Drops of golden petals raining down
Blanketing faded emarald blades
Melancholy thoughts stir
My Old Friend
You were my friend, you beckoned me
You listened to my pain
You caught my tears, you dried them up
You were my shelter in the rain
Not even once did you turn away
Nor secret did you tell
You listened to my tender thoughts
You knew me oh, so well
The thought of you would comfort me
When we were far away
I’d close my eyes and you’d be there
In your arms I longed to stay
Too young to know our time would end
We’d part our ways too soon
Now cherished memories are all I have
Beneath the harvest moon.
Devoting time to the start of my third book and family emergencies have distracted me from writing on my blog recently, yet each day on my journey in life brings me closer to understanding the direction in which I am heading.
When I began my blog in March, my search for a purposeful life (after retirement) was evident in my posts What Now and What Now Continued. I hoped that my mission would become evident to me through my writing. I often find that the veiled truth is revealed in such subtle ways that only come to light when I script my thoughts. I have struggled to find a constant theme for my blog, but I may be getting closer to identifying a topic of interest that would bring the results for which I was hoping.
Volunteering with a hospice group has provided me with an opportunity to share my poetry and books in a way that provides comfort and/or distraction to others who desperately want to find peace in their lives. The satisfaction that it brings to me means more to me than any number of books that I have sold. I would love to incorporate more of that into my blog.
Another opportunity to share what I consider a gift also presented itself this week. I am blessed me with a calm, insightful demeanor that seems to sooth others during a time of crisis. I find unexpected words of comfort and often, friends and family have related that my efforts helped them find peace.
My niece has been a caregiver for her grandmother for five years. Her grandma is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease and the time has come where caring for her in her home is no longer advisable. While some may find it a relief to relinquish the responsibility, others struggle with strong emotions, such as guilt, that surface during such a transition. Hopefully, my words are helping her to get through this painful experience.
My niece said she could not stop crying. I shared with her that grieving is not only appropriate, but necessary. It comforted her to realize what a special gift she has been given in the unique relationship with her grandmother she has served. It cannot be replicated by anyone who did not serve in the same role. For every difficult moment, there were many cherishing memories that she will be able to hold in her heart for years to come.
As caregiver, she served in a parenting role, always setting limits and having to insist on difficult tasks like bathing and taking medicines. Now she has the opportunity to return to the role of granddaughter and enjoy the remaining time by bringing love and tenderness to her grandmother during her final days.
The Peaks and Valleys of my life have blessed me with peace, strength, and a sort of wisdom, which are meant to be shared through my blog. Perhaps a new opportunity presents itself.
Poetry flows freely from my pen onto yellow pads, yet it seldom finds its voice at the keyboard. Perhaps that makes sense since it’s difficult to walk leisurely through the woods while pecking away on a laptop. My appreciation for the stimulation that Mother Nature provides began as a small child while wondering the hill of the Missouri Ozarks. My love of poetry can be attributed to Robert Frost.
Mr. Frost shared the same love for God’s creations that I do. He created his own footprints in The Road Not Taken and he touched the hollows of my soul through poems such as Bereft. I felt a kindred connection to his need to share melancholy thoughts in the form of poems.
While I cannot compare my writings to such a master of the art, I share with you a poem that formed from my futile thoughts one evening after watching the local news.
From the Boughs of a Cradle
From the boughs of a cradle, much like you and me
So dependent on others, so innocent and free
He grinned with a smile that would capture your heart
No clue that his world would soon fall apart
Left alone once too often; forced to grow up too fast
The pleasures that warmed him were soon part of his past
The drugs and the booze became his whole life
Such a sense of abandon, such continuous strife
From street gangs to prison, he followed the path
Consumed by his anger, his hatred, his wrath
Now death by injection, the sentence he waits
So hopeless and helpless behind steel gates
The cradle is empty, the smile worn away
No family or friends to protect him today
Will his soul die before us as inevitable fate
Or will a spirit embrace him? Is it ever too late?
By Diane How
It amazes me how many people publish books and write blogs. There were over a million posts on WordPress.com just today. My inherent desire to understand fellow writers leads me to ask the question “Why do you write?”
For me, I think there are three main reasons that come to mind.
So why do you write? I’d love to know.
Trying to measure where the last two years have disappeared is like trying to hug a passing cloud. I could no more complete an after action report accounting for the time than I could return to working full time every day.
Often, an inner voice urges me to accomplish more than I have done, yet another voice reminds me that I have crossed off a few bucket-list items. Sometimes I yearn for more, but today, I choose to focus on those things that have brought me pleasure and a sense of fulfillment.
Writing tops my list of achievements. No, I cannot proclaim a best-seller, but I did publish my first book, Peaks and Valleys. The non-fiction memoir begins in the 50’s in my childhood hometown of Pine Lawn, Missouri. As indicated by the title, many of the tales brought a smile to my face as I wrote them. Some of them were written as tears fell from my eyes. Revisiting the happy, and sometimes painful, times of my life had a therapeutic consequence. When I finished, it brought me peace, comfort and an appreciation for the experiences that made me whom I am today. The journey is worth taking, for everyone. I hope others will be inspired to follow my path and clean out a few of their own closets along the way. The book is available through Amazon.com and Kindle.
I also wrote a second book, Burning Embers, for which I am currently searching for a publisher. Writing a romance/suspense novel in thirty days was not on my original bucket list, rather it was a challenge introduced to me through a writing club that I joined named Pen to Paper Writing Club. I found the experience so rewarding that I drafted an outline for my next novel which I will begin shortly. Who knew I had an imagination?
The poet in me continues to surface whenever I cannot find the words to speak directly to friends and family. I have contemplated publishing some of my poems, but finding gratification in the positive effect the words provide the person for whom they were written is enough for now.
As a multi-tasking person, all that writing wasn’t quite enough to keep me busy, so I began this blog. My social media skills are limited and until one of my fellow writers encouraged me, I had never visited a blog site. Now I follow a few that tickle my interests or touch my soul. I’m still in the beginning stages, but I find it another way to release the writer in me. (http://authordianemhow.com)
More recently, I began volunteering with VITAS Hospice Care as a Story Keeper. This rewarding opportunity entails recording life stories of patients who are in hospice care so that they may leave a treasure for their loved ones and future generations. I wrote about my first visit in one of my blogs. It is amazing how God directs us on our journey to the right place at the right time. If you have any doubts about following His lead, read When you volunteer are you giving or receiving?.
Every day has not been as uncomplicated as this post makes it sound, but as I said, today, I am sticking with the positive, happy times. My husband and I have found time to fish, gamble and spend time with our daughter and her boyfriend. We’ve even managed to get in a few short trips to Branson, Lake of the Ozarks and Georgia. Lunch and dinner dates fill a few of the squares on my calendar and provide me with the chance to catch up with family, friends, former co-workers and my wonderful Girl Scout buddies.
I yearn to know what memories filter through when you look back a few days, months or years.
leaves dance merrily
summer beats on