I will love you until….

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After watching a few back-to-back episodes of Hoarders yesterday morning (yes, you may roll your eyes now), my Sunday chore list became exponentially longer.  What started as a routine house cleaning day turned into a fridge and freezer purge, the breakdown of every cardboard box within my reach, two dump runs and a full afternoon in the kitchen making healthy lunches and soup for the week.

As I spent that time in my kitchen, my iPod playlist shuffled through every type of music you can imagine but the more I listened, the more the songs reminded me of my mom.  I have been thinking about my mom a lot lately.  She had a huge heart and she would continually think of little things to do for people just to see them smile.   She would spend the weeks leading up to Christmas baking until she could bake no more.  Her house always had the essence of fresh-baked cookies and squares and the Christmas tins would be piled high on her dining room table.

Her favorite day was not Christmas day but the day that she would drive, or later be driven, to all of the places where she would deliver her goodies.  The local Hardware store, the post office and the local veterinarians would excitedly open the tins to see their favorite type of cookie and their reaction was the only present she ever truly wanted.  My mom was the type of person who would learn those little things about you and she would make sure that those little things made their way from her home into your heart.

yellow rose

I was reminded of this wonderful quality when, during my furious Hoarder-inspired clean, I was rearranging some things in my kitchen.  There in the midst of my jar of utensils was a lone yellow rose.  I had long forgotten the bouquet of flowers my mother had given me so many years ago.  She had stealthily used my key to leave the flowers on the island in my kitchen and attached to the fragrant arrangement was a simple card that read, “I will love you until the last flower dies”.  I thought it was an odd message but after really looking the arrangement, I saw the flower in the middle of the bunch.  It was a lovely yellow rose, but it was artificial.  It would never die.

That was my mom.  And those little nuances that made her who she was are the things I miss the most.  Some days I’m fine, a phrase we are no longer allowed to use in my family, and some days, like yesterday, the emotion snuck up on me and I could not control the flow of tears.

But it is not just the rose that reminds me that she will always be with me.  My mom is somehow still able to pull strings and make wonderful things happen in our lives that we never expected.  And it is these things, the things that only my mom would know, that make the gestures so special and so meaningful.

To say I miss her is a gross understatement and  I hope she knows that I will love her until that last flower dies.

Old souls

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Whether I have been spending more time on the internet than I realized or the whispers in my ear have been making me more aware, I have recently been seeing a lot of posts and memes about old souls.  The above meme struck a chord much deeper in me than some of the others I have seen.  It rang true to me as soon as I read it and I knew it would soon be the subject of a blog post.

I have always believed myself to be an old soul but I never really took the time to figure out why I felt that way.  Doing a little more research into old souls gave me much more insight into explaining the feeling that I have lived a life beyond the one in which I find myself now.

Old souls are empathetic and that character trait is probably one of the ones I am most proud of.  I never related the ability to feel other’s pain so deeply as a sign of being an old soul, but it makes sense.  I have the wonderful gift of being able to put myself in that person’s shoes, to truly understand what it is that they are going through.  Intuitive may be a word you can use for the feeling but it seems to go far beyond that.

I can give advice that seems to come from a knowledge far beyond that of which I have studied in this lifetime but I am confident that my advice is sage and I trust it completely.

At the very beginning of my journey on this blog in 2012, I wrote a post titled, Soul Mates and the Red String of Fate. (you can click on the link to read the post).  I wrote it because the idea of souls being deeply connected really resonated with me.  The friends I hold close to me, the ones I am very drawn to in a way I find hard to explain, I consider my soul mates.  That bond doesn’t have to be about a marriage but it does have to be about an understanding and a connection on a deep emotional level.

Old souls are drawn to each other.  They understand each other without question and they just want the other soul to be happy.  There is wisdom in age but that age does not have to be defined by a calendar.  It just has to be understood.

 

 

 

Finding comfort in the sounds of silence

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points of light

The opulent points of light burn me.

I turn, longing to be swallowed by the shadow,

escaping the realities of my world for just one day.

I yearn for the silence to deafen me,

to make the raucous cacophony of sound abate.

 I let the gentle vibration of my dog’s breathing

wrap me in the comfort of its vague timbre,

knowing that she is my asylum.

The rain falls gently on the tin outside my window.

Its staccato beat lures me into its embrace

and I yield to the power of its trance.

I am powerless to its rhythm.

But the silence beckons

and the sound of the rain fades.

It is only in the silence

that my truths speak the loudest.

Only then can I hear

what my heart is yearning to tell me.

And with no light to distract me,

I have no choice but to listen.

(image credit)

A Petri dish of hope

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petri-dish-1

If only we could create a pandemic,

one born of kindness,

grown with empathy

and fed and nourished with humanity.

One cell created with compassion,

a single nucleus of mercy,

could multiply and grow exponentially

changing the face of reality.

But, intermittently,

our Petri dishes have become saturated with darkness,

and the capricious points of light

are crushed under the weight of malignancy.

We must inseminate an embryo of hope into humanity

to give rebirth to decency,

to raise awareness,

to feel confident we have done enough

so we may send benevolence into the world.

Our job is to defend that child of hope,

to stand up for everything good

in a world that is turning on itself.

 Our role as scientists in this laboratory of life

is to keep trying until we succeed,

to never give up hope,

to be ready to alter the science until it works

and to have faith in the results.

 The darkness still threatens

and its critical impact on our study of life

leaves evident reminders of our trepidation.

But we must seek that light,

that place where goodness thrives

and wishes to blossom.

 We must put our faith in the research

of those who have studied kindness before us

and trust that science will prevail,

that the light will quell the darkness

and the child we created

from kindheartedness and charity

will, one day,

make that darkness

withdraw

in

defeat.

(image credit)

I’m not afraid to cry

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“There is a sacredness in tears – they are not the mark of weakness, but of power.  They are messengers of overwhelming grief, and of unspeakable love.” ~ Washington Irving

~~

Having shed my fair share of tears throughout my life, this quote struck a chord deep within my emotional register.   It has always been easy for me to soak my cheeks with salty tears and I come by it honestly.  My dad wore his heart on his sleeve and many times that same sleeve was used to wipe his tears as he watched movies, TV shows and even commercials.   When my apple fell from the family tree it landed right at his feet and I’m sure that made him cry as well.

My mom was very private about her crying, although she didn’t cry frequently.  She would gracefully leave the room and gently close her bedroom door.  There were never heavy sobs heard from the other side of that door but her swollen, red eyes the next morning are what Crime Scene Investigators refer to as evidence.

Sometimes being able to cry so easily is a gift, a genuine release of emotion that feels much like a cleansing.  But the burden of  not being able to control the moments that those tears appear can also be slightly detrimental and result in swollen red eyes and a need to excuse my appearance after an unexpected cry.

 

tears

 

But, I will never take for granted this ability to show my emotion nor do I wish to change this part of myself.  I love that I can feel so deeply that life, whether it be my life or somebody else’s life, can have such an intense impact on me.  And I can take solace in knowing that the people who understand this about me, the people with whom I choose to share my emotional moments, and my tears, know that this is not a weakness but one of my greatest strengths.

Take care of me

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Take care of me,

protect my heart

and make me believe in fairy tales.

Love me,

understand my passions

and everything that is a part of me.

Protect me,

especially when I try

to be so tough on the outside.

Embrace me,

knowing

that I just want to be held.

Understand me,

when I want to do things

my way.

Humor me,

when you know my way

may not be the right way.

Laugh at me,

to keep me grounded,

but laugh with me

to keep me sane.

And most of all,

believe in me

because you know

I have the heart of a lion

and I will never give up.

 

 

The wait is over

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There is a palpable energy in the air in my small town – a feeling only locals can understand when we are within arms reach of getting our town back.  The Labor Day Long Weekend is upon us and, for those who are fortunate enough to have today off, that means a three-day weekend.  The multiple-lane highways that once allowed travelers to reach our vacation destinations in Muskoka are already becoming congested in the Southbound lanes and the stress levels of those trapped in their cars in slow-moving traffic is escalating exponentially.

traffic

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But as the tension increases in those turtle-paced vehicles leaving our little piece of paradise, the stress in the minds of the locals slowly abates.  Faces that have not been seen during the summer daylight hours slowly peek out of their windows, tentatively gauging the right time to emerge from their summer hibernation and engage in the life we left behind a few months ago.

The summer is over.  We have survived the tumultuous invasion of a population that we graciously accept for two months, although their civility leaves much to be desired.  We have overcome the barbarity of those who demand instead of ask, of those who expect instead of request.

And along with the manners of our city guests, my writing brain and my spare time to read have been held hostage but the window of those long-lost opportunities has finally been cracked open.  The breath of rekindling those passions has been blown into the stale air that I have been breathing the last few months and the breeze of creativity has begun to churn the dead leaves in the corners of my mind.  There really is light at the end of our summer tourism tunnel.

I hope you all had a great summer and I look forward to greeting the many faces, and blogs, I have missed over the last couple of months!