A Moment of Serenity

Credit: fineartamerica.com

 

Sitting here in an early June quiet. The days have finally grown into a full warmth. This late spring surge of sun has distracted me from my writing. We cut grass, plant flowers that will last well into early fall, lay down mulch. Fret over carpenter bees boring holes in the upper eaves at the back of the house (I need a 25 foot ladder to reach them). Douse the paper wasp nest with chemicals before it outgrows the strength of  our spray can.  Stain the long neglected front porch a luscious mahogany red while noticing that we need new risers. The rails need a fresh coat of white. The north side of the house looks tired. Long winters and years of just plain wear are evident at this direction of the house’s compass.  I try not to worry about the expense of repairs and send out intentions of abundance to the universe.

A year from now, this house will be my sons’ domain. Rented with others in order to afford payments. We are shifting gears. Learning to be present in a major life transition. Sharing in the pulls and tugs of the here and now as we move into the there and then. Keeping our eyes wide open while we let go of the old life little by little. We are all making our way into an independent dynamic. There is much to do before my wings take flight.  I send out more intentions-ones where I hope to avoid the vortex of panic and anxiety. A friend says “Don’t be afraid to pray for big things.”  So I do.

For now, I am staying in this moment. Sitting up in bed, nearly ready for sleep. The house is empty except for me. The crickets are back and the night breeze is full. Cool and cleansing, sort of a northern climate mini spa in my mind.  I look forward to refreshing dreams and a new morning sun.

 “Listen to yourself. And in that quietude you will hear the voice of God”

– Maya Angelou

 

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…

 

Heat Lightning

fwf2

 

Maria doesn’t remember the exact moment she met Danny. Thirty years is a long time to look back on when so much of life has occurred. She remembers it was June and the NBA finals were on. Celtics versus the Lakers. Bird versus Magic. She and a bunch of other twenty-somethings were crowded around someone’s television set in a double-decker apartment.  A Sunday afternoon sunny and warm-the windows open to let the cool breeze inside the second floor living room.

And there he was.  Thin and tan with long blonde hair. A friend of Layla’s (technically her boss), Danny was the editor of a small town newspaper where Layla worked as a reporter. Maria met Layla through an old college friend and they in turn, hit it off.  She quickly became a part of Layla’s social circle.

And just as quickly, she fell in with Danny. Their first date together was dinner at his house on the lake. Gnocchi and wine. Maria doesn’t remember how she got there (she had no car in those days) but does recall spending the night. She loved the spontaneity of their relationship. Days at the beach. Beer and steamers at The Barnacle at sunset. Sunday mornings at the lake. Her hair streaked with sun and her skin as brown as a berry. The absolute sheer physical attraction was the energy that fueled their relationship. Maria had no inhibitions with him.  She was quite sure that her sounds of ecstasy reverberated throughout the walls of the house he shared with three others but felt no sense of self-consciousness regarding her new found self-expression. Danny brought out a lustful beast in her that she found hard to contain. Their forays in the sand nearly bordered on public acts of indecency. (Just thinking about it now causes her heart to race and her body to pulse in places only he could touch.)

They fanned the flames of their affair all summer long.  Their bodies were joined more than they were apart, breaking only for soothing swims and meals that seemed to have aphrodisiac effects. Maria’s head and heart and spirit were full of passion. Danny gave her what she needed without demands and she did the same in turn. They talked and laughed but never got in too deep. Maria loved the fact that he was a true gentleman; he treated her kindly and with a reverence reserved for those he deeply admired. Perhaps this is what drew them together. While they surely fucked like animals at times, he never treated her like a stranger or a one-night stand. But he never did tell her that he loved her nor she him.  A strange dichotomy in some ways. But it worked for as long as it could last.

As summer turned to autumn and the nights grew cold, they said good-bye. Maria felt a sad longing for a little while but she never did see or think about him again.  Until tonight. Sitting here with her friends, Maureen and Joanne at a beach front bar. She looks up from her drink to see a man standing next to her. He smiles. Tan, short cut blonde hair with traces of gray. “Maria”, says Maureen, “This is my boss Danny. I have been dying for you two to meet.”

First Images

Credit: aromaofislam.com

At first glance, a meeting by chance

Warming up on sweltering day in the tropical summer

Later, an initial re-aquaintance

in the post race cooling waters

Effortless conversation deeper than the liquid that floated around us

Soothing our heat

A natural ebb and flow

Sunlight’s spark on a newly forming shore

A long run twelve hours hence

My skin bubbled and blistered

Unaccustomed to the equatorial temps

My hair matted with sweat

My mouth sticky- white from thirst

You lingered

Is that when our hearts first burst?

 

An attempt to capture a moment or two in time when the seeds of new love take hold without the pair fully knowing it is happening.  Snippets of memory nearly six years old that still make me smile.

Summer Morning

photo credit: inspirationfeed.com

 The air is already thick with heat

 as I creep outside in my bare feet

The cool morning dew relieves

the daily ache in my feet and toes

The wet blades stick to my heels

and sneak in between my skin

      A delicious delight

   dancing with the sensation

                                                             

The day is still at rest

Only the voice of the train whistle bellows

 low and heavy

     through the wall of humid air

      sounding tired too soon