Ode to an Old Friend

 

I heard from an old friend today

She read news of me

Tales of the latest chapter in my new life

Her gracious wishes were felt over the thousand miles between us

  I think of how long I have known her

High school years

Different circles

My memory of her dim

We met years later in a different small town

Young mothers of young ones

Her vivacity and attractiveness sweetly worn

  She grew into her womanhood with a savvy sexuality

 Men  drawn to her like moths to a flame

 She left them speechless and hungry and heartbroken

Single again together

Sharing tales of woe and grief and much laughter too

Summer days lounging in her pool

Listening to songs from the 197o’s and trying to guess the band

She held me up 

Unaware of how her kindness soothed me

 She fed me when I was hungry

Cared for my boys when mom died

 Always expressing admiration for my strength

My ability to keep moving over obstacles and holding my head high

Old friends are a warm blanket, chicken soup and a fine glass of wine

Time passes but the love in our hearts remains

 

 

Day 12.  This literally happened a few hours ago. Namaste.

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Healing Garden

There exists a corner

A space left untouched

Nearly forgotten

Long awaiting a wakening

The soil-

weed ridden

and parched

from endless summers’ sun soaked days

We’ve tilled the dirt

Adding sustenance

Giving it strength and spirit

We’ve planted and mulched

Praying for the flora to find robust roots

Watering becomes a religious rite and ritual

A daily baptism and blessing

for these new lives to become one

with Mother Earth

Day 8. For my birthday at the end of March, I decided that I wanted to plant something in our backyard. My husband had spent years before we were married tearing out neglected plants and most recently an empty shed. The yard emerged as a tabula rasa. Certainly a challenge! For his birthday in February we planted a tree in order to create shade.  My “something” is metamorphosing into a butterfly garden, created in memory of my late mother who loved them. Each time I have seen one over the years, I feel as if she is paying me a visit.

The act of planting is also an act of persistence for me.  In spite of  the current climate (no pun intended) and my continuous activism, I believe it is vital to go on joyously living into the new life I am creating here.

Incidentally, the daily word prompt for the challenge, was “HEAL”. Thank you to the folks at WordPress for the help!

 

An Unexpected Find

Credit: oldfriends.gettalk.net

I found a picture from long ago

A black and white snapshot

Halcyon days, golden school days

Half a dozen young men on the campus wall

Teetering towards the real world

in the days before we were scattered apart

and away from one another

The memories come back in snippets

My college brothers

The ones who stood by me through my first big heartache

Winter break nights sleeping on your couch

in a room with cold heat

We worked all day and broke bread at night

I made you keep the toilet seat down and the bathroom clean

We were unapologetic about being young

Wild and willing to touch the edge of our limits

Living in the moment

Creating our own world and sharpening our minds

 Kamikaze nights and pitchers of beer

Thursday nights at the Stein

Random times singing

“Run Around Sue” and Bruce’s “Hungry Heart” with the jukebox

Knowing these were our own glory days

Years that were foolish and  fleeting but oh so much fun! 

We moved on and forward

We grew up and maybe a little old

But those bold and beautiful days are still in my heart

Day 27. You come to realize how much of a life you’ve lived when digging through old items. Yesterday I opened a trunk and found some photos from my college days. A black and white one from 1982 struck me and brought back many happy times with the guys who were a big part of my experience.

Two Firsts

Credit: projectm-online.com

So which one to write about? Which one to reveal? Which one do I remember? Which one have I forgotten ’til now? Which one really counts?

Teenage curiosity and innocent lust are more apt descriptions from the summer of ’76.  A week at the lake with other families. Days when we never got out of our bathing suits until dinner. Dancing to the music of the Guess Who. Blown away by Peter Frampton. Wiffle ball games just before sunset. When darkness fell, the older folks gathered for their nightly card games while we put pennies in the pot for Michigan Rummy. One night the lights went out and I found myself kissing him. A cousin of a friend. And that’s all there was. A small crush that lasted less than a week. Vacation was over and we all went home. I’ve heard about him from time to time over the years. Turns out he lives in the same valley region as me. I understand he’s had similar struggles. I wonder if he has ever thought about that easy time when we knew nothing of the world. Still sheltered from the harshness and hard times.

But the one I that hides in a tiny corner of my heart happened three years later. Not quite summer and not yet fall. The freshman girl who a lot of the boys thought was cute (at least that’s what my friends told me at the time). But I fell for the senior and he for me. A bit of a rebel and I assure you that was part of his appeal. I liked his curly locks and trimmed beard and the fact that he could play guitar and sing. The first night he took me out he walked me to my dorm and we kissed on the path outside. His glasses fogged up. And I remember thinking that it felt so very different from it did when I was fifteen.

Needless to say, we fell in love. Crazy, mad young love where you find yourself unable to think of anything else. Love that didn’t meet parental approval, so it was met with outright rebellion. Circumstances eventually changed and then ended our ties to one another. My heart was broken. It was hard to let him go but it was the right thing to do. I thought I saw him once years after he’d married and I was with another. He was sitting at a storefront window talking with a friend. My heart stopped and my mouth went dry. I never went in to say hello. But his love letters and photos are still tucked away in an attic trunk. Momentos of my first love unread and unseen for decades. Pieces of a former self and sweet reminders of first love.

 

Kellie’s  prompt this week had me in the way back machine! I could not decide on one particular story as one memory (in this case, the latter) brought up another. The story is my complete thought process.

#FWF Free Write Friday: First Kiss

Summer is in the air and reminds me of those sweet summer flings, first kisses and young love. Do you remember? Tell me…