Infinite Hope

One of the sweetest gifts I received over the holidays was a painstaking, hours-long manual repair of my long-broken, mostly-dead blog. I had long given up on the idea of having this space to write poems, share recipes, express thoughts. But then my hubs had different ideas. Though not particularly technical, he took the time to learn and untangle everything that had gone wrong. He presented me with the fruits of his labor on Christmas Day.

It’s been almost two years since I wrote anything here. I’ve gotten rustier, older, busier. The boys have grown and changed. Perimenopause and it’s good friends creaky joints, cognitive decline, night sweats, and occasional bouts of depression have settled in. 

In the world outside, things have become increasingly uncertain and scary. Everyone seems to be gnashing teeth, shouting positions, circling inevitable conflicts. Age, lack of practice, the state of the world all leave me feeling unsure of where to begin or what to say. Still–out of gratitude for this gift I’ve been given–I reckon it’s high time I say SOMETHING.

So I’ll begin with reflections on this day…the day we celebrate one of the few humans who always seemed to have the right words. Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King. Today–surrounded by friends and neighbors and my three best men–I sat in a theater, marched in the street, remembered that even in times of struggle and chaos and uncertainty and strife, there is goodness to be found, hands to hold, reasons to believe that better days are ahead. I was reminded “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” When feeling at a loss for how to feel or what to say…HOPE seems like a pretty good place to start.

Home

What makes a home?
The hardest place to leave…
The only place that beckons at the end of any kind of day…

Is it the worn out couch?
The familiar messes, dents, scrapes, smudges?
The enthusiastic bounding dog…and the pangs for her predecessor?
The neighbors who wave as you pull into the drive…and the thoughts of the ones who have moved on?
The once seedling that now shades the yard?
The comfortable bed?
The symphony of familiar smells and sounds?
The memories of exactly what happened here…and here…and here?
The complete lack of pretense or performance?
The art-filled walls and refrigerator?
The shelves full of books, photographs, trinkets?
The kindred souls that wordlessly anticipate, take comfort in the presence of you on that worn out couch?

For starters…yes.

Bed Full of Boys

Bed full of boys,
Cousins and kin:

Won’t be long now
‘Til you boys become men.

But for now, just be boys.
Read comics and giggle.

Say silly things
Squirm, jostle, wiggle.

Goof around ’til adults say,
“Goodnight, silly boys!”

Then hand over all of those
Contraband toys.

Bedtime Story

Goodnight laundry
And dinner dishes.

Good night unread stories
And fanciful wishes.

Goodnight messy house
And long list of chores.

I promise tomorrow
That this mama’s yours.

But tonight I must sleep.
In the morning I’ll run.

And after–I promise–
I’ll see you get done.

Sliver of Moon

Sliver of moon hovering low
Peeking from behind a heavy shadow
Spying the effect of your ambient glow
Pulling on the waves as they ebb and flow
Watching tiny specs going to and fro
Slipping past the hills when it’s time to go.

Proof of Life

Heard a story about a perplexing archeological dig
And it made me wonder…

Hundreds of years from now
Will anyone be able to tell
That THIS is the place

Where babies were born and swaddled
Where toddlers learned to walk and talk
Where tears were shed and dried
Where laughter echoed
Where sweet and naughty dogs chased balls
Where guinnae pigs squeaked
Where Legos were built and basketballs bounced
Where comic books were read and drawn
Where cookies were baked and consumed
Where friends and neighbors gathered
Where dreams were dreamt
Where love was given and received
Where disagreements where filed and settled
Where good fortune and disappointments were contemplated
Where hands were held
Where long hugs and kisses were administered
Where art was created
Where plants grew…and some could not be saved
Where time went too fast
Where decisions were made

Where life was lived.

Little Joys

Today’s little joys include…
A smile from a stranger
An unexpected call
Coming home to a straightened house
A lovely radio story about hope and connection
A package in the mail
Fresh baked cookies
Unsolicited appreciation
An uncluttered calendar
An early goodnight

Rain Dance

You know I’m not the prayin’ type
But at times I pray for rain.

I wish for cancellations
So I can just unplug my brain.

I know you’ll miss your practice
When they have to close the field.

Let’s whip up some cookie dough
And revel in our yield.

Let’s all put on our jammies
And fire up a show.

We’ll cuddle up and giggle
And do everything real slow.

No need to rush or hurry
All thanks to this here rain.

I hope it rains tomorrow
So we can do it all again.

This Old House

When the foundation that is meant to support
Doesn’t, has cracks, shakes and shifts,

Then the house that stands atop it
Can never be as strong as it might have been.

No epoxy applied as an after thought
Can compensate for the earlier structural damage.

So…even as the house appears to be
Holding together, maintaining, resisting the elements,

It feels the quakes, the mud seeping in, the unrelenting weight of life
So much more fully than its less-damaged counterparts.

And though the house may learn to sway and stand
In spite of creaks and moans in its tired old bones,

It’s prone to sinking and sagging in strange places, requiring bolstering,
Wearing odd contraptions to keep from falling down completely.

The Chosen Ones

Some grow near us,
Sprouting from the same tree,
Spending their lives twisting and twining in the same garden.

Others blow in from far away,
Tossed about and pushed along
By the unpredictable winds of circumstance.

But once those foreign roots
Find the soil of a kindred heart,
They take hold, dig in, thrive
Like they’ve found the place they were always meant to grow.