I’m Sorry But Thank You!

When Covid-19 shut our schools down suddenly, my heart went out to all the children. One day they were in school – and the next day they weren’t! For most children, school is not only a structure for academics, it is a stable environment for learning social skills and building peer relationships. It’s a comfortable routine and something to do! It’s understandable that during lock-down, kids were driving their parents crazy! They missed their friends and they yearned to be out of the house.

About a month into forced isolation, parents in our neighborhood realized the importance of socialization and independence for their children. A group of young boys started spending hours and hours playing together outdoors.

I live in the city, but in a naturally protected wooded area where trees are thick and creek beds lie in wait to be explored. Normally, the creek is easily accessible only in a few places. After months of intervention by these industrious boys, however, we now have an entire network of arteries that lead through the woods and down to the water!

We have ropes tied to trees so you can swing out into the water; we have deep, narrow holes along the creek bank to hold fishing poles; we have hills cleared of debris for sliding and rolling down; and we have remnants of often-used toys, shovels, and buckets.

All summer long I wanted to survey this maze of new paths, but there was always an “adventure builder” or two occupying the area and staking claim to the result of their hard work.

Our schools re-opened several weeks ago. Some children have resumed in-class learning while others are on-line students, but they all have a routine during the week which no longer allows for outdoor play. I could finally search that special realm they created!

Now, when I take my daily walk I don’t stay on the paved paths. No! I duck into every little passageway I come across. I am amazed at all the channels they forged through the trees and brush during a time when they struggled for something to do. To them I’d like to say I’m sorry for your covid-filled months of childhood interrupted but thank you for combating your boredom by conceiving and shaping the little-boy world I now enjoy!

It’s Only Words #13

The Introvert – 201

Standing in shadows

hoping not to be noticed

yet begging to be

This Haiku would lead you to believe that an introvert is a socially shy person. While that can be true, being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean social anxiety. It means people with this personality trait tend to be more inward focused. They turn more to internal thoughts, feelings and moods rather than external attention – like in this haiku which I posted here on August 6, 2017:

The Introvert – 101

She is just a girl

whose sunlight stays inside her

silently shining

Wishing a good day to all my fellow introverts!

It’s Only Words #9

Morning Light Scattered the Night

One of my favorite quotes is by F. Scott Fitzgerald:

“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”

While F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of America’s most celebrated writers, biographies about him and his wife, Zelda reveal flawed individuals fraught with pain. They had an extravagant lifestyle and spent much of their early marriage in pursuit of excess. His struggles with alcoholism and hers with mental illness led to sad lives for them both. But his ornate writing style is one of my favorites. He used elaborate descriptions, clever similes, and put many of his own life experiences into his fiction.

I love this quote from “The Great Gatsby”. It is a great example of his style:

“He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about… like the ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees.”

I have read books by and about F. Scott Fitzgerald, but one of my favorites is a work of fiction about his wife: “A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Therese Fowler.

It’s Only Words #6

Daybreak

Have you ever seen the dull, grey underbelly of the sky? It exposes itself when darkness fades and the sky is no longer black, nor is it blue; just before the sun arises to burn off the colorless night. As the sky becomes tinged with hopeful brightness… Poof! The dim underbelly disappears!

It’s Only Words #5

Where is Mother?

My mother seems to turn up in the strangest places! I usually find her roaming in the garden since it always was her favorite place to be. But sometimes, there she is – hiding in the pages of a book, in the melody of a song, or the flutter of every bird that nests in my tree. I often see her face when I look in the mirror, or in the clouds as they roll by on the breath of the wind. Now and then I find her standing in my kitchen when the aroma of something I’ve made reminds me of home. Instinctively, my arms open to embrace her only to realize she isn’t really there… so I brush off the illusion and embrace the day instead… because that’s what she would want me to do.

It’s Only Words #2 – for Mother’s Day

It’s Only Words #1

If a picture is worth a thousand words, are words worthless without a picture? I’m about to find out! I post a photo every week in a series called Foto Friday, but I’m adding a new series on Wednesdays that will feature only words. Think the Bee Gee’s song, Words: “It’s only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away”, although no attempt whatsoever will be made to steal your heart, I promise! Without further ado, here is the first post of It’s Only Words:

Today we are

teetering on a tightrope

stretched between yesterday and tomorrow

hanging on for dear life.