An Old Friend

A jeans and t-shirt girl
That is what I call myself
Oh, I enjoy getting dressed up
For the occasional night out
But if you ask my preference
The answer never changes-
A comfy pair of jeans
And a favorite t-shirt
Now, those jeans can’t be comfy
Without a little wear
Walking down a rugged path
Resting on a large rock or two
Carrying smooth pebbles in my pocket-
They find their purpose that way
Not just a protective covering
No, much more
A reminder of where I’ve been-
Legs crossed sitting by the fire
Those jeans feel like an old friend-
And the t-shirt?
Well… if it’s my James Taylor t-shirt
There is no contest-

Today was a virtual/distance learning day for students in our district. Yes, we know in-person learning is best. But when so many teachers, staff, and regular subs are out sick, it makes in-person learning pretty much impossible.

That meant I pushed out music lessons/activities for students on an online platform. I receive a notification each time a student submits a response. They always make me smile.

After lunch, I noticed a stack of boxes near my classroom. I quickly discovered they were the new keyboards recently ordered for my piano class! Ten of them, complete with stands, headphones, pedals. I’ve got some work to do tomorrow!

This may not have been an ideal teaching day. But there were bright spots. And here I am, sitting on the floor in front of those beautiful boxes, wearing a favorite pair of jeans and a school t-shirt. It was a good day…

Not my James Taylor t-shirt, but it will do. ❤️

Simply Sunday

With Hope

I stare into the dancing flames
Reds, yellows, oranges
Rising from the dry wood
Shifting on the ground

Fanning the playful flames
I warm my cold hands
Not too close-flames that warm
May also burn

Extinguishing the dying flames-
Water mixing with fire
I stare at the rising steam
The blackened wood

Leaving behind the cold
Leaving behind my worries
I walk with hope
Into the light of a new day

Renewal

I watch you
Intricately
Designed
Miniature
Works of art
No one like
The other
Dancing
Across the sky
Making your way
To the ground
To a tree branch
To the tip of my nose
I watch you
Eagerly wishing
Your numbers
Would grow
And blanket the earth
In hopeful renewal
Fall, little snowflakes, fall

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

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…

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. ❤️

Natural Progression

Clinging

The day
Left me
Deep
In thought
A day
Covered
In warm
Sunlight
And falling
Leaves
Sweet life in
Your small hand
Holding mine
As we walked across
Yellowing grass
Rosy cheeks
Squinting eyes
As you reached up
For me to lift you
As you reached up
And touched
The red leaves
Clinging
To the tree
A day
Covered
In life
While also
Holding space
For death-
I am left
Thankful
Clinging
To rest

A Warm Blanket

Just like that
The red leaves
Greeting me
With a smile
Every day for weeks
Fell to the ground
Their days of
Waving
In the wind
Left behind
A few remain
But if I asked
I’m sure they
Would admit
Being ready
To let go
And join
The others-
Though I knew
The day was
Approaching
That red blanket
Was a surprise
I felt sad
For a moment
Until I imagined
The warm grass
Underneath

Simply Sunday

Transformation

Look at you
Standing there
Confidently
Exposed
Pieces of your
Outer shell
Left shimmering
In the light
Gentle reminder
Of what was
Before
The release
Of all that
Was heavy
Smiling at
Passersby
No longer
Concerned
With hiding
What is
Underneath
Instead
Baring a gift
Story of
Transformation-
Beauty may
Only be
Skin deep
But love
And truth
Grace your roots

Driving to the hospital this morning, I couldn’t help noticing the trees. Colors are still beautiful, though beginning to fade.  A birch tree caught my eye.  Only a few of its yellow leaves remained.  As the leaves fluttered, I smiled. Look at you! 😊

My dad has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  I had heard this term but now have a better understanding.  It does not happen overnight. And though treatable, it does not go away. He is breathing easier and hence feeling better.  Doctors are working on a treatment plan which hopefully includes going home soon. 

Not having a definite timeline is frustrating.  But that is ok.  Life is precious.  And I continue to be thankful for our time together. ❤️

Eventually

Approaching
Resonance
Can’t quite
Hear it
With
My ears
But I feel it
In my bones
A slight ache
Hint of what
Approaches
Do I stop
Hibernate
Until it passes?
Or attempt
To outrun?
Perhaps
I will
Simply
Slip-on
My favorite
Sweater
Continue
Placing
One foot
In front of
The other
Unafraid
Believing
When winter
Eventually
Catches up-
I’ll be ready

Personal Collection

I drive past a picture-perfect scene every day. Red barn, green trees and meadows below rolling hills. Offering beauty and reasons for smiling. Looking for the two resident horses is always fun. Sometimes they are close to the road. Other times, resting under the shade of trees.

Recently I began to see additional residents in the field. Deer, from fawn to buck, grazing. Now I look for them each time I pass by. Twice, I witnessed them hopping and playing on the hillside. And grazing under the shade of a sprawling tree.

I attempted a photo from my car once. No luck. Another day, I pulled into a bank parking lot across the street. Snapped several photographs but was unable to fully capture what I saw driving past.

Maybe I will try another location, maybe not. For now, the images remain in my head. And I will keep adding to my collection with each drive past.

Horses rest and roam
Deer leap and play on the hill
Red barn proudly stands

Photo attempt from across the street.

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