Quote for … life?

Leaves bear the seasons as we bear life. Yet they remain true to themselves, even sharing beauty as they pass into forever, imprinting their colors into our hearts and souls.

Let not foul words or deeds, especially words not meant to harm, alter your colors.

For when we blame something or someone for our lot in life, we make excuses. It’s how we react to outside forces that define us, not outside forces.

 

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Mornings

Mornings are variety

With sun edging over horizons, red then orange then yellow bursts through white or gray or nothing at all,

Only blue.

Mornings can happen over oceans, bays, sounds, lakes, river, streams,

And even creeks.

They can happen over emerald fields of wheat, over shadowed desert sands, over forest and valley and mountain.

Mornings are minted daily,

New with fresh, breezy breaths or sultry, humid doldrums or with glistening dew on blades of grass.

Enjoy mornings. Revel in them. Allow their touch and tease and laugh to slip inside with each warm and golden sunbeam.

For mornings are these things and so much more.

Surely you have mornings of your own.

Be a morning.

Clarity

I visited you today.

Wind moaned through the oaks while leaves blew through the markers. Clouds scuttled in the sky like oversized gray-toned crabs. The grass the men planted didn’t cover the red earth and I knelt to pick up a quartz stone at the foot of your plot.

No stone for you. Soon, I’m sure.

We grew up in the 60’s. Hide and seek and homemade ice cream. What a combination as families gathered to sit on the cinder-block wall that brought together my house and your grandparents’ house. We licked spoons. Vanilla. Banana. Strawberry. Chocolate. Laughed. Listened to stories with nostalgia’s comforting ring. Then we’d run away. Find somewhere to wait while the next kid searched.

Your life was like that. You couldn’t find yourself through the black curtain of addiction.

Sorry. I left out what came before that, which is more of what made us friends.

Hide and seek gave way to placing pennies on the railroad track to be picked up and admired after being squashed flat and shiny. The hikes through the woods led to fishing at the lake that led to bicycles downtown that led to dirt bikes on narrow paths.

Didn’t you break your collarbone that one time?

I do recall my bicycle spill at your house. Who’d have thought two boards placed on a red wagon on its side would spread when the front wheel hit them at speed? Or that a bike and a boy could flip so many times before landing? Or, for the most part, that dirt tastes like dirt? How nothing—except the bike—got broken I’ll never know. You took me in so your mom could check me out. If I didn’t thank you then …

We talked about all that. We tried to stay strong. Did you see?

As we neared our late teenage years I regret how we grew apart, though I doubt it would have made a difference. You were searching. I wish you had found it somewhere else.

I stopped by your parents’ house the day before. Thought if I were going to cry I’d do it then and get it out. I couldn’t because your dear sister held onto me for maybe five minutes. Said they had been talking about our boyhood escapades. She loved you. Loves you. We all do/did. Wanted so much more for you.

I think it likely she left the miniature cross at your site.

The next day they asked me to walk in with them. Said I was family. To simply say I was touched beyond compare does not compare.

I sat with them on the front row. Listened to the minister. The sadness hung over it all.

Regret.

Again, wishes for more than fifty-four years of life for you.

Once more I’m getting ahead of myself.

In line I waited. For my turn to say words that couldn’t convey the weight of grief upon hearts. That weight fell fully when I hugged your dad.

Later, outside, we stood around your casket. It was cold. The coats were many. The smiles of remembrance.

———————

The quartz rock sits on a book where I can see it. It’s stained red. So many wanted your life clean and perfect. Life’s not like that, is it? You came and you lived and you did the best you could. You got to see your grandson. I think I got enough of a look at him to see that your red hair crowns him. Your daughter looks like you. I’d never met her.

When I see your family we hug. When that happens I’m hurt and comforted. The grief clings, the want for more, the want for your happiness.

I like to think that’s the case now. How do Heavenly drums sound? Are the sticks pure gold or ethereal wonders of rhythm? Do you get to play with your rock idols who went before you? It’s a cool consideration, anyway.

The quartz is ice warm in my hand. Within its many imperfections is fleeting clarity. Glassy and glowing when held to lamplight.

Possibly, that’s how we all are. We wished clarity for you but addiction clouded it over. Clouds. Wind. Sun and rain. We fare the best we can. We love, create, tear asunder. Do it all over again and hope.

See you soon.

I Certainly Hope So.

We must live within them from time to time. Clouded mist and gray skies. But then emerges blue-sky dreams filled with hope. Hope tugs our hearts and souls on ghost threads tangible as steel and delicate as ether. Strong as any weapon while fragile as love’s fading kiss. How strong are your hopes? And how weak? And do you hope at all? I certainly hope so.

And so should you.

In Fiery Splendor

sunset over the Albemarle sound

As the budding rose is to the rising sun

drawing forth in fiery splendor

so are we

As the smile of a child is to the parent’s heart

bringing forth love in all its mysterious ways

so are we

As the gull is to wave tops

endlessly seeking above crests foamy and golden at sunrise

so are we

As the oak leaf is to emerald grandeur

awaiting the final downward drift with gust and gale

so are we

As we each seek our path, yearning above all else to

lock hope away in our hearts

instead

set it free

Allow hope to bloom, to laugh, to soar

and

at the end

you will pass forth with joy and thanksgiving

filled to everlasting

The Challenge

The Challenge of life is to welcome challenge itself, not for ego, not for attention, not for riches, but for the dim glow that grows into brightness, illuminating the person you were meant to be when you were only a small spark in the Heavens.

But Who Fears.

I saw him staring into the face of someone he never knew

or had no interest in knowing. With his hard eyes he taunted

threatened, and with the tight line of his lips he refused communication.

The facts were there, but he chose to look

away.

The truth was within him, but he would not hear.

The small, still voice begged to be heard

the face of honesty and honor wished to be seen

but fear of what is within blinds those assuming they see all.

Is it already too late? Does hate reign?

Does choosing to separate and divide, looking the other way rather than at one’s self

doom  all?

But who fears … but who fears.

Intent

We never knew

or saw.

He’d been here

smiling, laughing

acting as if he were one of us.

Imaginations failed.

Faith in humanity tripped the wire to our

demise.

How could he?

How could another on this wonderful place and planet

which we call home

have such

Intent?

Intent has no finite definition. It

takes many forms.

And is what we must be vigilant against.

For when

Intent such as his lies in the minds of others,

no matter

who,

Intent is the worst weapon

imaginable.

More so than any

Thing

ever conceived.

 

I Might Imagine

I might imagine, or I might not, that love is a smile beneath a small straight nose, deep brown eyes, and dark chocolate tresses falling around my face as she sits above me.

I might imagine, or I might not, that over her head, green leaves laugh in the summer breeze, and lake waves lap whispers against round stones.

I might imagine, or I might not, a soft kiss, moist and tender, warm upon my lips, and the brush of fingertips at my brow, with words of welcome.

I might imagine, or I might not, a mountain trail, rough with stones for tripping, slow with time for talking, waterfalls crisp with splashing, and the summit for rest.

I might imagine, or I might not, two sets of footprints pressed into wet sand, hands clasped, sun overhead, and at night, stars.

But I shall not imagine, for I could imagine more that would not be imagining, for I am thankful, grateful more than I can say, reaching for her hand over twenty years hence from dreaming, and still we laugh, sigh, love.

And we imagine.