Archives for posts with tag: love

This morning, I knew that when I left the house, I would be stopping at the coffee shop before work. I knew I would attempt to write something on my blog, and I knew that there was a book that I wanted to share before so much time went by, that the thought fell away. 

At this particular coffee shop, there is a waterfall in the background, trees, and large cement structures that hold bright pink and white flowers and other textured shrubbery. Usually, if I stop for coffee, it’s in and out, then off to work. It feels like my little piece of Zen–the soothing sound of the water swooshing out, bees buzzing here and there, and the canopy of trees that makes me feel like I’m in a tree house–these beauties get my day going in a peaceful direction.

This morning, as I sat at the table, before I opened my iPad, I stretched to the left to help alleviate some muscle stiffness and what did I spy, but a heart shape on one of the red bricks. This brought a great smile to my being; and it felt like that feeling you get when you feel like the Universe is speaking to you–as though the Universe is smiling or tickling your funny bone. Here I was sharing a heart yesterday, a heart that I had taken a photo of a long while ago; and here, this morning, another heart appears in the present moment. Such a wonderful feeling.

The book that I’d like to share that is written for young readers and the young at heart is The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan. I was lucky enough to come across this when my mother-in-law came across it in one of her book catalogs. She passed it along to me and said how much she loved it. I happily accepted it and put it on a nearby shelf to be read when I felt in the mood. It’s a very short story that can easily be read in a short sitting. I chose to read half in July and was drawn to finish it recently. I was taken with its beauty, with the love on those pages. It’s a special book to be read and shared. For anyone that loves dog’s, children, poetry–they will especially appreciate this book.  


As the day comes to an end and time for sleep is near, I think about the day, about the books, changes, obstacles–I think about an image that I want to put here and this one comes to mind. I saw it on one of my walking breaks, right there on the sidewalk, just as it’s seen here. I always love finding smiley faces and hearts. It’s like they wait for me to find them. 

When I see this image, I think of peace and love and send these feelings out into the world because we need more of both. 

When I was a young girl, I was, in a way, my mother’s doll. I was an extension of herself–an extension of all of her hopes and dreams; it wasn’t always easy for many reasons, for the choices she made in life long before I was born and had to live with, for the anger she held inside and acted out on. I think she felt trapped; in many ways, I became the only thing that made her feel free, so all of her time went into me, even if it was haphazard at times.

When I search and search for words…I don’t remember heart-to-hearts, except once in the conveyance of a smile from her being at her most uncomfortable hour awaiting her exit from this world. I remember going to her sickbed at my grandmother’s home, two houses up. She could no longer care for herself; the pain was worsening, life was escaping her.

I had just shaved my legs for the first time ever. I was 13. The other girls were doing it. I showed my older brother; proud I was. He was 33. He yelled at me as if I had committed a crime, trying to stuff my womanhood back down into a black box. It was too much for him to bear seeing his baby sister grow up too fast.

I ran out of the house and up to my grandmother’s house to my mother’s side and told her what I had done and explained about my brother’s reaction.

All I remember is the loving smile that spread upon her face and made it glow, as she lay in bed, reaching her hand out to bring me closer. This moment seemed to make the pain go away. I had never seen her look as radiant and peaceful as in that hour.

It wasn’t until my adult-self had the opportunity to look back. I imagined that she somehow knew her girl would be all right without her mother; that in a way, she was at peace knowing she would not be here to watch her girl blossom into a woman.

That look–the love and tenderness in her eyes–is one of my fondest memories of mother and daughter communicating, not through words, but pure emotion, through the windows of our souls, as she lay on her deathbed.

I cannot be certain of the exact timing, but her cancer did worsen; she had given in to it. I believe she was ready to take leave, to end her pain and suffering.

She had to be taken to the hospital soon after that day. I had seen her in the days after with an unfamiliar and painful look in her eyes, and I don’t think she wanted me to see her–but this other peaceful look, it brought balance and far outshines the pain in my memory.

I remember being in my brother’s room, watching television late at night while he was talking to someone in the other room. When the phone rang, right as I heard my brother pick it up, I knew. She had died.

I know she continues to smile down upon me; and she was right–that look in her eyes, the way I read it now–she knew her girl would be fine.

Driving down the road, I peer over at the progress of the new retail building. A man on his hands and knees tends to the soil, where the grass and flowers will be. He has a garden pick in his hand, that I see as he raises it, before bringing it down to the earth.

I was transported in that instant to my grandmother’s garden.

When I visited my uncle this past week–like a child–I asked if I could go outside. I took the dog with me. He went his way; I went mine. I walked over to where my grandmother’s garden would have been, nestled in the corner near the fence dividing the neighbor’s yard, past the rabbit cage where Sylvester used to live. I took notice of how wild all the trees had grown, how the almond tree and walnut tree had been taken down, along with the clothes line that spun. I remember waiting for the almonds, the soft fuzzy skin that would eventually yield, revealing a beautiful almond, and how I would sit at my grandparent’s kitchen table cracking open almonds and walnuts that grew from their trees.

I remembered how much fun I had exploring in this backyard, playing hide and seek and running around like cowboys with my cousin and swinging on the swing set. And I remember the pool table that used to be in another large house-like shed where my grandfather kept his heavy duty carpentry tools and machines; and the pool table that we would play on and how I was told that when I was little–I had my own mini pool stick–I would hop up on the pool table and try to whack my cousin on the head because I seemed to think it was funny. I don’t remember this, but I can imagine this curious and mischievous side of me.

When I got older, I’d rummage through the far back shed, looking through my mother’s old clothes that my grandfather had stored for her. And I remembered those tall eucalyptus trees that I adored, that had burned down because of some careless kids playing with fire. My grandfather was lucky the fire didn’t reach his house. How my heart sank when I arrived on that day to find his home surrounded by fire trucks.

How I love the memory of my grandmother in her garden, tending to the soil, as she tended to all of her children and grandchildren, how she loved us and nourished us and provided sustenance for our bodies and our souls.

And now she nourishes me still, from up above, always with me.M

Yesterday I went to my bookshelves and selected The Nine Muses: A Mythological Path to Creativity by Angeles Arrien. I opened to a random page and landed on Erato: Muse of Love Poetry.

I love this quote that she has in the margin of the page to begin this section:

Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination

Nature’s canvas is stenciled into my being, and if I could wander the hills everyday for hours and lose myself in Nature and my imagination, I would turn into a bumblebee or a butterfly. But I take every bit I can stuff into my imaginary pockets. The long slender pods that hang from trees that I don’t know the name of; the bees buzzing from flower to flower in search of nectar; the small cracks in the street where small lakes of grass have nestled themselves into the pavement. This isn’t just a regular linear crack. It’s a miniature square patch and it could easily be a pendant for a necklace. When the rains come, I know just where that particular crack is and I will be sure to walk to where it is near the gas station at the intersection. It’s not my usual path any longer, so I’ll have to make a special trip.

And last night I heard the honk of the Canadian Geese. I don’t usually hear them at night. It was the most comforting sound, like a church bell that had caused me to take pause, to breathe, to smile, to feel at home.

I’ve had a desire to make an “artist’s date”—a paint date—with myself for several months now. I’ve wanted to take the acrylic paints out of their box, buy a new canvas, and paint away. I want to feel the brush in my hands, squeeze the paints out of their tubes, smell them, feel the textures from the brush to the canvas, and watch the colors interact. I want to become the paint.

When I was a little girl, I always wanted to play with my finger paints. Mother wouldn’t let me finger paint as often as I would have liked. I understand that it was probably a bother, the process of setting up the paper, watching that I didn’t make a mess and then she would have to help me clean up.

The combination of landing on Erato, thinking of painting, and my memory of finger painting as a child, this morning I was pulled to doodle a finger drawing using an App called Doodle Buddy. That’s the photo that you see here.

A small gift to my mother, filled with love, sent to her during the month of October, the anniversary month of her death.