Walking Through Life

I walk through life,
wandering, wondering,
what really matters,
what makes life sacred
and why are so many people
angry and alone?

We all want and need
to be understood,
to be seen,
to be accepted.

What if…
instead of seeking
to be understood,
seen,
and accepted,

We instead choose…
to understand,
see,
and accept others?

What if…
instead of thinking,
me versus them,
or we versus them,
we realize we are
all them?

None of us are so
very different from
one another.

We are all on
a path to learn,
grow, share,
love.

Sometimes on our path,
we find another soul,
at the same place,
at the same time, and…
our soul smiles and…
breathes.

We learn from these souls,
we connect, learn,
grow, share, love.

Then we continue on
our paths, seeking
continually to see more,
learn more, love more.

If we never seek
to understand others,
to see them as we
want to be seen,
and never accept
others,

We will only grow
angry, embittered,
isolated.

What if…
instead we open up,
dare to love one another,
see each other,
and stop the madness?

Let us love one another,
seeking peace instead of
 seeking being
right.

For in the end,
“The love you take, is the love you make.”

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane

7/9/16

If you’re like me, you’re so tired of hearing of the hatred and violence on the news all the time. It’s heartbreaking. This poem arose out of that heartbreak. What if we tried something different? Quote at the end is taken from The Beatles’ song, “The End.” I’ve always loved that line in the song. It really resonates with me.

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Log Jam

 

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My life is so crowded,
It is jammed like an old dam,
when the river runs faster
than the narrow strait will allow.

Ideas, like logs, get bottlenecked.
Feelings move so swiftly,
it is hard to know which one
to let through first.

Chores stack up like cordwood,
all needing to be burned through,
but it’s hard to know which one
to pick up first.

People, like the ephemera of
the River of Life,
get stuck on the big logs,
awaiting a chance
to move through the dam,
free, happy, healthy,
floating or flowing
as they are meant to do.

Ideas, feelings, chores.
I guess the only thing to do,
like dealing with a jammed up dam,
is to remove the first log
and see what comes next.

Always do the next right thing,
for the person nearest you now.
Love one another.
If you have love,
the next right thing
for the next right person,
will come to you,
and the dam will become unjammed…

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
6/14/16


With 24/7 news coverage, work, home and family responsibilities, we can easily be overwhelmed. There are too many problems or opportunities for us to be able to focus on what comes next.

I’ve felt a wee bit overwhelmed as this week started with bad news about the shooting in Florida and the realization that so many people could be killed by one man with condemnation in his heart. I want to have all the answers so nothing like this happens ever again. I want to love family and friends more deeply effected by this tragedy. I want to know how to show my love and sympathy without seeming to be a rubbernecker looking at a horrendous car accident. Uncertainty slows down my responses, just like logs slow down and jam up in a beaver-built dam. Then I realize I still have clients to see, work to do, housework to catch up, writing to do, and the next thing I know I’m completely blocked. Ideas, emotions, work, housecleaning, all get jumbled together and stop. What to do, what to do? Set priorities. People come first. Then emotions and ideas. Then action. The dam unjams. I’m praying your personal dams remain clear of debris this week. If not, do the next right thing for the nearest next person. (This idea, I must admit, came from Leo Tolstoy.)

John 13:34 (NIV)

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (This command came from Jesus.)

Peace and love, Elaine

Waking Up at 4:49 AM (dVerse Haibun Monday)

Monday at dVerse Poet’s Pub, they were writing Haibun to the theme of an ordinary day–one paragraph and a Haiku that includes reference to nature and a season. I’m two days late and a dollar short, but hopefully I’m not too late to participate.

Each morning I feel a stirring by my side and then hear a fake cough or sneeze from my 12 pound bundle of Chihuahua mix joy known as Buddy. This is his first signal of telling me it’s time to get up. I keep my eyes closed until I hear him fake cough a couple more times and comes up to touch my face with his nose. I open my eyes and say, “Right on time, aren’t you Buddy? Give me just a minute.” He immediately goes to perch on the end of the bed, waiting for me to sit up, put on my glasses, and then grab his collar. I stand up and Buddy stretches his neck out, tilting his head to make it easy to slip the collar onto his neck. I pick him up with one hand under his belly and lower him to the floor where he immediately scampers to the back door in the kitchen. I open it to let him out to nature’s call, feeling the cool moist spring air rush in and seeing the fingers of dawn peeking over the horizon. Time for coffee!

Cool moist air wafts by.

Fingers of dawn peek over.

Spring time has broken. 

D. Elaine Wood-Lane 

6/8/16 

Be A Hero!

This is Buddy Lane. He’s nearly 11 years old, weighs 12 pounds, and is a Chihuahua mix mutt who adopted me at a truck stop in Texline, Texas when I stopped there to buy gas and get something to eat. He rescued me on a cold, wintry day for purposes of stress management and love. Today, however, he was a hero to our cat, Missy.

I was sitting in my chair after a shift of caregiving this morning. I was catching up on news, both personal and otherwise and getting very sleepy. From the backyard I suddenly heard the howls and growls of at least two cats starting a fight. I could tell immediately that one of the cats was our Missy, who is at least 10 years old herself. (Isn’t it funny how we can always identify the cries and sounds of our babies and pets, even when there are others crying or howling too?) Buddy went berserk! He ran to the back door and started barking. He ran so fast he ran into the glass of the back door, which is a French patio door. I went to let him out, thinking, erroneously, that the cat fight was over because I couldn’t hear the cats any longer. Buddy shot across the yard to a lilac bush in the southeast corner of our yard and jumped right into the middle of it. He was like the Tasmanian Devil in high gear! He’s growling, barking and chasing another creature, but I wasn’t sure whether it was a cat or a mountain lion. It was that impressive of a fight! Suddenly one of the next door neighbor’s bully cats springs out of the bush with Buddy right behind her, barking all the way. He chased her over the fence and then patrolled the fence for an additional 10 minutes to ensure she wasn’t returning. He then went back to the lilac bush at that point and out comes Missy. She looked embarrassed and shaken up. Buddy immediately goes over to make sure she’s ok, sniffing her all over (his favorite thing!) and then comes towards me with his little chest puffed out and a smile on his face. Yes, dogs smile!  He was swaggering like a teenage boy who just got a date to the prom. I was so proud of him!

If a 12 pound, 11 year old little dog can be a hero to others, guess what? You can be too! Don’t just watch others be bullied, cowed, and abused, whether they are next door, two counties over, or even out of the country. Do something! Jump into the middle of that lilac bush and get involved defending and protecting those you love, those you like and even those you don’t know yet! You don’t have to physically fight, but don’t be afraid to jump into the fray and help others. Loving others and being loved back is what being human is all about. Well, that and having babies so the human race can continue, but that’s another issue for another day.

Be a hero to someone today and tomorrow and every day for the rest of your life! Wear a cape and keep it a secret if it makes you feel more empowered, but just don’t stand on the sidelines because you’re afraid to get involved. Pray for others. Encourage them. Find a need and fill it. I promise you there are more than enough needs in this world for everyone to have something to do!

Love to all,

Elaine

P.S. Missy is fine! She’s currently taking a nap under her favorite lilac bush.  😉

Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT)

36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

 

Resting Is Important

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Looking out the window into utter tranquility.

Resting is important to all of us, especially in our go, go, go society where it sometimes feels like you only are recognized or feel validated if you can say you are SO busy. I remember a time when I was truly busy, but I was also adding things onto my “to-do list” every day that weren’t really essential or even necessary. Was it really necessary that I reorganize my files for the new year with new colored tabs every single year? Was it really necessary to change my bed sheets every seven days like clockwork, especially when I was the only one sleeping on them and I only used about a 3×5 foot space? (This was when I was single, I should point out.) There are many things we do that are important, but there are many things we do that have been handed down to us from either experts or our parents or both. (My mother was the wash your sheets every seven days queen and had a whole other host of household rules that, quite frankly, were unnecessary and exhausting.)

For a while in the 1990’s and early 2000’s I was really caught up in the Stephen Covey organization/calendar/setting goals system. I faithfully wrote every single thing down in my pretty little organizer that I felt I had to do each day. I made goals, I made appointments with myself, I put all of my sons’ activities on my calendar, all of my singles’ group church activities on my calendar, and even times when I would be at my parents’ home, helping them out with some housecleaning and just visiting them. (They were elderly and lived across the street from me at the time.) Once I had every single little thing that I did in my life written down on that calendar and wrote down my “to-do list” every day, I looked at it all and immediately felt completely overwhelmed! I thought to myself that there was no possible way I could do everything that I had put on that calendar or reach the goals I had set for myself. You know what’s funny about all of that? I had been doing all of those things for quite a while and handling them just fine until I saw how much I was doing! Hahaha!

My point is that life is life. There are times when we are busier and have more responsibilities and there isn’t a lot we can do about it at the time. There are other times when we’re not as busy, but don’t wish to look unproductive so we add things to our lives and our calendars to feel more productive, more involved, and more important, quite frankly. Why do we do that? Do we really have to be busy 24/7 to matter, to make a difference, or to earn other people’s admiration or to earn our salvation from God? NO! As a matter of fact, it says in Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV) “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” http://bible.com/114/eph.2.8-10.nkjv

Yes, we have responsibilities and things to do, but there are things which God has prepared beforehand for us to do and there are times when we need to rest. We have to rest in order to be able to continue to do the things God has prepared for us to do. He doesn’t want us to be busy just to be busy. He wants our work to be purposeful, in obedience to Him, and for us to rest in between times. How often have you said to yourself over the years, “I’m going to either get up early or stay up late to study God’s word and pray?” Yet most of us never do either of those things on a regular basis. I’m not preaching here, because I’m just as bad as anyone when it comes to this particular topic. As I said above, there was a time when I was busy, it seemed, 24/7. If I had even a moment of slowing down or resting, I felt guilty. Guilty for crying out loud! Even God rested on the seventh day after creating the universe. Jesus regularly went apart from the crowds to meditate and pray. Do you think perhaps we take ourselves a little too seriously and need to give ourselves a rest and respite from time to time? I do. I think most people in the developed world have become so busy and attached to their electronic gizmos that we rarely just stop, sip a beverage, sit down and just be. How will we ever get to spend any time with God if we’re contstantly on the go? Didn’t God Himself say, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (NKJV).

We have to have a balance of work time and rest time. If we never take the time to rest, do you know what happens? We wear our bodies out and suddenly we are forced to rest. How do I know this? Because that is exactly what happened to me. I managed to always complete everything on my list back in the day and then one day I was unable to get out of bed. I felt like a ton of bricks had fallen on me. I had no energy, every place, space, and part of my body hurt and I felt so ridiculous. I had things to do, places to go, people to see! God said, “Nope! We’re going to spend some time together, you and I. You’re going to be still for a while.” It turns out that I have fibromyalgia. Now, for the most part, it is controlled by medication, but I still have to be careful and organize outings and workloads carefully with periods of time to rest. If I don’t, well, let’s just say it’s not pretty!

So, all of this is to say, this morning it is cool and overcast here in Colorado Springs. I opened my windows, have my cat sitting on the window sill, have a cup of coffee in a jaunty orange mug by my side and am enjoying the sounds of all the birds. God is good, isn’t he? He gave me the perfect time to rest and enjoy the morning.

Peace and love, Elaine

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Days and Stitches

Stitch by stitch,
colors coming together
in a mosaic of beautiful tints,
a new row for each day.

This time the days
are tinted as temperatures
and skies.

One year,
each day would
have been all hot
yellows, oranges and reds.

Even the cool days
that year were filled
with the heat and longing
of new infatuation and
the promise of more.

Now the days have turned
to steadiness and true blue love,
with a mixture of heat waves
moving through.

This year’s mosaic
of tints is perfect.

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
5/17/16

West Texas Twang/NaPoWriMo Day 18

Doris Elaine Wood!
Where in the world are you?
It’s gettin’ dark out there
and supper’s ready!

I’m comin’, I’m comin’ Mother!
I was down the street at Sonya’s.

When I call you to supper,
I better not have to call you again!
What were y’all doin’ anyway?

We were just watchin’ the sun set.
It’s so pritty tonight.

The same sun sets at your house,
you silly girl!
Go wash your hands
before comin’ to the table.

I can’t see the sunset from inside
our house, Mother.
None of our windas face west!

Oooh, it smells so good in here!
What are we havin’ for supper?

Sammon paddies, mashed taters,
sop, green beans and biscuits.
Oh, and chili sauce if you want
some on your patatoes and sop.

It has been so many years,
since this nightly conversation
took place, but I remember
the accents, the sound of
Mother’s voice, and the lovely
aromas rising from our supper table
like it was yesterday.

I don’t say everything as I did,
but many words apparently
I still pronounce with the same
Texas twang that I did back then.

You can take the girl out of West Texas,
but you can’t take the West Texas out of the girl!

© Doris Elaine Wood-Lane
4/18/16


The challenge today is to write a poem that incorporates “the sound of home.” Think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore.

Definitions:
Taters (potatoes)
Patatoes (potatoes)
Sop (gravy)
Sammon (salmon)
Paddies (patties or more correctly, croquettes)
Biscuits (non-yeast rolls)
Chili Sauce (a relish that looks like picante sauce, but is sweeter and has no hot peppers in it)

Elaine