Tag Archives: healing

Birds of Spring

Preface:

The love for spring and birds and all things beautiful prompted me to write this – the robin started it all and the progression to put the words to page ended up including thoughts about my mom. Both of us are spring babies and the appreciation she had for nature inspired me to follow paths where the wild things live. I am not brave. I fear death. Yet in my own way, I am an explorer and an adventurous soul. I am not sad. I am merely reflecting on beautiful thoughts that still bring tears.

*****

RobinWe sat on the back deck under the umbrella and chatted. We cradled ceramic mugs adorned with images of birds. The hot tea warmed us and cool spring breezes washed over us like whispered conversation. We had grown comfortable with the sporadic comments and the pleasurable silence that punctuated our early Saturday morning visit. The sun was still to our right but would soon be to our backs as we sat in shade of the house. Bundled in large knit sweaters, we settled back in the canvas chairs, sipping green tea and warming our hands. Overhead, crisscrossing jet trails cut the wild blue yonder into slices of pie.

“Why do they have to mess up the beautiful sky?” she would ask. We always looked up watching for birds and small planes and whatever else the countryside might offer. I knew she loved the view from the deck at the back of her house. The jet trails were something we always noticed and talked about. It was something we often speculated about – was it weather related air current type stuff, or was it a conspiracy to create cloud when there was none, or was it just because it was what jets do at a high altitude. Whatever the reason, it would come to be my way of knowing she was always with me – perhaps, even her way of showing support wherever I might be and whatever I might be doing. The jet contrails and the birds of spring, both beautiful and meaningful in their own way, are a necessary part of how I was able to move forward without her.

Because of her love for nature and her little house in the country, I began to take more notice of those things around me that drew me to her. Yellow eyed daisies growing in white waves always remind me of her, because they grew wild in her yard and as the years went by there were more and more of them. I see every full moon and remember her calls to me, “Did you see the moon?” I watch for the geese and their return to the northern climes after a long migration. Then in the fall when they coo and swoop in large masses collecting their formations way up high amongst the clouds, I regret their leaving just as I regret hers.

Winter was beginning to be unbearable and the worry about her living alone is one thing that weighed as heavy as the snow on her little roof. She did not relish moving into the Park to be closer to the civilized world; it was not in her destiny to move into any kind of senior’s residence, either. The fates took care of that concern, although I would have shoveled her driveway forever and took care of her when the time came. It didn’t come, though. Her journey was not with that kind of finish.

This year I noticed the robins more and their activity around me. It seems there a few around who accompany me on my day. One makes its home in the eaves above my apartment window and you can hear it singing in the still early morning. One stopped for a picture on a post outside my cabin window while I was in Jasper and another hopped up to the truck for a picture while I sat in the parking lot at Miette Hot Springs. Yet another hopped closer and closer while I loaded the truck with books this past weekend.

Everyone deals with loss in different ways. Recognizing the little things we used to talk about and remembering the things she loved is how I am able to move forward. Writing these words helps, too – as I am able now to express them from my heart without pain tearing into them before I even have a chance to put them to the page. The test would be to read them out loud – although I am sure I could attempt it, one never knows how one’s emotions are going to interfere at any given time. The wound is deep and will never going to go away, but it is healed over, protected from outside exposure.

*****

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” ~ Langston Hughes

 

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Not a Bad Day

blogging wordleAs a writer, many moments surround me that have to do with words and the opportunity for expression exists even though I feel my own creative writing is not as frequent an event as I would like it to be – right now. Right now being a time when I am immersed in the promises and projects of my own publishing company while maintaining my full time employment status, balancing personal time and commitment with volunteer and public appearance. In addition to all these things – life goes on and I am still coming to grips with me and different feelings, processing my reaction to those emotions, and dealing with “how it is” since things have so dramatically and drastically changed. It is said time heals all and, although it is the catalyst enabling us to eventually move on – it does not hide, change, or even make things better. They are merely, different… The situation and all its affects remain constant to me even though the hurt is most often reduced to a dull ache; it is still there, always, reminding. Is that the pensive artist speaking? Or the lamenting poet bemusing? Is it the need to continually grasp that which makes me feel something since there are times when I feel nothing? I am yet unable to write the negative out of me… knowing that I must, in order to purge the inner infestation and ease my own healing. The days are roller coaster weeks of emotional and physical restraints, ups and downs, periods of calm and nothingness erupting into those of stress and tension.

 I recently experienced what I thought was “not a bad day” having felt no extremes of sadness or pain; it was a Monday and I embraced it, got up and ventured out into my work world. Then, having accomplished a productive day there I followed it up with attention to other business, and then I spent the latter part of the evening in relaxation and conversation. Imagine my surprise when my daughter countered my expression of “it was not a bad day today” with “why can’t it just be a good day?”

Why can’t it, I asked myself, perplexed with my own realization of how it was stated. We discussed the ramifications of declaring the negative over the positive. The only thing I knew for sure was it felt to be better than some days of late, having experience bad days. I feel that to have a “good day” might mean moving beyond that which I know does not truly exist for me. They are different days with some that are not as bad as others. Why can’t I declare it a good day? For the same reason I am not a “jump up and down exuberantly” happy person. I know I am allowed to feel good. I am entitled to be happy. I am willing to make changes, when and if I can… but I am also taking the time I need to move into that acceptance, allowance, and happiness. I am hopeful it exists in the future; in the meantime, I go on with “not a bad day” being those with the least amount of pain – emotional and physical.

 (I was, however, personally pleased and grateful with the offspring who exhibited beyond her years intelligence. She is truly my reason for being; as are my dearest and closest friends who give me reason and cause to smile.)   

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Christmas Eve Reflections

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The morning is crisp and cold – you can feel the air around you as you walk. Plumes of exhaust from fans and furnaces stretch straight up into the air, frozen like distended icicles. The sun is just beginning to peek through the houses to the east shining its new day light with golden richness. Except for a few stray wisps the sky looks as if it will be blue and bright today. This image around me is there no matter my mood and it is in me to notice this beauty in nature as she did. It is with conflicted emotions I meet this day, write of its promise, and yet reflect on what is missing.  I predict it will never get easier.

It’s the kind of air you don’t breathe deeply for fear of freezing your lungs. It’s the still crispness you instantly feel in your nose hairs; it’s not overwhelming and hurtful, though, because there is no wind to slice through you. In any case, I did not hold hope that my car would start. After realizing the temperature, I left my freshly poured coffee and ventured out to attempt that which might be an impossible task. It’s all good, though – it started – the fine little beast. I won’t go into the story of why I can’t plug it in…

The need to reach out and still maintain my own independent vigil confuses my senses. My body reacts in pain to the numbness, to the cold, to the stress, to the ongoing goings on at a time when schedule demands push and pull. There is happiness and merriment all around even though it is not welcome inside. For me to wish everyone the best when I’m feeling my worst – it’s like a lie; an emotional untruth because it’s not what I really feel. I know I am not alone in this, my own situation, or in the bigger picture. I am not the first, and certainly not the last, to lose something precious in my life. It is the bipolar realization that you have to be here for the ones who still are all the while wanting to seclude yourself to the misery of what’s missing.

I slept okay last night despite yesterday’s worry about Dad. It has been and will be difficult the next few days but if something was to happen to him, too, it would surely be impossible to get through. He was up all Saturday night and called me Sunday morning to let me know he was sick. He just wanted me to check in periodically to ensure he was all right –a truly independent soul but fragile given the situation and all that he has gone through. It was with relief I received his call this morning, so changed from the day before – food poisoning took its short toll and he was back on his feet and out the door. He’s fine but not really.

Me, too – I’m fine but not really. I know I will be better, over time, but it is with reluctance I accept that willingly. That up and down feeling of good and bad will eventually level out and I know that doesn’t mean it’s okay – it just means I am healing. Right now it’s still too raw to feel good, to laugh seems out of place, to join in the merriment is simply out of the question. I have received some thoughtful gifts this year, ones that answer to an important part of me and all claim a place on one of those high points of this Christmas. I do want to acknowledge in this reflection the people who have been there and will continue to be there. Some are remotely affected because of their association with me and their love for me as a friend. Others are immediately immersed. No matter – I thank everyone for their patience and indulgence in my emotional status.

Writing is cathartic – as writers we extol the word’s virtue and succumb to its healing properties by expressing our deepest thoughts on paper… like purging a festering wound.

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