Why I Am Dreaming Small and Under The Oaks

(Thank you.  Yes, you. Dear readers here, you  who are uncertain of poetry. I too,  am uncertain of poetry. But you are still here reading. Or maybe you have left, because of poetry. So  I’ve  decided I  am going to make a little space for more prose. To offer both, together, for a season. Each time I post I will publish prose and poetry. Thank you for journeying with me as I pen this life, look for beauty, reflect my faith, and place words, some shaky, some brave, into this community. Let’s see how a vision of prose and poetry will look, here. And now that the comments are open again,  I would love to hear your thoughts on two writing forms, together. Here, in this little corner of the inter-webs. Wising you grace, elizabeth)

thank you peach

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morning light on flowers hydrangae

Under The Oaks

I spot threes
Write sounds in threes
See the world in
Triplicates
Focus a lens on multiples
Trios

So fitting, that  on a street named Venning
The street with three n’s
There are three souls, new
To me
Three new friends have I
I spy beauty

Grace and elegance

Grand dames
I could have come and gone
Perish the thought
I’d never known the life behind the smiles
Life lines on their faces
Telling

Me
New one on the street with the winding sounds
Learning of life
I make my way
Up and down the tree lined street

Life learned
From a trio of grace
From the Ladies of Venning

Quiet now, they are living large
Speaking softly, they live and breath
A writer, a gardner, a traveller
Lover of film and land
Living their stories

Wonder and awe
It is well to
Listen

To the three
Ladies of  well-lived
Lives,  it appears
From where I sit and stare

And  wait to earn a place
Of friendship
Among the three
Who barely know me
And  yet, have shown

Friendship
Grace

So I study the lines
My eyes trace their living
Laugh lines, crows feet
Fragile lines around the eyes
And mouth

Of these three
Ladies, each

Under the oaks
With me.

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Spencer and the dolphin

Why I Am Dreaming Small

And so it seems everyone is dreaming big. Anyone  that dreams at all has big dreams.  Thrown up and out into the sea of living. Brave and big. Bold and large. The bigger the better. Super-sized.  These dreams of man.

Words crisscross my screen every day  about these dreams, the ones that I see  looming large. But I think I am dreaming small.  Not because of fear. But I , like everyone have my share of fear.  Not because of lack of faith, for mine is at least the size of a mustard seed.

Because I hear a  clear crisp call to small. One that  whispers in my ear of dreams scaled down, sized in miniature. But lovely nonetheless.

Small dreams now from a grand and glorious God who is the one that’s large.

How beautiful and whimsical, are my little hopeful dreams.  The ones I  have dancing in my mind, by day and keeping me awake at night.  They lack nothing in the winnowing. The paring back and whittling down.

It is not really that I have  a shrunken faith. Or fear to take my dreams and expand them on a larger scale. Truly, not.

It is, rather, that I am seeing beauty in the small things, after all. It comes with age. A grand release. And in my younger days I dreamed so big. And came to value all that is small. I walked to here, a place of growing contentment, in the smallest acts of kindness, moments, and conversations with a friend.

And somewhere in this life, I am  coming to a place. That not all measurements are more wonderful,  the larger they become. So we are looking for a home. Another house to call our own the remainder of our days.  Is this the eighth. I can’t count. But  graciously and gratefully , one that will be new for us. Or maybe held the joy of others for sometime. Another  through the years.

New is not necessary,nor is big.

And I am dreaming of one small and cozy. I dream  on Pinterest and in my mind and with The Patient One. And look for beauty, comfort and a house with just  a little this and a little that. For my children and my children’s children.

I’m finding contentment after all, in you guessed it, things so small.

Last night we found a house we love. It fits my dreams just so.

I am dreaming small. We laughed at the little number  the realtor printed on the sheet; the one that revealed the total space, for living, here. But I know we would have just enough. All we need. Even though we dream of adding a bit to what is there. Because we have a history of piling up and  piling on and living in a cozy space. Just wearing out and down the soul of every house we’ve owned. Even though we have lived large. Between the walls of lots of space and things.

Small now calls my name.

I heard a story of a man, a writer in his graying years. And he had published seven poems. Ever in his life of writing. Only.  Until he wrote a little book. And off it went, big and large. A big success from all accounts.

One never knows where dreams might go. I love friends with dreams so big. And God may grow mine bigger.

But for now they are just so dreams. A little small.

So I will write my little poems. Here for awhile. And maybe one day there. And dream a little dream of one days. That maybe I will find a publisher who says lets go and run, or fly or soar. Or maybe even a home between the covers, nestled in a spine. My little poems will settle down and live up  on a shelf, in a book leather bound.  One that has a name that’s gold embossed, that is my very own.   Or maybe my poems will gather. And compile themselves.  Into  a collection. Walk themselves off to a printer and return to me in published form.

I love my little dreams.  They fit me just right, right now.

And that is why my God sized dreams may look a little small. One never knows where dreams will go when they are grown by God.

Maybe tomorrow they will grow an inch or two. After I grow contented with what I have and where I am.

My portion perfected by his loving hand.

Oh to dream, by day, by night. And watch Him change us in our dreaming. Bless us always with so much more.

Than we ever dreamed, was possible or could be true.

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Joining Jennifer Dukes Lee and Emily for Imperfect Prose

(I am gathering some of my writing to submit to a magazine as examples of my work along with some ideas for editorial content. If you have a prose piece you  have particularly enjoyed  let me know in the comments. Let’s see where this dream goes. You will be some of the first to know.)

Paris Comes To Me

night on the water

Paris Comes To Me

And not even if the boat were bigger

Nor if the moon was  any rounder

Not if the air was any crisper

Could this night  be more splendid

We agreed it felt like Maine, though we have never been

So much of what we know and love will only be here

We may not pack a bag or sail away

Even for our 25th

But if we stay right here, exceedingly content is my middle name

I wear it on the nights like this

And you are owl and I am the pussycat off in a pea green boat

But ours is shades of blue

No small detail is lost on us

This night

For though I dream of Paris

To walk the streets I did for a year in  ’78 and ‘ 79

I could not breathe in

More fragrant joy than

This

Place that feels like mine

What I inhale  in this small creek into every pore and place

Ours

The one that spills with laughter, wine and wind

Love into the waterway

Under skies all shades of grey, pink peeks out, the sun and moon wink and nod

And we go home and wonder

One to the other

Could it be more magical than this

I long now for the nights

When Paris came to me

Pluff mud, shrimp boats, and clammers returning with their haul

These are not the Seine or my Boulevard Malesherbes

Maybe home was meant to hold you

And tie an  anchor to your soul

Love so blind we could not leave

Only off  each night in our petite  blue boat

Exceedingly content, my middle name

Before the one you gave to me those 25 years ago.

Salty Therapy And Lessons From The Sea

Spencer Dolphin Watching

It is the end of the day and we are explorers launching our boat, ready and expectant. We leave the hot air of the land for the cooler temperatures of the salty mist that hovers over the water.  We are small, a dot on a spinning orb, looking for a surprise. We are looking for wonder and beauty.

We leave  our lives on shore and transport our hungry souls out into the swirl of blues, greens, and grays. We are hoping for a glimpse of  anything or  of we don’t know what. But somehow we  are certain of where to go for discovery, solace and peace. At least two of us are in need  of a re-booting. Life is heavy. This is the place of floating and watching. Life is lighter out here.

And  light and lightness filter in and through our souls. Our pores are open, accepting all the sea gives. The sea has a way of prying  open a heart hardened by a day. We are  more buoyant when we are on board our little boat. Floating out as searchers, collectors.

A sailboat passes us on our way out. They are on their way in, an extraordinarily handsome sailboat from Canada. We release more of the day’s toxins into the cool sea air. We can breath. And we do. Our journey begins while theirs ends. The harbor is their resting place and the waterway becomes ours.

And I wonder if I could teach my child  what she needs to know of life, drawing lessons only from what we find in the salty sea. Moments into our voyage, we come upon a  shrimp boat returning with their catch.  Gulls  and dolphin gather around them attracted by  the unwanted parts of their catch being thrown overboard. A cycle of life. A recycling of nutrients. It is a study in economics, in hard work, ecology, business, and stewardship of natural resources.

But I find that all I can really focus on, honestly is the wonder, the endless masterpiece of seemless salt, sky and sea. Th rich tapestry, assulting each of my senses. The treasures are palpable.

We would not be here so quickly at the end of day without our motor, but it is time now to turn it off and listen. And to float. White foam tells a story. We hear and see the beginning forming as the frenzied  dolphin force the baitfish onto the shore for dinner. We watch a stunning display of a mammal’s hunting and gathering skills.

There is a connectedness, a synchronicity on the water. The gulls in the air, follow the dolphin and the fish they prey on joining the banquet table of blues and greens. We are turning around, three hundred and sixty degrees viewing this extraordinary aquatic life. I  am awash in pleasure except for the  occasional sting of  a horse fly. There is the reminder of pain on board, an unwelcomed passenger biting our flesh. What a small sacrifice to pay to hear the dolphin blow through their holes with audible  force and might. To witness their play, their mating, their dining. Their very lives heal our weary worn out souls. Tired from fighting the battles on the land.

And we spin around as the waves rock us under the bright night sun. It is relentless in its slow set. And we determine we cannot wait for it to go down. We must return to the toxic heat and pressures of the land, and to our dinner. Our own evening ritual of dinner and conversation draws us back to land. And we bring our appetites, increased by the sea air which stirs a  hunger in our bellies.

There would be math lessons or physics lessons if I were to extrapolate the lessons from the sea. If beauty were not beckoning me to focus on asthetics, tending to ignore science and numbers and concrete factoids for a child to store away. Approaching the dock is timing and speed and distance and I know there must be some physics involved. The wind blows the boat and the man infront of us misses his mark over and over as he tries to fight the current and wind and the elements. His problem solving, patience and determination would be a life-lesson chapter, if I were using the sea as a classroom.

But I am  distracted by a study in the hectic lives of  the Purple Martins.  Of  their colony of dozens dining on mosquitoes and swarming around as they pitch and dive, feeding before they enter their gords.

We are almost home, restored, awash in salt and seawater.  And new memories gathered up in a short trip out to the floating classroom.

Beauty teaches, salty therapy restores and we have taken sweet lessons from the sea. 

All we needed for today, the sea has lovingly offered up to us. And we are grateful explorers returning safely from our aquatic expedition.

Sifting Through

post photo May 13?I am a sifter filled with floured memories. Shaking them down through metal mesh, turning a crank while dusty white turns into particles of gold. And  I am panning through the nuggets knowing they are all gold. In fact, all are gems.  I shake from side to side the pan sifting through and naming each one priceless – the dull and the shiny. The dim and the sparkled. Spattered with dust that flakes off the corners of a life.

I am an archivist searching through the rubble and the ruin, finding life among it all. Shovel and pick strike the dark dirt of possibility. And excavate a voice buried in the wet black soil of waiting.

I am  a wanderer, slow walker down the paths of sun-drenched beginnings. Stumbler, mad-dasher, free-falling, zig-zagger changing it up, discovering what has been there all along.

I am a beauty-seeker. Finding a  seat on a leather perch, peddling down gravel and sand, concrete and asphalt, weaving in and weaving out. I am a trail-blazer of the ordinary. Going in circles again and again. Riding restless and riding at peace. Turning down lanes of ivy and honeysuckle. Following fragrant folly down narrow paths covered in petals of spent blossom days.

I am a receiver of gifts, unfathomable,  unparalleled, unnameable and new. Peeling back layers of wrapping to breath in the smell of love in the offerings laid at my feet. Ripe for the picking, unpacking, palpable seasoned with love.

And I am a child, learning to walk, to move from the pablum on to the banquet. To run and to twirl, to seek and to name, to climb and cling to each tree trunk and rope swing. To laugh and to fall, to sing and to dance.

I am an acrobat, balancing life, on a thin tight rope of wonderful beautiful magnificent days.

I am sous-chef cooking up feasts for ravenous curious hungry me. And mine. And ours. Seeking to sprinkle the right mix of herb and spice. Folding in nutrients for heart and soul. I am a planner and thrower of fetes. Singing and lighting the candles of celebration. One wick at a splendid time.

I am a journeyman looking  for places to pour out the offerings of gifts of love. To give as  been given  to or more or beyond. And I am a cartophrapher mapping out moments. Spilling my soul into spontaneous seconds shaded by serendipity.

I am a life-giver, grower of people, young into old. Director of orchestra of days and of lives.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow will look new, because a lens of love was viewed through  again. Bending light and life through the backside of a wide angle.

As a child of God, mouth and hands open wide. And turning it all to grateful poetic praise.

God I am as you have made. And  I am sifting through it all, with grace.

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Joining Laura Boggess at Playdates at The Wellspring.