Time Stands Still

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/daily-prompt-stillness/

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Today’s daily prompt is about time standing still.  Time seems to be going faster and faster with each passing year.  But there is a certain time of day in the summer when it feels as if time pauses ever so slightly.  It is in the early evening, after 5 o’clock and before sunset.  The breeze is perfect, the clouds are moving and the shadows are long.  Whenever possible, I stop what I’m doing at that time and sit outside.  I watch nature, the children in the neighborhood, my kids.  Each night brings a different sunset depending on the weather and the colors can range from relaxing gray to popping hot pink.  As if my sitting there will prolong time, I stay on my chair until it’s dark and the mountain air has brought a chill.  Everyone has gone inside and I’m being summoned too but for that time I breathe in the air of a new night and imagine that time is standing still.

Here is a very short time lapse video:

https://vine.co/v/hJ67EgbnJh6

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Shadows and Sunlight

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When I step out of the shower my favorite thing to do is to dig my face into my towel and breath in through my nose. I smell my home, my life, clean, comfort. When I was near the shore I smelled beach, moisture, vacation, humidity. Life is wonderful and heartbreaking, amazing and fleeting.

I’m sitting in a room surrounded by treasured belongings that were once my husband’s aunt’s. The wooden trinkets and books make me feel she is actually here with me. The photo albums I made for her are now here. I can’t read the lines I wrote to her inside of those albums without fighting the sadness away. Holding her antique books makes me want to sit and read every page, touch each leather binding.

All of the special things we accumulate in life; one day they will be left behind. Special and treasured as the keep sakes are, they symbolize our defeated impermanence and the victorious passing of time. I know the glass is half full, none of it escapes me, not the blessings nor the heartaches. Still we are all going to be gone one day and the beautifully bound leather books will be here with the ivory candle sticks and the small wooden horse.

I once visited a friend who was moving into a house that came with all of the belongings of the deceased woman who lived in it prior to my friend purchasing it. The woman who had passed away had no one to claim her belongings, not one living family member or dear friend. My daughter asked if she could keep a few things she liked that day and when I see those things I am reminded of that woman who died alone. That woman’s white and blue painted cookie tin is in our kitchen and when it catches my eye it speaks to me.

“Loss and Possession, Death and Life are one,
There falls no shadow where there shines no sun.”
-Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

Love Rocks

Daily Prompt: Viral | The Daily Post
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/daily-prompt-first/

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This daily prompt challenge is to write a piece for the New York Post that will be the first many will know of me. When my son is prompted to write something about himself he sarcastically writes “I like cheese” and it annoys teachers and family alike. But as I sit here to write something from my heart one of the first things that comes to mind is “I love rocks.” Maybe that is because I have been on our family vacation collecting rocks for days but when I’m not on vacation I also pick up rocks from beside the river, on a nature trail or just outside my front door. My husband gave me a pendant years ago that says “love rocks” referring to our love or a shared love but it also applies to me in the way that I do love rocks. The thought of these natural objects having been here for hundreds,
thousands or millions of years before us fascinates me to no end. All of the passing thoughts, plans or concerns that the average person keeps in their head seem to shrink when I reflect on the many years and circumstances it has taken any one of these rocks to become the size, shape or texture that it is today. As we live our lives and think that the things in them are so critical, countless facets of nature are just being and many of them will continue doing so long after we are gone, much like some of them were doing long before we arrived. How many families has the hearty tree behind the time-shared lake cabin seen? That sturdy, majestic tree sits behind the cabin’s kitchen door, right where every family loads their food in and out of the cabin and like the smooth sea rocks on the shore, it will be there weathering winters and summers after many families are no longer vacationing at the lake cabin, or are even alive. Feeling the bark on that tree makes me nostalgic and I think of the people who were here before me and also ponder on those who have yet to start their journey here. Like the tree at the cabin, the rounded rocks I pick up in different places remind me of the passing of time and our place in it as people. I rub the smooth surfaces of the rocks and in my heart I feel like a little girl who wonders what it is all about. And I love rocks. -smilingbug

Polaroid Moments in Life

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There is tavern near town that pins up polaroid photos of patrons. Some of the snapshots are a few years old, others are from 15 plus years ago. If you start looking at the many polaroids on the wall, you become hypnotized by the faces and can not stop moving along to see the next one. Some people in the photos are laughing, others smirking, children are proudly holding up a menu or posing with their birthday cake. So many stories, so many moments in life. We all know the many cliches about time: seize the moment, life is fragile, every day is a gift. Yet the days pass and the responsibilities of life fill them up completely. A week turns to a month, next thing another year blows by, another birthday, yet another holiday season, vacation and so forth. When I look back at my old photos I remember thinking “this shirt looks awful” or “I didn’t workout once this week,” plus all sorts of meaningless critiques. Then, many years later I see those photos and think “wow, I was young” or “I remember that blouse, I wish I had it now.” It’s like a cruel trick the way one can get caught up in nothingness yet is wanting to treasure the moment, then just like that, twenty years have gone by. Looking at those polaroids at the tavern, the children in these photos are grown now, the patrons are older, maybe some are gone or have fought battles with health issues. The journeys that have been undertaken and the years that have passed are poignant in these images. Looking at each one, the subjects are happy, dining out, celebrating with loved ones, their joy is shining through each snapshot. Yet the day each photo was taken, many of them were undoubtedly coping with something in life. If they reflect on the photo now, they would likely remember it as a wonderful moment. The delicate balance of being human and capturing the joy of life each day is always with us. One of my hopes for the time I have here: appreciating more and fretting less. Who is with me? -smilngbug