For Phil 6/15/14

~The World to Me~

Above, where the clouds effortlessly drift and the blossoming sky greets the sea; that is what you mean to me.

Just as the sun warms the coarse sand and the echoing rain coats the fertile land; you offered to me a steady hand.

As the earth below welcomes the grasping roots of a flower and the royal moon above reigns the star light hours; you loved me as if I was yours.

On this day and those yet to come; I will forever appreciate all that you have done.

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These Words 6/3/14

As from my heart, these words that I write are a mere reflection of the life & of the love within me. As simple or absurd as they may seem to thee, they are all but the life within me. So, as they beseech due kindness, respect & understanding; may these all be granted onto me.

These Hands 2/28/14

These hands have stroked soft, warm coats of fur. They have played & they have colored. They have climbed, splashed & counted. While even before they grasped, shook & crawled.

These hands have torn, ripped & peeled. They have cracked, dipped & shaken an abundance of flavors.

These hands have balanced, arched & gracefully pointed; providing the body direction & graceful expression.

These hands have dug, built & sifted sand along the shore. They have pocked & carried the beauty discovered in oceans, lakes & streams.

These hands have held, massaged & supported thousands of woman as they brought forth more.

These hands have cradled, patted & swung her own children & more.

These hands have clapped, waved & risen in bleaches, at tables, on dance floors and more.

These hands have shaken, dampened & clenched in those times they were extremely unsure.

These hands have hugged, wiped, and pulled. They have sorted, cut & carried. They have written, typed & tied. They have folded, cleaned & scraped.

These hands have extended to welcomed life & they have closed in prayer to mourn death. They have fed, cleaned & comforted those who could not anymore.

These hands have demonstrated & instructed skills, techniques and more.

These hands represent my life, my gift to share, and will explore the world forevermore.

A Moment 2/6/14

A genuine moment that catches you.

The realization that in all the shenanigans of existence, you were meant to be just where you are with those that willingly share each day with you.

The space beyond the enticement of insignificant worldly creations. Even more, a moment that escapes the teasing hum of time effortlessly drifting away.

That place ~ where love alone can take you and where life alone could never fake you.

Teaching 1/18/14

There are moments when teaching is swimming against the current during high tide.

Hands hampered by a snarl of slimy seaweed or feet tangled in some sort of unexpected, restricting debris.

Eyes searching for the beacon, the lighthouse you have faith lies within the distance, a journey worth the trials of traveling.

Against the sting of salt in the eyes or the burn of sea water invading your throat, you maintain hope that each deliberate stroke will find you closer.

Hope, for any one of your efforts, may find you near. The burn, the sting, the weight of the ocean on the recesses of your body may subside and allow a shimmer, a mere sparkle, to light.

And, alas! A single stroke may illuminate but one spark~ providing you the reserve necessary to travel the distance to the ideals of life, you have faith continues to radiate beyond. With this, each stroke, aligned with the breaths of your life, keeps within pace; eyes fixated on that glorious illuminating force~ education.

A Father of the Year

I quickly flung the small box of pads in my cart, only my eyes glancing sideways at the selection.  I rushed past the man that stood obviously perplexed in front of the vast array of feminine products.  My cart was half full of groceries and I just wanted to be done.

“Excusa me? Can you ahhh help me?”  he asked in broken English before I completely passed him.  I was rushing more so as to not embarrass him in what must have been an awkward situation.

“Ohhh…of course,” I responded.  ‘This poor guy’ I thought.

“Ahhh, yes, for my daughter.  She needs.” he continued.

“Does she need these,” I asking pointing to a box of pads, or “these?” I continued pointing to a box of tampons.

His phone rang on face time and I was able to discern a girl’s voice on the other end speaking frantically.

“Oh no, she 12 years old,” he told me as he turned the phone to let his daughter see the options.

I choose a regular pad in plastic packaging that would be appropriate for a 12-year-old and handed it to him. “These are good,” I encouraged.

“Oh no, she say a box,” he was scratching his head now and his cheeks blushed.  His daughter prompting him in the background.

I had never wanted to find a box of pads in my whole life.  This father had been standing in a Market Basket aisle for what seemed like forever for his daughter.

We searched more together, the three of us.  Suddenly, I was not in a rush anymore.

“You may want to try CVS.  They have more of a selection.”  I still waited by him in the aisle as he spoke to his daughter.  I did not want to abandon the search, but it was obvious that the “box” was not in this selection.

He struggled to communicate with me, partly from embarrassment I would imagine.  My heart was full of appreciation for the father he must be to her.  Was he a single father?  I thought of my students who had been raised by a single father and warm blood rushed to my chest.

“Here?” he asked motioning in the direction of CVS.

“Yes, right next door. I think you will find what she is looking for.” I smiled.

He thanked me but continued to stand in the aisle motionless.  I slowly walked away, glancing back at him staring blankly at packages of pads.

I hope he found what she was looking for.

 

 

 

 

Shower

As I reached to open the shower curtain, my other hand cupped my breast.  In the previous days, I had not allowed myself to investigate it.  I gingerly removed my sports bra and turned on the water. A large white bandage pressed against it contorting its natural shape. The sound of the running water comforted me as my hand fall from its protective grasp.  The memory came to as I reached to check the temperature of the water, my fingers bouncing against the stream.

“Is it gone?” I asked as soon as I gained my orientation in the recovery room.

“It is.  You did great.” my surgeon responded.

“How big was it?”

She squinted her eyes and tilted her head, “About the size of a walnut.”  She touched my arm and smiled as I struggled to keep my eyes open.  For the first time in months, I took a deep breath.  I closed my eyes and drifted back to sleep.

My fingers raised again to the white dressing and scraped at the edges of the tape.  ‘Be strong, Mary,’ I encouraged myself as I peeled away one strip of the tape.  An eternity seemed to pass as I considered what I might unveil.  Another strip of the tape released its grip on my skin with barely any effort.  I was able to remove the entire dressing with the next strip, but I kept my eyes lifted to the bathroom window.  It was a gorgeous spring day.

I knew I had to look down, but I needed a few moments.  I was afraid of what I might see.  With each passing moment, my appreciation for my breast resonated within me.  I suddenly dismissed its aesthetic purposes and became grateful that it had provided nourishment for my babies.  “Thank you,” I whispered as I lowered my gaze.

I stepped into the stream of warm water and lifted my face.  A warm rush soothed my chest.  I was reminded of the warm water that soothed my sore body after my deliveries, as I gingerly cleansed myself.  This shower felt much the same.  New life pulsated against my skin.

In the quiet and solitude of the shower, I discovered renewed strength and peace.  “Thank you,” I repeated as I felt for the small incision. Again, nostalgia overcame me as I stood bare and exposed.  In the sanctuary of the shower, gratitude was once again conceived and has remained with me since.