Some find freedom in romantic love, and others find freedom in releasing the dream. For decades, I nurtured the dream of love like a precious pet in a golden cage, feeding it fantasies and hope, but in 2017 I let it go. I opened the door and the dream soared out and away, circling around as if to be sure, and then taking off until it was a speck against the azure sky and finally gone. Once in a while, I find a feather to remind me that I used to long for love. But now I am free.
I won’t get to light 100 candles for my darling mommy. Though she didn’t even make it to 77, I never stop thinking of her. She was beautiful, smart, creative, energetic, and funny. Generous with her time. Loving and kind. She loved me so much and she loved my daughters more than anything. She would have been thrilled beyond belief to know she has two adorable great-grandchildren. She loved to garden, cook, and sew. She enjoyed Johnny Cash, boysenberry pie, and John Wayne movies. I love you, Mom, and I miss you every day of my life. Happy Birthday!
A cold October wind rustled the brittle grasses, and she shifted her backpack on her aching shoulders, wondering if it was all worthwhile. She’d left one unhappiness for another. Perhaps it was better to return to the abuse in order to have a cozy home, rather than continue on with her lonely trek to… what? As she debated, bathed in uncertainty, a festival of balloons sailed into the skies, dazzling the apricot dawn with their bold colors. Up and away, they floated, and she felt her heart lift at the sight. Maybe she could stay a night or two…
She bought him a cupcake for his birthday and it was too messy to eat in the car. It was dense chocolate cake, rich and sticky, topped with thick cream cheese frosting.
He said he’d bring it home, have it later, in his office. She wondered if he’d actually eat it or throw it out. “I’ll eat it. I promise,” he said.
She wanted to believe him; he wouldn’t lie about a cupcake. He never lied, not really. Sometimes he meant for things to happen, but they just couldn’t. That wasn’t his fault though. That’s just the way life is.
During a time between earth and dreams, we drive carelessly into the sun. We don’t discuss plans unseen, who we are, or right from wrong. So many things have been left undone, but the day dawns green with bells unrung and off we go as if we were young.
When the news is bleak and the flesh is weak, the open road is a siren song. The more we drive, the less we feel, and we hear only the music underneath our wheels. This interlude can’t go on for long, but all we have are moments one by one.
The taste of spring, tart on my tongue: berries look sweet but make me pucker. You can’t judge a fruit by its cover, nor a lover by his honeyed lies. The snows of winter held more sugar than this cold goodbye. Why did he even bother showing up just to make me cry?
I take solace in the minty green of tender leaves, the scent of rain on the breeze, the clouds that don’t pretend to be anything but grey. Soon the sun will come again and melt this pain, but alas not today.
The bee buzzed a secret to the rose, who swore she’d never tell. But the days grew cold and her head drooped low; the burden became too heavy for her withering petals. She whispered the words to a vagabond crow–what could it hurt, this wandering bird? But he sold the news for a scatter of seeds. The tree promised to keep the secret to herself. She did until the sweet southern wind came around once more, tapping at her door. Her blushing leaves gave the secret up to him.
This is why there’s no honey this sad, sad spring.
I still have a warm winter jacket from Chicago, and all it’s ever needed was a replacement zipper. I don’t wear it often here in SoCal, but when I do I marvel how an item was constructed so well that it’s lasted over 35 years, through many cleanings. Nowadays we throw everything away. Clothes and shoes are made cheaply and we get tired of them besides. Electronics and cars become obsolete and we’re forced to upgrade them with newer models. And it’s easy enough to pop onto a dating site and search for a replacement for your current partner.
One of the best things I ever did was give up dating. Five years on, and I’m so much less stressed. I no longer worry about what some man will think of my hair, my clothes, my face, my body, my interests (or lack thereof). If someone is judging me for these things, I don’t know about it, and it is bliss. Maybe some women don’t experience dating like this, but I did, and now I’ve made my escape. Freedom from worry over other people’s opinions is the best thing ever. I’m so happy I made this smart choice.
The jungle exploded in squawks and screams as the birds beat their wings and the monkeys leaped from vine to vine. Charles absorbed the cacophony, sweat dripping down his spine, took a deep breath, and smiled. This is what he came here for, escaping the corporate madness, to become one with nature and explore the mysteries of the Amazon. He noted the vivid colors and pungent odors, taking a moment to make notes in his journal. As he slipped the book back in his pack, a lizard slithered over his boot. Silly creatures. Behind Charles, the jaguar approached silently.