today, I’m thankful for texts and phone calls. ❤️