Monday, September 17, 2012

morning mugs

The shelf brims with mugs. 
One set of them is from my regular dishes, one set of Christmas mugs arrived after a lively name exchange at work, and then there are many random mugs of all shapes, sizes and colors who arrived on a variety of occasions and stayed.  I do not wake up in the morning with a cup in mind, but by the time the aroma of coffee fills the kitchen, I reach into the cupboard to fill one that suits the morning. 

My sturdy starbucks mug is fit for hunching over on cold or formidable mornings.
Two mugs from Germany are pulled out only for special occasions.
There is a tall, flowered one that feels fragile, and asks me to believe,
a white one that says "Grace", and
a deep blue mug with a low round reservoir ... to name a few.

On a good morning, there is time to emerge from the shadows of sleep
cradling the cup that speaks to the day.

a response to a writing challenge issued by Amber Haines in this blog:
inspired by these words:
There’s a woman standing on her morning-tender feet on the hardwood floor, and in both hands she holds the cup, jolt hot, and she drinks it burning fast awake slow-poking her to the living room. A day ago she stood on a beach and even there she missed the creak in the floor and the low air conditioner hush of morning before the boys wake up. This is holy time, the gray of morning before the chaos of cereal bowls.

Monday, September 10, 2012

strawberries in september

It is late, and I still have strawberries to freeze.  I picked strawberries this morning with my daughter and her two sons.  One a baby in her arms, and the other son a toddler who helped me fill my pail.  Well, perhaps “helping” and “filling” are not completely true.  His red-stained cheeks and shirt told a tale of more eating and tasting than successful pail filling.  I did not tell my grandson, as we chattered along the path and picked and tasted the wonderful red fruit, that my mother had loved strawberries.  Had picked them with her Arthur every year, and put them into her freezer so that loved ones who came could enjoy something strawberry-ish.  It was something that Lydia and Arthur had done since the days of their courting, and every year since.  They loved to pick them. 

I did not tell my grandson this, as we sang about strawberries, and laughed and talked as we picked. 

There are so many ways to remember.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Come, stop awhile

I've walked through this room more times than I can count, but not till the lilacs bloomed in the rain did I think that I might want to occasionally sit here awhile.

My willow chair has been here since then, and a blanket that Jeana and I made when we lived in Alberta, and a three legged stool. 

Then yesterday, a dear friend brought me a bright yellow and burnt orange pot of fall chrysanthemums. 

And yesterday evening my daughter sent me our latest favorite Wailin' Jennys. 

So. While the Jennys sing their songs over and over for me, my bread rises and bakes, and I begin to move plants, a wind chime, and other odds and ends into my very temporary room.  A front porch on the prairies in September cannot hope to harbour plants long.

It is obviously not an efficient space, not a place to concentrate on a project.  People walk by on the sidewalk, visit on their front lawns, and drive by.  The wind occasionaly reaches around the corner and swings on through.  Birds won't often come - I've hung a glass hummingbird in acknowledgment of that fact. 

It is creative space, "come stop a while" space... although the teen age boys that most often come through may not even notice :) 

I do need to fine tune efficient space, but that day is not this day. 

Come, stop a while in these beautiful fall days.

And happy, happy birthday to my dear Randy. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

a shadow story

walking with mom into places we do not know well
waiting with her in a time we rarely visit

passed away
went home
bidding farewell

words that all seem too weak to describe the labor
of waiting with and caring for a body that was tired
finishing this journey
being overrun by a ravaging disease

   ears that already heard angel choirs,
   eyes that were seeing loved ones gone before

We counted the spaces between breaths
interpreting grimaces and groans when words no longer could be formed

we did not bid her farewell
we gave her permission to give up the fight
and then we fought by her side
what were we fighting for?
her peace
successful passage
we fought against the pain

we urged her on. it was ok.
though our sobs belied our words

no way back, only forward into shadow
shadow of life
shadow of glory

finding ourselves blinking in the morning sunlight
trying to orient ourselves to a new day

Matt Redmon, 10,000 Reasons