Some personal thoughts at the beginning of a new year, and a poem

A new year is here and I feel very grateful to be alive. I am ‘walking’ hand in hand with January carrying optimism and hope, both vital for my well-being, and while I am not wishing away the days, I am very much looking forward to the springtime when I can once more greet the fresh air and spend precious time in its loving company.

I don’t make resolutions but I do take a look at certain aspects of my life and make a few adjustments here and there. MS obviously plays big role in this these days and I need to keep everything about it in perspective while firmly facing the truth of what it is.

Everyone with this condition lives with it on a very personal level and no two people are the same either symptom-wise or affected in the same way by the same symptoms others may experience. Hence I will stop reading ‘miracle’ stories of those who are leaping out of wheelchairs because of which MS friendly diet they have decided to follow. This only leads to frustration and hours of beating myself up for ‘failing’, as my particular condition progresses.

The disease of MS is not given the name ‘progressive’ as a flimsy decoration; it is what it says it is. However, I have spent many hours researching diet and it can and does definitely help, either by providing a much improved sense of well-being, mostly that of an increase in energy levels, either physical or mental and/or possibly slowing down progression, but the latter is, of course, not evidence based as yet. So I have embarked on a specific diet worked out by myself for myself that suits my needs and one that is working very well for me. Exercise is also essential and there again we can only do what is within our own physical capabilities, even if that means a few gentle stretches; it all helps.

My main and firm resolve for this year is to hand nothing over to others that I can still do for myself however difficult it may seem. But there is a fine line between stubbornness and determination; they are, I believe, on opposite sides of the same coin and I will try to recognise when I am in danger of flipping that coin to my detriment.

I wish you all a peaceful and content year ahead full of those two vitals of optimism and hope.

Below is a poem from my new book, Dancing in the Rain which hopefully will be available on Amazon soon. There is now just one formality which is taking longer than expected.

Be Awake

When you walk along the path
do not be unaware of how
your legs are moving,
how your hands are free to wave,
or oblivious to the tender
wilderness that bends and sways
but never breaks.
And don’t just hear, but listen
to the comforting call
of a collared dove as he
tips his hat to say hello
though some may say he only squawks.
And the wood pigeons too;
listen, hear how
their song is different from the dove.

I’m not saying stop being busy
because that’s on the to-do list of life.
All I’m saying is don’t be unaware,
don’t sleep through it all,
don’t miss anything.
Be awake.

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Change

I sense a closing in the air,

a tying up of loose ends

in readiness to say farewell,

to let go,

and I feel sad.

Summer is now just a smile

that returns to my face

on grey dreary mornings.

Maybe one day I will

accept change without

judgement or fuss,

without attachment

as nature does,

without a need to cling on.

Or maybe I will just

keep spinning the

wheel of suffering and

remain a victim

in my own futile war.

Escape

Laid bare upon the grass
this tiny thing,
already viewed as prey
though not yet equipped
for fight or flight,
too much demanded to soon
of a newly formed heart
still rehearsing its beat.

I form a cradle,
makeshift nest
in the palm of my hand
where it sits motionless,
stunned by an overwhelming
iceberg of fear.
How can anything this small
be so complete?
I feel privileged for the
closeness of the moment,
this timeless piece of time,
caress the silky back of
miniscule speckles,
underbelly a mass of fluffy down,
frantic pulse of new life
determined not to quit.
A powerful silence
as we both wait;
I could burst with love.

Minutes pass;
fear finally abates,
a cue to unfold my hand.
A nearby buddleia bush
sways in the evening breeze,
protective arms open wide,
a bivouac of branches
for a small handful of life
waiting to soar.
The world is a big place.

Fluttery Summer Whispers

There’s so much commotion
in the garden today,
nature’s busy town square;
eager bees deep in petunia hearts,
moments of shared passion –
summer’s lust.
Ornamental grasses wave,
coaxed into Chinese whispers
by a playful breeze,
butterflies dizzy with
fluttery-giggle-fits.
A red admiral is stunned;
it’s all too much for her,
fragile wings quiver, exhausted
and she stops, completely used up.
I fear she must be dead,
approach her gently, tearful
holding a sorrowful summer prayer.
But she startles me,
opens her rested wings,
snatches it from me –
kindly of course –
and flies off into the quieter blue.
Perhaps she will save it
for a rainy day.

Slip Sliding

 

This morning when I woke up
I could feel it;
it’s been hovering for weeks,
inescapable feeling of losing grip,
oil-coated life slipping
through slithery-dithery hands.
Dependant on so many
for so much,
each doing their
not-good-enough best
because it’s not my way;
simultaneous overspill of gratitude;
Thank you for this, thank you so much for that;
I appreciate all your help, I really do…

 I feel confused,
angry
and sad.
None of this was in the plan,
not mine.
Mine was to fly free,
up high among birds in a limitless sky,
oyster-world opportunities, well-earned.
So whose plan is this,
and why?
Or is it simply nature
being as cruel as it can be kind?

Fall(ing) Leaves

Image

Tinged with weariness of defeat,
they cling to a life that’s done
and wait.
Scudding clouds pass,
swift with purpose.

They fall,
and as their melancholy
greets the earth, rest.
They, too, still have purpose.

All Will Be Well

All shall be well
and all shall be well
and all manner of things
shall be well
Julian of Norwich

All Will Be Well

I’m not sure where my head was
when I bought the books,
recipes to die for, illustrated,
when even a spoon can argue
its way out of grip.

I think there was a quiver of loss,
last-ditch attempt to hold on,
ache of desire and grief for what was;
sore fingers grappling rock
before the fall.

But wanting leads us down a path
of sufferance,  starves the spirit,
sucks it dry.
Time to let go, embrace a
new normal, accept what is,
here in the moment;
an exposition, prelude to the next phase,
knowing that

wind will still blow secrets to the birds,
sun tease with games of hide and seek.
Rain will still fall soft on arid soil
or pelt like Tungsten darts,
and night stay true to promise of the day,
dewy grass to loosen rooted fears,
new breath,
a hint of trust.

Wendy L. Macdonald

My faith is not shallow because I've been rescued from the deep.

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