Happy Saturday! Well it is Writer’s Choice week, where we can let our muses run wild and write to our heart’s content. Sometimes this is actually harder, believe it or not. This poem was once again inspired by a line in the Outlander book I am reading. “The night shivered.” It stuck in my mind as I was reading on Friday, and I knew it was going to form the basis of my poem.
Last night was so beautiful that after my 6 mile run, we decided to have a spontaneous firepit up in our back yard. We packed up our favorite wine, some glasses, flashlights and the makings of s’mores. I brought along my iPad and Anker speaker, and we listened to some mellow songs and cool jazz that just make you melt into the Adirondack chairs. One of these songs was “Lighthouse” by Patrick Watson, which is so beautifully inspiring.
High on our west facing ridge, we get an incredibly beautiful view of the sunset, and then can watch as the planets, moon and stars make their appearance. It was just glorious, the colors were so jewel toned and beautiful, and the fire was a gorgeous dance of orange and gold flames.
It had been a relatively cool day so I had 2 layers on, and took my warm shawl along, as the temperature was dropping. Despite the coolness, fireflies were blinking and bats were swooping. I took videos that had some incredible birdsong, the catbirds seem to be the most vocal at night as they settle in. Their chatter always makes me smile. A pair of deer curiously watched us from the top of our property, and ventured closer as they became comfortable. I am always grateful for this time in nature.
I roasted marshmallows and made s’mores for Dan and myself. Have you noticed recently that they are making the giant marshmallows flat now? I can only presume this is on purpose, for making s’mores? Or maybe my bag just got flattened – but it seemed all the bags were the same at the grocery store!
Anway, it was such a relaxing and beautiful night that I didn’t want to end. If I were more adventurous, I would love to sleep under the stars. But I’m not a camper or even a “glamper,” and I would probably get freaked out by some rogue animal and go screaming into the house, haha.
So this poem is simply about a beautiful night spent by the fire with my love, where we basked in the beauty of nature and literally felt oblivious to the demands of the world beyond our backyard. Such a wonderful feeling we plan to revisit often this summer. I wish you all a peaceful, relaxing Memorial Day weekend.
Ecrits Blogophilia Week 47.14 Topic: Writers Choice – Oblivious Hard Bonus: WC – Include a line from an Outlander book (“The night shivered.” – I paraphrased it a bit haha) Easy Bonus:WC – Incorporate the planet Venus
Rain brewing in dark clouds feeling washed up and hung out to dry doubt pulses through my veins feeling sorry for myself pondering my mere existence all mistakes and regrets amplified thundering loudly in my addled brain wallowing and pathetic in my pain I step outside and take a deep breath inhaling sweet scent of wet grass letting the rain soak my skin doubling down on courage I pick myself up and let nature instill deep sense of calm
Hello, all. It’s amazing how nature can instill a sense of calm when you are feeling down. We all have those days where we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders. We wouldn’t be human if we did not. So what to do? For me, it is to get out of my head and into nature.
I was feeling extremely out of sorts this week, like wet laundry hung out to dry. (Excuse the punny simile). I almost did NOT go out for a run on Wednesday evening. I was making so many excuses: it’s too cold, it’s windy, I’ve got too much work to do, I’m tired, etc. etc. However, I forced myself to because I was feeling down and being hard on myself. I just knew in my heart that a run would make me feel better. But I went through the motions, put on those running shoes and bundled up, even though it was looking like rain. What was the worst that could happen? Getting on rained on during a run? No biggie, I actually find it much more refreshing running in a light rain than running in hot weather. Having a thunderstorm kick up? Well, that has happened to me as well. Not a problem, the running trail is only 1 mile around the lake and a quick sprint via shortcut to the safety of my house.
I’m happy to report that nothing stopped me, not the wind, cold or the cloudy skies. In fact, I was so much better for forcing myself to do something I didn’t think I wanted to do – but desperately needed to do. While out there on the trail, I saw some amazing sights of nature. Herds of deer pausing to look at me as I ran quietly by. A green heron stalking prey. Flocks of swallows circling the lake in search of insects. A beautiful sunset peeking out beyond the billowing rain clouds. And it did sprinkle on me during my last lap of the trail, but it was light and invigorating. I felt so much calmer for getting out of the clamor of my negative thoughts. Thank you, Nature. I love you.
I hope you will remember to step out into nature whenever you’re down (even if it is just on your patio or porch). It’s a natural prescription, a refreshing margarita, or a depression remedy for those days when you are feeling blue. I hope you have a lovely weekend! Love you all!
Ecrits Blogophilia Week 44.14 Topic: Hung Out to Dry Hard Bonus: Include a double down Easy Bonus: Drink a margarita
Good morning! I wrote this this morning as a light rain fell outside. The temperature is warmer and spring is in full bloom. All around in my backyard, spring is alive. My beautiful hydrangea are sprouting beautiful chartreuse buds. These two hydrangea bushes are my best garden success, and I adore the huge softball sized flowers that sprout cream color and turn to a dusky pink in September. They are actually trees now – close to 20 feet tall and about to approach my upstairs bathroom window.
Hydrangeas have become my favorite flower. I think we got lucky and just happened to plant them in their happy place where they can thrive. I have failed at planting other hybrid blue and purple hydrangeas in other spots in the backyard, only to be burnt up by the blazing afternoon sun. This is the only northern spot where they can bask in the morning sun and shaded the rest of the day. And they have taken over the entire north side of the house, so there’s no room for more. If anyone has other suggestions on hydrangea care and placement, I’m all ears.
I am missing my Kwanzen Cherry trees and their gorgeous pink blossoms, both of which perished in the last few years. One was injured by a lawn mower mishap and died a slow death, the other was blown over in a windstorm two years ago. Dan has agreed we need to buy another one, so we will do that soon but won’t see the blossoms until next year.
Easter was so much fun – all of my siblings and Mom together at our house for a lovely gathering. I still haven’t posted pics yet, as I have been super busy at work with tax extensions. I will try to post this weekend. I did miss the grandkids dearly, though. I send them specially made Easter baskets each year, filled with non-perishable candy, treats, clothes and Easter trinkets. We FaceTimed this week as they opened up the baskets, and they were so excited. It brings me great joy to see them so happy!
Have a lovely weekend, friends and family. Enjoy the beautiful comforts of spring that you find in nature.
Ecrits Blogophilia Week 41.14 Topic: Easter Basket Hard Bonus: Include a quote about Easter or spring (“the sensuality of spring”) Easy Bonus: Mention the color “chartreuse”
Dawn peeks out blooming bold crimson and gold the season’s new girl she is naughty and nice and everything pumpkin spice her sweet smile reflecting sunlight she dances on wispy clouds of white floating through in skies of cornflower blue. she has found the secret to happiness, to be awake is to be alive to embrace beauty and to thrive basking in October sun bees buzzing in chill air scent of cinnamon in silken hair my sassy autumn girl
Another quick write on the road! This one is a fun double etheree, kind of like putting together a word puzzle. I was thinking of my daughter Katie as I wrote it, as she is an October girl. ❤
We are having such a wonderful vacation in Florida, and I haven’t had time to be online much at all. The weather has been sunny, beautiful and very pleasant (though hot at times.) The evening spent at the home of our BFFS Marianne and Brian was wonderful. Disney World with the grandchildren Posie and Hatcher was just so much fun! Lots of wonderful memories made there with the kids. It was so heartwarming to see them meet their favorite Disney characters and watch the parades. We were able to hit 3 of the parks: Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. There are a lot of new rides and attractions, as it’s been about 11 years since I was last there. I would have to say that the new Guardians of the Galaxy was the biggest hit. We experienced such an adrenaline rush that afterwards, Dan and I both tripped on the stairs coming down off the ride! Thankfully no injuries sustained from that, but what a weird feeling.
And finally, we are chilling at Vince and Natalie’s home for the rest of the weekend. We did a little fishing this morning, and this afternoon we’re just hanging at their house and relaxing in the sun. It’s a really nice way to end a busy and amazing road trip. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Blogophilia Week 17.14 Topic: Everything Pumpkin Spice Hard Bonus: Use a line or quote by Henry David Thoreau – “To be awake is to be alive.” Easy Bonus: Include a “new girl”
This is just a little ditty that I was playing around with that resulted in a simplistic imagery poem. It started with the title “Water Lilies” and morphed from there. The structure was the 3 line stanza composition with syllable of 1-2-3 and a rhyme scheme with the last line of two stanzas matching throughout. I couldn’t find any name for this, maybe I invented it….but I doubt it! If any of you poets out there know a term for this format, please let me know. I love experimenting with the rhyme and structure of the different poetry forms.
As always, I am truly inspired by all things in nature (as well as music)! So much beauty to behold in summer, and it’s hard to believe it is already mid-August. I guess this is my way of trying to hold onto these long, lazy summer days a little longer, or to at least have some memories to revisit during cold winter days. Enjoy the rest of your summer!
I started this piece on my birthday, after observing nature on a walk at the end of the day. I jotted down a few stanzas and then forgot about it, in the busy-ness of life, work and travel. As I was recovering from bronchitis and pneumonia this week, I came across it reading through my poetry notebook and put the finishing touches on it. It’s a tribute to the beauty and delights of summer. I hope you enjoy, along with this music which complements it and was actually playing as I wrote the piece. (If you know me, I rarely write in silence, music always inspires….) xoxo Love to all, Colleen
In the wilderness, the word itself is beautiful music from summer cricket songs to moth’s wing flicks, cool nights bedecked with planets and radiant stars far and away from the cacophony of rumbling cars.
In the wilderness, the rolling river bends and flows, trickling down to all the places that silence goes. Rhythmic lapping, gentle beneath a splintered dock, crashing, pounding breakers on the craggy rocks.
In the wilderness, the poison ivy and honeysuckle creep where young rabbits romp and the black bears sleep. The full moon rises, proud in its golden glorious glow, waiting for insolent clouds to crown with gauzy halo.
In the wilderness, my heart is glad and fills with peace, my head cradled by the grass, soft as lamb’s fleece. From the dew-kissed wildflowers to the blue skies fair, there is beauty, heartbreaking beauty, everywhere.
This poem is posted for the Instagram group @hergrowthcollective. The topic for 11/18/2021 was “beauty.” Since I had just written a poem on the beauty of nature last week, I decided to look back into my archives for another poem written on beauty. This is a repost of a poem I wrote back in 2015 that incorporated my two favorite Edward Abbey quotes:
“Wilderness, the word itself is beautiful music.” “There is beauty, heartbreaking beauty, everywhere.”
Of course, there is a recurrent theme here for me, the beauty of nature. If you know me, that’s no surprise. Indeed, but there is beauty everywhere IF we choose to take the time to experience it. I believe that beauty invokes more than just sight – rather, it invokes all of the senses. Therefore, experiencing the beauty of something can be felt on an emotional level if you will allow it. It is both external and internal, but you must open your heart and soul to feel it.
I see beauty in my grandchildren’s eyes, I hear beauty in the chords of a piano concerto, I taste beauty in a freshly cut orange, I smell beauty in the Blue Spruce pine needles, I feel beauty in the warm ocean breeze upon my skin. Mere memories of these beautiful things, or experiencing it in the now will transport you to a place of zen and calm the unrest in your mind. It can be a meditative and transcendent experience.
Take a few minutes at the beginning of each day to reflect upon the beauty in your life. Close your eyes, still your mind and focus on your breathing. Then think of the beauty you have experienced, breathe and be grateful.
Mood: Introspective Inspiration: “Tomorrow’s Song” – Ólafur Arnalds Ólafur Arnalds
This Kyrielle Sonnet was written for the Instagram Group @hergrowthcollective. The topic for 11/11/2021 was “Appreciation.” Appreciation is such a broad term, and there are so many blessings and things that we should appreciate in our lives. I narrowed the focus of my poem to appreciating the beauty of nature all around us in this world.
We get so busy with day to day life and tasks that we often don’t take the time to just look out our window or move away from our computer screens. There is a world of beauty to behold each day, whether it be in our family members, friends, music, food, or nature. Take the time to slow down, breathe deep, open your eyes, observe and appreciate.
Today, I see beauty in the colorful autumn leaves, squirrels burying nuts in the yard, cats gazing out the window, crystal blue skies dotted with puffy clouds. And that makes me grateful and calm. Tell me, what do you see? What things you appreciate in your life?
Mood: Wonderful Inspiration: “We Played Some Open Chords” by A Winged Victory for the Sullen
Keys caressed by fingers gently stroking black and ivory sweet music sets us free crimson blood thrums in our veins as intangible passions stir on wings of enchanted butterfly resonating in hollows of my heart take me to this place of serenity your wings cover mine, softly guide me chills down my spine, the song begins our spirits take flight at dusk delicate pas de deux as two souls entwine eternally let each note light the dark
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! Thanksgiving is always a time of reflection and giving thanks for those many blessings in my life. It was definitely a very different and lonely Thanksgiving. This was the very first time in 32 years of marriage with Dan that we spent it completely alone. I’m usually the one who cooks the big dinner, it’s something I’ve always loved doing! Now that I live in Virginia, I invite all my family members to share. Because of COVID-19, this year everyone decided to play it safe and celebrate in their own households. Even my Mom didn’t come, which made me sad, as I hate that she was alone. I hope our future Thanksgivings can be spent together with family and friends.
This week, I am choosing to write a blog on gratitude for several reasons. First, it is the topic of the week for my writing group Blogophilia, but most importantly, to recognize that I have many reasons to be grateful for in my life. Yes – even in one of the most horribly challenging and frustrating years ever! So without further adieu, here is my Top Ten Gratitude List for 2020:
1. My husband – Dan is number one on my list for obvious reasons! He’s the yin to my yang, patient, generous, kind, loving and understanding. (I could go on.) He puts up with my quirks and anxieties, showers me with love and attention. He makes me feel like a queen, is a good father to our kids, and we always have a wonderful time together in our adventures. You give meaning to Plato’s quote: “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” I’m incredibly grateful to have him as my love and life partner.
2. My children – Vince and Katie, you are the lights of my life! I cannot express how deep my unconditional love is for you both. It has been an honor and a blessing to be your mother. You have brought me the greatest joys and wonderful memories. I have loved seeing you grow through the years, and I am so proud that you have both blossomed into beautiful, loving adults (and parents). Katie, thank you for my sweet granddaughter, adorable sweet Posie Mae who arrived in January!!! This was the absolute BEST THING EVER in 2020, and we found out today the wonderful news that baby # 2 is A BOY!!! WOO HOO!!! He is who is due in June 2021!! Vince, I am happily looking forward to your wedding with Natalie next year and future grandbabies!
3. Family – Thank you, Mom, for birthing me and supporting me through all the years with kindness and unconditional love! Dad and you gave me a wonderful life, and I am incredibly grateful for that. I was blessed to be born in a huge family, with 2 sisters and 2 brothers, and lots of aunts, uncles, cousins! My childhood memories are golden, and I hold them close in my heart always.
4. Cats – I’m a crazy cat lady, incredibly grateful for the cats that have owned my heart. First and foremost, my beloved Tommy who died from lymphoma this year…this was the WORST THING about 2020, and it literally broke my heart. Rudy lifted us up during this difficult time, and now we have added playful Bobby Moonlight as his baby brother. They met for the first time yesterday, and it was the smoothest cat introduction ever! They became fast friends, played and chased around the house without even a snarl or hiss! It lifted my heart to hear their galloping up and down the hallway all day long. And last but not least, Jordan who left us two years ago… my pretty princess over the rainbow bridge who started my obsession with cats.
5. Health – I’ve been blessed to have good health, and I hit that scary milestone of 60 this year! It’s not so bad, and I am extremely grateful to have made it this far without any major illnesses such as high blood pressure, and heart disease, which runs in my family. I attribute my good health thus far to a lifetime of dedication to exercise. Well, you could say obsession…. I love running, high impact aerobics, kickboxing, and yoga!
6. Music – I’m grateful for music, as it brings me great pleasure and gets me through the tough times. I always have music on when I’m awake. It makes working a lot less like work, allows me to pour out my emotions, dance when nobody’s watching, and inspires my writing, as well! I like just about all kinds of music (except country – sorry not sorry)… from classical to classic rock to pop to electronic to hip hop. One of my hobbies is music collecting – I have a cache of over 300 vinyl albums, 400 or more CDs and a mp3 library of almost 15,000 songs. I’m a (very) amateur guitar player and took piano lessons as a child. For me, music evokes memories and emotions, and touches my soul. Thank you for always being there, music.
7. Wine – Yes, I know this is one is a real shocker!! Wine, thank you for helping me get through 2020! Seriously though, I have always been a red wine connoisseur. It is good for your heart, you know! I love a good, bold red. I belong to 4 wineries, one in Napa and three locally. We have been fortunate to visit the Napa area twice and hope to return, as it was one of the most beautiful and enjoyable trips ever. One of the things Dan and I enjoy doing is hitting a local winery or two on the weekend, sipping some Cabernet, gazing at the beautiful vineyard views and listening to music. COVID-19 has impacted that experience this year with social distancing and strict protocols, so we cut down on our winery visits this year. I’m hoping 2021 is better.
8. Cheese – Yep. I love cheese! (And it’s a writing prompt.) I love all kinds of cheese, thanks to one of my first jobs – working retail at a Hickory Farms store. I got to sample cheeses from all over the world: Brie, Gouda, Havarti, Gruyere, goats milk cheese, Gorgonzola, Camembert, Parmigiano, Roquefort, Swiss, you name it! My absolute favorites have always been sharp cheddars like New York and Vermont, Colby, and Muenster cheeses. I should probably cut down on it, but it goes so well with my red wine!
9. Nature – I love all animals (well….except rats, most snakes and insects like roaches and spiders). I marvel at the wildlife in Virginia – we have deer, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, groudhogs, chipmunks and all kinds of birds that visit our yard frequently. I am a lover of trees, sunsets, clouds, stars, changing skies, the 4 seasons, the moon, flowers, and bees (excepts wasps). My love for nature is expressed through my photography, also one of my hobbies.
10. Poetry – I’ve been writing poetry since I was 5 years old. It is my passion, and allows me to express myself in words. If I’m feeling anxious or experiencing emotions such as grief, anger, joy – I can channel it and use it creatively while relieving any negative stress. I love experimenting in poetry formats such as sonnets (my fav), etherees, pantoums, villanelles, and haiku. Even with my busy life and career, I make it a point to write one poem per week. I published my first book of poetry in 2011 called “Shadows of My Father,” a tribute to my Dad after he passed away. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to publish Book #2, if life ever slows down.
So there you have it! There are lot of other things that did not make the list that I’m still extremely grateful for: my home, my job, my car, technology, Virginia, Florida, toilet paper (haha, so 2020). Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season, with hopes of a better year in 2021!
Ecrits Blogophilia Week 38.13 Topic: Gratitude Hard Bonus (2 points): Incorporate a quote from a Greek philosopher (Plato – “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”) Easy Bonus (1 Point): Include three types of cheeses (either types or names of cheeses will be accepted) – I listed quite a few!
1. Snoopy 2. Bicycle Race 3. Autumn 4. Falling Leaves 5. Windblown 6. Thanksgiving 7. Beagle 8. Change of Seasons 9. Happy Dance 10. Basket full of happy