Monday, March 30, 2009

Bed Mates

We lie amid the rumpled sheets and blankets, he and I, drowsily content, the warmth of his body next to mine. Brown eyes meet blue ones with a steady gaze, peering deep into my very being, losing me in their unspoken words ... then close into a restful peace. His body lies like a gentle shield across mine, protecting me from shadows and demons that wander the night. The breathing of my loved one creates a soothing cadence that quiets my soul, whispering a soothing lullaby. My hand lifts to stroke the whiskered face, caressing, taking comfort from the touch, dropping to rest on the warmth of his back as I fall into a tranquil slumber.

One thought fills my mind as I drift away … I love this dog.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Sweeping through the night, the shadows of defeat and fear moved silently from place to place, seeking the defenseless, the carelessly covered, the unguarded. They poked and prodded at each sleeping form, nudging here and there, hungry for a bit to jostle loose, a scruple to fall, a dream to collapse. They slipped unseen into the darkest places of rest … sometimes sifting through the jumble, greedily devouring the hope found there, moving on past those shapes already empty of light.

Their rest marred by the intrusion, some sleepers tossed and turned, the spirits scattering with their still-drowsy murmuring protests. Others slept peacefully on, oblivious to the thieves robbing them of tomorrow’s promise, feeling nothing more than a slight chill upon awakening.

And in the dawn of a new day, the shadows retreated into the mist to wait for the darkness.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Burden Bearer

She was the burden bearer, carrying the cares of all who entered into her circle.

They brought their fears, all their shattered hopes, their pains, their failures, their broken pieces, piling them at her feet in silent supplication.

Faithfully, she lifted each one… carrying the weight of their struggles safely in her being, giving strength and compassion to each one in return.

And every time a heart broke or a dream disintegrated, they would return to her… leaving the pains, taking the restoration she bestowed.

Always she gave the gift of wholeness and solace, taking their chaos, absorbing the sorrows… giving peace in return.

Until, one day, they brought their broken shards of being… and there was no one there.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


A silvery strand of hair flitted across her face as she waited on the dusty walkway, aged hands grasping the metal railing, the calliope music filling the air, filling her mind, making time shift to a time far away. The air rested heavy with the pastel scent of cotton candy and popcorn, a cacophony of sound melting away the years between now and then… then when life was simpler, her hair a rich auburn, the hands smooth ivory, free from the ravages of time.

The galloping horses stayed to their circuit, constant and sure, their colors blurring with the motion of time and space, carrying her to a time when the little girl now grown tugged at her sleeve, eagerly pleading “Mommy, mommy… the one with the pink flowers and blue ribbons… hurry, hurry!!”

Years canter by as the horses revolve past birthdays, graduations, weddings, heartbreaks and joys… the smiles passing the time… little girls becoming young women as mothers become wiser women, both kissed by the feather wings of days, months, years.
Joys and sorrows are blended in the shadow of the carnival ride, a kaleidoscope of colors, scents, touches, heart sounds blurred to a joyful melody.

With a gentle smile, she is jostled into today by a small body colliding into hers, wrapping arms tightly around her legs, the sweetness of a child’s voice calling “Grandma, Grandma… the one with the pink flowers and blue ribbons… hurry, hurry!!”

See the complete TWILIGHT CARNIVAL here! :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Home Again

Jenna took a moment to stand quietly in the warmth of the sun on the sidewalk. She wanted to absorb the colors of the flower garden, the scent of roses, the sound of water flowing from the fountain, the blue of the sky and the green of the grass. Somehow these things, in this moment in front of her mother’s house, gave her strength and made her stand a bit taller.

She crossed the flagstones, climbed the two steps onto the porch, past the bench that had been there since her childhood, and then stood before the carved mahogany door. Taking a deep breath, she touched a finger to the scrolled doorbell, hearing the chime beyond respond to her touch. Sounds of movement told her that within moments, she would be face to face with her mother for the first time in three years … three very long years. The years had carried the occasional stilted phone call, letters exchanged but never truly responded to and the occasional email discussing the weather. Silent years that had taught Jenna that talking and communicating were not at all the same.

The lock clicked and the door swung open, the scent of the house reaching her first. Rose petals, cinnamon, her mother’s perfume, oranges, and a faint hint of pine cleaner wrapped her in decades of memories – a potpourri of mingled scents as much a part of ‘home’ as the house itself. She fought the urge to run … at the same time resisting the need to simply throw herself into her mother’s arms. This time she would stand her ground. This time she would step through that doorway as herself or not at all. This time there would be no make-believe.

Her mother stood in disbelief, taking a moment to recover from the shock of seeing her only daughter on her doorstep. For that tiny instant, all of the uncertainty, the muddled history, the guilt, and even the love, were there in her eyes in plain sight – only to be quickly swept away. For a flash in time, Jenna thought she saw the sheen of tears there as well, but it was only a reflection of her heart’s wish she had glimpsed – not reality at all. A smiling mask dropped into place as arms reached for Jenna. “Darling girl, what a wonderful surprise! How on earth did you get here? I’m so happy to see you."

She reached to take one of her mother’s outreached hands into her own, moving into the house, one foot in front of the other on the gleaming wood floor.

“Are you tired? Hungry? You should have told me you were coming … I could have had a hot meal for you … meatloaf … banana pudding. Oh, never mind, come on, let’s see what we can find.” Jenna allowed herself to be led to the kitchen by the chattering woman. Mutely she accepted the glass of iced tea placed in her hand and stood looking out onto the patio, watching the hummingbirds busily fluttering at the bright red feeder as her mother bustled around behind her. “Papa and I had baked chicken last night. Why don’t I warm that for you with a nice baked potato? Doesn’t that sound good? Would you rather have just a sandwich now? Then maybe we’ll go down to Rosita’s for dinner later on … after you’ve had time to rest. Yes, that’s what we’ll do.”

Turning and gently placing her glass on the table top, Jenna sat heavily on a chair and whispered, “Mama, please …I haven’t seen you in three years. Three years, Mama. I’m not hungry. Please stop. I didn’t come all this way to be fed. Please just sit with me.”

Her mother sat across the table from her, hands still busily folding and unfolding the tea towel in her lap. She was still quite an attractive woman, even at seventy-five – hair carefully arranged in the latest trend, fingertips perfectly manicured, clad stylishly in the latest designer jeans and a t-shirt that had probably cost as much as Jenna made in a month. Here she sat, this woman who had given birth to her, in her meticulously crafted, immaculately kept fortress, keeping the unpleasantness of the real world at bay, focusing only on the small circle under her control.

As she sat looking into the green eyes of the woman who had bandaged fingers and baked cupcakes and sung lullabies, Jenna knew she could never strip away the carefully assembled armor the older woman had woven about herself. Even more, her heart
knew that accepting her mother as she was would add strength to her own struggle for uniqueness. She knew that nothing would be gained by causing pain for this woman who had given her life.

With a smile, she rose from the chair and walked around the table to take her mother into her arms. “I love you, Mama.” And for the first time in her life, she was absolutely sure of the woman she had become.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Moments In Time

There are glimpses in time that should be noticed... treasured and treated with the utmost respect. There are moments when seemingly random paths collide in a similar place, sometimes a gentle landing and sometimes not. Often we let them pass or write them off as coincidence... or even more sadly... we don't notice them at all. I was blessed with one of those moments yesterday... several of those moments... when a kindred spirit sat across a table from me and shared a meal. A very special woman with a tender heart and musical laughter shared bits of her life and her days and her thoughts with me.... a woman as beautiful on the inside as the outside. Thank you, my friend... for the gift of time.... my heart sings today.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Emma ran squealing past the blue slide, around the red jungle gym, over the green bench – arms spread wide, auburn hair flowing in the wind, her laughter fueling the journey. Playing tag with the dragon was one of her very favorite things and this sun filled day in the park was the perfect setting. Cherry blossoms fluttered to the ground in her wake, collecting like snow on the grass, filing the air with their scent.

“I will catch you, skinny girl, and the only reason you won’t be my dinner is the lack of any real nourishment on those bones!”

She shot a look of pure glee over her shoulder, green eyes twinkling into those of her friend before she threw herself to the grassy earth, face to the sun, gasping to catch her breath. Galindor swept gently to the grass beside her, gliding to a stop inches from her shoulder, the warmth from his glimmering sapphire scales dispelling the slight chill of the early spring afternoon. Reaching a hand to affectionately stroke his neck, she giggled, “Silly dragon, you would never eat me. I wouldn’t taste at all of chocolate, you know!”

“And that, my girl” he said sleepily as he nestled softly into the crook of her arm, “is why I’m saving you for another day.”

Chuckling together, the two friends rested drowsily in the late afternoon sun, each lost in their own thoughts, until Emma broke the silence.


“Yes, Emma?”

“Where’s your mama?”

“She died, Emma – just like your mama – over four hundred years ago. There was a battle, fire, noise, the earth shook – I heard her call out – and then I couldn’t feel her anymore. I knew she wouldn’t come back. All of the others were gone, too. There was nothing but silence. As far as my mind would reach, no one was there. I called and called for them from there in the darkness but I couldn’t do anything. Mama had hidden my egg on the cliffs by the shore to keep me safe and after the voices left, I slept. I slept for hundreds of years until the egg cracked.”

Emma’s eyes filled with tears as she listened, her heart breaking for her companion. “Poor Galindor, you were asleep for hundreds of years? You were all alone in the dark of that egg for more than four hundred years? Weren’t you lonely?”
Galindor looked away and with a tilt of his head said simply, “Yes. I slept there until you found me there on the beach that day and tucked me into your pocket .”

“But why did you wake up now – after all that time of waiting? What made the egg start to crack? Why were you born, Galindor? What made now the right time?”

“Emma, don’t you see, sweet girl?” the dragon said, gently nuzzling her cheek. “It was because you needed me … nothing more or less. Yours was the voice my heart was created to hear. You, Emma, are the reason I am here.”

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Angel Child

Nearly twenty years ago, I sat in a hospital bed thousands of miles from here and held tight a tiny angel with bright blue eyes and shimmering red wisps of hair. My heart has been at her mercy since the first moment our eyes met… breaking when hers breaks, laughing when hers laughs, soaring when hers takes flight.

I’ve watched her evolve from a four-year-old ballerina with stage fright to a self-assured, poised young woman with the world laid out before her, the curtain rising on the next act.

I’ve seen the music her heart sings change from a child’s self-focused chorus to a symphony of caring and concern for all whose life she touches.

I’ve seen her shoulder weights and burdens that would destroy a lesser vessel, but she has carried them with a quiet determination, becoming a woman crafted of fierce strength wrapped in a gentle touch.

I have watched these things and I stand in awe at this child… this woman… this angel… my daughter.

Friday, March 13, 2009


This morning I woke to the sound of birds singing in my backyard – literally that was the first sound I heard – even before my eyes opened. I stretched from head to toe, taking quick inventory – yes, everything was in working order – arms, legs, fingers, hearing. My eyes took in the brilliant cerulean sky framed by the bedroom window, blue sprinkled with the vibrant splash of fuchsia bougainvillea blossoms. A few last moments savoring the softness of the sheets beneath me, the cushiony warmth of the comforter over me, the quiet stillness of the dogs sleeping by the bed … and with a quiet “Thank You”, I swung my legs from the bed, planted my feet on the floor and stood to begin another day.

This is the tiny seed that begins each day – the joy that creates a party in my heart every single morning. Because, in this life of mine, each moment, each second is a gift.

You see, about six years ago, I found myself caught up in a whirlwind world of
terror – medical tests, theoretical diagnoses, physician’s voices … an unknown chasm where it appeared anything could happen. Ominous words were bandied about carelessly - life expectancy, paralysis, blindness, malignancy – words fueled by and filled with terror and uncertainty. The final diagnosis was multiple sclerosis … and the words filled my heart with absolute gratitude.

Yes, I have a chronic illness. But that’s like saying I have blue eyes or fair skin. It’s merely a physical descriptor, not who I am. It does not define me.

Who I am is a woman who today has a beautiful, sunshine filled day to inhabit. I have flowers to smell, a home to care for, children to laugh with, fresh fruit to eat, books to read, the feel of a pen in my hand moving across paper. I have every reason to believe that tomorrow will arrive right on schedule, that the sun will shine (after all, I live in Phoenix!) and that love will fill my heart and my hours. Abundance fills ever waking hour – not wealth or extravagance, at least not by American standards – but absolute overflowing abundance.

I nurture that seed of gratitude daily, tending it with loving care, cultivating and encouraging it – not dwelling on the “could have been’s” but looking ahead to embrace the “yet to be’s”. Every morning I list not only my blessings, but my hopes as well … for, you see, it is the hope that fuels the journey. Laura Ingalls Wilder said it so well: “It is the sweet, simple things of life that are the real ones after all.” Let them fill your heart with gratitude.

Originally published as a Guest Post at Creating A Good Life ... it's a great site with lots of seriously good content ... go look around :))

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Best Present

Sitting amid the chaos of discarded wrapping paper and ribbon, I held the box … delaying its opening for a precious moment, savoring the tingle of anticipation. Then slowly I lifted the lid, peeping under the corner … and a gasp of sheer joy left my lips as I tossed the lid aside.

The diary was bright pink – hot pink it was called in those days – with a gleaming brass lock, the shiny key hanging from a blue ribbon. An impish little girl accompanied by a sloppily drawn puppy adorned the cover, each bathed in psychedelic hues. Eagerly, I inserted the key in the tiny opening, unlocking the portal to the world of wonder waiting to be created there. Inside, each rectangular page was boldly headed with a date for each day of the year. Below each date stretched an expanse of blank blue lines with the tiniest spacing imaginable.

At once, I set off in search of the perfect writing implement, anxious to make my mark. Proudly and carefully, I inscribed my badge of ownership on the flyleaf. For a moment, I closed the cover, holding the book close to my chest, my ten-year-old heart somehow knowing that this volume was much more than glue and paper. Almost reverently, I again opened the book. Hands smoothed across the pages, feeling the texture of the simple thin paper beneath fingers already dancing to words yet unwritten.

“Dear Diary, today was my tenth birthday, the day I got you… the best present ever.”

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Tear

The silent tear told a story that screamed to be told... a tale of hope and despair, love and loss, loyalty and betrayal. Leaving a glistening trail, it trickled across a cheek caressed by a mother's hand, kissed by a man made of dreams, patted by a child's chubby fingers. It sang of a girl chasing fireflies in the warm dusk of a summer evening and a woman chasing dreams in a life lit by shimmering stars. It traced a path left by other tears in lonely moments in other days... and uncountable joys in yet others. It told of a life lived with delight and zest, love given freely, passion embraced fully, adversity met with strength.

A hand lifted to gently brush the tear away... as a woman stood tall to welcome another day.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Sustainable anger? Why does it seem to be lacking from my repertoire of emotions? Why does any small measure of anger I might be able to breathe to life quickly melt away into nothingness? Is it that nothing in my life matters enough to nourish the emotion? Definitely not. Is it a reflection of thing things in my life... or my life itself... or myself? Do I not care about specific things... or do I just not care? Is it apathy... depression... coldness... lacking... what?!? Why on earth can I not just be mad as hell when I want to be?!?