Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mama

I miss my Mom. 

Always. But especially on Mother's Day. And her birthday. And my birthday, and Christmas and Easter and all the other holidays. I miss her when I have my coffee in the morning, thinking back to years long past..tiny tea cups filled to the brim with warm milk and just enough coffee to make it the lightest tan. 





I miss my mom in the evening as I reach for needle and thread to replace a missing button or repair a seam. I recall my mother patiently teaching my little sister and me how to sew. My mother's hands were never still. 
Her needle work was a wonder to all, but especially to those of us lucky enough to wear the work of her hands, or to sleep snuggled under one of her homemade quilts.

I miss my mom in autumn, while crunching leaves beneath my feet, I gather them into piles, the fragrance of their burning filling the air. I miss watching my mom can bread and butter pickles. I miss her fresh from the oven crusty bread, eaten with huge steaming bowls of beef stew or bean soup. 

I miss my mom in winter, when I come in from hours out in the snow with frozen fingers, nose and toes and warm myself with hot cocoa and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I miss watching with anticipation, as she made our Christmas outfits from the most beautiful fabrics, green velvet, antique lace and satin. I miss rising in the morning to the smell of freshly baked pecan rolls that were impossible to eat without everyone ending up in sticky disarray.

I miss my mom in springtime, when the early flowers start to bloom and even though I don't have any,  I know it's time to plant the Canna bulbs. I miss watching her sew matching Easter dresses for herself, my little sister and me.

I miss my mom in summer, when I wake to the sweet scent of the lilac bush and hear a cardinal trilling among its branches. When a back door bangs, when I hang freshly washed sheets on the line, when I work in my garden, I miss her. And when look across the porch and see my jug of sun tea turning amber in the afternoon light..

I miss my Mom. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blue like a river

Sweet peace slides through my fingers like river water. 
I can feel it's ebb and flow,
tugging at my heart, my mind. 

There and then gone,
It leaves behind a sad hunger in my soul, 
and a longing for it's cool refreshment.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January

Another January day,
The sky hangs low and dripping.
Colorless themes, white, brown and gray.
This winter holds us in it's vise,
the bleakness dull and gripping.

My eyes are starving for hues of spring,
but nowhere to be found.
Just dirt on snow and barren trees. 
This winter raw and brown.

As my spirit threatens to reflect this day, 
my heart becoming blue,
a scarlet bird comes streaking in,
to chase the sad from view.

Calling me..

Sweat mixed with curry on smoky air,
humanity overflows at every turn.
Tunics and turbans. Punjabis and saris. Lehengas, salwar kameez.
Color. Color everywhere. A rainbow bursting from every crowd.

Naked toddlers, bellies bulging,
A people malnourished from rice alone.
Cattle wander loose and honored.
Pots filled with water to lure them near,
hoping they'll bring good luck with their thirst.

Painfully skinny, men run barefoot, down the rock strewn road.
Pulling rickshaws full of boxes and people. Delivery trucks. The human kind.

Chickens so lean they resemble road runners,
scatter in panic,
from those that would twist their necks.
By tonight one may lay on the table.
By tomorrow, nothing but feathers and bones.

Glorious chalk art filling the roadways,
lead the way to windowless dwellings.
Protection from evil, honoring gods.
Every god and no god, even the unknown god.
Lest they miss one
and in anger it reign down disaster on their home.

They walk to the well, pots balanced. Amazing.
The beautiful women, as slender as reeds.
They walk, hope balanced heavy on their hearts,
for clean water, that their babies might live.

Beauty and poverty abound in this land
of lovely, gracious people.
They will offer you the honored seat at their table.
Cook their last egg and smile as you eat it.

Later they'll go to their bed mat and lay.
Listening as hunger, in it's dialect of pain,
speaks in their bellies once more.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wild Places



I am most truly content when I'm in the great outdoors.
It's where I commune best with my Creator.
I am convinced that the meadows are His antechamber and the forest His temple.
The wilderness? His cathedral.

In it, He has created for me a soothing sanctuary,
a calm hiding place, a wondrous playground.
I hear His voice most clearly in these untamed places. Calling me. 
Speaking my name from the woodland, He draws me out..
I follow His voice, seeking Him. Never has He hidden.
Always I find Him.  Here.

I see His craftsmanship at every turn.
The sky is His canvas.
The heavens and earth His artistry.
He adorns the field with bird, butterfly and berry.
He washes my eyes with colors, blue, green, gold.
Shades so familiar yet unnameable, even though I try.
His palette defies replication, the tone and hue known only to Him.

His fragrance, the air itself, a sweet scent on the wind.
His incense is the pine forest,
the honeyed aroma of the wildflower.
His spice, the shaded glen.
In winter He speaks to me in the hushed tones of snow on pine.
The woods are tranquil and sleepy. I hear Him whisper...peace..rest.

Listen. do you hear?
All the earth and every creature that on it dwells,
Exalting Him in their own tongue.
The wind whispers His name. 
Holy. Holy. Holy is the Lord God Almighty.

Bees hum, birds sing His praises.
The high whinny of the horse announces His glory!
Holy! Holy is the Lord God almighty. 
Even the rocks cry out His name.
My spirit quickens within me to join the song.

The trees begin to bow and sway, applauding His presence.
He is here. He is here!
My heart lightens as I run to Him,
For tranquility and rest are in His bosom.
Safety and love are found neath the shelter of His wings,
My one true home is in His arms...

Here.  In the wild.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Heart's Song

Awareness beckons.
Calling my mind to the surface,
towards consciousness,
away from dreams of the night.

Unwaveringly, my mind sets off on a road all it's own.
I travel a well worn route, walk it daily.
Down the miles and the years to where my children dwell.
But they are children no longer, these sons of mine.
Men now, years past mothering and the need for one.

Still it is a mother's heart that beats in my chest.
A drum pounding a song to my sons grown so far from me.
An anthem that could not be stopped if I desired it so.
The lullaby they listened to under my ribs
as they lay waiting to burst forth into the world.
My heart will sing this litany
till the last beat quiets in my chest.

A canticle so familiar and true,
strummed on my heartstrings
the moment I first beheld them.
When my heart swelled beyond reason,
so full of amazement and joy
that it must surely burst.

The lyrics never change.
They are the same, enduring.
Words of love and hope.
An acclamation brimming with motherly pride..
It is an ode full of laughter and joy
for who they are and who they will become.

It is a quiet hymn of thankfulness.
For I am blessed to know them,
to have held them in my arms.
It is a chant to the world
that I am holding them still.
In my heart. In my mind.
In my prayers.

My song is full and pouring over,
an aria that runs in an endless river
from my heart to theirs.
I am convinced this refrain will echo
down the years.
Long after I am gone from this place.

If they listen closely,
with their hearts open wide.
I believe.
They will catch the melody
of my heart's song,

Still drifting to them on the breeze...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Just an old chunk of wood




At first I see nothing beyond the familiar form.
The "me" I have become over the years.
The hardened block of who I am.


Recently though, life has come at me like an axe.
The first swing sliced cleanly through the branches of who I believe I am. It is now busy lopping away the bark covering the persona I have unknowingly created.

This slashing is painful to the extreme.
I wonder if can survive this much chiseling and gouging. It seems there may be nothing recognizable left.

I study my reflection.
It's still me that stares back, yet not me.
Hmm, something  new there, just behind the eyes.
Though still raw and rough hewn to behold,
it's evident.  A transformation is taking place.
An epiphany surfaces,
I am being sculpted.

A craftsman has eyed this timber it seems.
Considered it's natural shape and bend.
Determined the best means to free the heart within.
Artistic license is being taken.

This artist will shape me as he sees fit,
skillfully carving me into something useful.
My true grain is slowly beginning to show.
I am more than a little surprised.
The color is deeper and richer than I thought likely.
Much more real this "new" me.

I know this transformation is nowhere near complete.
So much more work to be done.
I can't imagine what the sanding process will entail.
When finished,  I cannot fathom who I will be,
or what I will look like.

Though still painful to endure,
I think I've found the key.
To abide this refinement,
I cannot not fight against my sculptor's hand.
I must yield to his touch. Trust the skill of his knife.
I will wait patiently..

and let the chips fall where they may..