Look to the galaxy, My Love. The blue luminous star I desire to be yours. If the universe would share, I’d pull the shimmering beauty from the constellations and place it in the palm of your hands next to my beating heart. I wish we could sit upon a slow-moving cloud, dangling our legs into freedom. Our eyes would show the emotion in our hearts. Lips would touch, tenderly, then with hunger reeling through our veins like magnetic energy. We’d fall into pleasant intoxication, watching moonbeams pierce our private night sky.
Resa at Graffiti Lux Art & More surprised me with this elegant and gracious review of my book, More than Coffee. I am so happy she enjoyed my book to a level that would spark such a beautiful reaction. Another reason for me to be grateful!
For those of you who don’t know Resa, she is a photographer who features stunning Street Art of other cities around the globe through travels and guest contributors. Taking these photos is a passion of hers that brings immense joy. Each work of graffiti art or mural evokes thoughts in her, and these thoughts are reflected in the titles of her blog posts. I encourage you to pay her a visit! Thanks again, Resa! xo
As a person who enjoys poetry and coffee, the decision to read Lauren’s well written book was a no-brainer. As a matter of fact, I languished over every poem and bit of prose. For 33 mornings, I read one piece with my coffee.
Each day’s reading brought me warm thoughts, stirred feelings and created a desire to be creative. What a great and positive way to start the day.
In this intimate look at her and her family, nature plays a huge part in stirring memories of irreplaceable experiences, both uplifting and occasionally heartbreaking. All emotions are expressed beautifully in positive light.
I couldn’t resist picking my favourite poem.
This poem is an experience I share with Lauren. She could have been writing about me and my mom. I am deeply moved.
There is no copy and paste from the ebook. I wrote this out, and proofed it many times…
Copper feels grateful for his new bed. He has three now spread throughout the house. So, as Thanksgiving Day inches closer, what are you grateful for? And don’t we all agree that showing gratitude isn’t just for this one day of the year; it’s for all year round. Let’s face it, watching the news gets depressing. The pandemic is still with us, people have lost their lives to this virus, fires raged in the summer, taking with them human lives and homes. Hurricanes landed causing devastation beyond our imagination. I feel like every day the news reporter tells us about another fatal shooting. Lives have been upended in the most horrific ways, and I’ve only scratched the surface. Still, if we dig deep enough, we can always find something to be grateful for.
Besides my family and Copper, I am grateful for the rain we’ve had, definite cause for a happy dance! We’re still heading into our 3rd drought year, but everything is green right now. Even the weeds are green for which I am grateful! We pray for more rainfall this winter so we can hear Mother Earth sigh once again.
I love the quiet early mornings when Copper and I go for our walks. We get to watch the sunrise and listen to the silence. The air is cool and crisp and wonderful!
I miss the long, light evenings from the summer, but hubby and I break out the candles for the long, dark nights. The coziness wraps us up in its warmth. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. It’s heartbreaking to see so many people living on the street or in their campers and vans. Having a roof over our head is not something to take lightly.
During this season, I love the smells of sweet and spicy, the baking of pumpkin bread, pumpkin pies, and pumpkin cookies. Hello, Pumpkin! And who doesn’t love the wardrobe changing of the leaves on the trees? Those rich, warm reds, golds, and yellows. I’m thankful for my bookcase that is bursting at the seams. So many books make me happy! I don’t know what I’d do if paperbacks and hardcovers became obsolete. I love the feel of the pages and the smooth covers.
Earlier this year, I did a post about Gratitude and the list I shared had a beginning, but it didn’t have an ending. Isn’t that something to be thankful for?! I’m writing this on the fly without any intense editing, so please forgive any errors. Lastly, thank you for your continued support and friendship in this world of blogging. And a Big Thank You to those of you who have bought my book, More than Coffee, and to those who have written fabulous reviews.
My family, Copper, and I wish you all a very warm and loving Thanksgiving! ~Lauren 🧡🍁🍂🧡
I remember yesterday when I stepped outside, strolling down the undisturbed road with my dog on my left, his gait as graceful as a galloping horse in slow motion. Maybe the squirrels raised their sleepy heads because of the early hour. The sky appeared to be coal black, but when I turned the corner, watermelon pinks, corals, and lemon yellows took center stage. My camera did not deliver. Then I thought of my son who often says, “Enjoy the moment.” I slipped that device back in my pocket. Passing the orange poppies, I imagined their stems fluttered with excitement, eager for the sun’s ascent, and in the distance, silence sang its serene ballad. As the tempo of our pace sped up, a breeze joined us, and the leaves on the trees lining the lane swayed in rhythm as though dancing a waltz. Jowls flapped, he smiled with brown nose set in overdrive. The sun’s gentle touch added a glimmer to his copper coat. There was a moment when I paused, bending down to his level, fingers stroking shiny, silky fur, his eyes closed, contented from contact. When we moved again, his nails on the asphalt mimicked the clicking of castanets, and in that second, I realized these observations on this early morning are what life is all about… the seeing…touching…smelling…listening… the being.
Today, I am delighted to introduce poet and blogger, Lauren Scott. I met Lauren recently through another blogging friend and I am delighted by her beautiful poetry and posts about hiking adventures with her husband.
Take it away, Lauren.
Which of your own poems is your favorite?
I narrowed it down to two favorites: “Simple Existence” and “To My Babies.”
It was close to 7:30 am when she walked into his room, sitting down in front of him. She looked into his eyes with a combination of love and resolution, as if to say, “Don’t you know, too?” He looked at his adorable black lab and shook his head, thinking, this is a little odd. But the obligation of school called, so he patted her soft head, saying, “Love you, Girl, see you later!” And he finished tying his shoes before walking out the door, heading for the high school.
The rest of us also left for the day’s routine: work and school. Just the ordinary; it was to be an ordinary kind of day. She was curled up and content on her soft bed in the backyard where she liked to keep an eye on any trespassing critters.
But shortly after we all left, she cried out. Our good neighbor next door heard her high-pitched cries, so he called us on our cell phones, then he stayed with her. One significant glitch was that all our cell phones were turned off, which had never happened before, and which proved to be the conundrum on this tearful day. So, over an hour passed before I even listened to the urgent message; during this time, our neighbor waited patiently with Lucky Girl breathing her last breaths. The guilt from this unintentional blunder stayed with us for a very long time; we felt sick inside imagining that she was lying there waiting for one of us to come home to tell her that everything was going to be okay.
He got down to her level, parking himself on the cool November concrete, her head resting on his leg. He was not a dog person, but he was a dog person on this day, petting her with compassion. It was ironic that she had had an aversion to him for some unknown reason. But that morning, any dislike she had for this man faded into the uncertainty of what was happening.
I pulled into the driveway, eyes wet and puffy from the phone message, and this was only the beginning. Walking through the side gate, I spotted our neighbor sitting on the walkway, his back up against the house, legs stretched out with Lucky Girl lying beside him. She was barely there, though – her eyes revealing acceptance and sadness. I think she knew more than we did at that moment.
He helped me lift her, gently laying her in the back of the car so she could lie on her side with plenty of room. As much as I wanted her in the front seat where I could see her, I knew she wouldn’t be comfortable. It wasn’t until I pulled out of the driveway that I realized the inevitable was drawing closer. She was eleven years old, but until today, she still seemed so full of life.
With tearful eyes, I drove, feeling grateful the freeway wasn’t a necessary route. Half-way to the vet, I knew. My heart felt the crossing. I pulled over to the side, got out of the car, and walked to the back, lifting the car door. I saw that my Lucky Girl had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. I sobbed again, knowing more tears would follow.
I kissed her on her nose then managed to get back into the driver’s seat, continuing for another ten minutes to the vet. When I arrived, frantically entering the building, I shared my devastating news with the girl at the counter who acted amazingly aloof for my untamed emotions. But two vet techs wearing light blue medical jackets carried Lucky Girl from the car into a private room. I asked for a few moments alone with my girl. There she was lying on the silver table, where I’m sure many furry family members have done the same. I bent over, laying my head on her soft black fur, gently petting her, and whispering on behalf of her family, “We love you, Lucky Girl.” More tears slid down my face as I was unable to comprehend that this was it…
No more walks together, no more cuddles on the bed, no more tossing of the ball, watching her chase that silly round toy with the excitement of a toddler. No more playing tug-o-war with her favorite rope toy, entertained by her incredible strength and admirable effort. No more watching TV with her lying at our feet as though she’s enjoying the show as much as we are.
When we were all home later that day – the news weighing heavy on our hearts and minds – we huddled in a strong embrace, emotions running wild. This unforgettable chapter was part of life, part of owning a pet, allowing their unconditional love to wrap around our hearts. But this chapter was also about learning how to say good-bye.
The strange thing was Lucky Girl had never indicated that something was off kilter…except, perhaps, when she walked into his room that morning. She looked at him with knowledge we couldn’t possibly have been privy to. Even though her behavior was unusual, she was quiet, not crying or whining, so it didn’t propel us into worrying.
Hindsight is twenty-twenty. If we only would have known. It just happened so fast.
Remembering Lucky Girl who received her angel wings on November 11, 2011. ❤️
Sometimes, we hold plans with such great importance that when they become derailed, our mindsets are not as toughas we assume, no, not as tough as spider silk – they spiral into grottos of gloom where we keep company with a suitcase of insecurity.
Indulging in comfort that doesn’t judge or bicker occurs effortlessly. The smell of sorrow is overwhelming.
But despite the absence of light, the sunrise slowly unfolds, brushstrokes of vivid oranges illuminate the sky like a painter brightens a new canvas, and the experience feels feather-light as though a burden is lifted.
Our fascination is stirred once again by a hummingbird’s ability to fly forward and backwards, sideways, and even upside down. We hear the sparrows singing their tales, and bees buzzing in jubilation.
Sensing the spiritual presence of hope, we exhale with relief, and we are optimistic for an extended stay.
I forgot how the sound of rain could be soothing like the calm of a child’s lullaby. I heard my lantana sing “Hallelujah!” as the soil exhaled, the thirst for relief felt longer than eternity. Silk-thread drizzles dusted rooftops on the street along with the brown brittle hills with flowing grace. The fascination of puddles slipped my mind, the childlike sense of play from a hop and a splash. And who would think the sight of cocoa-brown mud could be so entertaining in all its messiness! Would you believe if I said the flowers smiled at me? And their leaves offered a gentle wave? Observing from my slightly opened window, I caught a grateful sigh from the soaked earth, and I enjoyed listening to the roots laugh in delight.
The calendar showed October 4th, 2012. She and I sat in the sterile office surrounded by semi-gloss light blue walls, our hearts thumping, hands like ice. We waited for the man who wore a white coat to join us, hoping he would provide gentle answers to appease our questions.
The matter was serious, but when I first saw his face, I thought of Santa, stark white hair and fluffy beard, red, rosy cheeks good for pinching. The only thing missing was the apple red hat, and though he would bear dreadful news, his smile was welcoming, as if the three of us were meeting for a stroll in the park on a lovely spring afternoon.
It was amazing how a tiny scope could be guided through the mouth and throat then down the esophagus. CT scans, lab work, MRIs, and a needle too long to discuss occupied her hours for over 1,000 days. Still, we craved clarity. Our world was hazy like thick fog a driver would endure crossing the Golden Gate Bridge during summer in the wee hours of the morning. And we waited – a necessary evil that all people grapple with too often to count the times on their hands.
Then on that autumn day came words we would have liked to have hurled back to Santa. We had hoped for gentle. Instead… “All tests point to this auto immune disease, and there is no cause or cure,” he told us with a touch of remorse. The future would necessitate a transplant. It was not cancer, but this finding should not be shunned. She was twenty years old, like a sunflower of friendliness and optimism. He added, “Just live your life.”
I felt her physical pain rip through each atrium and ventricle – my most excruciating moments of being a parent. But her strength embraced and consoled me, her mother, of all things. Life pulled us through each season.
The calendar now presents the year 2021: She is a lovely, young woman – a wedding band adorns her left ring finger, and geography has changed along with a new insurance card. She meets with another man who wears a similar white coat. X-rays and jabs repeat. “All of your tests are normal,” he affirms. All is normal. Words we had hoped to hear from this new expert. “I don’t see a reason to keep you in the same box,” he confirms.
This is amazing news! But abdominal stabs and pruritus from the past were as tangible as a twisted knife to the gut. How can we negate that agony? What is the deeper meaning? Should we get the champagne flutes out, give them a quick wash? Has this nightmare finally ended? She chooses to live in the here and now. Life continues to draw us forward to witness each sunrise and sunset, although we are still waiting to exhale.