Where The Wild Things Still Grow (Part One)

How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold. ~ William Wordsworth

Queen Anne’s Lace (top view)

Queen Anne’s Lace (view from beneath)

Goldenrod

Wild Yarrow

Honeysuckle

Purple Beebalm

Close up of Black Eyed Susan

Rose of Sharon

Mimosa

All subjects were found growing wild and free; the first eight in a field on my parent’s property and the last two (trees) along a river bank. The beauty of nature is breathtaking. I hope this brings you as much joy as it did me.

CHICK-A-BOOM, DON’T YA JES’ LOVE IT?

Spin Cycle: Music

“Chick-a-boom-chick-a-boom
(Mmmmm-aaaah)
Don’t ya jes’ love it
Chick-a-boom-chick-a-boom-boom-boom”

I shook my nonexistent hips like a seesaw and screamed the words as loud as my seven year old lungs could belt. All for the attention of my teenage brother. He loved this song and cracked up when I performed it.

Before that there was Georgie Girl, the song my other brother loved.

And later there was my sister’s Puppy Love…the musical taste declined, but she made up for it when she introduced me to Bye Bye Miss American Pie. I still love this song.

Then my other sister played Time in a Bottle and everything else by Jim Croce. To my parent’s horror, the stereo needle went round and round almost 24/7 on the Jesus Christ Super Star album. Whatever my sister loved, I loved.

Whatever my siblings liked I declared as my favorite. Yes, I was a copycat. My siblings claimed to hate the crooning country music our parent’s listened to, so I detested it as well. One could say I was easily influenced.

Being a copycat eventually brought me to the music I still love, but it didn’t come from my brothers or sisters. My best friend, Robin, had an aunt who was the coolest teenager we knew. Nay (short for Renee) was three years older. She was pretty, fashionable, and ever so hip. She wore a comb in the back pocket of her Levis, so we wore a comb in the back pocket of our Levis. She wore a leather belt, so we wore a leather belt. She didn’t carry a purse, so we refused as well. She listened to a rock radio station, so we started carrying our transistors around and taping the songs onto cassette tapes. Nay would sit tapping her knees to the beat and swing her head like she was into the song. We’d tap our knees and swing our heads pretending to be into the music like her. But when she played Bob Seeger and the Silver Bullet Band for us, the pretending stopped for me. I really was into the music. For the first time I didn’t just hear the words and music, I felt them. Other songs were fun or pretty, but Turn the Page and Against the Wind really reached out and touched me. And then she shared Creedence Clearwater Revival. I resonated with this music on some deeper level, and it remains my all-time favorite band.

My music interests vary now. I do listen to some country and contemporary Christian music, but I love good old rock and roll. Eagles still rock my world, along with Boston and Kansas. I don’t think any group has ever matched the harmony of the Beatles. The Blues touch my soul on a level like no other. I suppose one could say my musical tastes are as fickle as I am.

Nay always broadened our world and enlightened our style. She had really good musical tastes, and I hear she’s now obsessed with cowboy boots…hmmm, I feel a hankering for a pair of roach stompers…

 

 

Simplicity

“Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.” — Oscar Wilde

This past weekend DirtMan and I went to the mountains. We spent time with relatives and enjoyed the fresh country air.

The river and creek called us for a visit. The roar, hum, and gurgles enveloped us and penetrated our being.

We roamed the land with my dad collecting quartz (chert rock/flint). My intention is to use the rock as a border for one of my flower gardens. I tried to get the whitest I could find. I got a few pieces of rose quartz, some  mixed with green stone, and others with iron and various minerals streaking yellow or red through the whiteness.

It’s soul soothing to just be; no pretenses, agenda, or expectations.

Letting time ride in and out with the breeze…no attempt at controlling the hands of time…what a joy!

Sometimes spending time with the ones you love doing “nothing” is absolutely EVERYTHING!

Once Upon A Wigwam City

“The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of forest, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belongs just as the buffalo belonged…” ~Luther Standing Bear 

I grew up on sacred grounds. I roamed the land once inhabited by the Monacans. Can you see the large circle in the first photo and two in the second photo? These were perhaps created by the oils of the hides covering the wigwams. My father used to not mow this area…it is only noticeable when the grasses are cut and you can see a different type of grass grows in patches within the circle. In my father’s lifetime (82years), this area has only once been tilled. My cousin and I used to run through these fields…her home and mine, only separated by the creek that runs through the fields.

Occasionally we found artifacts such as arrowheads, spears, and bowls. Every time we found a mound in the woods we swore it was an Indian burial ground…my father got a chuckle out of our imaginations. We started a club called Monacan Indian Rattlers. She and I were co-presidents…there were no other members; we didn’t need anyone else. We actually didn’t think anyone could understand our obsession…after all, it was the marrow of our bones, the soul of our existence…We climbed their trees, swung on their wild grape vines, built tepees, waded their creek, and did our own rain dance version through their glades. The land melded the time between our beloved Monacans and the dreams of our childhoods. We believed with all our hearts our great grandmother was Monacan Indian. This information is now disputed, but still we hold our heritage close. We live and breathe this sacred land.

Indian bowl my husband found on the creek about a year ago.

Seven Days

Living in the Gap

Seven days. What is seven days? A week? A mere glimpse in time? A lifetime for those in pain or those waiting for something?

The egret dives his beak in the water and emerges with a wiggly fish. With a shake of his head and twist of his neck its in his mouth. He stretches his neck and gulps. Dip. Stretch. Shake. Repeat several times. Hmmm. Lunch is done.

Three sets of deep set eyes beneath thick brows say I love you in hugs, words, looks, and gestures. I follow their laughter and swallow their love. I enjoy this gift of life because I know time is fleeting.

My heart falls into my stomach as I hear the words through the phone…And I can’t be there for reassurance, not that my presence changes the outcomes. Waiting to hear all is ok seems like many lifetimes over….this thing called love hurts when we can’t control the circumstances of life.

The Cardinal flower drinks the water as quickly as the spray hits the ground. In a matter of moments, it lifts its flopping arms and bounces to life. We all get thirsty…

The hummingbird lowers to drink from the feeder and quickly flees as the dog comes into view. He turns the corner to the feeder out of the dog’s sight. Mini jet propellers suspend him in air as he lowers and flutters while he drinks…and emerald glows in the last of the day’s rays.

I wake with a jump. Confusion…the space of time between dream and reality. I must walk to see for myself that all is well, that indeed it was not real.

Giggling babies of various chubbiness climb over me. Tiny fingers pinch and pull at me. Little feet poke me. Wet kisses. Fierce hugs. Demands for my attention. They all want a piece of me, and there’s enough of me to go around.

Sunlight streams through the limbs of the Oak and dapples across the barren ground. It looks like a sepia design filtered through a huge ink screen.

I taste home as I sip the bourbon tones of Isabel and Dark Hollow. The wind is at my back and I smell the sweetness of honeysuckle and apples. I see the fog rising over the green rolling hills of Three Ridges and the Priest. I hear the roar of the Tye and feel its chill as I dip my toes in. Another sip and I’m almost home…

HE LOVES ME, he loves me not…

“What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me.” ~Helen Keller

Petals scatter to the ground as we play our childish games.

Oh, to be loved…how we count our own worth by those who love or don’t love us.

We forget we must love ourselves in order to be fully loved.

Sometimes we feel we aren’t lovable.

We are each perfectly created.

We are each immeasurably loved.

Be the kind of person you want to love.

Let’s forget the childish games and be real today.

Reach out to someone today.

Make a phone call.

Send a card.

Give a hug.

Simply say I love you.

It’s not as difficult as you think.

You’ll make someone else feel good,

and you’ll be surprised how wonderful it makes you feel.

Want to know a secret?

Somebody loves you.

Actually lots of somebodies love you.

Let that sink in and warm your heart.

Weeding The Words Of Summer’s Flower Garden

Everyone loves a summer garden. The sweet aroma of lavender drifts through the air. Sunny faces of Gerber daisy turn heads of all who walk by. Black-eyed Susans and coneflowers feed the birds and bees. Butterflies and hummingbirds flock to lantana, salvia, and beebalm. The garden is a place of action and beauty; buzzing and fluttering wings among a rainbow of blooms.

If you want your writing to come to life with color and flair, tend your words as you would a flower garden. In the early stages of writing every word is a potential flower. You must learn to recognize a weed when you see it. Study your craft. You must know more than basic skills. You must develop style.

Start with a seed/idea. Give it time to germinate. Though you will come up with much useless material to the project at hand, free writing is a great jump start. Volunteers (hopefuls) often show up in a garden. Sometimes they fit in and other times they need to be transplanted. You can salvage the ideas not essential to the piece you’re working on and file them away for later projects. Find the point in your piece and work around it. Make it bloom.

Water is the gift of life as is word choice. Choose your words as wisely as your plants. Your content will determine the potential size of your audience. The difference between an ordinary noun preceded by an adjective and a concrete noun is the difference between life and death. Which of these two sentences draw you in? The jeweled lady walked in the barely lit night. The gypsy danced beneath a veil of moonlight. You have the ability to make your writing as powerful and appealing as you want.

Weed…flowers need room to grow. The art of writing in any venue is in the gleaning of the words. More is not always better. Get rid of the unnecessary words by sticking to those needed to deliver your message. Don’t waste words saying the same thing several different ways. Superfluous words reduce your intent and your message will get lost in the jumble. Avoid clichés…they’re like poison ivy in the garden; unwanted and annoying. If you’re not sure if you’ve spotted a weed, give it time. It’s much easier to separate weeds and flowers with a fresh perspective.

Fertilize…strengthen your writing by appealing to the senses. Descriptive writing is a blossoming flower. Use emotion to invite your readers to lose themselves in your words. Let your readers feel your heartache and joy, taste hope in the rain, smell the cedar in your hiker’s hair, hear the whistle of the wind through the pines, see the arc of a mockingbird’s wings as it lifts into the air…take your audience into the story with you.

Flowers need sunlight to grow as words need an audience. Flowers are planted in locations that deliver the amount of sunshine necessary for growth. Target your audience. Write for them. Focus on what your readers expect from you. Do they expect to be entertained or enlightened? Submit your work to venues designed for your genre.

The unfolding of your voice like a daylily; bold, bright, and beautiful. Let your words be a glimpse of sunshine on the page.

****Disclaimer: I’m not claiming to be an expert writer, but as any writer should I’m  just passing along a little of what I’ve learned along the way. (This was written for another venue, but I thought I’d share it here as well.) Like everyone else, I  am learning every day…

Annoyances

Most frustration stems from lack of control.

You may be angry at the choices others have made.

Try to remember it is their story, not yours.

You might want to be in control of others.

Directing their lives is not your job or obligation. Let it go.

Or you might even feel others have power over you.

No one has any more control over you than you allow them.

Minor annoyances enter all of our lives.

How we handle these irritations is what makes the difference.

Acknowledge what is within your control and accept what is not.

While you can’t control what others say and do,

you have complete power over your own actions and choices.

Be responsible for your decisions. Do the right thing.

Be accountable to yourself…right your wrongs if you can.

In the heat of the moment, instead of reacting just breathe.

Breathing relaxes you. It opens your perspective.

It helps keep you from viewing matters through your own emotions.

It will clear your head and make room in your heart for what needs to take place.

When you learn to let go of what is not within your control, frustration lessons and your heart expands in the process.

It will help you act rather than react which has the power to make or break a relationship.

Ease your mind. Calm your heart.

Just breathe and “be”.

Let peace enter your soul.

Let peace lead the way.