Passion allows the hum of happiness to turn into a song of joy.”
Before I left Arizona last week, I saw my Great-Aunt one last time to say, “Good-By.” I picked her up from my relative’s house where she lived and slept. She had combed her short blonde hair pretty and straight, scrubbing her face shiny to glow in the sun. “Are you ready, Aunt Shirley?” “Oh, heaven’s yes,” she answered, her sparkling blue eyes twinkling.
As we drove to one of her favorite restaurants in town, we passed familiar cactus in the wide open desert together with several stray dogs roaming on the street. Aunt Shirley’s frail hands were folded in her lap. She fidgeted, knowing it was our last visit, for this trip at least. When would I be coming back? That’s what she was thinking, as I read her silent senior mind. My visits were one of the things that she most looked forward to.
It’s hard for me to leave, harder still for her to see me go. At 88 years old, she gets lonely. She is loved where she lives it is true, but for her, it is nearly the same every day. She can no longer see well enough to read her dear books or to be independent. She is unable to drive her fanciful convertible car, or even to simply walk her beloved dog, Bunky. Yet she is not one to ever complain. She’s lived a good life. She lives it still.
We stopped at a restaurant she most frequents named, J.B’s. It has a Senior menu that offers a little of everything. Aunt Shirley is very frail, and as usual, wasn’t very hungry. I mulled over the menu for a minute. Ordering for her is a challenge as I am forever trying to fatten her up. A nice waitress came by with a smile on her face and a pony tail in her hair with a big blue bow. She brought us water and coffee with cream. “Ahhhh!” There on the menu was the perfect picture of an item for someone not hungry, yet one that needed calories. A malted milkshake! “We’ll share it, please,” I said to the nice girl, the one with the big blue bow in her hair. “I’d like it extra thick, made with hot fudge and malted milk powder if you have it.” She smiled at me, glancing at Aunt Shirley while writing on her green tablet with a red colored pen.
Soon the waitress came back with a tall clear fountain glass. It spilled over the brim, dripping with scoops of chocolate ice cream, cocoa-colored milk, and thick hot fudge. She brought an extra matching glass, two striped straws wrapped in cream paper, and extra long silver spoons that made clinking sounds against the glasses. I started to pour half of the drink into Aunt Shirley’s tall glass before beginning to laugh. One clear glass was nearly full with the delicious confection while the other was still rising to the top! How could it be?
I examined my fountain glass like a science experiment, stirring it up with one of the extra long spoons. Was I missing something? Was it a bottomless glass? I peered at my Aunt to see her expression. She pondered me, her eyes wide with wonder, her pink lips parting in a smile as she scooted up to look deep into the vessel. We laughed. Was this a joke or something? Then we gave up. We drank our milkshakes, held hands, lived and loved. It was the perfect ending to our perfect visit.
It was The Magic Glass.
A bug on the ground, never seen before
Long and round, so different
Moving now, it floats on top of bricks
No legs in sight, scary I think
Fuzzy, crawling towards me
Slowly at first, like babies do
I’m kneeling down, not quite trusting
Sizing it up, close and cautious
Brown with yellow, it looks soft to me
Grandma says, “It’s okay to touch”
Gentle, with a whispered finger
Careful not to hurt
Guess what? It’s a caterpillar
Soon to be a butterfly
How can this be?
God’s magic, it’s a miracle
Crawling creature, soon to be ruffled wings
Lots of questions….
When will this happen? Is it true? Will the butterfly be blue?
Does it eat from a flower or drink from the fountain?
Will we see it dance in the garden or flutter near a rock?
Tell me, Grandma. Please, Grandma, P.L.E.A.S.E?
Sigh….Butterfly, I will see you in my dreams
Up..up..up, high in the sky where angels sing
Please wave to me with wings of blue on clouds of cream
‘Till then, I’ll never forget this lesson of bugs and miracles of God
Good-bye, Caterpillar, I love you, Butterfly…..
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man:
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.”
*Photograph courtesy of Google Chrome
A special Thank You to, Hugh Roberts, of Hugh’s News and Views, for his mention of my pictures and blog as part of his Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 23-Season. In another life, surely I would love to take up photography. Taking pictures gives me such immense joy!
Thank you, Hugh, and to all who enjoy my I-Phone 6 photography. 🙂
I want to run and skip and play and jump and feel alive in the world.”
*painting courtesy of Google Chrome
It’s early and quiet here, barely the birds are chirping yet. No one moves about the house, not even my Doodle dog. To the east, the sun is rising in painted chalk colors of corals and pinks against the blues of aqua. A pine branch brushes against my office window pane, startling me. Ooooh, I see the faint fluttering of robin wings! Suddenly, they take a flight to the right, gathering twigs of nearby trees. I’m in a room with the perfect view!
Such a sight reminded me of a long-ago spring when my children were young. They’d go off to school before I washed dishes at a green pepper sink beneath my kitchen window. To the left was a wooden door made of eight panes of glass. It led to a lovely covered patio where given the chance, I read a chapter from a cloth-covered book, sipped crushed iced tea or snuck a nap before the kids awakened me.
Under the covered patio sat a natural rattan chair next to a potted plant of bright red geraniums. Such a contrast the two colors were, the beige of the chair next to the radiant red of blazing flowers. It looked like a picture from, Better Homes and Gardens. I used to tender the plant like another child, carefully watering it while plucking curled leaves from thriving ones, afraid they’d suck precious life away from the others.
One morning, two robins flew back and forth between the blue of the sky and my precious red geranium. They carried twigs and bits of cloth between their beaks. Building a nest, I surmised. What to do? If I did not interfere, my treasured plant might die…if I did, where would their featherless babies be born?
Motherly instincts gave in, allowing the birds to continue. Before long, I tip-toed to the nest nearly every day, discovering yet another egg of robin blue safe within its refuge of brown twigs, twine, and mud. Occasionally, I’d catch the mother sitting there, looking at me as if to say, “Who are YOU?” In the beginning, she flew away. In the end, she let me stay.
It wasn’t long before I heard the squawking of baby chicks from my window screen. Both Mother and Father robins took turns feeding their naked newborns who were barely able to lift bald heads or stretch wrinkled necks. When not pecking for worms, Mother Bird sat on top, keeping her featherless young perfectly warm.
The babies grew quickly with luck on my side! Nature hadn’t taught them to fear me. I used to visit them often, stopping by to say, “Hello,” or to tell them of my day. I even coddled soft feathers with a tip of my finger after their mother flew away. The Wildlife Rescue Center had told me it’s a “Myth” that birds can smell. I brought them no harm and was careful in every way. Soon, I found myself attached to the growing balls of feathered fluff. They were miracles to me, teaching me wonders never found in a book.
Eventually, the day came when Mother Bird taught her babies how to fly and leave their nest. I saw them from my window. Yes, I had a room with the perfect view. One by one, each feathered friend stepped on the edge of my geranium plant, using it as a perch. Flapping golden wings lit by the sun, in winds that only God can kiss, they fought to stay in the air. Some fell slightly before floating back up like miniature biscuit colored balloons. Up, up, up into the sky. Squinting, I saw patches of orange-red breasts flying toward heaven. Wistfully, I waved, “Good-bye.”
Turning to save what was left of red flowers and yellow leaves, I saw one last little bird perched, afraid to take the plunge. I couldn’t take my eyes off him, wanting him to stay, yet knowing he too, must leave the nest. In the distance, his family called to him. It was as if they cheered him on. “Come’on, you can do it, we’re here waiting for you!” With that, he flapped his wings fast and hard, jumping off into the unknown while I cried my eyes out.
The next spring I purchased another geranium plant, hoping again to have a room with the perfect view…..
*Photography courtesy of Google Chrome
“Behold the little things in life, for they are the best of yet to be.”
*photo courtesy of Google Chrome
As all of you know my life is blessed with love, particularly my grandbabies of five who are all under the age of four. My eldest is about to turn another milestone next month, with her baby brother not far behind. In celebration of all the tremendous love I have for each and every one of my dear and darling grandbabies, I’m sharing them with you. This year I will have a four-year-old, two 2-year-old’s, and Babies of Two who recently turned one! I LOVE them all to pieces.