We’ve never met in person before. We’re friends of words and Internet connections. Yet here we are with our spouses—six of us in all—sitting at a table on the porch of Valley Green Inn. And talking like we’ve known each other for years—as I suppose we have.
I wish the weather was better, so that they could see the ducks and geese swimming on Wissahickon Creek, or that we might see horseback riders trotting down Forbidden Drive. We’ve not had rain in weeks, but today we have a downpour. Like a scene from a Fellini movie, a unicyclist pedals past us. We’re sheltered on the wide porch until the wind shifts, forcing us indoors. We drink coffee, our words and laughter rise with the steam, joining other long ago scents and sounds embedded in the old walls.
thunder claps, flowers look up and laugh drink in celebration
For dVerse, Haibun Monday. The theme is shelter. I was so excited to meet Ken and Claudia and their spouses last week. The get-together was Ken and his wife’s idea. I’m so grateful they reached out to us. I thought of Valley Green because we often took my mom there for an August birthday brunch.
Last week I baked a chocolate cake in her memory. Here you go, Claudia.
We lay on the grassy expanse between the college dormitories. We’re firm-skinned and flat-bellied, our hearts are full of passion, our heads full of dreams. We gaze up at the clouds sailing across the moonlit sky like the days, months, and years of a time-lapsed nature film. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Almost fifty years later, I still remember that wonder.
make a wish on moonflower clouds– remember
I’m hosting Haibun Monday with the prompt “Look Up!” Join us.
New Year’s Eve Day is foggy and warm. My husband and I eat Chinese food for dinner, our decades-old tradition. We drink champagne while we talk to our children and their spouses on Zoom. Our son-in-law’s parents join us, and it’s good to see them, too, after so long. We light the Shabbos candles and speak of what we’re grateful for—that we’re together, healthy, and that our pets are with us, too. This is what we celebrate—life going on, light in the darkness. Later, we say goodbye to 2021. Though 2022 seems scarcely better, who know what the future brings? The sun and moon still rise and set. And there is champagne.
fog-obscured river a mystery— beckoning
For dVerse. Earlier today, I couldn’t get WP to work, and now there’s no problem. Oh, there are definitely WP gremlins!
I observe the morning moon perform a high-wire act. After billions of years, she knows how to balance—movement in stillness, invisible and visible, silent in song. In her silvery glow, owls hunt, tides roll, and lovers kiss. Yet, time has no meaning for her. Past and future converge and separate in rippling waves. She smiles, watching us, then blinks and we’re gone. Or not. Our ghosts, like moonflower orbs, dance on in her light.
Pink petals bloom now where once russet leaves drifted— the moon hums, unfazed
A Haibun for Frank’s Flower Moon prompt on dVerse. I wasn’t going to do it because I’m so behind on reading—and everything—but, the moon. . .
The sun rises every day, but each dawn is unique, a doorway to a new room waiting to be furnished, or a tilled field ready for planting.
When I became a mother for the first time, it was all new to me—the birth, bringing our daughter home on a cold February day to our recently purchased house, and then learning to take care of an infant. Breastfeeding was easy; trying to figure out how to unfold the heavy baby carriage and get it and her out the door and down the steps was not. But—the second time I became a mother, it was new again. There were similarities–it was another cold February day, but the labor was different, and I was different. Caring for a toddler and a baby at the same time was also a new experience. Like each day, each birth is both similar and singular, as is every child.
Frost-laced ground incubates hopes and dreams– daffodils rise
This is a haibun for dVerse, where Lillian has asked us to write about a something we’ve experienced that’s new. We first planted daffodils when I was pregnant with our older daughter, and this year, we planted more because it seemed like something hopeful for the spring. (By we, I mean I ordered them, and my husband planted them. Teamwork. 😏 )
I am dreaming. I traipse across the moors in Brontë country. It’s almost Halloween, and soon, back home, I’ll be carving jagged smiles on pumpkin faces. As I walk, the sun sinks lower and lower in the sky, deepening the grass’s golden glow. Shadows walk with me, till they’re obscured by the darkness. Night lays a black shroud over the naked trees and heathered knolls, covering them completely. A fine mist obscures my vision even more. It kisses me all over, lightly like a playful lover, until I am weakened and drenched. Lost. At the sound of a ghostly screech, I jump, then laugh a bit at my fright. It’s just a barn owl. There’s nothing here to frighten you, I tell myself–until cold fingers wrap themselves around my wrist. I try to call out, but no sound emerges from my throat. I try to wake, but I cannot. I am dreaming I tell myself as the bony fingers pull me down to the cold, damp ground.
Cold, autumn mist, nightmare shapes in the shadows– Jack’s crooked mouth laughs
This is for Frank’s Halloween dVerse prompt. I liked the image he used, so I used it, too. Franks said we could write fictional prose, so I’ve revised one I wrote a few years ago.
Yesterday did not dawn. It oozed grey with an oppressive silence, punctuated by thunder. There was a tornado warning in effect for the afternoon. Then, the storm clouds cleared, and the sun shimmered on the trees as we drove to the animal hospital to say goodbye to our cat Mickey. From the window of the little exam room we could hear birds singing. Maybe Mickey heard them, too, but I know he heard our voices and felt us petting him. He purred before he went to sleep, never to wake.
Today, dawn came. I walked, watching the sun rise and listening to the birds–and the world seemed a little less broken.
white cat paw clouds drift
slumbering in the sunshine—
trees drop pink teardrops
Mickey’s quirkiness matched his one blue eye and one yellow eye and his long legs. He loved chasing his orange ball. He hid from strangers and growled at some people, but he loved to sit with us at night and get neck rubs. We miss him.
This may be my mother’s last move. We fold old years into new boxes; rearrange the past to fit the present. But somewhere, in some bit of time-space, the what was, still is. I stare at a painting on her wall. There’s a small red figure among the winter birch trees. Have I never noticed it before, or have I forgotten? It has always been there. I see it now.