Monthly Archives: June 2012

Aside

Swelling with the possibilities

Of a future so sunny and fun

Of nights of warm skin and a cool breeze

And days of salty water and sun

To trace your palm with my fingertips

And taste your perfume on my tongue

As your mustache scratches and stings my lips

I feel what I’ve known all along

These days are numbered but endless

So I’ll wait and savor my memories

Of the promises made by our happiness

Overheard by the waves and palm trees

My Lifeguard

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Aside

I am the drifting cloud.
I am the darting dragonfly.
I am the upturned leaves awaiting a quenching rain.
I am the quivering blades of grass.
I am the flickering flame.
I am the ripples that grow into waves.
I am the music.

You are the sparkle on dew.
You are the blinding white snow.
You are the warmth of the earth and stone.
You are the darkness removed from night.
You are the long day.
You are the reassuring light.
You are the lyrics.

We are the storm.
We are the tide.
We are the seed sown and
We are the tree grown.
We are the newborn cry.
We are the autumn sky.
We are the song.

I could be alone.
You could be too.
But it is love
That makes us whole
And is the soul of the story told.

Equal Parts

Get in Line

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The food court.

When it comes to eating, does it get any better than this?

I mean, obviously it’s not the most gourmet or luxurious environment, but where else can you – and everyone else – get such selection? You can order up whatever you want – sushi or stir-fry, pizza or subs, tacos or burgers, deli or salads, even smoothies and fro-yo. The worst part is deciding. Once you do, you may have to wait in line and then maybe do a little scouting for a table, but where else can you get exactly what you crave with so little effort?

It’s a lot like life.

We are surrounded by amazing abundance. Everything that anyone could possibly want is within reach. It doesn’t always look like what we think it should… (You don’t always need linen napkins) …but as far as variety goes, it’s out there, like the most amazing buffet. What a blessing that the hardest part is choosing – what career, who to partner with, when (or if) to have children, where to live, how to spend our time. Of course, once we choose, we may need to be patient or put out some effort to make it happen, but the choices are ours to make, and the options are limitless.

(Me? I’ll have a little of this and a little of that, but I don’t worry about missing anything. I’ll be back.)

Never Again

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I woke up thinking that today is my last day.

Or it might as well be.

Recently, a divorced friend of mine said that if she would’ve known that the last time she made love to her husband was THE last time, she would’ve made sure it was great.

This got me to thinking. First, that I know what she means. I’ve had relationships end suddenly and you never really know when it’s the last time… last hug, last kiss, last good-bye.

We all have these feelings about things. Regrets suck. So how do I fix it so that it doesn’t happen again? Everyone always says that today is the first day of the rest of your life. That just makes me feel like I have lots of time, and that opportunities are knocking, and the future exists. But it doesn’t. Not yet anyway.

What if I do everything like it is my last day?  It’s not that it ‘might’ be my last day, or that there’s a ‘chance’ I won’t see tomorrow. It is truly the last today. Things will inevitably be different tomorrow. Situations will change, opportunities will change, circumstances will change. Some people will enter my life and some will leave it, and if I’m half the person I hope to be, I’ll be different too.  I will learn something today that will change the way I think or feel tomorrow. I will never again see things the way I do today.

So as I take the time to eat this nectarine, I’m slurping up the sweetness it has offered me and letting the juice run down my chin because I will never eat this nectarine again.

Around the Pond

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Mindfully setting my foot on the path, I inhale the flavors of the woods. The morning rain and afternoon sun have merged into a comforting haze hanging in the solemn forest. The cedar wood chips comprising the trail release a dense fragrance like red wine underfoot while vines of honeysuckle dangle perfumed flowers overhead. As I breathe in the moldy sweetness of the damp leaves and the humid air settles around me, all the tension of my body is released as if I’m embraced by a dear old friend.

As the retiring sun sinks below the treetops, it sparks the last drying raindrops on the broad leaves of laurels and young oaks. Like diamonds set to light my way they shimmer and twinkle and draw me out of the cool shade of the overgrown briar toward the exposed hillside.

The edge of the knoll has been mowed close and in the stillness, the intensity of freshly cut grass erases other thoughts from my mind as it mingles with the earthy aroma of mud that randomly sprouts fingers of tiny mushrooms. Defiant dandelions tower their tall wispy seed heads over yellow buttercups trailing from the sunlight to the dappled boundary of the tree line.

A rustle from the thicket makes me stop and guess ‘friend or foe,’ only to watch a squirrel bound from shrub to tree trunk. His claws scritch and scratch as he scrambles up the smooth bark of a large sycamore and rests on a sturdy branch drenched in blinding beams of golden light. Camouflaged by the noisy climb, a courageous rabbit ventures out from under the bramble to nestle in and nibble a tranquil patch of flower-topped clover as evening arrives.

Just ahead where the trail turns to meadow, a few robins quickly scurry to maintain their distance from me and then surrender to flight as my pace closes too soon. Disturbed is a duel of doves, and the coos of their panicked flurry warn a persistent drake pursuing a reluctant duck, now relieved that her suitor has been distracted.

Although never intending to menace my neighbors, the blackbirds join the commotion, whistling and chirping advisories as well. The long screech of a red-tail hawk shreds the remaining silence and looking up in wonder at the soaring predator, I know that no movement goes undetected in the realm he reigns.

The vivid reflection of the sky and trees on the mirrored water makes me want to dive into that other world and swim through the clouds painted on the surface. As my trek takes me round the pond’s perimeter I walk nearer the cattails and tall grasses that disguise the hideouts of nesting geese. Turning toward me, a pair of identical birds extends their necks and wings to threaten against my intrusion. Respectfully, I retreat in silence to reassure the nervous parents I mean their brood no harm.

As I near where the path turns back to concrete and draw closer to the hum of the highway in the distance, a momentary sentiment rises slowly within me, like that of a departing guest who must leave her hosts at the station, already missing the travel not even having returned home.

I take one last breath of moist and scented sunshine to help this place linger within me just a little while longer.

Until we meet again.

It’s All That

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D-day.

In my lifetime, the only meaning this really held for me was Blitzen von Normandy. It was her birthday.

I will never – no matter what happens in my life – miss anything the way I miss Blitzen.

From the day I picked her up and said “Do you want to come home and be my puppy?” and she reached up and licked my chin, to the day the vet ran the IV to end her suffering, and she reached up and licked my chin and forever closed her eyes, she was a perfect creature.

They say that there’s only one best dog in the world, and every kid owns it, but she was truly it. I’m not talking about a good dog or a smart dog. Blitz was a perfect German shepherd. (Except she was afraid of the garden hose, and well, thunderstorms too, but that’s another story.)

But that’s not why she’ll be the only thing I will ever grieve. It’s because I will never again care about another thing.

I don’t have a favorite sweater or a piece of sentimental jewelry or an album of photos I couldn’t live without. Although I inherited lots of stuff from my mom and dad and a few things of my grandmother’s, none of it holds any meaning. It’s true there are things that remind me of people I’ve known or experiences I’ve had, but their value is not intrinsic. The memories are not of the house or of the old car, or even the big table we all gathered around. All of those things have come and gone, but the memories are and will always be mine, and I’m thankful for that.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate having nice things. I do. I enjoy them while they’re here. It’s just that I learned over the years that to attach yourself to something, no matter what it is, is to invite sadness. It seems like any time I start to value a particular thing, that’s when it breaks, or gets lost or stained, or shrinks in the dryer. These little annoyances remind me that I’ve done it again. I put value into something that doesn’t matter.

So I will make an effort to value the true in life: this moment in time, the love I share, the service I provide, the art I express, the laughter we create together. The rest of it just collects dust and will be one more thing that has to be packed the next time I move.