Carpe Diem

Although the calendar says, “January,” today’s temperature will top 60 degrees. Yesterday, it was nearly the same with warm winds whispering inspiration through limbs of bare.

Opening a door to the sunroom on the back of my house, scents of mixed seasons seeped through wire screens. Musty leaves floated across blades of wheat colored grass blanketing the ground. In contrast, a lone birch tree of peeling white stood tall and proud among trees bathed in cocoa bark.

Sweet sounds of morning songbirds greeted me as I sat to soak the rare gifts of a winter respite. Suddenly a crow dipped in black ink made his presence known. Caw…caw…caw, he cracked in the silent sky above. I’ve neglected nature’s gift of birds during the last few months. Their songs have been missed by the ear of my soul. Perhaps I was too busy to notice their feathered beauty? My ears and eyes, deaf and blinded by busyness….

Last fall, trees were planted off the patio in the back of my yard. Bradford pear, purple plum, birch and the dark jade of pine. A sweeping willow, long and weeping is waiting until spring. Feeders will dance from boughs and branches. Covered shelters, short and tall will soon house nesting families. 

Before retreating, treats of tweets beckoned me to scan stark limbs. There, a lone robin, his red breast splashing against a sky of gray, sang “Goodbye.”

I shall not miss nature’s beauty in this New Year. Being busy is no longer an excuse. The joy of living here and now is fleeting, with postcard pictures disappearing in seconds.

Seize today for tomorrow is never promised.


*photo of robin courtesy of Google Chrome

Tangible Time

Hourglass handQuiet in my office space today except for the sound of clothes tumbling in a dryer a few rooms away. Things to get done before I’m on my way. Off to visit my father in Arizona tomorrow. Yes, leaving on an old familiar jet plane to soar above into a golden setting sun off the tips of shiny silver wings.

So much to do with extra excitement too. Lots of relatives to visit during my brief stay among the tall green saguaros within a painted desert land. My precious father of course, together with my father-in-law and my dearest great-aunt. In addition, I look forward to seeing three of my siblings and other relatives who live nearby. My husband and I will be very busy!

My great-aunt, who I love so very much is not doing well. She hasn’t been for quite some time. Now blind from her own Chronic Condition of Glaucoma, she’s not able to telephone me anymore. How I miss our giggling chats! I’ve written about her before, once on New Year’s Eve , and it wasn’t long ago that I scooped her up for a visit to St. Louis. But, even then, I knew she would probably never be coming back.

I will treasure my Arizona memories perhaps like never before. Besides squeezing a frail hand of my precious great-aunt, the touch of my father and father-in-law will feel differently this time. The warmth of their skin will be soaked like a sponge, their hugs imprinted for only me to see. Time has become tangible as I feel my loved ones aging closer toward Heaven.


The Gift of An Unexpected Day

Oh to cluster sands of coral within an hourglass of time

Seconds trickle silently

Speck by speck, grain by grain

Falling through clear 

Dropping one by one

Ever s-l-o-w-l-y not to hear

Reaching bottom

Single seconds drifting into precious minutes

Until the gift of another day may come my way

The Hourglass of Time

With Father’s Day around the corner, my mind can’t help but wander to the days of little boy ways when I chased toddlers wearing diapers while ‘puppy dog tails’ followed close behind us.  Oh, please turn back the clock for me!  I would give anything in life to have a single grain of sand stuck in that hourglass of time.  To cuddle my babies once again upon my lap, kiss their sweet-scented heads, soak folds of skin in a bubbled tub or hum sweet lullabies to velvet cheeks soft against my own.

As life went on my toddlers grew to teens, morphed into men, married and became fathers in their own right.  What a privilege to peek into early windows of their Daddy Hood.

Today, my two sons have become the very best fathers I could have ever dreamed possible!  They love their little ones…love them!  With five between the two of them, their hands are more than full, yet I’ve never heard a single complaint.  They take joy in kissing chubby fists, mixing bottles of formula, pushing strollers beneath shaded trees and tickling bare bellies into giggles.  Often, I see Daddy Reading a Book or Daddy on the Floor to Play!

The hourglass of time typically exists only in our minds.  Yet, already grains of sand are slipping away….one by one.  Falling s.l.o.w.l.y. from top to bottom.  Seconds turn into minutes of lifetimes.  In the blink of an eye, years go by.  Babies crawl upon floors before toddlers learn to walk.   Pre-school begins one day while college ends the next.  Suddenly swaddled babes are old enough to say, “I Do.”  Crowded nests of chicks are bare, hushed silent with shells of emptiness.

So, here’s to my boys on this coming Father’s Day!  For my youngest, it is his very first ever!  Enjoy every second each son of mine.  Kiss your babies from head to toe.  Hold them close to your heart forever and tomorrow.  Breathe them in to memorize their scent. Don’t ever let it go.  And, never take a single grain of sand for granted.

Happy Father’s Day.