Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Tuesday Slice: Fall vibes


Fall vibes

Fuzzy socks 
long-sleeved pajamas
extra blanket
at bedtime

So-dark mornings
one more snooze button
chilled kitchen
warm cinnamon-scented coffee

Crisp sunrises
invoke deep breathing
skies of pale blues
or stormy grays

Warm sunsets
last of the mosquitoes lurking
fewer birds at the feeder
plants dug up by hoarding squirrels

Children focused 
on costumes and candy
adults already shopping
for Christmas

Calendar checks
trips planned
pumpkin pie, apple, or both

Cardigans on rotation
coats at the ready
hats and mittens
not far behind

Fall vibes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Tuesday Slice: Taking time for me


We had a staff development day yesterday, with a whole hour for lunch--educators know what a gift that is!  We sat in our overly-air-conditioned cafeteria for three hours in the morning, and I felt the need to warm up after eating in my office...so I went for a walk outside.  

I rarely venture outdoors during a workday, my usual schedule prohibitive of such activity, and it felt a little scandalous to do so.  I slipped out a back door and immediately felt the sun's warm rays on my shoulders.  Conscious of the time, I walked briskly around the cul-de-sac behind our school, empty of delivery trucks at the moment.  I made my way around the side entrance, and stopped at the garden planted on the front lawn.

Giant stalks of who-knows-what were bent to the ground.  I noticed tiny green cherry tomatoes here and there, and sprawling vines snaking through dried mulch with leaves as big as my hand.  The vines intrigued me, so I followed them with my eyes...and spied not one, but two watermelons!  Not quite ready for picking, so I let them be.

An orange butterfly--a fritillary, by the looks of it--fluttered from one flower to another.  I spent a few quiet moments just watching it feed, marveling at its colors and long, spindly legs.  Something made me look at my watch, and I realized it was time to get back to work.

Warmed up, back at my desk in my windowless library, I said to myself, "I should do this every Monday."

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Where am I?--Spiritual Journey Thursday

Ramona has given us the prompt of exploring the concept of "here" for this month's Spiritual Journey reflection. You can find her own post here.

I am challenged to be present
Be here, in the now

With my bleary, tired eyes squinting at the screen
My stomach slightly roiling from today's uncouth eating
My head fuzzy with fatigue.

Before this
I paid a bill
listened to a podcast
while Christmas shopping with an hour to spare on a coupon,
and signing up for yet another self-help newsletter.
Was I there for any of that?

Before that
I was nodding off on the couch
phone in hand
husband seated across the room
new show on the television, half watched.
Was I there for any of that?

It is hard for me to be present
with a mind that tends to the future
and a body that protests for more sleep.

And when I sleep
will I finally be here
or will my mind decide to roam fields of dreams?
What is so wrong with the present
that makes it so hard to be here?

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Tuesday Slice: Dance party of one

Some mornings
I turn the radio on, volume down low
Search for a station with a beat
Feet starting to move, then hips
Arms start swinging--
Moves from ancient aerobics tapes surface
(Who cares?  No one else is awake!)
Hands in the air, stretching overhead--
important for people of a certain age, so I'm told
Occasional slick shimmies from clubbing days
Conjure memories of sticky sweet machine-made fog
Carefree nights with friends...
The song trails off.  Do I have time for another?
Check the clock:  no.
This dance party ends with workday prep
Instead of a 2am run to Denny's for fries and a coke.

Three to five minute dance parties have become my mini-workout of choice most workday mornings.  Bonus mood booster if I happen upon eighties dance music.


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Tuesday Slice: A library is not

 A library is not just pretty books lined up in neat rows
Not just pretty books filled with pretty thoughts
Not just pretty thoughts written to hide the ugliness
Hiding the ugliness does not make it go away.

A library is books lined up in neat rows
Rows of books filled with problems, real and imagined
The real and imagined conflicts mirroring our own
Our own fears and faults playing out in the safety of the pages.

A library's books are not always meant to make you feel comfortable.
The discomfort is where our discussion begins.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Tuesday Slice: Breathe in, breathe out


I've been taking lots of deep breaths lately

Running behind
my body flashes hot
breathe in, breathe out
pick up the pace.

Work piling up
no end in sight
breathe in, breathe out
finish one thing.

A student spiraling
my defiance rises, too
breathe in, breathe out
ask for support, continue teaching.

Another COVID notice
shake my head
breathe in, breathe out
adjust my mask.

Watching the news
sadness reigns
breathe in, breathe out
turn off the television.

The couch beckons
my body is tired
breathe in, breathe out
walk around the block.

The harvest moon glows
I step outside in the dark
breathe in, breathe out
in that pause, all is well.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Tuesday Slice: A royal apology

I'm sorry, beautiful Monarch
(you're the biggest I've ever seen, by the way)

I didn't realize you'd sense
the milkweed plant ensconced in a mesh tent

I knew, as you landed atop the synthetic barrier
yellow flowers muted by the white below your feet 
your abdomen curling, testing
 that you really wanted to lay that egg

but you see, I already have several
of your kin to feed

and I'm afraid there's not enough to go around.

I missed the photo opportunity, standing at my kitchen counter and watching the enormous butterfly land on the pop up tent protecting several caterpillars from would-be predators. I am seriously concerned that they will eat through the milkweed before I can procure more; we've been on the hunt for plants for three days with no success at nurseries nearby.  I may have to drive a bit to find more food for my voracious crawlers.
Looks big, but less than a half-inch in this photo.
One of four, possibly five in the tent.