Footprints

I have a love/hate relationship with words. Words on my “do not like” list include nightmare, exploit and laundry (and hate, so I really shouldn’t use it here). Then there are words that just make me feel good – like raindrops, whimsy and cookies. Another of my favorite words is footprints. It always reminds me of that poem about two sets of footprints becoming one when God carries you through difficult times. I love that! It also reminds me of the poem I wrote several years ago about my father. I used the word “footprints” in it, so whenever I hear that word – my thoughts immediately go there. Here is the poem:

MY FATHER, MY SEAGULL

I felt myself

lifted away by a mighty seagull.

I helped him scan the waves in search of food.

I held on tight

as he swooped down towards the water,

then suddenly, we headed out to sea.

He caught an updraft

and we soared higher and higher.

He didn’t even need to flap his wings.

We watched the waves

try to overtake each other, yet they

always seemed to find their way to shore; as did we.

He landed gently.

I let go of his neck and slid down slowly.

He watched me leave my footprints in the sand.

Then he left me.

I tried to catch him, but I couldn’t, so I cried

just like I did the day they told me Daddy died.

For Ragtag Daily Prompt: Footprint

It’s Only Words #11

My Night World

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Sometimes I can’t sleep at night. It’s nothing new. Back when I was working and raising my family, stress and worry about life’s everyday problems seemed to weigh on me like an anchor. When my daughter was a teenager, I rarely slept. After my mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and failing fast, I would lie awake most nights. Then it was my husband’s snoring that kept me awake. But eventually my daughter grew up, my mother moved to heaven, I retired from my job and my husband suddenly stopped snoring! I had no excuse not to sleep! That’s when I discovered I simply choose to be awake. I enjoy being up in the middle of the night when all others in my world are sound asleep.

I love my house at night. It appears to be spotless and tidy! During the day, little things like crumbs on the counter top and scuffs on the floor bother me to distraction. They seem to scream “clean me” until I do just that! But at night I see no crumbs on the counter, no scuffs on the floor. There is no dust, nothing is out of place and my windows are squeaky-clean! The mundane tasks of the day don’t even whisper my name in the middle of the night.

I swear some nights the moon shines through the window over my front door brighter than the sun ever does, even on the most dazzling summer day, and the shadows it creates are just different somehow! More magical! More alive! The grandfather clock in the dining room that simply “tick-tock’s” during the day is a virtual symphony in the middle of the night! The noises of the house are special.  They are my friends, in the night, when we are alone!

I like to write in my night world. Words just come alive in my mind, kind of like those shadows and sounds do. I can come up with words that don’t even exist in my vocabulary during the day or when I am face to face with another person. People tend to intimidate me, but words don’t! They don’t judge. They are not harsh. They are not condescending. They do not disenchant me unless I want them to.

When I can no longer keep my eyes open, I turn off the lamp beside my chair and quietly make my way to the bedroom. Well, except for that night I ran smack into a chair! “Oh, excuse me” I mumbled, a bit bewildered! Once I realized I had just apologized to a solid, inanimate object, I knew it was way past time for me to go to bed!

Exhaustion takes over once or twice a week and I go to bed at a reasonable hour. So tired I have managed to become that I don’t wake up during the night at all. In the morning after such a night I am briefly disappointed that I didn’t get to visit my night world. Then it hits me! Tonight!  Yes, tonight I won’t need sleep! Tonight I have something to look forward to!