Simply Sunday

Optics

From a distance
The distance
Between them
Seemed
Unremarkable
A series of
Ups and downs
Over rolling hills
Around sharp curves
Always maintaining
The appearance
Of connection
Perhaps it was
The alternating
Each taking a turn
In the lead
Until rest
Was required
And a graceful
Exchange
Occurred
One-hand
Reaching forward
The other back
No need for even a glance-
I suppose distance was
Never really a factor
As their hearts
Always seemed
To precede
Their hands

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.

Monday Progression

Dark clouds
Of gray
Hover over
Morning drive
Yielding sleepy
Eyes and yawns
Slowing
Reactions

Sweet flakes
Of coconut
Top buttery
Smooth frosting
Adding texture
And flavor
Surprising
Taste buds

Bright rays
Of sunshine
Guide
Drive home
Radiating joy
And warmth
Erasing
Cloud memories

Lovely petals
Of white
Bloom above
Green leaves
Baring grace
And beauty
Lifting
Heavy hearts

Today, I am thankful for the sunshine. Oh, and the flowers blooming in the front yard. And coconut cake…😉

Stargazing

Lying on my back
In the driveway
At midnight-the stars
Were too many to count
Nothing to obscure
Their brightness

Sitting cross-legged
In the bed of a truck
Mountains rising above
Even more stars in the sky-
How could that be
With less sky to see?

Sitting quietly
In my backyard
Relaxing by the fire
Only a few of
The brightest stars
Remain visible

I know the others
Are still present
But their light
Has been dimmed
By the light of men
Even though it pales in comparison

Bittersweet

I guess it’s my word of the day. I can’t seem to get it out of my head. The thought of it first came with my morning coffee…

I love coffee in all forms. My day usually starts with a simple cup of hot, black coffee. Yes, there are hints of bitterness, but a taste for them has developed over time.

Thanks to COVID-19, my taste and smell are almost zero. It is a strange sensation, obviously making it impossible to enjoy any food or drink.

In my current state, bitterness was the only taste in my morning coffee. No hints of anything else. Kind of like drinking hot water with an aftertaste of cough syrup.

Yesterday, I noticed a slight recognition of sweet. It was subdued but present. That gave me an idea. Coffee creamer to the rescue? It was worth a shot!

I filled the bottom of my cup with vanilla creamer. And then poured in the hot, steaming coffee. The result? Bittersweet. And that is not a bad thing. Today, it counts as an improvement!

FYI-It has been a tough week. No need for a symptom list. I’ll just say I am beginning to feel better. This virus is no joke, and it is so important to remain vigilant. Protect yourself and the ones you love by wearing a mask and taking precautions. ❤

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… 🙂

Sunshine or Rain


Left in the rain
Returned in sun
The dark turned to light
The night turned to day
What if it happened the other way
Left in the sun
Returned in rain
The day turned to dark
The light turned to night
Somehow, that doesn’t feel quite right
Words are the same
Order is different
Is that what caused the
Change in mood
Or could it be my chosen view
Each of us sees 
Thru a personal frame
Sometimes clouded
By our very own names
Yet, time will show
As day turns to night
Or dark turns to light
One truth remains
In sunshine or rain
Each one is needed just the same
Chopin Prelude Op 28, No 6 in B minor
I hear clouds and rain with a little sprinkle of sunshine. 😉

In Tune

Last week a piano technician came and tuned my new piano. Even though it is a beautiful new instrument, there are several reasons it needed tuning. Being moved to a new location. Sitting in a different space, with different temperatures, on a different type of floor. All factors that affect the way it sounds.

I listened as the technician worked. She listened to such tiny details. The way she would tune one note to its octave counterpart. When I played those notes together in a chord, I didn’t notice that they were out of tune. But hearing her pick them all apart, it was obvious.

The mechanics of a piano are fascinating. My explanation to students is usually simplified. Your finger presses down the key, which causes a hammer inside the piano to strike a string producing the sound.

Watching my piano being taken apart, actually viewing the insides, gave me a new perspective. Each piece has its place and must be perfectly aligned to produce a high-quality sound. Even a new piano needs time to adjust and sometimes requires a little assistance.

One thing stood out above the rest, voicing. I asked the technician about adjusting the voicing, making it a little less bright. Basically, taking the edge off of the sound. She explained that part of that process involves the felt material on the hammers.

A needle is used to soften the felt. When done correctly, it does not damage the material. It just slightly changes the way the hammers strike the strings.

Once the piano was put back together, I sat down to play. Wow! What a difference. Not only was it in tune, but it also had a much warmer tone. The sharp edge had been softened.

This experience made me think about my life. What if I’m in a new place, with new surroundings, expectations, and people? What if my reaction is one of fear or frustration? My words may sound edgy, sharp, or out of tune.

Like the felt on those hammers, something inside me needs to be softened. An adjustment might come in the form of an honest word from a trusted friend. Yes, stings for a moment. But the sting will not last if accepted with grace. The knowledge that someone loves me that much, however, is lasting.

Hopefully, as I continue playing my piano, I will be reminded to check my own tone. And will gracefully accept any needed adjustments to keep me in-tune with my husband and children, family and friends, the world around me.

“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17

Schumann Arabesque Opus 18. One of my favorite piano pieces. Only the beginning theme and the conclusion. ❤

Look Up!

In my childhood experience, brown, spiky pinecones equaled crafts. Searches for them were fun. Walking around outside, I looked for ones of various sizes. Once enough were collected, the possibilities were endless.

They could be painted and used to create cool prints. Add some glue and glitter, and it was a Christmas tree ornament. Quite often they were slathered in peanut butter and rolled in seeds. Voila! A tasty treat to hang outside for the birds.

When I think back to collecting these interesting pieces of nature, I don’t remember ever looking up. I knew they came from those tall, towering trees. But gave little thought to what they looked like before hitting the ground.

As I sat on the deck outside our Colorado cabin enjoying the cool morning breeze, I happened to look up. Near the top of one of the pines, I noticed bunches of green pinecones. Their color created a sort of camouflage among the pine needles. Hanging on until it was time to fall.

I honestly hadn’t noticed this before. I’m glad that morning was different. It reminded me that my focus is often is singular. Only looking for that one thing I want to look for.

Perhaps I should look up more often. There is so much more to life than what is right in front of me. New challenges and possibilities are all around.

But what if trying something new leads to a fall, and just like those pinecones, I land on that bed of pine needles below? That is ok. I can look up, remember where I started, and know there is still plenty for me to do. The possibilities are endless!

Rainbow in the mountains!

Depleted

I had brunch with my dear friend, Marina, this morning. We caught up over coffee and yummy food. It has been a busy couple of weeks, and friend time has been scarce. I don’t think I realized how much I needed this time until it was over.

Near the end of our visit, my friend looked at me and said, “You really are depleted, aren’t you?” I chuckled at first. She tends to use what I would call formal words in casual conversation. It is her way, and I love it. This term, however, stuck in my head. Depleted.

When I got home, I wrote the word down. Hmmm…an interesting word. Looking up the definition lead to a list of synonyms: exhausted, sapped, drained, expended. Yep, that’s how I’m feeling. (Honestly, I might have stayed in bed all day had my friend not called.)

Then I scrolled down to the definition part you never take time to read-the Latin word roots, etc. There I saw these words-emptied out. Wow! An entirely new perspective. In order for something to be emptied out, it must have been full at one point. This must also have been true of me, even if I can’t remember when right at this moment. 😉

Instead of thinking, “I’m so tired, there’s so much still to do.” What if I take the time to be refilled? What would that look like?

The upcoming week is musical performance week. Double responsibility. However, I can’t wait until it’s over to begin this process of refilling. So, what is my plan?

Take each day as it comes.
Pray and read-things that calm my thoughts.
Eat a healthy breakfast.
Drink more water.
Take short naps after school each day before call time.
Go to bed early.
Enjoy playing for this amazing show!

By the way, antonyms for depleted are energized and full. I know it will take more than a day to get there. Nevertheless, hopefully, this fresh perspective will remind me that when I am feeling depleted, it is time to slow down and remember to take care of myself. That is the only way I can go from depleted to full.

And this process might just begin by having brunch with a friend. 🙂