Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Strange Glory of Grief

Over the weekend there was a phone call.
Friend long forgotten remembering me
Stirred up a past put to rest, so I thought.
It was lovely to dwell there again.

She spoke of a man once mentor to us
Truly important to who I’ve become
Now dead these past three years.
I knew that – did not consider more grieving to come.

She asked if I had heard of his book
Personal journal published after his death.
Not being aware I bought it forthwith
It came in the mail today.

Suddenly grief put her arms around me.
Book’s paper and words transformed into a koan
Moaned from my heart washed by tears
Cleared my eyes to look deeply into myself.

The young woman I had been grew year by year
Foundation was laid early on.
Now I sing praises of happy thanksgiving
That in the end she has become me.


Summer at Aunt Mamie’s

The summer I was seven I was sent to stay with Aunt Mamie in a small town in Alabama. She lived in the house where she and my mother, along with five siblings, were born. I had severe asthma and the doctor thought it would build up my resistance to gain about ten pounds. My mother thought her sister’s fried chicken and beaten biscuits spread with butter churned from the milk of the cow across the street would accomplish that.

To me, a city child, that summer was magical. My education was profound. I learned important things like if the sun shone while it was raining it would rain at the same time the next day. A rainbow would have the same effect. With other uncles and aunts gathered on the wide screen porch of my aunt’s house I listened to a Joe Louis prize-fight on the radio. I didn’t learn until much later that most of America was glued to their radios that night, too. I learned how to make tiny scissors from two crossed straight-pins laid on the train track before the train whistled its way through town. I was initiated into the rhythm of Southern small-town life. I had almost forgotten how to live that way.

The cycle began with dinner in the middle of the day. We had chicken and biscuits along with vegetables from the garden and pie and ice cream for dessert, all accompanied by glasses of ice tea with mint, lemon and sugar. It’s no wonder that I did gain my ten pounds. After dinner it was nap time. I thought sleeping in the middle of the day was for babies and I resisted. Aunt Mamie read to me from the Raggedy Ann stories, identifying herself as the “Tired Old Horse” and me as the “Camel With the Wrinkly Knees”. When naps were over it was time for a bath and putting on freshly ironed clothes – a pinafore for me. Finally we got in the old maroon car and drove around the mile-square town to sit on other people’s front porches in rocking chairs and tell stories of what was going on at the moment or fifty years ago. I listened and received my most important lesson – to love and to tell stories of my own.

Mornings were a child’s dream. I got up early before anyone else was awake, put on yesterday’s pinafore and went outside to play in the sand box filled with cool sand from a nearby riverbank. The birds were up and sun beams were casting shadows of tree leaves barely moving in the morning breeze. I had the world to myself. Those mornings gave breath to my present life.

I was not thinking of the summer at Aunt Mamie’s when I was hunting for an apartment three summers ago. I had moved to be near family and wanted a small place of my own. As I looked out the window of this fourth-floor apartment I knew it was a space I could inhabit. The tall trees, the birds, the flowers on the garden patio below spoke to a well-remembered yet almost forgotten part of me. The arc of time had come full circle.

Written in response to Seeker Dungeon’s Prompt: What did you forget after growing up?


Metamorphosis: A Haiku

Daily Prompt. When was the first time you really felt like a grownup(if ever)?

Being a grownup
An indefinite concept
Pertaining to age.

Childlike behavior
Without expiration date
Embraces the world.


Space Odyssey

An August visit with my two sisters and brother was another step on my path homeward. We are all in our seventies and decided it was time we got together by ourselves – no children or grandchildren. It was a revelation hearing old family stories told from new perspectives as we shared memories. It was a loving and fun occasion. We began laying a foundation for sharing our remaining years as we had shared our early ones. And then I returned home. I turned the key in the door of my apartment and was instantly enveloped by my dearest, splendidly solitary space. I finally get it!

For some time now my life has been unfolding in its pattern of rich family moments followed by returning home to  the priceless gift of solitude. I’ve sought warmth in two marriages that ended in divorce. I’ve found warmth in the shared love of three generations of my family.  I would be bereft without them. I am surrounded by good neighbors. I am blessed that my small apartment contains just enough of worldly things for me and the promise of time to write. My computer transports me to blogland. From there I roam the universe of words. My imagination takes wing. I fly with a new name on my passport. I journey deep inside myself and locate my soul in my writing. I am fed by others reading my words and understanding the feelings  embedded there. My “now I get it moment” is a long time coming. It has been a good journey home.

Written response to Dungeon Prompts: That “Now I get it moment”


A Haiku: Interlude

Moldy blueberries
Today on my cereal
Summer’s curtain falls.

Months before grapefruit
Second banana takes bow
Stand-in for next star.



Beginning with morning the magic appears
I open my eyes, greet another new day
Outside my window I hear the birds singing
Serenading creation and all it provides.

Checking to be sure my knees are still working
I head to the kitchen for my early pleasure
Smelling and tasting strong coffee restores me
I offer thanksgiving for these simple treasures.

I light a candle whose sweet scent reminds me
I’m only a guest at a banquet of senses
Stroking the wood of my grandmother’s chair I remember
Love is my hostess when I RSVP.

This is written in response to Dungeon Prompts: Our Magical Powers


Eye Spy

Dreary airport sounds.
Calls to flights and cancellations
Conversations cell phone drone
Weariness pervades my bones.

People-watching changes scene.
Dramas large and small
Engage me with human race
Bringing smiles to my face.

Seeing families deplane
I spy a little boy
Following his mom and dad
Two smaller sisters in their arms.

His four-year-old self, I gage
All seriousness and firm endeavor
Pulling his own roller bag
Spider Man his hero buddy.

My heart filling to brim
I could not stop my face’s beam
Suddenly he turned his head
Shyly smiling back at me.

Written in response to DungeonPrompt: Spreading Joy