Spilled Out

Some days
On the inside
I am still a child
Finding her way in this
Ever-changing world
Asking the same
Old questions-
Where do I belong?
What is my purpose?
What happens next?

Other days
On the outside
Wonder abounds-
Light-lined clouds
Rumbling rolls of thunder
The rhythm of the rain-
Offering answers-
Right where you are
Exactly what you’re doing
One day at a time

Confident answers
That blanket the
Cares of adulthood
In warm affection
Leaving behind
Newfound freedom
And transformation-
Clouds become smiles
Thunder-outstretched hands
Rain-an arm around a shoulder

I suppose that child
Will always be there
Some days filled
With questions
Other days listening
For answers that
Continually fill with
Only one purpose-
To be spilled right
Back out again

Waves

Although I prefer to spend time in the mountains, the ocean also fascinates me. Waves come in many forms, each with its own purpose and level of intensity. We can learn so much just from observing.

Sometimes the waves are gentle, barely lapping at the sand on the beach. With little force, this wave flows over my feet, body unwavering. Sometimes the swells are playful. Just strong enough to cause the body to sway back and forth.

Other times, the waves are fierce. Swells so high, they knock over everything in their path. No point in resisting. An impossible fight.

Life feels that way sometimes.

Maybe it is a wave of emotions brought on by exhaustion. The kind of tired that knocks me off my feet. Such was the case last Friday. After finishing the third week of school, I had nothing left. I felt like waves were overtaking me. No choice but to give in to the tears already flowing, and then sleep.

Saturday morning was different. The storm had passed. Moments to relax and enjoy my morning cup of coffee were like gentle waves ushering in the day. Later, there was time for reflection to reveal the positives from the previous week.

Both waves were necessary. Sometimes rest does not come until I stop fighting and give in. Only then will I experience peaceful, renewing rest. The kind of rest that prepares me for whatever is in store.

Here’s to a new week! And all the waves it may bring-fierce, fun, or gentle.

Rediscovered

I love it when I rediscover something. Especially when it involves music. Such was the case this week.

I happened to notice a friend sharing a new music album on their Instagram. The name of the album was Out of Body, the group Need to Breathe.

“Oh yeah, I used to listen to them. Such a great sound. Maybe I’ll check it out.”

Later that evening, I downloaded the album. It played in the car on my way to school the next day and again on my way home. On the second listen, one song stood out-Banks. The following lyrics stuck with me.

I wanna hold you close but never hold you back

I’ll be the banks for your river

Turned out to be the inspiration for a poem. 🙂

Riverbank

Walking
Alongside
The riverbank
Wondering
What it might
Have to say

Wisdom
Gathered
In tiny bits
Only when
The water is
Still and quiet

Changes
In the current
Noticed by
Trees leaning
In just close
Enough

These wise
Residents
Hold hands-
Keeping
The river
In place

Sometimes
The bank
Allows itself
To be overtaken
When the river
Loses its way

Patiently
It waits for
The waters
To recede
And continue
On their journey

Strength
Evidenced in
Roots and trees
Dirt and rocks
Always faithful to
Its fickle friend

Humility
In willingness
To give up a
Part of itself
Every time
The river strays

Wondering
If the riverbank
Will share some
Of its wisdom
While I quietly
Take a seat

Pinks and Reds

Morning clouds
On the horizon
Edges glowing
With shades of
Pinks and reds
Colors expanding
Until simple lines
Miraculously
Transform into
A beautiful sphere
Daily rising
Over the horizon-
Though colors
And brilliance
May vary-
A simple sunrise
Taken for granted
Until its hues
Can no longer
Be ignored
The blending of
Color and light
Begging for, while
At the same time,
Defying description
Leaving behind tiny
Traces of evidence
Imprinted on
The memory of this
Fortunate witness

Running Late 💗

Running Late

This morning I left for work about 10-15 minutes later than usual. Not terribly late, just enough to take away that buffer between arrival and car duty.

As I merged onto the highway, I began to notice pinks and reds on the horizon. The colors created a glowing outline behind the clouds. As my car crossed the bridge over the Arkansas River, a big, beautiful sun appeared. Those pinks and reds were now perfectly blended into one giant sphere.

If I had left at my usual time, I most likely would have missed this view!

The experience made me think about how tiny moments can generate enormous power.

This first week back to school has been challenging. Teaching during a pandemic brings more questions than answers-more uncertainties than assurances. Yesterday, I allowed an onslaught of negative thoughts to weigh me down, unable to focus on anything positive.

Witnessing that stunning sunrise was the first step toward a much-needed attitude adjustment. And if my attitude today reflected even one tiny pink drop of those rays, just maybe I was able to encourage someone else.

I guess when you look at it that way; I really was not running late after all. I was actually right on time.

Hummingbirds & Hope

We recently experienced some cooler summer temperatures, rare for Oklahoma in August. Beautiful mornings, perfect for sitting outside with a cup of coffee.  

One of those mornings, I did just that-reading, listening to the birds, enjoying a few relaxing moments. And then it happened-a sweet little hummingbird flew up to our empty feeder.

Our other bird feeders have attracted a lot of visitors. I hear them chirping and see them fluttering in the yard multiple times during the day. But our hummingbird feeder? There were no visitors all summer long. The sweet nectar served mostly as food for the ants and liquid for the sun to evaporate.

Since there had been no visitors, it had not been refilled. Sadly, I watched the hummingbird quickly flit away. Needless to say, I quickly refilled the feeder. Was it too late? I didn’t know, but I certainly hoped.

Several days later, I noticed several hummingbirds coming to the feeder! I was so excited! They perched in our trees, and one even landed on a string of outside lights.  

Not only were they fun to watch, but their strength also provided a reminder when the storms came a few days later. ❤

Holding On

Flashes of lightning
Crashing thunder
And howling winds
Disrupted any
Possibility for sleep
Morning remained dark
As the rain poured
Down from clouds-
Sunshine began to
Light the day
While silent
Remnants of
The evening’s
Storm hid
In the breeze –
Hummingbirds flitted
Stopping briefly for
Sips of nectar-
One perched in
A nearby tree
Its tiny feet gripping
A skinny branch
As the leaf-covered
Limbs swayed
Back and forth-
This little miracle
Held firm and steady
While my tired heart
Watched in wonder
Listening to its message-
When the winds
Are tossing you
Back and forth
Just remember-
Keep holding on



Carried Away

These are difficult days.  So many questions, so much confusion, so many tears.  Yesterday’s rain reminded me that we have hope.  And though there are more hard days ahead, we cannot give up. We must come together, lift each other up, and continue on…one step and a time. ❤

Raindrops teased
All morning long
Falling a few
At a time
With quiet
Drip-drops
Barely enough
To dampen my hair
By late afternoon
The sky grew dark-
No longer playing
Their little game,
The frightened raindrops
Huddled together
Creating steady streams
Flowing down from
Cloud to ground-
Proving there is
Strength in numbers,
The brave raindrops
Transformed themselves
Into a wall of water
Like a transparent curtain
Hanging from the sky-
Suddenly, the curtain fell
No longer flowing
From cloud to sky
Now a blanket of water
Flowing downward
Across the landscape
Carrying away
All the sorrows
Of the day-
And the sun began to shine.

“Have You Ever Seen the Rain”             Kelley Morris, piano


Someone told me long ago
There’s a calm before the storm
I know, it’s been comin’ for some time
When it’s over, so they say
It’ll rain another day
I know, shinin’ down like water
 
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
Comin’ down on a sunny day
 
Creedence Clearwater Revival

Lasting Legacy

The sun is setting
Out of sight
Out of mind
A cool breeze
Touches my face
As a stroll down
An empty sidewalk
Eases tensions
Allowing a few
Moments of peace
Turning the corner
A stifling reminder
The air no longer cool
Power left behind
By a forgotten sun
Western facing
Redbrick walls
Radiating heat
Received earlier
In the day
Stored for later use
A lasting legacy-
Remarkable strength
Revealed in
What is left behind

Old Friends

The rain stopped
Some drops lingered
In the rich soil
Beneath the tree-
Resting after the
Long journey
On the tip
Of a pine needle,
One drop called out
Or perhaps, up
To its dear friend,
Sunshine

It’s your turn!
I’m waiting!
Send your rays
My way-So that
We may have
A moment of fun
Can’t you see?
We belong together
Simply shine your
Light on me
And watch the branch
Begin to glisten

The sun obliged
Sending its rays
To pierce the clouds
And touch the Raindrop
The two old friends
Danced and played
While the branch
Glistened and smiled
Soon, each went their way
But neither said goodbye
Knowing they would
Meet again another day

The Way I Saw It

The past few mornings have been rainy. It’s difficult to wake up and get moving when the sky is so gray. But yesterday morning, though rain still fell, had a different appearance.

Looking outside, I noticed the sky looked strange. The view out the back door was still mostly gray, but with an odd hint of pink. Looking out the front window showed the sun trying to shine through the rain. My first thought-I bet there is a rainbow.

So, I walked outside, and sure enough, there it was, a beautiful rainbow, the full arch, from one corner of the sky to the next. Little drops of rain fell on me as I took in its beauty. And then, of course, I had to snap a few pictures.

My eyes saw each color of the rainbow. Clear and bright. But when I looked at my photo, something was wrong. Still beautiful, but the colors seemed muted. Not what my mind remembered from just a few moments earlier.

I immediately began to edit my photo. Don’t you love those filters? But this took a lot of adjustments. I played with light, contrast, shadow, etc. Finally, I had a picture that represented what I had witnessed.

Why was it so important for me to change the original picture?
Seeing that rainbow brought a moment of beauty and peace during difficult days. And by sharing my photo, I hoped to share that experience. Maybe someone else needed that same kind of moment.

Which photo best represents what I actually saw? In my mind, it is the second. But logically, I know it is probably something in between the two. Maybe the second one is more representative of how I felt. Either way, that’s the way I saw it. And I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere… 🙂