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Free spirit

If you don’t ask me about myself,
you will be confused.
But don’t try to figure me out on your own.
You will likely end up being wrong and misunderstanding me .
No matter how good you may be at reading and assessing people,
I’m a challenge .
Just when you think you know how I would react to something,
I will surprise you.
Just when you set your expectations high of me,
I may disappoint you.
Just when you set them low,
I will rise to the occasion and amaze you.
Just when you have me molded into your perspective of who I am,
I will do or say something that breaks the mold.
Just when you’ve printed the label and placed it on me,
I will rip it off.
Just when you look for me marching one way with the crowd,
you will find me marching in the opposite direction, perhaps with a different crowd, perhaps alone .
Yes I’m complicated .
But I’m bendable not breakable .
I’m adaptable not rigid.
I’m open minded not close minded.
I am always changing,
I am ever growing,
I am a free spirit

Morning thoughts


I was reading a post from someone reflecting about their creative Mom back in the fifties, when money was tight, creating things for their home out of other’s trash and discarded items.
It brought my memory back to the 1970s and early 80s whe my kids were little and I was trying to decorate our humble apartment for the seasons . For a few years things were very, very tight and there were no trips to Michaels or Hobby Lobby for those kinds of frivolous things .
Instead there were trips down the street to the waterside for shells, starfish and driftwood to make summer decor . Trips into the woods behind our house to collect pine cones, acorns , bare tree branches , for fall and winter decor .
One particular memory I know my girls have is getting in the car to drive down to a local state park by the waterside where big shoots of pampous grass , (sea grass , sea oats) were abundant. Better known by our silly name of “woogies” as we called them . We would cut them down and put them in vases . God knows the bugs I probably brought into my house but, we lit some old fashioned oil lamps (for ambiance, we did have electricity) 😂😂, and our home was cozy. ❤️

Pause/Prayer

For me the Pause is prayer, so is the moment of silence, the bowed head, the focus on our breathing, the stirring of gratitude deep inside of us, the reflection on the miracle of life, the beauty of nature and oh so many more moments like that. Yes, we can talk to God with our words, but he does not “NEED” our words to hear our prayers. He knows us from the depths of our souls.

Doors

For a very long time I’ve believed that life is like one long corridor of doorways. And behind every door there all kinds of blessings, experiences and opportunities, to live, love, learn, grow and to find joy and fulfillment . But most doors don’t open themselves. I don’t believe in waiting for my life to live itself. I believe in purposely living it. Every second, of every hour of every beautiful day .

On Equality

I believe that one of the most beautiful things about the human race is our diversity. I believe that “equality” means every human has the same value, but we are NOT all the same. We vary in our dna, in our physical attributes, in our cultural backgrounds in our talents, strengths and weaknesses. If we deny our differences then we lose a tremendous opportunity to learn from one another. We deny ourselves the enriching experience of seeing humanity beyond our own perspective. We are called to love, value and respect equally. We are not called to view everyone as the same. I don’t think any race, nationality or creed on this planet wants to be invisible. We want to be heard, understood respected and loved just the way we are.

Dirty Glass

My morning thoughts:

If someone hands you a piece of glass that is dirty and smudged, and asks you to look through that glass and see how dirty the scene on the other side is, what will you see ? Is what you see the reality of what really is ? Or is it just your reality?

If your negative emotions control how you look at a situation, so that what you see becomes negative, is it negative in reality ? Or only through your eyes ?

It is why I stopped discussing politics or social issues. I find most people are gripped in the practice of looking through a smudged glass that has been handed to them, or allowing their negative emotions to cloud their ability to see a situation with true objectivity, unbiased, without prejudice or pre conceived ideas.

I have been guilty of it, but I acknowledge it as a human weakness. As Dr Phil always says, we can’t correct something we don’t acknowledge.

Vintage

I think one of the reasons I love watching movies from the 1950’s is the fascination with a time and world that was my Mother’s . Watching the women , their styles , their Mannerisms, the way they talked , it’s like watching a piece of your history .

When a simple poem, or a good rendition of a song with a beautiful message reaches inside you and wraps its fingers tightly around your soul and tears begin to flow from your eyes, you know you have stopped the world on its axis for just a brief moment, torn away the veil of everyday life and allowed yourself in the stillness of that moment to glimpse the beauty of your humanity .

Birthday

By:JLE

Tomorrow I turn one year older . I will be spending it in the NC mountains where the air is chilly and the colors of Fall are vibrant . My element for sure .
What does one year older mean to me ? It means another year I have been blessed to be alive . To breath the crisp autumn air, to marvel at the beauty of the earth in all its glory . To exist among all of God’s creatures both big and small . Another year of living, laughing and loving. Another year of smiles and hugs with the ones I love.
Another year I get to watch generations of my offspring live their dreams. Another year I get to grow and learn and evolve . I will never understand the failure to view life as a gift . To fail to live it to the fullest and To cherish every moment , with wonder and gratitude for every new morning . Every day is a new opportunity to discover all the little miracles that exist among us . Life is good, and whatever it throws at me, I will spend each moment with my face turned toward the light . Circumstances are no match for such a view of living . The world could crumble around me, my life could come apart at the seams, but no one can take away my joy that comes from within . It originates in the very soul of a person . That kind of joy will always find the tiniest glimmer of light in the darkest of darkness . Always find something to be thankful for , always have eyes that see the miracle and the beauty of life itself . And the God given gift that it is to be alive .

October 21, 2019

Shadows of Past

It was a warm sunny Saturday. The type of day when just the hope of spring was in the air as children still buttoned up in jackets emerged from their homes on Hanson Avenue eager to explore all the possibilities the outside world held for their curious little minds. On the front porch of 435 Hansen Avenue gathered a small group of 3 such children. The youngest was a honey blonde little girl with soft brown eyes and soft Shirley Temple type locks. She was six years old. At the center of her world at her young age was Mommy. That was it. She was the one constant in her life. The one who made her feel loved, protected and safe. Everyone else she knew were sideline characters that leaned in and smiled at her, calling her cute and attempting to gain her trust but she was always guarded. For all the earliest years of her life her world existed only of her and Mommy. Then in the past year Mommy got married and shadows began lurking in the corners of her bedroom at night. On the ceiling, swirling around, changing shape. The shapes would become scary faces and then dissolve into dark blobs again. All the new people in her world reminded her of those shadows. They were mysterious and unknown to her. On this particular day, the little girl was in the care of two of these strange people. They were her new Grandparents who lived downstairs from her. Two old people that looked to her like characters out of one of her a fairy tale books. Like the sort that might put her in the oven and cook her up for dinner. They acted like they were trying to be nice to her but she did not believe or trust them. Her new step daddy who gave her the same feeling was at work so they had to take care of her today. And Mommy was in the hospital because she just gave birth to her baby sister. She wished Mommy were home. Of the other two children on the porch, one was her cousin, so she was told. But somehow she understood he was not her real cousin. The oldest, a lanky boy of 12 with crooked teeth and a bit of drool always oozing from the sides of his mouth when he spoke. The little girl understood that he was not quite normal. Not “retarded” like she understood that word to mean, but different. “Slow” they said. In her six year old mind he was funny. He told constant riddles and laughed a lot at himself. The little girl was not afraid of him. Adults she did not know made her more ill at ease than other children did. The other child was a girl between them in age. A friend of the boys. A stranger to the little girl. As they all played together on the porch the morning wore on. Out of boredom the older two decided to wander away from the house. “Let’s go to the Field”, they said. “C’mon”, they told the little girl. Assuming she was in her pretend cousin’s charge, since he was the oldest, she followed. And off to the field on the next block they wandered. The little girl never went that far from the house by herself. But it seemed to her that since the older two said so, it was ok to go. The field was muddy in spots. The result of a rainy Month. There were puddles. And tall reeds. Some taller than the little girl. It looked to her like a maze, as the three explored. They came upon a small pond. There was an older boy there. Or maybe he was a young man. Much older than her cousin. He started to talk to the three of them. The little girl just listened. They were thinking of a game to play. The older boy, or young man, had an idea. There’s something that looks like a raft in the water. How about two of us go to the other side of the pond and the other two stay here and push it across to us. He looked at the older girl and said, “Lets me and you go across.” “No, no, I’m not going” she said. “I don’t want to go. Let her go”, she said pointing to the little girl, who wondered why she was making such a fuss. After all, he picked her. So the youngest of the three began to walk with the strange man to the other side of the pond. He lead, she followed. “This way” he directed as they walked silently. Then suddenly a strange feeling began to grip the little girl. A tightening in her belly as her heart began to beat faster. It came upon her so fast it began to panic her. Fear. The realization she may not be safe. The feeling she had about all the new strange people in her life but ten times stronger. This bad feeling began gripping her within one minute’s time. She stopped. I want to go back, she said meekly. Then the slow motion began. “Noooooo”, the stranger’s mouth formed the words as he grabbed her arm and began to pull her against her will. Her heart pounding in her chest could be heard up through her ears and out into the day. The sun moved behind dark clouds as the stranger pulled her down in the brown grass among the reeds. Her back to the ground, the stranger looming over her, the clouds looked like the shadows in the corners of her room at night. They formed the scary blobs above the man’s face. His face became one of those scary shadow blobs. She opened her mouth but could not scream. Then he placed his hand on her mouth while the other hand was doing something. And then she saw it. He showed it to her and said touch it. The strange part of him that she knew was not meant for her to see. Shaking her head violently away from his hand he again tried to scream but no sound. Then with a softer shaky voice she heard herself meekly say. “Please, Mister, tell me, what are you going to do to me?” He just stared at her and said nothing. She could see above the reeds behind him, something tall like a stick coming toward them a little distance away. Then she saw him turn his head and look behind him. In an instant he released her, rose up, ran away disappearing into the reeds. Then out of the reeds appeared the other two children. Her pretend cousin with a tall stick in his hand. And the girl. They were laughing. We came to save you. They acted like nothing more were happening than children playing on a sunny afternoon. She rose to her shaky feet. I want to go home she said behind tear blurred eyes. No, we don’t want to go home now they protested. She followed them wining and crying. The older girl looked annoyed. I want to go. She continued stumbling through the puddles. She tripped and fell and the knees of her jeans got wet. Finally the other two children gave in and they headed back to the porch at 435 Hansen Avenue. Walking home all the little girl could think of was how she wanted to tell Mommy. She wished Mommy would be there to tell when she got back to the house. But she knew she would not. She could not tell the strange new Grandmother. She would tell Mommy when she came home from the hospital. Later standing in the kitchen of the Grandmothers house, the Grandmother looming over her with her scary face she trembled. The Grandmother was questioning where she had been. Why are you pants wet she said? Where you in the Field? Yes the little girl muttered holding back tears with a lump in her throat the size of an apple. With one swift movement the Grandmother slapped her hard across her face. It hurt her frightened and bruised heart worse than it hurt her face. The hurt of that day and all its events would leave a bruise that would remain for life. For the rest of that week she told herself she would tell Mommy when she got home and Mommy would comfort her. Mommy, the only constant in her life of scary shadows, and strange people. Later that week when Mommy returned the little girl did not tell her. As each day passed she blocked out the scary day until it was like a bad dream. When Mommy returned, all the focus was on her and the new baby sister. Standing in the background she somehow felt that she had been a bad girl that day and that’s why the bad thing happened to her. She became afraid to tell Mommy and never told a soul until many years later when she grew up.

By:JLE

Shadows of Past