Blessings and a Whisper

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

Lush grass now grew over the span of stones, though none had grown there in the many years when the passage of feet had mowed and flattened any seedling that had found a crack in which to nestle.

The water gurgled as it had, though, flowing like a ribbon of careless abandon underneath. Incoming. Through. Not one look back. Away.

She wondered if the fish silvering in the stream were the descendants of the ones who’d flapped among the rocks and dove out of the reach of all manner of two-legged hunters. Their instincts certainly remained the same.

Like hers.

Honed by years of flight, and generations of bare escape from calamity and disaster and all manner of two-legged hunters’ spread of misery.

For centuries the stones of the old bridge had been the thoroughfare of goods and news — both good and not — from isolated farms to the town’s market and from the town into the farms, and in that order. It had withstood war and fights and blight and playful dares and cruel shove-overs. It streamed with rain and baked with sun and creaked with ice and endured more than one direct hit of lightning. It had heard the laughter of small children and the cries of same, sometimes not much later after. Where rugged wheels and heavy hooves had carved ruts of rattling passage, now weeds took hold to cover any sign of man.

It stood deserted, and perhaps relieved, since the new and wider bridge was built a bit further downstream. The modern pathway accommodated simultaneous travel in both directions as it carried the weight of the machines that belched dark stains onto its tar.

She’d been warned against attempting to put any weight on the old bridge. They all were. “It’s held by no more than blessings and a whisper,” her grandmother had cautioned. “One step onto the wrong stone and it could collapse.”

And yet, it had outlasted both Grandmother’s life and Mother’s and seemed poised to outlast hers, as well. Perhaps blessings and a whisper were better mortar than the speeding up of time.

“And you don’t have much long to wait to outlast me,” she murmured as she walked to the water and bent to dip her palm. Cold.

As she would be, sans blessings or a whisper, before much more water churned indifferently along, passed under the bridge, and was gone.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto Challenge

 

In Motion

In motion AdiRozenZvi

Photo: Adi Rozen-Zvi

 

And the water rushed

From the top

Of the mountain

To the valley below,

Urged by the

Perpetual motion

Of life in

Quenching flow.

 

 

For the Wits-End Challenge: Motion

 

It’s A Breeze

nyc reservoir 2 NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Ripples speed

With the breeze

Whipping small waves

With ease

On the surface

Of these

Waters guarded

By trees.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Breeze

 

Water Rise

water rise NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Water rises

Like ice

From warm oceans,

To mimic islands.

 

 

For the Wits End Weekend Photo Challenge: drops

(FWIW: The photo was taken on a phone, through a plastic screen, from a speedboat in full throttle while it bounced on the wake of another …  It was fun. It was wild. Focus wasn’t to be had …)

Ducky Reflections

duck reflection InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

Is the duck in the water?

Is the duck in the sky?

Is she swimming to perch

On a roof dunked nearby?

Did the house lean to water

Does the mud, garden make?

Are my eyes seeing mirrors

Is my mind still awake?

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Reflection

 

Life’s Elixir

 

water land NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

In the cradle of life

Where all breathing

Begins

Rocks the ebb

Of all else

That we are

Deep within.

 

For the Sunday Stills Challenge: Water

 

A Fountain’s Woes

blow SmadarHalperinEpshtein (2)

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

Through summer’s heat or winter’s snows

He stony-faced

Nonetheless blows

A flow of life

That never slows.

The step of people passing by

Is all he knows.

 

 

For Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge

 

City Blues

CentralPark Reservoir NaamaYehuda

Central Park reservoir; Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

People are often surprised that an expanse of blue water in the middle of Manhattan is iconic NYC, and yet … there it is, the Central Park reservoir, perched at the upper half of the massive park like the pit of an avocado. Built in 1860, the 40 feet deep reservoir holds a billion gallons of water. Locals use the 1.58 miles running/walking track around the reservoir for their daily exercise (and might frown at you if you disregard the signage to follow a counter-clockwise direction, or bring your bikes or pets or strollers onto the track – they are not allowed). In this photo, taken from the Upper East Side looking toward the Upper West Side, the blue of the water strives to tickle the blue sky and the clouds get comfy on and in between the towering apartment buildings.

 

For The Tuesday Photo Challenge

The Best Things in Life

thebest

 

We have likely all been told that “the best things in life aren’t things.” It rings true enough, and it feels nice to say it–to know that someplace it is Truth–and yet the knowing gets askance too often. Not because we don’t believe the veracity of the declaration, but because it is difficult not to value “stuff” or to ignore the very tangible importance of “things.”

It is not about possessiveness or being greedy, even: “stuff” does very much keep us alive. We all need food, shelter, clothing, blankets to keep us warm, diapers for the baby, books and school supplies, dishes, pots, good shoes. We may need–in varying necessities–phones and computers, cars or bikes or Metro-cards, refrigerators, a place and way to cook, wash our bodies and our clothing. We certainly all require clean water, healthy air, protection from the elements, from violence and harm. We need care in time of illness.

(For more about helping provide clean water, check: Charity:Water)

In our Westernized, motorized, modernized, accessorized life, we may indeed require quite a few “things” to allow us to get to, do, and keep our job. We need to put aside resources for a rainy day (and may need gutters and galoshes for a similarly more literal day, too). We better save for retirement, consider life insurance to protect dependents if we have them, ask for a raise if we had earned it, quote fair payment for our services.

It is easy to look at sayings about “the best things in life aren’t things” as overall smile-worthy but not terribly practical realities. Something to say when one wants to comfort another who lost their life’s saving in a market crash, their house to a fire, or their designer boots to slushy sidewalks. It is something to tsk-tsk about when a “thing” awakens the small green nibbling worm of jealousy, or when we witness outright excessive greed.

And yet, even with the “things” we need and the “stuff” we want and the possessions we accumulate, require, and acquire–the Truth remains: The best things in life indeed are not things. No matter how much we need things, items, technology, materials and goods and measurable contents; these items are not what a best life make.

Connection does. The togetherness of happy moments. The contentment of a job-well-done or of creative engagement. The giggle of a baby, the eye-contact that brings on an attack of silly belly-laugh. The exhalation of waves upon the sea, the whisper of leaves in the forest or the big-sky of the prairie. These are the makers of best lives.

As is Love, as is Beauty. The warm breath of a sleeping toddler in your arms. The mere presence of a loved one. A memory of fondness. A swell of gratefulness. The depth of prayer. Awe. Hope. Faith. More love.

Those are the things that are not things and yet make the “stuff” we need, worth having. They give meaning to keeping our bodies and our souls connected, help us get through the times when “things” turn scarce and worries many. They make life thrive. They are how tapestries of hearts are woven.

The running feet of little ones, the concentration on their earnest faces. The solving of a pesky problem. An ‘aha’ of understanding. A common bond. The wonder of belonging, rather than belongings. The sweetness of a ripe fruit. The saltiness of tears overflowing a full heart. The blessing of knowing.

May the things that are not things keep a full presence in your soul’s pantry, may your mind be rich, and may you never go bereft of wonderment and heart-ship.

Photo Credit: S.E.

Photo Credit: S.E.