Sunday, May 29, 2011

Homes and Hearts

The wonderful thing about family is that they share a history;
This is also the most awful, as they share things we don't want to see.
It takes a lot of time and love to separate the joys from the pains,
Hopefully, coming to place where we can all relax again.

Our niece Marjerrie is visiting us in our mountain hideaway;
I'm already dreading the acceptance that she can't permanently stay.
But it is only a short time until we're reunited with old friends,
Those who never seem to be waiting for us to make amends.

We can relax in the presence of those who have known us forever;
They love us even when we're down and aren't feeling clever.
We have had to walk away from so many homes and fresh starts
I'm hoping that soon we'll settle in to that which fills our hearts.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fairness and Family

It's amazing to me how much being in the mountains makes me miss my people in bayou country. There are so many similarities in lifestyle and attitudes of the people of these isolated environments. Family ties are strong and deep, as are the values that families pass from one generation to the other.

Many of the people on the bayou still speak in a Cajun French patois; and many Appalachian mountain residents still say many words that are like a foreign language to those used to mainstream media's ways of pronunciation. If one can communicate competently with both a bayou boy and an Appalachian auntie, one may almost be considered bi-lingual.

These are people of the earth, those who learned from their ancestors and the Native Americans how to make the most of what their God gives them. These are people who like laughter, knowing that it's the best medicine for clearing out emotional cobwebs and beginning again when life gives them lemons.

These are also people who share their blessings with each other, knowing that a time may come that they will need the help of a neighbor in feeding their families or building their barns. Their memories are multi-generational; a goodness given by another is not soon forgotten, but neither are the wrongs.

Newcomers, who don't yet have the trust of the locals for checking out the reputations of others before engaging their services, are often preyed upon by some less-than-scrupulous scalawags. Grudges can go on for many generations, so a reputation for fairness is a powerful protection in hard times.

Churches and civic groups are still more important for sharing friendships than are any social media sites. The locals' measure of a man or woman is the extent to which they give back to their neighbors. And a willingness to work is still more respected than a doctoral degree.

I wonder, though, what will happen to these values now that so many are sending their children away to make their livings in the national and international marketplaces. The draw of an easy living promoted by our corporate consciousness is powerful, but what will happen when we no longer have any who know how to live happily off the land? Will greed become our new god?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Little Boy Joy

It is wonderful to watch him
As he goes for all the gusto to be got.
Whether he's eating an appetizer
Or stroking a pet that he likes a lot.

His is a quiet happiness,
Taken and savored in small bites.
As he enjoys life's gifts,
His eyes dance with pure delight.

He is not one to grieve
For that which to me seems lost;
Each joy has become a permanent part of him,
So he hardly admits to emotional costs.

Where do we leave behind
The eyes of little girls and boys,
And with those eyes leave behind
Our access to pure wonder and joy?

There are many in this world
Who proclaim it to be unmanly
To express wonder and delight
At all there is that we see.

They, in their jealousy,
Will attempt to destroy
Every gentle part of
The innocence of a girl or boy.

He steadfastly holds onto
The slow, even rhythms of life,
Refusing to accept that even tragedy
Has to lead to endless strife.

I'd like to learn from him
The way to be so thoroughly content.
Living in each blessed moment
Is surely that for which we're meant.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Helping Holly

Helping Holly prepare for a party;
Thankfully, no one has recently died.
One of our Party Into Paradise team
Is soon to become a bride.

We've become a bit of a family,
Though we're not blood relations.
It's nice to still be included
In the group's celebrations.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Snowbird Survival Skills

Well, we're heading home again
To our place in the forest.
Many friends have told us how much
Our presence has been missed.

We did not intend to leave
Without ever looking back.
Where friendship is concerned,
Continued connection is the fact.

We give apart of ourselves
To people with whom we work and play;
There will always be something
That beacons us to stay.

We are going back to work
To get our home ready to be
A cozy place for others
Who want, the mountains, to see.

We will become landlords
For the first time in our lives
We hear this is how many snowbirds,
The expense of two homes, survive.

Can we continue to have a home here,
And another real home there,
And people in both places
For whom we deeply care?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Like Laughter from the Seas.

Unfurled flags flying freely,
Boughs bending in the breeze,
Sunlight skipping on wild waters,
Like laughter from the seas.

We welcome cool crisp days,
While we await the summer's heat.
If only we could store these energies
That the summer will soon deplete.

Ah, the gifts of nature
Bring such joy before they're gone.
We should grab the gusto while we can,
For soon we will surely mourn.

But mourning is an opening
To the pleasures from our past;
It is a way to relive events
That were never meant to last.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Me and Thee

We're in our sixties;
It's time to break free
Of the fantasies of others
About what we should be.

It is true that some
Are part of our team;
Only those are allowed
To cause a scene.

When we step too
Far out of the line
That our whole network
Has worked to define.

We can advance to old age
In peace, and gracefully,
Surrounded by those that enjoy
The real me and thee.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mother's Day

I've had a wonderful day
Though nobody came to play;
Many called to say
Happy Mother's Day.

I have never been one
To save all the fun
For a day that was begun
And by a corporation run.

Most major holidays
Play out on the stage
Of those of a certain age
Who all read the same page.

Those who are so busy
Their lives making them dizzy
And are so often in a tizzy
Don't need other places to be.

So whenever they get a moment
To share life not otherwise spent,
They can tell me where they went
And what their holiday meant.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Family Foundations

Families are accountable one to the other,
Mother to father, sister to brother.
Families are like dominoes, standing in a row;
If one falls over, down the rest will go.

We must all do our parts to keep our families strong
To find a niche for each member to belong.
We must take the time to strengthen the links
And respect what even the weakest thinks.

We must support each other as we learn
The ways to address our deepest concerns.
This is the only way I have found
To keep our families on solid ground.

It is a tragedy that some cannot
Get past their ancestral rot.
These must seek a new tribe
In which they can successfully abide.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What I Want You to Do

Listen, just listen;
That's healing to me.
Look me in the eye;
Tell me what you see.
Let me read myself
Through the mirror of you.
That's all I need,
All I want you to do.