Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wednesday Wish (39)

Continued from last week…

Photo by Bailey Photographic via Flickr

The doorbell echoed throughout the house, emptiness echoing back to me. I swallowed, wondering if I was doing the right thing, how such daring found me. But only for a brief moment. As soon as I looked out at the flowers, both dead and thriving, I knew I was exactly where I was meant to be. I took a deep breath and turned back to the door. No one answered. I listened intently. No footsteps, no doors closing…no nothing. I pressed the doorbell a second time.

The small rectangle of glass in the door tempted me. I took a quick peek, hoping to see someone coming down the hall or the stair, maybe even old Jim himself hobbling slowly along with a cane. Instead, I found more than I ever expected. The rug in the foyer dirty and part of it crumpled up in a wad. More flowers in the entryway, drooping, yellow. Packets of white socks, one after the other, unopened, stacked, leaning to one side. A pile of dusty, dirty old shoes, their pairs not easily spotted. An unopened wrapped gift thrown beside some keys and a big cardboard box that looked to be some sort of exercise equipment, again, unopened, leaning in such a way that no one could pass through the front door even if they wanted to. The house was a mess. A shiver ran up my spine. Old Jim was in worse shape than I imagined.

I knew he wouldn’t answer. But I also knew he was there. I could feel him. When I let his presence enter me, he felt cold to the touch and tiny, distant, like a bird flying aimlessly, tens of miles away. Was that his fear? Strangely, he also felt slightly hopeful, a single red feather shining brightly on that same bird’s side. Was that an invitation?

I felt the magical intrigue a second time, as obvious to me as the shoes on my feet. My spirit perked. My smile broadened. I fine tuned my senses and seemed to taste the thread of Jim’s heart longing to be heard, to be seen, to be...touched. And right along side it, again I tasted a darkness, a distance that told me he wouldn’t ever dare open up to me, a stranger who knew nothing of his pain. Never. But still, I had to try.

I stepped out to a patch of flowers that I knew were in eyeshot of the second floor windows. I leaned down to breathe in their scents. One by one, I took them in, felt them as I had felt old Jim… alone in his messy unloved home, in his messy unloved body. And then…I started to hum. I couldn’t help it. It just happened. I called the flowers by name, talked to them as if they were friends and touched each one, admiring their petals, their leaves, their stems, and how they came up out of the ground, each one a little miracle, planted with love, Jim’s love.

And just as I was starting to really lose myself in the beauty of it all, out of the corner of my eye I saw the curtains part. Upstairs. In one of the second floor windows. He was watching me. He stood there for what seemed like a long time and just as I dared to peer back at him, he let the curtain go. It fluttered gently before it was still.

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“Did you ever know Jim, the old man that lives in the Southern Mansion up the road?” I asked another neighbor on my way home.
“Oh, yes. He used to walk by here almost every day. He always used to light up when my flowers were in bloom. If I remember correctly, I think his favorites were the peonies. He said they reminded him of the South, of where he used to live as a boy. Nice man. Very nice man. I like a man who appreciates the beauty of flowers. It’s a simple love that seems to stay the distance, don’t you think?”
“What a beautiful thing to say,” I said smiling and nodding my head, “yes, I think you’re right.”

Andrew Mueglig Peony
Photo by Tatiana12 via Flickr
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My Wednesday Wish For You?

Connect with a heart this week, a heart that longs to be heard, seen…touched. Maybe your voice wont be heard. Maybe your words wont be wanted. But maybe your actions will be seen. And in your actions, let your own heart guide your way. For to connect with another heart, we must first connect with our own.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wednesday Wish (38)

Forgotten Garden, Richmond Plantation
Photo by itsbrandoyo via flickr

Did the bird guide me there? His twitters awakening me to a voice I could not hear? Or was it the way the wind blew, drawing me nearer with every footstep, a path in the road invisible to all but myself? I didn’t know. And I wouldn’t know. All that mattered was that I had discovered the house, the house that seemed as if it had been inviting me to visit for a very long time.

It sat back from the road, a big open field of uncut grass protecting it like a medieval moat. Old trees with haggard bark hugged its walls, their knowing leaves trembling in the breeze, shivering with sacred vulnerability. Its windows, like eyelids, drooped, a few lined with mossy sadness, a few others boarded up with cheap plywood. But it was the feeling that spoke to me the loudest that lazy Sunday in the month of May. The feeling that felt like a flutter bug twirling in my chest.

“Does anyone live in the big white house set back from the road?” I asked a neighbor watering her plants in her perfectly manicured front yard.
“You mean the Southern mansion? Old Jim’s Southern mansion? We haven’t seen him in years but we haven’t heard of his passing either. I’m sure he’s still there. Must be…gosh…how old do you think Jim is by now, honey?”
            Her husband sat in a lawn chair on the porch reading a newspaper, “Over eighty, definitely over eighty, maybe ninety, for all I know…”
            “I’d say more like ninety. He’s become pretty reclusive in his old age. Didn’t used to be though. Used to be quite the gardener, among other things. Guess I don’t need to be telling you that. You can see all that yourself, I ‘spose,” She chuckled. Nosy neighbors tend to do that, chuckle off their nosey-ness.

I breathed in another smile born of the Southern mansion, old Jim’s Southern mansion. And this one was deeper still.

The bird may have left me. The breeze may have settled down, but the feeling…it was still there. I was being called to visit. And could not wait….

I found the entryway hiding out in the darkness of shade, tucked beneath a cluster of trees and between a mess of bushy overgrown shrubs. Two crumbling brick columns held up a rusted black gate, its hinges whining as I gave it a little push. It was open, I just opened it a little bit more. The entry was littered with leaves and yellowing camellias. Weeds popped their heads out between stones, obviously months or even years old. No one had gardened here in a very long time. And yet it was still stunning. I walked slowly, breathing in the mystery of this forgotten place, the magic that had been overlooked by so many and for so long.

As I neared the house I noticed a cluster of terracotta pots, each one filled with dirt but their flowers dead, hanging over the sides in stringy decay. There was a shovel and a rake that had been outside all winter. The stoop hadn’t been swept for seasons. The entrance was in shambles. It was even more lonely and decaying up close. I breathed in and out, slowly, trusting my instincts to visit, then leaned in to press the doorbell… 

*To be continued...

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My Wednesday Wish for You?

No matter where you are or what you are doing, there is always magical intrigue. Soften your heart, squint your eyes to see with alternate senses, and allow the guidance to bubble up from within...guidance inviting you to discover the magical intrigue that has been longing for you for so very long....

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Missing My Mexico...

I wiggle my toes under my sheets. They tickle me with secrets, whispering that they don’t want to sleep. They are warm, eager, sensuous….needing to feel the earth. So I listen and slip outside into the darkness, my toes my eyes, my heart my guide.

The stone pathway is warm, humid from the afternoon rain. I stop to lift my nose, to breathe in the scent of the sea mixed with white flowers and heat-- heat to melt. It finds places to seep in, to infiltrate my skin, my being. I relax my shoulders, my neck, my spine turns from stiff to soft and pliable. I’m a noodle with a smile. I like what the humid night air of my Mexico does to me.

I want the soil, the soft wetness of the earth. So I let my heart guide me, my toes first finding a tuft of mint, the flavors finding my nose, spiking the air into dancing prickles. Can eyes sparkle in the darkness? Yes, I am sure they can. I feel them sparkle, lit from within. I am more alive than I have been all day, here in the darkness of my Mexican night.

Another step and I find the ethereal wetness of the soil. I stop, absorbed by the arms of the earth, letting my body sway—sink, float—sail into the depths of something I cannot name. I ride like an unattached cloud, the earth’s whim my only direction…taken by its sensuous call…

I forget time
I am only feeling
Riding the magic carpet laid out by the light of my Mexican Moon
My toes are happy
They have shown me what they desired
Given me what I couldn’t know
Could only feel
A taste of earth’s
secret passion
sails me off,
alive and…
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wednesday Wish (37)

1 large cooking pot
1 jar of honey, organic if possible
white flowers, non-toxic

Your feet are bare so the dew-laden grass tickles as you walk. You smile like a little kid-- a little naughty, a little forbidden peeking through. Then you bite your lip, planning your next move, your eyes darting up to the tree, then down to the tufts of white near its base. And then what about the camellia over there? A butterfly catches your eye, dancing to the beat of the wind. Ahhh, a gust from the sea. You breathe it in, let it wash over your skin, your lungs filling…..with hope? Yes, that's right. And so is this.

You decide to pick the little guys first, the candytuft. And then a few pansies, too. The white flowers of the fruit trees, you don’t want to forget those. Better get those before the camellia blossoms, since you know you love those and they will take up every last bit of space in your arms. You pile them all on as gently as you can until there is no more space. Your arms are full. Yes, you say to yourself. You think that many will do.

You fill the pot to almost full with warm water, then turn the heat to medium. One at a time, you place the flowers in the pot their petals relaxing as soon as they touch the warmth. It was cold outside. Its not Mexico anymore. It’s the Pacific Northwest where Spring is cool and tea is welcome. You smile. Its good to be home. You pick up the wooden spoon and make the flowers twirl.

Two brave gob-filled scoops of honey find their way into your pot. They kerplunk and soon dissolve. You realize how good the kitchen smells. Why of course it does, you have a pot of sweet white flowers brewing on your stove.

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My Wednesday Wish For You?

When you find yourself feeling hurt by the bitterness of those around you, when words and actions seem to carry arrows that pierce the very fibers of your heart, first, step away. And second, make yourself a flower bath. Like memories, feelings stay with us unless we are able to really cleanse our Selves. The combination of white flowers and honey is an elixir that does just that….it cleanses your aura of bitterness and feeds you the sweetness that you so wished would take its place. And it really works! Be sure though, to immerse your entire self in its gifts. Either pour it over your head like a shower or dunk your head completely under in your bath. And then watch how much better you feel in the morning. For me, it worked like magic.