The Longest Walk

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

She rose with the sun, her brow still damp with the essence of dream. Soon enough her feet were, too, from dew and from the small drops of silence that mornings bring.

There was little to say, and much space to accompany.

It was a good day.

It had to be.

There will be time much later on, for all the things she might still need, and all the words she may still say, and all the sorrows she no longer wished to borrow.

In the meanwhile, she walked on, crushing dandelions, breathing lavender.

The fields stretched ahead as the disc of light leaned hot against the sky. The air shimmered, dancing in the sun.

Or wavering.

It would not matter, in the long run.

She walked on.

Eventually she’d have to turn around, retrace her steps, return into the pace of tending, bending, sending, lending, fending.

And it would still be a good day.

For the dawn poured the generous morn into her, washing her, filling her, scenting her soul. Step by breath by step by breath, immersed into the longest walk her present moment could recall.

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto

 

 

Her Reflection

silver-1 SueVincent

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

She walks along the dunes. There had been very little time away from others. So very few opportunities to be alone. She needs this more than air.

Morris agreed to keep an eye on the children. They were not enthused.

“He’s boring, Mama!” Ethan complained.

“Yeah, and his breath smells!” Lilly pouted.

“You don’t have to kiss him,” she replied. “And if you are bored, I can leave you some chores.”

They skulked away, displeased, but there was nothing for it, grumpy neighbor-as-babysitter or not. She knew she was becoming increasingly impatient. She did not want to cross the line into unkind.

It wasn’t their fault that Paul left. It wasn’t their doing that their dad did not see fit to shoulder any responsibility. She knew they missed him. He didn’t even think of calling on their birthdays. She knew Ethan cried for his dad in his sleep.

She almost took them with her to the dunes. Almost made it a family outing. Lilly loved running in the sand. Ethan’s eyes always lit up at the space. Like her, he loved the breeze and silence.

But she could not. Not this time.

This time she needed to replenish. For herself. For them. They needed a sane mother. She was running low on how.

 

She walks and breathes and ruminates and lets the worries and the sorrows stream out and flow down her cheeks and neck and chest till they evaporate.

There was a time she had hoped to have a house on the dunes. There was a time she had a dream of living in the solitary calm of gulls and tides and estuaries.

It wasn’t that she regretted having the children (marriage was a whole other story, given what non-partner Paul turned to be). She did not. Not once. She couldn’t imagine her life without them. Just for this morning, though … she needed to let be a part of herself that did not have them in its center.

She walks as if in daydream. The light shimmers and the estuary glints silver in the shrinking distance. It gives her peace. A reminder of how every stagnant-looking pool may in fact be only a pause in flow.

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto challenge

 

 

The Winner

wesley-eland-678737-unsplash

Photo: Wesley Eland

 

It was never about the money, or the endless calculations, or the disappointment she learned to expect and accept. The odds were against her. She knew that. Everyone said so. Many laughed.

And yet …

She could scarce believe it when she saw the numbers and date and words line up, when she knew that for once — in the way that mattered most — she was the winner.

She rubbed her eyes. Checked everything again.

She called to double check. Her heart thrumming in her chest.

She wrote down every detail: The place. The time. The plan. The day when her life would forever change.

Or had it changed already?

That night she tossed and turned and even though she finally fell asleep, she woke before dawn with her heart aflutter, and gazed into the ceiling till the morning brought with it the first few rays of sun.

A day reborn. Herself, perhaps, as well.

Nights will never be the same, she thought. Nor mornings.

Nor any other time in any other hour. Winter or summer. Light or dark.

She counted down the days, excited beyond words and somewhat frightened — should she tell? Who to? How much to share? How much to keep to herself?

Eventually she’ll have to. …

Oh, there will be a celebration! She could list in her mind the friends who’d rejoice with her. She could also note the dread of recognizing those whose green-eyed-monsters might awaken. Will she lose friendships over this? Will jealousy taint what she’d never quite dared to believe would be awarded her?

“I won the lottery,” she whispered to herself, holding the bit of paper between shaking fingers. “They’ve checked it out and they’ve agreed. It’s approved. Two more weeks … I won’t believe it till I’m there. Till after. Till I’m back home with a new life in my hands.”

She pulled out the photo. Drank it in. The ebony chubby cheeks. The dimple in the elbow. The eyes. These eyes …

“I’m coming, Bomani …” She kissed the picture that the orphanage included with the adoption papers. “Mama’s coming for you, my little son-to-be.”

 

 

For V.J.’s Weekly Challenge: Lottery

 

A Heart, Missing

Heart Yael Yehuda

Photo: Yael Yehuda

 

There stands the empty crib

The room that will not hear

The sounds of cries or coos or laughter.

There are the walls,

Fresh paint

Fresh pain

For the awaited,

For a broken chapter.

A heart

Missing

Breast and breath

For an eternity of loss,

Till the hereafter.

 

 

Note: Dedicated with love to all empty-armed mothers (in all their manifestations and realities and outward presentations), on this Mother’s Day.

For Debbie’s One Word Sunday: Missing

 

 

Beached Hopes

Beached AtaraKatz

Photo: Atara Katz

 

In the soft curl of foam

In the rush of cool waves

She will beach

She will trench

And will lay

Out her hopes

That a future

Will come.

 

 

For the Wits End Photo Challenge: Four legged friends

 

Welcoming Hearts

tender hand

For all the mothers, biological and adoptive, temporary or ‘forever,’ immediate and surrogate, spiritual, female and otherwise …

A day of thanks, for open hearts.

A day for those who carry, hold, deliver, care-for;

For those who pat-the-back-of-babies through long nights, who walk a groove into the floors in the new-parent-dance;

For those who wipe the brow of fever, whose arms and hands are never empty, who fill a plate for others before sitting down for theirs;

For those who watch over the children while their parents cannot be there – day in and day out, in emergency, or any needed time;

For  those who fret and worry, contemplate and weigh each day, each milestone, each possible advance to a child’s healthy growing;

For those who open every corner of their heart for love far bigger than imagined;

For those who welcome little ones (and sometimes not so little) and parent, guide, teach, hug, steer safe, keep whole, allow, provide;

For those who still raise pieces of themselves even as they are called to raise others;

For those determined to change course from paths that harm, to ones that cradle;

For those who let be known that children matter, who fight to make the world a better place for those unable yet to lead but destined to inherit what we will leave them;

For the hospitality of parenting souls of all kinds;

For the depth of care so many offer;

For the triumphs and the challenges:

Deep thanks.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

Mothering

tender care

Thankful

For mothering

In all its forms:

The immediate, the early, the continuous, the delayed;

The biological, the fostered, the adopted, the periodical, the incremental and the unusual;

To mothering by women, by men, by friends and neighbors, co-workers and teachers, siblings and relatives, by the kind smile of a stranger and moments of shared understanding;

To mothering by nature, by pets, by ocean waves, by breath and life’s constant flow and ebb;

To Mother Earth and Mother Moon;

To mothering of self, by self, by growth, by age and lessons learned and known …

To all of this, and more;

Thankful for mothering.

In all its forms.

tenderness

love2tree

Note: all photos are taken from Pintrest. If you know their original provenance I’ll be happy to add specific credits!

Mother’s Day–A History of Seeking Peace

Peace is in our hands ~ artist Valerie Lorimer

Peace is in our hands ~ artist Valerie Lorimer

As we celebrate mothers of all forms and being, those carrying and bearing life, laboring to nourish and to nurture, guiding, teaching, holding, comforting, soothing, showing, listening, singing to and being with … Let us also remember where Mother’s Day originally came from and its purpose–a purpose that in its own way represents the yearning and dedication, hope and tenacity of mothering:

“let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace…” (from the proclamation below)

Here is to peace. To no more carnage. To love. To hope. To no more lost children. To counsel of heart and reason. To no more war.

Mothers’ Day Proclamation / Julia Ward Howe (1870)

Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.

“Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Disarm, disarm! The sword is not the balance of justice.” Blood does not wipe out dishonor nor violence indicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each learning after his own time, the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

(Julia Ward Howe, Abolitionist–she also wrote “Battle Hymn of the Republic”)

Julia Ward Howe

Julia Ward Howe

Love Mothers

mother

To all the mothers

And all who mother:

Happy Mother’s Day.

To all who listen, hold, support, 

Who remember the small things that matter

Who kiss the hurts 

Hug the sorrows,

Who shine with pride and

Cheer the loudest as they 

Clap delight:

Happy Mother’s Day.

To those who raise from babies 

or late childhood 

or adulthood.

To those who foster safety

Where none was before.

To those who make a home

For hours, days, a week, a life time

And write upon the slate of heart to let one know

That to be mothered, is to be loved:

Happy Mother’s Day.

To all the mothers

Biological, adoptive, temporary or forever

To all who open hearts to others

Just because they know

That love can mother

And that mothering

Can heal

And so they do:

Happy Mother’s Day.

And may you be loved

And mothered,

Too.

love mothers