Cathedral Grove

Gentle ferns
Brightest green
Soft clover
Delicate
White lines
A perfect carpet
For majestic
Residents
Red trunks
Growing
Standing
For hundreds
Of years
Though roots
Are shallow
Strength comes
When each
Intertwines
With the next
Building
A foundation
Stretching
From carpeted floor
Rising
Thru drifting fog
Reaching
Toward the sun-
Enter quietly

Muir Woods National Monument Mill Valley, CA 💚

Lingering on a Corner

Imagining
Rolling hills
Once covered
In grass and dirt
Graced
With trees
And fields
As far as
One could see
Now paved
Rolling hills
City streets
Perfectly lined
With building
After building
Architectures
New and old
Juxtaposed
To create
An endless
Visual puzzle
Architectures
As varied
As the languages
I hear while
Waiting in a line
For breakfast
City of diversity
In every sense
I’m captivated
And caught
Between
Wonder
And Grief
Marveling at
All that surrounds
While walking
Down sidewalks
So many call home

Mingling

Gentle breeze
Across my face
Carries hope
For a new day
Some days
My mind is stormy
Unable to focus
Thoughts
Jumping
From one
To the other
Lightning bolts
On the horizon
And yet, the storms
Pass with your
Witty words
Our laughter
Mingling with
The breeze
Kissing away
My fears

Twenty-eight years. Sounds like a long time. As far as anniversaries go, I am hoping for twenty-eight more. Through moves, job changes, raising children, illness, even deaths, there has always been laughter mingled with it all. Hardly a day goes by without it. I’m not sure if that’s our secret, but I don’t ever want to take it for granted.

I always say you rescued me. I suppose it worked both ways. All I know is that I’m glad you didn’t let my putting a hand in your face deter you from trying again. 😘

Happy Anniversary! ❤

Tornadoes

I saw a tornado
Approaching
Wall of clouds
In the distance
A dreaded
Lowering
The sky
Grew dark
Ominous
Wind began
To howl
And moan
I was afraid-
You wrapped
Me in your arms
As we crouched
On the floor
In darkness
Waiting for
The storm to pass
And the light to return
The truth is, you
Have saved me
From many storms
Even the ones
In my dreams

Springtime in Oklahoma means tornadoes. I’ve heard news stories this week concerning warning sirens and shelters. We’ve had a couple of stormy nights. I suppose it’s no surprise I dreamed about a tornado last night.

I told our daughter, Rachel, about my dream. She laughed and said something about Dad saving me from lots of “tornadoes” over the years. We had a good laugh while also acknowledging a comforting truth. ❤

Separately Together

Two people separated by
Doors, walls, a long hallway
One entered
The other remained
Not allowed to cross
This particular threshold
Leading to necessary discomfort
A small room where muscles
Are pinched and prodded
Where skin is broken
Then held together
Only one entered
The other remained
Both feeling discomfort
One physical
One emotional
Both holding tight
That is love
Connection that cannot
Be separated by
Doors, walls, or a long hallway

My husband, Gart, does not like for me to brag about him. Wednesday morning, he sat in not one but two different waiting rooms while I had a biopsy followed by a CT scan.

I knew no matter what happened, he would be there when I walked back out. Ready to listen and encourage. “Let’s not worry until we have something to worry about,” he would say.

That evening, I participated in my weekly poetry circle. This poem came from that time. Writing and listening with a group I have grown to love and trust.

I am thankful to report the biopsy showed no cancer! I will follow-up with my doctor next week. And I know if I need him to, he will wait once again in another waiting room. ❤

Time After Time

Walking in Wyoming

I went for a walk in Wyoming
My eyes could not decide
Which way to look-
Up at the sky
What is that shade of blue?
To the right
Snow-topped mountains
To the left
Fields of purple hues
In between
A lake so crystal clear
I could barely tell where
The mountain stopped
And its reflection began
A few more steps forward
Stop and breathe
Take a seat on a rock
Feel the cool breeze on my face
Hold the hand of the one I love
Try to take it all in-

A Wyoming walk
Leaves a permanent imprint
On my heart and soul

Power in Admission

I have shared openly about struggles with anxiety and depression. And I recognize there is always room for improvement in my coping skills.  

If I remember to breathe, it helps.  If I think ahead, I can prepare for problematic situations. Nevertheless, sometimes things just happen.

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Beautiful does not adequately describe either of these places. The vastness and variety in these almost untouched lands are overwhelming.

And yet, even during our wonderful trip, anxiety crept in. We had been exploring Yellowstone all morning and decided to drive to the Tetons. This was the first visit to this area for both of us, an adventure.  

This particular drive brought a little more adventure than I preferred. We were driving along, listening to history and information about the area, when the road suddenly took us right along the edge of Clark Canyon.  

A quick glance out the window, and I began to panic. My body had an instant reaction. My heart sank, began beating rapidly. My stomach felt like it had been turned upside down. I wanted to crawl in a hole. Yes, I endured. But it was not fun.

Those anxious feelings crept back in later that night. I had trouble sleeping. Would tomorrow’s drive be similar? Slow, deep breaths finally helped, and I was able to sleep.

The next morning, we were on the road again. We had a basic plan of places we wanted to see. Our first stop was great! Some incredible, colorful geothermal displays. But soon, I was feeling afraid of the unknowns. Would we have to drive on any roads like the one yesterday? Just the thought and anxiety began to rise.

Finally, I said it aloud. “The thought of a drive like yesterday is making me feel panicky. I’m not sure I can do it.” After saying those words to my husband and allowing a few tears to fall, I felt much better.  

He knows me well. His response was reassuring. Soon we were laughing and ready to face the rest of the day. He even asked a park ranger for advice on the least scary route for our last stop. (Which apparently was not an unusual request.) 😉

Now, I would be lying if I said there were no other moments of panic. However, they did not take over my thoughts. My physical reactions were not as severe, and I was able to enjoy the beauty of the places we visited.

No, I did not want to admit how I felt. But, oh, I am so glad I did. It was an important reminder there is power in admission.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Artist Point Overlook

Feeling Warmth

Flames playfully
Dancing over
Shiny pebbles
Of cobalt blue
Warming the
Cool night air

Steam steadily
Rising from
A cup of tea-
Honey and chai-
Warming this
Chilled body

Another sitting
Quietly nearby
Strengthing
Thru the silence
Warming my
Tired heart

Stresses fading
Into the dark
Calmly ending
A long week
Feeling warmth
In a new season

Grateful Visitor

Mount Magazine Signal Hill hiking trail leads to the highest point of elevation in the state of Arkansas.
This trail of dirt
And rocks, a
Guide calling me
Into the forest
Each step leading
Further into
The growing
Canopy of green
Shade hides the
Light of the sun
Lessens the effects
Of its heat
Cool breezes
Dance past
At the moment
Most needed
Cheerful leaves
Wave from branches
Fallen ones create
A colorful carpet
Birds sing songs
In the distance
As if calling me
Guiding, encouraging
Their lyrical invitation-
Please come in!
Meet some of the
Other residents-
Buzzing bees and
Butterflies flit past
As I sit and rest
A grateful visitor
Hiking with this guy. ❤

Twenty-Seven Years

Today is our twenty-seventh wedding anniversary. That sounds like a long time. Over half of my life.  

When I started thinking about our anniversary, my mind first went back to the day before our wedding. 

Family and friends together, lots of laughter. A simple rehearsal at Rolling Hills Church, dinner at AQ Chicken House, and the final episode of the T.V. series, “Cheers.”

My thoughts quickly moved forward through the wedding, honeymoon, raising three kids, all the places we have lived. It’s amazing how many memories can fill my mind in such a short few minutes. There are so many stories I could share.

But then, my train of thought changed. I didn’t need to write about the past. Nor did I need to think about the future. I only needed to focus on the day at hand. And what it signifies for us both.

This anniversary reminds me that forever is really about commitment. And that commitment has little to do with feelings. It is a promise that runs much deeper.

There is a phrase we often say to each other-You’re stuck with me! Yes, it is spoken in humor, but also carries truth. A truth understood from the day he proposed-this is forever. We are in it for the long haul.

Marriage has shown us our strengths and weaknesses. There is a balance created when we accept those strengths and weaknesses in each other. One would not be the same without the other.

I can’t imagine my life without Gart. Our journey has been quite an adventure. Filled with ups and downs, tears, and lots of laughter.

Here’s to twenty-seven years of marriage. I approach the day with a grateful heart. No worries about yesterday or tomorrow. Only resting in the promise that brought us to today.

Happy Anniversary, Gart! I love you! ❤

And don’t forget-you’re still stuck with me! 😉