Tag: Recreation and Sports

Fish Hooks and Ink Stains

Fish Hooks and Ink Stains

I wander down dark roads a lot. Kind of like the way silk threaded roads wind their way back into the forest night. Birds chirping like farmhands singin’ final tunes with the last chore of the day. Can’t imagine a softer place to lay my head than in the lap of sweet memories like these.

Just around the corner, as I near the first familiar bend, a hoot owl whispers narcotic sounds that draw me deeper into my solitude. When at a lonely tree stump I rest, I remember so clearly what first snagged me and lured me into its lair.

Familiar, yes. But even more venomous than before. A narcotic so strong it has wiped out my memory and led me back to the same place over and over again, until I’m frustrated and frenzied. I notice a stain on the tree stump where I sit. I had etched something there in ink. A warning. A symbol. Looks like “stay away.”

And yet… I am here.

A gloomy, mucky fog shrouds my legs now. I remember now, I’m living in the past. Everything here is dead. It smells dead. It looks dead. It reeks of death. And yet, I return.

To whom should I blame for this journey? I have come empty handed, hoping for treasures that I never earned and will never earn if I keep following this same path. If I make it out of here alive, I will walk in another direction. I promise, God.

“I will stand in my truth and authenticity and follow the path of light… the present.”

These words ring from my lip. I hear them come back to me in a moment of stillness. I have said this before. As I look down, I see etched beneath my ink words, a sun. Round and round it goes, following the same path each day. My words the same. My actions, even more the same.

To whom shall I blame for this human response? Is it God or mammon? Wolves dressed in sheepskin or just mental illness?

Fate fly away and let me bear the passion of the wind. I deserve the higher call of words unspoken and songs unwritten. If I should keep singing the words of others and writing over and over the past, should I not waste away in the shadows of death?

I fear I will.

Present—take me away into your stillness and leave me in your unrest forever.

 

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Black Thumb

Black Thumb

When I was a little tike, my father would force me to garden. I hated it, basically because it kept me from doing all the things little kids like to do—play the piano, hide in my closet and create colorful art on my Litebrite, collect wildflowers, and sing on the berm of the interstate at the top of my lungs so no one would hear me.

As I grew up, every flower, every plant, every garden I ever tried to grow died unsuccessfully. I considered myself a black thumb.

My father passed on about 11 years ago of pancreatic cancer. Before he died, he said to me, “So now it’s your turn to take care of your sisters and your mother.” I felt like he was passing down some sort of mantel. It felt heavy and I didn’t want it. I was the one who travelled anywhere anytime, never had a steady job, loved being completely free of responsibility. He had it wrong. This was not going to be my destiny.

But there is something about a Father’s last wish—it tends to stick in your crawl! Suddenly, everyone was coming to me with her problems and needs. And I, for some reason, had gleaned the know-how to help all of them. I actually enjoyed it. Let’s call it… co-dependency kicking in.

Something else happened during all of this. I spent 7 years with a florist and through osmosis, I guess, I learned the what and what-nots to do with flowers and gardens.

So, when I moved into my own house, I suddenly possessed my father’s green thumb. Everything I touched grew. I even stunned myself. Right now I’m looking at two orchids that are blooming so beautifully on my sideboard.  Everyone knows how hard it is to get an orchid to bloom, and yet, alas, they bloomed with no effort at all.

If you haven’t looked at my pictures on here, they are full of amazing flowers from my five gardens. I spend, sometimes, hours gardening each day. My sisters call me. I tell them I am out in the garden. They are generally stunned. They think that my dad, whom I never got along with when he was alive, is back haunting my body. I think they might be right.

Why am I so interested in flowers and pretty things now?

My first garden was herbs. I was a vegetarian chef. I thought, grow herbs! You can, at least, put your mind to doing that. I actually was successful at doing that. That’s how it all started. Then my mother moved in and encouraged me to add some color to a somewhat bland garden. From there, it was my dear friend Brenda Batey who gave me her 100 varieties of day lilies and my neighbor Karen who kept putting flowers starters on my doorstep every morning that made my gardens the way they are today. So, it was a little encouragement from the universe and friends; but, alas, I am now what most call a Green Thumb.

I embrace it fully. Ask me any question about flowers and I’ll be glad to tell you. The only thing black in this yard is the mulch!

 

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