Center Of Everything

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At the center of everything,

There’s heartbeat

And love.

At the center of everything,

Live intention

And compassion.

The currencies

Of empathy and growth,

The misty breath

Of light

Amidst the chaos.

At the center of everything,

Spin the threads that weave

Together

Soul and healing

Breadth and scope,

Into a tapestry

Of freedom

Peace and

Hope.

For The Daily Post

 

Jiggly Biggly Boo

There’s a special place in heaven for well-loved toys. Missing ears, tatty limbs, dangly eyes, bald patches, poke-out stuffing, stained coats. Wet tummies with mold, too.

A little one described it to me, his gray-blue eyes bright with loss.

Their house had gotten damaged in a flood. Along with wet carpets and soggy couch pillows, a few unredeemable yet oh-so-precious loveables also had to be tossed out: a bunny, a teddy, and a well-hugged-sloth named Jiggly Biggly Boo.

“He got wet all the way inside him tummy,” the boy shook his curly head. “Maybe we don’t have no more towels … ” he paused, confused, then sighed. “Jiggly Biggly Boo had to go to toys heaven.”

He raised large sad eyes at me. “They have tummy towels? Him tummy got wet. He got mowed.”

 

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Stuffed Sloth: The Discovery Channel Store

 

 

For The Daily Post

Birth of Hope

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“I didn’t think it was possible,” she said. Her hand hovered close over her heart, a tremor perhaps mirroring the flutter inside. “I never dared to even hope.”

A budding of something long buried illuminated her face, softened the crows’ feet around her eyes, smoothed a line of worry that had etched itself, preemptive and ever-wary, onto her forehead.

It’s been such a very long road.

“Can you believe it? At my age?” She shook her head, amazed.

She lowered herself to the couch and patted her own knee in self-comfort or maybe to convince herself that she was real and wasn’t dreaming.

Her voice whispered wonder. “He loved it. Bought it on the spot. My baby. My first sculpture, sold.”

A Good Match

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A Perfect Match: Photo by Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

I love this photo by my niece of her little boy and his uncle’s dog taking a walk on the beach. It encapsulates a tapestry of perfect pairings: sunset and beach, beach and dog, dog and boy, boy and beach, water and light, trepidation and trust.

The soft waves lap at the figures. Both child’s and canine’s play contained by a still-forming bond.

The silvery light with its promise of blush, the speck of island in the distance …

The footprints and shadow on the wet sand behind …

The image is a salve of contented quiet and hopeful calm.

 

 

For the Photo Challenge

In Plain Sight

 

His face gave him away.

Guilt wrote itself into every centimeter of his little visage. It colored his cheeks cherry and turned his lips downwards and his eyes up and away. He pressed his lips together to prevent admission. Tucked his hands deep into his pockets, one fist bulging in a telltale sign of something hidden.

Or not so well hidden.

I raised an eyebrow, more amusement than ire.

“I didn’t take anything,” he blurted.

My eyebrow climbed along with a corner of my mouth.

The four-year-old’s eyes darted down his arm, eyes magnetized by a conflicted conscience. “I don’t have anything in my hand …”

“I see …” I noted.

His looked up at me in alarm and the cherries on his cheeks bloomed beet.

“But …?” he examined the opaque fabric of his pants before exclaiming in half-question, half-fact: “Oh, you have magic eyes!?”

His little chest sighed and he pulled his hand out, candy clutched in guilty fingers. “I … I didn’t take it. … Uh … I only did … um … can I have one?”

 

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For The Daily Post

The Line

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Photo by: A. Barlev

 

They walk the line as morning comes

As new day draws its dawn,

They walk as night approaches close

And sunset sinks alone.

They walk the line of now and then

Of sand and rock, death, growth,

They walk as footsteps mark the soil

And press it deep with hope.

They walk where many walked before

With others not yet born,

They walk in dust of those who passed

Of stories told and torn.

They walk to sew new roads to life

Connections old as time,

They walk a line of young and old

Their hearts as close as mine.

For The Daily Post

The Sounds In The Silence …

 

“Hello darkness,

My old friend,

I’ve come to talk to you again …”

The song plays incessantly in my head, sparked awake by the words of a pre-teen who shared her nighttime worries with me.

She finds it difficult to sleep. Her ears strain to pick up any errant sound: A car’s brakes, a slammed door, people’s voices, steps, a distant bark. She’s afraid they’ve come.

She’s been told she shouldn’t worry. She’s done nothing wrong. Yet there are those who hadn’t, and still had loved ones taken. And she’s not from here. Not really. Not from birth, anyway.

What if the rules change and she’s deemed “returnable”?

What if they keep her away from her parents, send her back to where she’d come from? What if she cannot find the words, if they not let her explain that she is finally, finally, home?

She lies in bed at night. Listening. Making and discarding plans. Fretting in the dark.

Maybe she’ll hide. But where? Someone at school said they sometimes have dogs. She loves dogs. Police dogs — beautiful and focused and proud — never used to scare her. They do now. At their handlers’ command, they can hunt her down. She’s seen it. On TV. In her mind. Now her dreams.

“I listen to the sounds in the silence,” she whispered, eyes bright. “And I wait. Even in my dreams, I listen … and I cry when they come.”

 

 

For The Daily Post

Expectant

 

“My mommy have a baby in her tummy!” she announces even before her little feet clear the steps.

“How lovely!” I’ve known for a while, but delight never gets old.

“But the baby not coming out yet,” she clarifies soberly.

“Oh,” I match my tone to hers.

The girl nods sagely. “It not ready yet.”

“I see.”

She shrugs out of her coat and wriggles a bit as she lets me help her remove her snow boots. She pauses mid-wriggle. One socked foot liberated.

“Will mommy have to blow?”

“Blow?”

“Yeah,” the almost-four-year-old cocks her head with bewilderment at my lack of immediate understanding. “When the baby come out.”

I look up, slightly flustered. Someone did a tripe-knot on that other boot. Fort Knox.

She stares at me.

It is one of those times when I have a feeling that my hypothesis about her question is quite different than what she is actually asking about.

“What do you think?” I default to my when-in-doubt-return-the-question-to-the-kid.

She nods vigorously. “Yeah. Because when the baby finish cooking it going to be too hot.”

 

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For The Daily Post

I Mean It!

 

He plopped himself on the rug and pulled his sock on, tugging on the elastic till the fabric stretched to his knees. He gazed down at a bump. Scrunched his forehead, patted the bump down. It flattened but not all the way.

The furrows in his forehead grew. The bumpy bit was connected to the sock … like always … but something still seemed wrong.

He twisted his foot. Examined the sole. No bump there.

He pulled harder on the elastic. Re-examined. No change.

He shrugged.

Somehow when mommy or daddy did this, the sock looked different. No bump on the bottom. No bump on top.

He stood, took a step and stopped. Another step. Stopped.

The bump bunched. It felt funny when he walked.

He sat back down. Stared at his feet. Wiggled his toes.

It felt funny again. He bent his foot. No good.

Maybe the sock was broken.

He pulled it off.

Took a look.

The sock appeared completely normal now. Just like always.

He pursed his lips, pointed his toes into the sock and tried again.

The fabric bunched. A bump.

He moved his foot, paused, narrowed his eyes, and sighed. Tugged the sock off and held it between thumb and finger.

“Be good boy, Sock,” he admonished. “No more no-sense. I mean it!”

 

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Photo by: agirlnamedpj.com

 

For The Daily Post