Contented

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

There was nothing wrong with her beyond that she could not abide much in the way of interference, and had always preferred the company of fair-folk and the song of wind and dust-in-light to the over-stimulating presence of other humans.

She’d gotten through the requisites of growing up: the schools, the get-togethers, the expectation of having friends, the beck and call of work one needed in order to make a living. She’d endured the close proximity when needful, but mostly let the din of people’s voices wash over her like an avalanche, while she curled up inside her mind and sustained herself on preserved pockets of precious solitude.

Most wouldn’t have believed her had she laid bare her wistfulness for isolation. Or perhaps some would have, but had never said it. She did not much care to find out which of the two or neither it was.

Three decades had passed and the half of another, before she began wondering if she’d live to see the exit of another year or self-combust under the pressure of life’s demands for what felt like constant interaction.

Then Aunt Carolina passed. She left behind a small fortune in savings bonds and an old house no one would have wanted. The latter was to be torn down and the land sold to become someone else’s problem.

Or so the estate managers thought.

Cilia fought them with a ferociousness that surprised her at least as much as it had anyone who’d ever known her. It wasn’t that she’d been a pushover till then, only that she had never found it worth the effort to try and exchange one relative discomfort with another. This was different.

This house was what she suddenly did not know how she had ever lived without.

In the end they relented after she gave up all claims to any of the funds Aunt Carolina had left. She’d get only the cottage and its contents. None of her cousins — not even Marley-the-Meddler — objected. Their share grew with her out of the pie.

The attorney warned her that the house would sooner gobble up what savings she had than be a home that could house her. “The gloomy place is centuries old,” he warned. “It doesn’t even have running water.”

“Aunt Carolina had lived there till she died,” was her retort.”She bathed. I’ll manage.”

She did much more than that.

For the first time in her life she could feel herself actually breathing.

The garden’s stone walls wrapped around her like a hug of moss and ancient patience. The cottage creaked and cracked and breathed as if it was itself alive with memories and whispered sighs of times before. And she did not have to explain to anyone how none of that was a menace. The walls held echoes of calm solitude. The garden wreathed itself in growth. The birds chirped. The kits of a fox mewled. The silence gleamed.

She knew why Aunt Carolina had refused to leave.

“We are like twins stretched over several generations,” she murmured into the fire as the wind whistled in the chimney and the elves made a racket in the trees outside her door. “You must have known, someplace, that I will need to find this. As you had, in your time.”

She stretched her feet and giggled at the big toe that the hole in her sock had liberated. A wooden box sat, heavy, in her lap.

She’d come across it in the crawlspace earlier that afternoon. She’d climbed up after a noise she thought was a squirrel’s nestlings. Instead she found a loose board, half-an-inch of dust, and a pile of rags atop a box.

“The house and all its contents,” she smiled in recollection of Aunt Carolina’s will. “I should have known you’d leave more than enough behind to keep the roof above us for another eon.”

 

 

 

For the Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto Challenge

 

 

Wrap It Up In Gratitude

affection appreciation decoration design

Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com

 

Me being a softy for all manner of new beginnings, wrapping ups, looking back and facing forward, I’ve decided to participate in this lovely idea of a blog-to-blog blanket of gratitude, friendship, and community. Want to join? Read how here (also, thank you, Dale – for the idea).

The short of it? Set a timer for 15 minutes and let loose: write, detail, list, describe and put your gratitude into words. No edits needed. No wrong answers. No test at the end. Nothing to lose and everything to gain.

If you are so inclined, read my unedited, uncensored Gratitude Wrap Up — here I Go!

  1. Family. A blessing even wordy-me hasn’t enough words for.
  2. Friends. For all the gifts of laughter and joy.
  3. Joy. Because life is so much richer with it.
  4. Life. Without it, there would be nothing.
  5. This planet. Without it there would be no life as we know it.
  6. Oxygen. I adore the stuff. Can’t imagine living without it.
  7. Water. The obvious stuff, but also in rivers and oceans. Especially the beach.
  8. Waves. In the sea. In the ebb and flow of life. In the ups and downs of everything. In hellos and even in the sweet sorrow of goodbyes (for there had to have been a hello for there to be a goodbye).
  9. Light and the gift of sight.
  10. Colors. In nature. In emotion. In people. In energy. In food. In flowers.
  11. Flowers. Not so much the cut ones in bouquets as the ones still living, blooming loudly without shame or apology.
  12. Apologies. For making room for amends and for allowing humility, humanity, empathy, fallibility, and compassion.
  13. Compassion. I’d put it first. But this is unedited and … it really fits everywhere. Any day. Any time.
  14. Time. To live. To breathe. To be. To learn. To write.
  15. Learning. For there is so much more to know!
  16. Writing. Because, well, it is like breathing.
  17. Breathing. It’s lovely. Also, see #6 …
  18. Children. For everything they are and the hope they hold and the laughter they bring and the teachers they are.
  19. Hope. The hope you feel. The hope you know. The hope you may be able to give someone, someday. The hope you might’ve forgotten but now remember.
  20. Memories. So many of those. Some I might’ve wished to never know, but since they are part of me, I’d rather know than not, for they are all a part of me and made me into who I am today.
  21. Today. Every day. There would be not past or present or future without it.
  22. Tomorrow. For exemplifying hope by working on becoming a today and by that showing trust in what can be.
  23. Trust. For the depth of connection it allows, especially as it is never something I take for granted, having known betrayal.
  24. Connection. No person is truly an island. We need our shores to touch those of others, through waves and flow and ebb and sun and rain and heart and sound.
  25. Sound. For the gifts of hearing, listening, and understanding.
  26. Comprehension. For this world is complicated enough, and I am grateful to know some meaning.
  27. Meaning. For life. For love. For connection. For work.
  28. Work. Because to live is to work. Not just in what one defines as a job, but in what one can define their life’s work to be, and the glimpses of the plan.
  29. Plans. Love them. Sometimes I am not sure I feel the love, but I know I do, someplace, or I’d have never made the plans …
  30. Love.
  31. Love.
  32. Love.
  33. Repetition. Some things get better the more you know them. The more you do them. The more time you spend in them. They improve with age.
  34. Aging. Seriously. I’ve earned every wrinkle. I’ve labored in the sun for every freckle. I’ve stitched every bit of wisdom, sometimes from tatters of harder times to make a quilt of who I am.
  35. Being me. Not because I’m so special, but because we each are. And I’m happy for the opportunity to be me. Just because (also, I’m a limited edition. They broke the mold after making me, so it’ll be a waste to not make the most of it even if just because I’m super curious to see how I’ll unfold).
  36. Curiosity. Can’t help it. Don’t want to change it. Wonder where it’s all coming from.
  37. Wonder. It keeps me on my toes. It keeps my ‘awwww’ and ‘wow’ and ‘whoa’ muscles working.
  38. Muscles. I’ve got the skinny-Minnie edition of those, so I’m grateful for every fiber: they keep me upright, they keep my fingers typing (yeah!). They keep my heart pumping.
  39. Heart. In all its manifestations. Even broken hearts are better than being heartless. I’m so so grateful to have heart and to know so many people who have golden ones.
  40. Gold. Not the metal, but the color – in the sunrise, in the sunset, in the sparkle, in the light.
  41. Sunrise and sunset. They never fail to quicken my heart and expand my soul.
  42. Soul. It’s older than this body. It’s wiser than this life. It’s been hanging around this universe a while, and it’s been traveling in a little cluster with other souls, most of whom I totally adore.
  43. The universe. Don’t understand it. Can’t grasp the size of it. Not sure I really ‘get’ how it went ‘bang’ and where it is expanding or collapsing into, but I sure am grateful for it. May even be grateful for extraterrestrials. Come to think of it, I bet I already know a few such travelers.
  44. Travel. To new-to-me and known-to-me places. It expands my mind and nourishes my spirit.
  45. Nourishment. In all its forms but especially in its most basic, which I know so many in this world still struggle to have access to, even as there should be more than enough for all of us. Having healthy food isn’t something to take for granted.
  46. Health. This, too, in all its forms and in its most fundamental. I’ve been blessed to know both health and some of its challenges. It keeps me grateful. It keeps me aware.
  47. Awareness. Being conscious is a good thing. Seriously. I know what I’m talking about.
  48. Talking. I’m SO grateful for the gift of gab. I’d implode if I didn’t have words.
  49. Words. Language. Communication. My elements. My calling. My profession. My path.
  50. Journey. Especially that of life. With all of you who cross my path and join my path and whose path I am allowed to join. I’m so so grateful.

 

 

Want to make your own stream-of-consciousness gratitude list? Follow the link below.

For the 2018 Annual attitudes of gratitude list

Heart Memories

Kathtyn and Carol Jan08

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Good friends to me,

To each other,

Their hearts and souls

Brimming love.

A decade passed

Since this photo,

And both had grown

Angel wings.

Sweet moments

Of memories

That won’t ever

Depart.

 

 

Dedicated to Kathryn and Carol, forever thankful to have known you. You are forever in my heart.

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Memories

 

Thankful Still

Ebb and Flow NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Thankful still for life’s living

Thankful still

For the hope

That each breath that’s drawn in

Can begin

And can bring.

Thankful still, if hadn’t always

For the ebb

And the flow

Of small joys and big sorrows

As they come

And they go

As we grow

And we know.

 

 

For the Sunday Stills Challenge: Thankful

 

 

Favorites

boy with sea SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

Listing favorites can take days,

Shuffled as they are in time and space,

But here are a few that my spirit

Will always embrace:

Beach and surf,

Little toes,

The peal of

Children’s laughter,

A good tale, a new book,

And loved ones

To look after.

 

 

For Cee’s Share Your World: July 23 2018

 

More Than Afterthought

Hike OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

As good things end

And dear friends

Bid farewell,

Sweet and sorrow mix

Into the heart

And air

For things that will no longer be

And all to be remembered,

And for the many wonders

That will continue life

Just as the soul

Intended.

 

Dedicated with gratitude to all at the Daily Post, on their last day of The Daily Prompts, and the last week of the Weekly Photo Challenge, which along with the Community Pool and First Friday, are closing shop after 7.5 years. I wish them all much success in their future blog-ventures!

 

For The Daily Post

Notable Moment

child view OsnatHalperinBarlev

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

In the lush-rush of life

In between breath and sigh

She pressed pause

To take note

What makes special

This time

And all moments

To come.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Do Not Feed The Gremlins

Nightmares of old

Photo: A. Asif

 

Do not feed the gremlins,

The worries

The woes

Do not feed the problems,

The myriad of “No”s.

Feed instead shoots of hope

Tender hearts

Ways to cope,

Feed the thanks

And the kindness,

Feed the soul

Evermore

With all things

Grateful

For.

 

11/27/2017 Update: This poem has been put into music by the talented composer Maggie Bell. Enjoy!

 

For The Daily Post

45,000 Views! THANK YOU!

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Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

To each and everyone in my ‘family of viewers’ – whether you viewed one post or many; one page or more; one time or daily – you are part of this milestone:

45,000 views!

I’m so glad. Your reading eyes, your caring heart, your thoughtful comments, your sharing and your queries – YOU are a blessing.

THANK YOU!

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Photo: Na’ama Yehuda