For What Ails Us

catching a fish at Longnose Creek Falls
reeling in the fish
Its a striper bass

Teeth grinding, heart palpitations, head aches, wheel gripping in traffic, sleeplessness, short tempers, and eczema. You name it! All manner of stress related symptoms have been experienced at our house this spring. Injuries, sickness, poor grades, major events, overfull schedules, mean people and fear have all contributed to the mental pressure.

What’s a mom to do in the midst of these busy and trying times?

Get finished with school and find a lake in a remote part of the state! Go there and stay until you’re bored, if you can. A healthy dose of sunshine, nature and unstructured days must be the cure.

Here, the only traffic I’ve seen is a family of Canada geese making their way to the grassy shoreline. The overfull schedules have given way to star-gazing and corn hole. Fishermen with tall cans of Bud and girthy tackle boxes have replaced the mean people.

This prescription seems to be working. My people are sleeping in, smiles have returned and the stress is melting away like an ice cream cone in the hand of a two year old on a hot May afternoon.

Up here, the lake, the fish, and the sun have been the cure for what ails us.

Slice of Life 2019: Day 6

Purple Rest

No one is here tonight;

The sky is eggplant and valentines.

Ripples of pink and black stretch toward the horizon.

Like popcorn, the waves pop the sides of the dock and

brushstrokes of salmon and grey tinge the sky like an artist’s canvas propped against the murky mountains, while a flock of geese stipple overhead in v-formation.

Soon it will be completely dark.

Wooden planks washed grey by sun and wave support my body as it lingers here.

I wish to see this picture everyday.

My son joins me in awe.

His chatter cracks the calm companionlessness of the moment,

but wanting to share, I’m glad he’s with me.

The sky smells of hope and fuel.

My pulse slows like a watch loosing its charge.

Bugs are biting now.

The purple rest has ended.

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Watery World

The rain came in torrents this week,

fluidic, aqueous, diliquescent

grey, cloudy, and cold.

Like those left behind by ark and Noah, watching, I had nothing to do but stare out at the deluge and repent at the altered landscape.

When would the rain stop?

How can there be that much water in a cloud?

What does the sun look like again?

These were the important questions.

When it finally did on day 9,

I saw a desolate bridge,

an empty wedding venue,

and a dam spilling over the top.

All, soggy artifacts of a watery world,

reminders that we do not live regularly in this saturated state,

giving me an appreciation for a well-defined shadow.

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Back When the Sun Used to Shine

December 26

I’ve been thinking about when the sun used to shine here.  Been thinking about that week of luscious weather we had a month ago. If I had known then that we’d be living in perpetual rain and clouds, I probably would’ve slept in my hammock.  Fog, warmth, light and golden leaves. Each day brought a new hue to the vegetation around us.  That last bout of sunshine, it seemed, was the last week before all the maples and oaks took their winter sleep.  Those hardwoods knew that frosty, wet days were coming and they wanted nothing to do with them.  But, we remain here… in busyness and darkness.

I’m holding onto these memories of fall…


That mellow afternoon incandescence… how magical!

Since November I’ve lost my sun glasses and rediscovered my raincoat. 

No more leaping and dancing in the golden rays.  Instead, its dashing madly from building to car to avoid bad hair and soggy shoes.

Brown and gold have given way to slate and pepper.  Sunshine has been enveloped by cloud.  Baggy eyes are the new squint.

Looking back over these photos reminds me that there’s a sun out there.  Somewhere.  Azure skies and warmth will return; thank God.  Green will replace grey and black.

The cycle will repeat and I know I will complain in August: “I’m so tired of all this dang sunshine!”

For now, though, I’m recollecting fondly those days when the sun used to shine. 

Slice of Life: Day 30

Like a pink petal which draws the honey bee to nectar, so the concrete pilings bring the captain to the center of the passage.  We approach simultaneously: train, water, boat and clouds.

Wind, current, double containers.  All come together at this intersection.

We shoot through the narrow way.

The clacking, metal on metal, is overpowered by waves and Evinrude.

On the other side,  spring, sunshine, freedom.