The Ring

Last night I dreamed of a beautiful ring studded with red and purple lights. I believed them to be precious stones that appeared to be my favorites…garnets, rubies and most beautiful of all, amethysts. The ring boxed looked exactly like my mother’s wedding ring box. A box I found after her death where she had placed her token of “forever after” when  her forever ended. My dream ring was not to be as promised…not as expected. When I looked closer it was cheap metal and strange cloudy pockets of colored gel. Even subconsciously I was devastated and heartbroken.

So strange how conscious thoughts and troubling hurts manifest themselves so vividly while we hide in sleep.

A Happy Place






Hope is buoyant,
Outlook is clear,
Aches are ignored,
Troubles look manageable,
Future is expectant,
Time is slowed,
Possibilities are endless,
Colors are vibrant,
Vision is clear,
Confidence is unthreatened,
Nature’s light is entrancing.

This grace may be fleeting so
Prayer is on-going.


I Long To Be…

Poet's BenchI wish I could write poetry. You know, that lyrical alignment of words that describes the emotion of the moment so perfectly.

Poetry doesn’t require a dissertation of background facts and needs no opening or ending statement to escort the reader to the proper conclusion. The message just is. The poet is feeling lonely, loveless, happy, expectant, hopeful…whatever. He can capture the emotion, the mood, the color and the light simply and powerfully.

It’s the difference in being a great actor in a brief but intense spotlight from that of a seasoned and aggressive prosecutor in his summation to the jury.

A poet can bare his soul and break your heart in relative obscurity. He rarely invites an argument or the high jacking of his emotional intent. He just beautifully opens himself to the world and walks away.

I wish I was a poet…I long to  be.

Walnut Whimsy

There is a place in my back yard where my imagination or maybe just my Irish blood runs a little wild.

A large, beautiful walnut tree shades the entire lawn. It is arrow straight and proudly strong with an undeniable presence. At its base is a likely site that is poised for magic.


I fancy little folk living at the base of that awesome tree. They are peaceful, of good humor and long to play. My gaze doesn’t linger for fear that if my eyes rested for just a moment I would see them clearly. This is where my creative self fails as the wee ones I believe I would see probably would look like the Keebler elves or Snow White’s seven dwarfs.

They would be no less enchanting.

The world is a scary place today but not so under my tree.


Where Is That Girl?

That Girl! The woman in the mirror is amazed at the reflection. Scrutinizing the lines and wrinkles and counting the gray hairs is of no interest. They don’t change greatly from one day to the other and would only be of interest if they retreated or disappeared. Entertaining, but they explain nothing.

What catches her eye and leaves her to wonder is not the image that returns her stare, but the face that is missing. Where is the girl…the girl she knows is there? Where is the untarnished face that looks at the older woman with such a gentle eye?

She feels her soul is old as most likely all souls are ancient, but her heart is perpetually young. No matter how worn and depleted the body appears the eyes, the senses, see what the heart knows to be true. She sees and expects to perceive what God probably envisions. A childlike spirit slowly learning and changing in its own time and according to His will. One lifetime is nowhere near long enough and she will leave only slightly more experienced than when she arrived.

The reflection though is an illusion – only an earthly illusion.


The Road Home

The Ivey HouseLast weekend I made a quick trip to Seven Springs, North Carolina to visit family.

For years my mom and I had taken every possible long weekend to return to this special place. My mother came to Oak Ridge, Tennessee in 1945 actually taking her first steps off the Greyhound bus on the same day the Japanese surrendered. She and her parents hoped to find work in a much whispered about place in the Tennessee hills – a place that was slowly gaining recognition for the part it played in the Manhattan Project. She never returned home to rural Carolina as a resident, but her heart never left the sand hills of her childhood.

Our small family was much like the families of others who settled in this secret place. Just about everyone was from somewhere else and usually from a place that was distant both geographically and culturally from the rural valley caught between the Cumberland Plateau and the Smoky Mountains. The war was over, but the secrecy remained and it would be some time before the Army cleared out and a civil government took control. I have often said that I have never lived in a gated community with large and expensive homes but I was born in a gated community with guards who really meant business. Most early Oak Ridgers were settlers in every sense of the word having left lives and extended families behind in the search for a post-Depression better way of life.

This isolation from family and all that was known before the war years intensified the yearning for home. During the first decades in Tennessee satisfying that ache was not easy. This was the time before interstate roads, jobs with plentiful paid time off and even before automobiles were found at every home. It must have been tough to wait patiently several years never knowing when the next opportunity to go home would come.

In my mother’s later years, till the end of her life she seemed compelled to go as often as she could, exhausting every holiday and driving through the night. She was drawn by a strong hunger for home and family; an obsession that never dimmed.


My Best True Friend


I took a car trip this past weekend to see family in eastern North Carolina. It was a quick turnaround journey with only one day of quality time with the people I traveled to see. That is another story.

To reach my destination measures just under 500 hundred miles and without a radio, disc or MP3 player there was 8 hours of quiet time. Though my oldest grandchild was with me he was totally wrapped up in napping and cell phone so I was pretty much alone in my own head. Sometimes that is not a good place to be, but we all need a dose of reflection occasionally and I don’t place enough value on the need.

My mind was a muddle…a kaleidoscope of thoughts, criticisms, prayer, dreams, self-scolding, planning and worries. Not necessarily a pretty place to be, but I think the “me” who stepped out of the car in my own driveway Sunday night was better for the time spent with my best true friend!

I Still Dream

I still dream
That each step forward
Is to a future bright
A tomorrow fulfilled.
Every morning brings assurance to
An aging hand clasping a fragile map,
Given at heaven’s gate,
Revealing footsteps faded in heavenly gold.
It is my compass and stills my soul.

I seldom glance back for fear
My earthly path will sadden
That ghostly child with the solemn gaze
Dimming her light, wearying her flight.
The lost time, I can feel each moment
Of lost destiny and the absence of love.
Years of delay, woeful nights
Always just shy of the promised stars.

I dream still.

Early Morning Consciousness…

St. Peregrine

St. Peregrine

A sound sleeper…why did I wake at 4 in the morning?

…a sound, a pain or just my mind churning away and refusing to lie still?

Or was I awakened by a voice only my soul can hear?

…and where do the loose strands of thought come from?

This morning somewhere around five I gave up any idea of sleep.  What to do with myself? Housework will wake my grandson; reading will be a permanent end to any idea of catching another nap and television…well, not if I want to start the day without a cardiac event. So sitting in the nightlight gloom I check my email and read a novena prayer to St. Peregrine who I have never heard of but who is apparently the patron saint for cancer patients. Good enough as my friend Angie and little Wyatt Crippen are fighting the good, exhausting and, sadly for Angie, most likely a terminal fight.

Sane so far but this is where my early morning brain, very much like my demented smart phone, seems to take on a life of its own.

One line of prayer asks God to console the patient, family, friends and caregivers. Fervently said but I have this little mind twitch about the word “consoling” and how very different it sounds from “consolation”. It should feel the same and yet it doesn’t. The verb sounds warm, supportive, loving…God comforting…I can almost see the image of Angie and a loving heavenly Father. The noun…, well it sounds like second place, runner-up, not really the best…could have been better. Why is that? Does receiving consolation from God sound as good as being consoled by God?

The things I can think about at 5 in the morning when I should be paying attention to God and St. “P”.  Every nun I have ever known would be appalled…I can see that blackboard pointer coming my way.

Am I just sleepy or maybe simply crazy? Thankfully, I believe God and maybe even St. “P” just smile and shake their heads.

What if you have a voice, but have nothing to say?

I enjoy writing. It doesn’t come hard to me. The way words come together to create a poem, a letter, a story fascinates me. They can be lyrical when they are positioned just right and visual when the right word is caught in the keyboard.

But what if you have nothing to say? Some people take the everyday moments and give them life, but I can go a whole week and have nothing worthwhile occur that justifies putting pen to paper…or fingers to keyboard.

Just now…I’m getting a spirit nudge that the problem is not a block in my writing…my creativity. Maybe it is my view of life; specifically my view of my life. I need to look at life differently…experience my life with more interest. I may be on to something here…I need to ponder this thought…this revelation.

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