“Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given–when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.”
― Joan Winmill Brown
Just Jazzy Advent Calendar
It’s Red Shoe Day Two at Breathing Space. I would like to scratch off the bit of advice up there that says to wear more skirts, but other than that, this is a great list.
I had shiny red mary-jane buckle up shoes when I was a kid. There was never a pair of shoes before or since that I loved so much. My sister and I got matching red shoes at the same time, so mine were handed down to her and she got to wear red shoes for twice as long. Or maybe not, because she was very hard on shoes. That’s what our mom told her to explain why she had to wear sturdy brown oxfords to school. They were so ugly we both had a good cry over the unfairness of it all.
The beautiful red shoes made the most delightful racket when we walked. I remember clomping around on the hardwood floor in the living room until mom told me to stop. Then I clomped up and down the staircases instead. I thought tap dancing shoes must be the most marvelous of footwear. I had no desire to learn how to dance, but I might have professed an avid interest in it if I thought that would get me even noisier shoes.
Is this where my love of red began? And are little girls born with a thing for shoes? I think the answer to both these questions is a big loud yes.
Dear Life of Mine,
I don’t know what I’d do without you. Well, I guess deep down I do know that without you there would simply be no me. That would suck. I know sometimes I say that YOU suck, but of course I don’t mean it. Not really.
Mostly I love you to pieces.
I love you when you’re busy and crazy and tell me to hurry up, but I love you more when you’re laid back and mellow and lazy. I love how you make me breathe the air, see and touch and hear and know the incredible beauty of all the other lives around me.
I love that you are funny and strange and complicated. I love your ups and downs and detours. I love your crazy joy. I even love your sadness. Your bad bits teach me to embrace and appreciate your happy side and all the good things that fill you up and make you so worth living.
I love that you are beautiful and good. Sometimes I think you’re hard, but then I look around and see others who are not so lucky and not so blessed.
I am so very grateful to have you. I know how fragile you are, and I try every day to do the right things so that you’ll be around for a long, long time.
I know one day we’ll have to part. But let’s not let fear and worry kill the fun we’re having in each small moment, okay? I know you will always give me a kick in the ass when I need it and that’s okay. I will still love you with all my heart. And all my might. For however long we have together.
I love you, my wonderful life, no matter how you may change in the blink of an eye; right here, right now, just the way you are.
Prompts For The Promptless: Sometimes called a billet-doux, or a love letter, a love note is a personal letter to a loved one expressing affection. The loved one does not necessarily have to be animate, human, alive, or known.
Weekly Writing Challenge: Blogging Events
“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”
― Iris Murdoch
“Why do they not teach you that time is a finger snap and an eye blink, and that you should not allow a moment to pass you by without taking joyous, ecstatic note of it, not wasting a single moment of its swift, breakneck circuit?” (Pat Conroy)
One is for bad news.
Two is for mirth.
Three is a wedding.
Four for a birth.
Five is for riches.
Six is a thief.
Seven a journey.
Eight is for grief.
Nine is a secret.
Ten is for sorrow.
Eleven is love.
Twelve is joy on the morrow.
Yes, I freely admit it – I count crows. Someone made up that informative little blurb about what the numbers mean for the benefit of superstitious people like me. Having discovered this poem (and others like it) I now forever find myself taking the words seriously and assigning deep meaning to having big black birds land in my backyard.
A few days ago there were five crows strutting about back there. I’ve gotten used to the magpies visiting, but don’t often see the rest of the Corvids family (which includes ravens, crows and blue jays.) These particular family members are all black, a little scruffy looking, and tricky ominous shape-shifting soul-eating scavengers. Really, you probably won’t find that description in your bird book, but they do have a reputation. They are loud, rambunctious, cunning thieves with a plethora of different calls, all of which sound like “Go to Hell” in crow-speak. A group of them is called a “murder” because (according to me, with no scientific back up for proof) it always sounds like they are sufficiently pissed off to kill the next thing that crosses their path.
I could also come up with explanations for a jury or an unkindness of ravens; a parliament of crows, rooks or owls; a cast of hawks, a knot of frogs, and a skulk of foxes. But maybe I’ll save that for another day when those things present themselves for view from my kitchen window. A pride of lions, a gaggle of geese, an absence of waiters, an ostentation of peacocks and a brace of orthodontists are all self-explanatory.
This morning there were five crows on my front lawn. I had a twilight zone moment. These birds are definitely trying to tell me something. It could be simply that there are great snacks in my grass, or maybe it’s something much more important, like information on the secrets of balance within my soul (because, you know, that could come from anywhere) or timely advice about purchasing a lottery ticket. Five is for riches, after all.
Crows are not always harbingers of doom apparently, although I tend to associate them with warnings of danger – death, accidents, sickness, bad weather. It’s all that gloomy black I guess. But these birds are also considered by some to be the keepers of sacred law and the mysteries of creation, divine messengers here to guide and protect, bringers of knowledge, seekers of the gates of the supernatural. Squawking indicators of a change to come. You never know with crows.
As guardians through the cycle of death and rebirth, the scintillating rainbow
colors in their dark wings remind us that even in the midst of darkness we
have the power to touch the light.
(Medicine Cards, Jamie Sams and David Carson)
The appearance of crows has long been associated with death omens, dead bodies, battlefields and cemeteries because they are thought to circle in large numbers above sites where animals or people will soon die. The other side of that is being considered the guardians of ceremonial magic and healing. Crows have been used for divination and luck, both good and bad.
Somewhere I read that crow medicine people are masters of illusion. We should not try to figure crow out. It is the power of the unknown at work, and something special is about to happen. And that’s all we really need to know about that.
As if that will stop me from counting them. And constantly checking now for the fabulous five to show up for the third time.
Weekly Writing Challenge Detail a three to five step story or process, and illustrate each of the steps with something visual.
I have been practicing these Five Steps and having Good Mornings for a lot of years. Time to spread some joy.
The reason you are able to stumble down the hallway and into the kitchen and start your coffee brewing with one finger is because you got the whole thing ready to go the night before, in anticipation of being in No Mood to do much more than that before having your first cup of coffee. I don’t know what life before coffee means. I don’t think there is any such a thing.
I own four of these monster mugs, in a variety of colors. Red is my favourite, but this orange one will have to do today because all the other ones are in the dishwasher. At least I hope that’s where they are. Frankly, they could be anywhere.
Hazelnut cream is NOT good for you, but then neither is coffee, really, so don’t worry about it.
If you are very observant you will have already noticed that I do not own a coffee carafe. I never met one that I could pour coffee from without making a big mess, and do you know how easy it is to break one of those stupid glass things? And how hard they are to replace? There are some stressful things that can be removed from your life very simply, and I suggest you give the elimination of the coffee carafe some serious thought.
Look out the kitchen window. Smile at the mountain of snow and the bird feeder being guarded by your very own freaked out nasty squirrel. It doesn’t matter that the sun isn’t shining. It doesn’t matter that the temperature is still below freezing. It doesn’t matter that you have to get ready for work soon. Oh, wait. That one does matter.
I hope you got all this, because if you did it right, you will want to do it all over again tomorrow. Enjoy your coffee. Enjoy your day.