An early morning gift from nature
Gives me hope for planet earth
Sitting on Porch – Let the Scene Write Itself
Sitting on porch, a concrete slab with tin roof for shade – I observe
Old woman wakes from afternoon sleep. She arises and as hunger often arrives after sleep, she indulges in last night’s left overs of raw fish, greens and coconut cream
Puppies seek sanctuary underneath car to escape the relentless heat and humidity, whimpering and fretting for their mother who has found her own sanctuary somewhere else.
Rugged stray ginger cat, with ribs exposed from lack of nourishment roams property looking for morsels of food scraps thrown out the night before.
Dried coconuts stacked under breadfruit tree waiting to be husked and grated to make the next batch of coconut cream. Old coconut husks piled high next to them.
Today’s harvest of corn, yams, tomatoes, chives, pawpaw, limes and silver beet lay on formica kitchen table to be prepared into evening meal.
Rusted agitator washing machine struggles its way through washing cycle – power provided by cable passed through window to socket. Clothes line strung together between coconut trees, its linen day and floral sheets blow dry freely in the sea breeze.
Mismatched jandals line the porch to slide into for outside footwear.
Next door, old abandoned truck rusts quietly beside old house slowly decaying.
Sitting on porch – I listen
Muffled voices across the road – woman talking in native tongue.
Dishes being washed and dried in kitchen.
Constant thump of bass from neighbours sound system.
Car engine starts and car drives along sand and stone road.
Rooster crows continuously.
Sitting on porch
I slurp hot tea made from tea bag, water and powdered milk, watching ants invade the crusts of my white bread honey sandwich.
Still air, wind halted, gardenia fragrance potent – unlike yesterday when wind sneezed and coughed all day, followed by rain
Sleepy dog scratches, puppies now reunited with their mother grizzle at the disturbance
Birds sing. Woman laughs. Rooster crows. Car passes by. Sea breeze. The rustle of coconut frond.
So much beauty in simplicity
Dear heart ♥
I would like to thank you for giving me life even when you were struggling to survive.
The last 8 months have been full of despair, grief, anger and fear.
These emotions not directed at you but more at me for not sensing your pain.
We have gone through so much together heart.
Our experience of open heart surgery has made me realise just how magnificent you are and how much you will endure to give me life.
I hope the new valves implanted will make your job easier so we can spend more time on planet earth sharing and enjoying the wonders of life, from a new perspective.
Keep well heart and may we flourish together ♥
Woman in the Woods
Gifts from the land
A trip to Niue Island revealed the generosity of people who knew of me by family name only. Gifts of paw paw, bananas, coconuts, tomatoes, vanilla and cucumber placed in coconut frond basket and lovingly gifted. During my stay, I was never short of fresh fish and locally grown fruits and vegetables. And everyday there was a gift a the door.
Abundance of love Abundance of food Abundance of thanks
April 2016 was when my life changed. Successful heart surgery, recovery, oodles of love, care and the gift of life. Here is my JOY list
- Discovering toadstools /mushrooms on my daily walks
- Embracing the colours of life
- Listening to bird song every day
- Rejoicing friends
- Coffee, conversation and more coffee and conversation
- Mr T my beautiful moggie, who during my time of recovery held vigil for me, my constant companion – a sentinel for my health
- Ice cubes drowned in fizzy water with a slice of lime – delicious
- Anzac biscuits
- A song which ignites long forgotten memories,stirring up emotions. Volume increased allowing the melody and lyrics to fill every gap and space in my mind
- The smell of freshly cut grass and the cacophony of cicada song on a summer’s day
Water clings to flower for as long as possible before succumbing to gravity
May – Wild Flowers
If I could travel to the future
and see yesterday
which is today
Would I like what I see?
Would I change anything
if there was a choice?
What is it you see?
Glass was the Lake at Karapiro
as boats glided over water
harmoniously in sync with nature
Glass was the Lake at Karapiro
until the wind came up and rustled
white caps on water
and separated leaves from trees
Glass was the Lake at Karapiro
where trees displayed their beauty
and birdsong echoed in the stillness of the day
Glass was the Lake at Karapiro
where stars flickered
and moonlight danced with water
Flavours of life combine to create a fusion of humanity
Friendship Grace Laughter
Mix well and EMBRACE
White, wrinkled cloth screen fluttered
in the balmy breeze
which descended from nowhere
distorted the images in a way
that made me take notice
Imperfect – a limerick
I found my imperfect heart
Was making me fall apart
Full of despair
I had the repair
And now I am a work of art!
What’s next in this intrepid journey called Life
I pause and reflect on the significance of each step taken
And reminded that every step is a journey in itself.
Dear my best friend
Energetic, a giver of unconditional love
Beautiful in presence, mind, body, soul
Intuitive, a seeker of the truth
I forage her face for familiarity
this ancient ancestor of mine
Searching for similarities
to push past to present
and make connection
thirst, drink ,quench
dry, wet, nourish, harvest
sea, river, lake, rain, tears, ocean
A to Z Challenge – Zephyr
ZEPHYR: Soft mild gentle wind or breeze
Cicada’s bellow, bird song loud
their cacophony sometimes deafening
Afternoon zephyr still lingering
but no for long
as summer morphs into autumn
Abundance in the garden – past it’s best
Proof of a magnificent harvest
Trees dropping leaves
Cats snoozing in the last of summer heat
Feijoas signalling in the cooler months
Autumn and its unique beauty
offers time to reflect, contemplate
and prepare for winter……
A to Z Challenge – Yclept
YCLEPT: Called (by the name of)
I chose yclept because it is such an odd word, and I wanted at least one word I had never ever heard of before included in my A-Z Challenge.
Synonyms: appellation, clepe, named, styled, titled, known as, termed.
In a sentence: My tortoise shell cat yclept Missy Moo stretched as she enjoyed the warmth of the late afternoon sun.
A to Z Challenge – Xmas
XMAS: Abbreviation for Christmas
My trusty 1976 dictionary contained only 26 X words. It did however have Xmas as one of the 26 words so I am kind of grasping at straws and using an abbreviation – it was difficult finding a suitable word.
So in keeping with the Xmas theme I am sharing with you a fabulous Xmas cake recipe. For the last 10 years, in late October early November, I make at least 20 Xmas cakes for friends and family using a recipe given to me by a friend. This was her mother’s recipe so it is at least 2 – 3 generations old. Enjoy.
Bobbie’s Christmas Cake
Place in a large pan
- 1/2 1b butter
- 1 & 1/2 1bs brown sugar
- 1 x 15oz tin of fruit salad
- 1/2 cup rum
- 1200 grams mixed fruit
- 2-3 teaspoons various spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice)
Bring to the boil, simmer for 1 minute and cool
When mixture cool add
- 4 well beaten eggs
- 2 tablespoons of golden syrup
- 2 cups wholemeal flour
- 2 cups white flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
Mix all together
Line the bottom of 9 inch cake tin with paper
Bake 130C for 3-4 hours
- The mixture of metric and imperial measurements is as it came from Bobbie.
- Rather than icing the Xmas cake, decorate the top with almonds and/or glaze cherries before putting it in the oven to cook.
- I use less sugar than the recipe states.
- It is okay to double the recipe and I often use different size tins depending on who I am baking for. Baking time will differ with size of tin used.
- I have fan oven, so I lower the oven temperature to 120/125C
Thanks Bobbie for your recipe
A to Z Challenge – Whoopee
A to Z Challenge – Valour
VALOUR: Personal courage esp. as shown in fighting.
“Lest We Forget”
This is my tribute to the nearly 500 Cook Island Soldiers recruited by New Zealand over the course of World War One. Of the 5 contingents recruited, 3 contingents saw active service. The 4th contingent trained at Narrow Neck Camp, Auckland however shortly before their departure in 1918, the war ended. The 5th contingent had been recruited but did not start training.
A to Z Challenge – Universe
UNIVERSE: All existing things, the whole creation, the cosmos, the world, all mankind
Here is a snippet of my universe
A to Z Challenge -Transform
TRANSFORM: Make change in form, outward appearance, character , disposition
Today I leave the past behind
Only looking forward enough to see my foot step land gently on the earth.
I move through the day quietly and respectively, taking the time to look at the moment of now, embracing everything I see, hear and touch; knowing the experience I am having is meant to be.
Making time to be still and breathe in life
Forever thankful for gifts received as I walk my path in this lifetime
Today I am transformed.
A to Z Challenge – Silence
SILENCE: Absence of sound, stillness
Silence screams in my head.
I am still, lost in moment of nothing.
Energy ripples through mind, body, soul.
I am awakened and surrounded by the stunning noise of life.
A to Z Challenge – Reflect
REFLECT: Go back in thought, meditate or consult with oneself.
And reflect on actions, comments and thoughts of the day
Which ultimately affect my life and ripple through others
Could have – should have – did I – why?
Push away thoughts of today, yesterday and tomorrow
Concentrate on now
Warmth on my face
As sun seeps through window
Eyes closed, relax
In tune with the noise of life
Birds fluttering, chirping
Distant sound of radio chatter
Occasional car hums by
A to Z Challenge – Quandary
QUANDARY: State of perplexity, difficult situation, practical dilemma.
Some questions just can’t be answered.
A couple of years ago, I was in my local supermarket standing in the aisle where the water is housed. I was after some water with gas – the fizzy type.
I was distracted by someone in my peripheral vision.
She was about 80 years young
And small in stature.
She stood beside me and perused the shelves of water at her eye level, my chest level.
We acknowledged each other with a smile, eye contact with an understanding that maybe we had known each other in another time. Like minded humans, very comfortable.
Standing together mesmerised at the incredible selection of water.
Spring water, natural spring water, well water, still water, natural water, sparkling water, water with vitamins, water and lime, rose-water, water for energy, organic water and on and on. Water in plastic, water in glass, water in cans, water in boxes. 6 packs, 12 packs, single bottles.
Finally a choice made. Reaching on tippy toes for a glass bottle, she clasped it firmly in both hands and read the label.
Looking up at me with a perplexed look on her face she asked a question
“How do they know that this 1000 year old pure spring water expires in May 2016?”
A to Z Challenge – Pen Friend
PEN FRIEND: col Pen Pal – friend with whom one corresponds without meeting.
Pen to paper – who writes anymore
I can’t remember when I learnt to read and write. As a young child, reading and writing was something I did at school, and when the bell rang for the end of the school day, I played. At home, reading or story writing was not something my parents encouraged me to do.
My sister and I were brought up in the days of that classic saying “children should be seen and not heard”. There was no encouragement from our elders to actively participate in conversation or debate, and critical thinking was definitely not on the radar. To interact with adults was considered rude. Our contribution to problem solving was never required, even if the problem was related to us. Our opinions were considered unimportant as decision making was the responsibility of grown-ups.
So my sister delved into the world of books and in a simple turn of a page escaped into the worlds of fantasy and adventure and I discovered the world of writing. As a youngster, reading was not something I enjoyed, but at the age of ten, I found and replied to an advertisement in a magazine for a pen pal. This was the start of a long letter writing relationship with a girl from Malaysia who was exactly my age.
I grew up on a small Pacific island in the years when the sight of an aeroplane was a novelty. At school, we were allowed outside to watch the Calibration planes fly over and land on the airfield nearby, a truly exhilarating experience. Now, the thought of corresponding with someone from the other side of the world was a bigger thrill especially when our letters could be in those planes flying overhead. I was so excited receiving her letters addressed to me. I would devour every word that spilled off the pages and imagine her life in Malaysia and hoped that she would be doing the same with my letters. In my best handwriting, I responded to every comment she made; celebrating her achievements and sympathising with her disappointments. Meticulously I wrote my news, and surprisingly I had so much to tell her. This was my way of overcoming the “seen but not heard” philosophy of my parent’s generation. Someone was hearing me. I felt liberated. Several pages later, the letter was neatly folded, inserted into an envelope, addressed, stamp attached and posted. The wait for her reply seemed forever, and that reply sometimes took weeks to arrive. I was never disappointed. For the first ten years our letter writing was fervent. We were pen pals!
A to Z Challenge – Observation
OBSERVATION: Notice or being noticed, perception, faculty of taking notice
He lay there in stillness
in echo friendly casket
Arms gently folded
Hands entwined in rich red pohutakawa blossom
that fitted so well at son’s wedding,
several years ago
Last worn then
now hiding thin frail human
An alter of flowers, fruit and vegetables
the rewards of years of planting, nurturing and growing
His last harvest
Outside sun shines glorious light beams
Rays of love to all
Family, friends, loved ones
He is at peace
this his last night on earth
A to Z Challenge – Neat
NEAT: brief, clear and pointed, cleverly phrased, epigrammatic, deft, dexterous, cleverly done, tidy, methodical.
According to http://www.urbandictionary.com
NEAT: Wonderful, terrific, cool, clean, orderly, tidy , serving a spirit straight without ice or mixer.
I wrote my first diary in 1974. It was a small 5cm by 8.5cm brown Holiday and Travel Book, given to me by Mum. I was a 16-year-old New Zealander, off on a school geography trip to the Fiji Islands. The travel book was to record my trip.
The A to Z challenge prompted me to read this diary again in search for ideas for the challenge. Several things jumped out at me.
- I have lost contact with all but I person I write about on the trip.
- My hand writing was incredibly tidy (NEAT)
- My group of friends were quite naughty for 70’s standards.
- We could never replicate this trip today, Health and Safety regulations would deem the trip to dangerous.
Two words I used frequently in this diary are NEAT and GEE, which were common slang words used in the 1970’s. Neat – this is cool and Gee Wiz –oh wow! So I was using pretty CooL (another 70’s favourite) words. Here are some more 1970’s slang words/phrases: GroovY, SToked, Nifty, TotalLy AwEsoMe and MaY the ForCe be wiTh You.
In my diary, everything I enjoyed doing was “really neat”. A bus driver was really neat, I met some really neat people. We had neat fun. The fish were neat. Then there was GEE. Gee I felt sorry, Gee I had fun.
The ultimate entry was – “GEE the market was NEAT!”
I can’t say this diary was the most exciting read, however it was factual and reading it transported me back to my penultimate year at high school, and the fantastic opportunity our Geography class had going to Fiji. It also reminded me of people I once knew and left me wondering what happened to them.
A to Z Challenge – Majestic
MAJESTIC: Possessing stateliness or grandeur, imposing
Tuesday’s usual trip from the Kapiti Coast to Wellington
Takes me through familiar landmarks
which remain as constant as Tuesday follows Monday
Passing towns and suburbs
where people are going about their daily routines
Trains worming towards the big city
Cars inching forward in traffic jam
Pass Whenua Tapu cemetery
and a keen eye notices a new monument decorated with flowers
a little apprehensive
wondering if she will be there today
moored between road and rail bridges
Heading south the view between the bridges
is hampered by passing traffic, concrete walls
NOT TO BE SEEN
So the wait begins, and as the day unfolds with regularity,
I head north for home
The motorway not so busy this time
as commuters are now parked in office buildings,
shops, universities, coffee houses
I position myself for the ultimate view
I am not disappointed
I see her sat upon still water
that make the inlet
where fishers catch sprats
She is majestic
this small little boat
I smile as a drive past
A to Z Challenge – Life
LIFE: Active part of existence, business and pleasures of the world
Playing trolley tag in the supermarket
Aisle much narrower than the norm
Harassed employee unstacks
then restacks shelves
Clutching coupons he appears agitated
Scrutinises then grabs selected product
Must be a big specials day
Shopper dithering over meat selection
all I want is the lamb shank displayed in front of her
I lean on trolley and wait my turn
What they are thinking
as product mechanically put in trolleys
Would I buy that?
Pimply faced boy starts the operation
Lamb shank scanned
Loyalty card swiped
Card inserted, pin keyed
A to Z Challenge – Kindness
KINDNESS: There is no entry in my 1976 Concise English Dictionary. The nearest I could find was KIND.
KIND: Of gentle or benevolent nature; showing friendliness; affectionate; kind-hearted
KINDLY: Kind, kind-hearted, pleasant, genial
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com define KINDNESS as: The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate:
I am overwhelmed by KINDNESS from family and friends. After my recent diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease and impending surgery, I have witnessed what KINDNESS is.
Generosity, compassion, affection, goodness, grace
Unconditional love experienced first hand
I am humbled
Thank you to everyone who has shown me KINDNESS
I intend to pay KINDNESS forward with love
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love – Lao Tzu
A to Z Challenge – Jim Jams
JIM JAMS: Delirium tremens; fit of depression or nervousness
Delirium tremens: a severe psychotic condition occurring in some persons with chronic alcoholism, characterized by delirium, tremor, anxiety, and vivid hallucinations
Stop! I thought jim jams were pj’s, pyjamas, sleep wear.
This is when my trusty dictionary is replaced by Google. So what does google say:
Colins Online Dictionary:
- a slang word for delirium tremens
- a state of nervous tension, excitement, or anxiety
- (informal) pyjamas
So how did pyjamas morf into jim jams?
A to Z Challenge – I
I: Me, myself, the ego, subject or object of self-consciousness
I CrY I DreAm
I EmpaTHise I FRoliC
I GiVe I HOpE I ImaGine
I Know I LoVe I Meander
I OverCoMe I PracTice
I QuestioN I RaDiatE
I Sing I TeACh I UnDersTand
I Value I WriTe I XoXoXoX
I YeaRn I ZigZaG
A to Z Challenge – Honour
HONOUR: respect highly, confer dignity upon, acknowledge
I honour my mother
She has the reputation of being a master “ei” maker on the island of Rarotonga.
An ei is a garland made of flowers worn around the neck or on top of head.
Mum picks flowers from her garden with the love and care that bestows any living thing, respecting the gift of nature. In her garden frangipani, gardenia and hibiscus flourish.
She creates each ei with joy and tenderness, her hands gently transforming flowers into beautiful garland, a story unfolding. She looks on with pride as she gifts them to family and friends.
Visit A-Z Challenge and see what others are writing about.
A to Z Challenge – Gift
GIFT: Thing given, present, donation, virtue looked upon as emanation from heaven, natural endowment
Always the thought that on the day
my GIFT of blood will not be required
Iron level must be above 120
This is a good day, level 125
I can gift blood
My 10th donation – later to find out my last
GIFTED back a T-shirt “Save Lives, Give Blood”, drink bottle and pen
As a thank you
Making fist and squeezing repetitively
to ensure perfect flow
Reading book nonchalantly
as pump works to fill bag
Blood packaged, labelled and stored
Warm milky instant coffee in paper cup
served by volunteer
Cream cracker with marmite and slice of cheese
or plain sweet biscuit
Conversation with familiar donor
My last donation…..
A to Z Challenge – Footprint
FOOTPRINT: impression left by foot.
A to Z Challenge – Emotion
EMOTION: Disturbance of mind, mental sensation or state; instinctive feeling as opposed to reason.
I play leap frog with emotiions
Frogs in position
me at the start line
This challenge ….not easy …. scary ….fear
Muscles twitch, I sense anxiety in my heart
Mind speak “you can do this”
Your’re not the first, you won’t be the last
A to Z Challenge – Dilemma
DILEMMA: Argument forcing opponent to choose one of two alternatives both unfavourable to him; position that leaves only a choice between equally unwelcome possibilities.
I was perplexed after reading the meaning from my 1976 dictionary, as this was not my understanding of Dilemma. I get the bit where one has to choose, but the unfavourable or equally unwelcome possibilities got me. Could you not have a dilemma over favourable or equally welcome choices? Or is there another word for that state of mind? I checked online dictionaries and there are no positive dilemma’s.
Synonyms for Dilemma such as predicament, quandary, perplexed, conundrum and muddle, conjure up unfavourable possibilities for me.
So here’s a DilemMa
Must I stop thinking that making a choice between a delicious slice of carrot cake or an exquisite chocolate brownie a DilemMa, because both are favourable and equally most welcome to me!
A to Z Challenge – Cake
CAKE: Sweet unleavened bread with other ingredients besides flour, e.g currants, spice, eggs, sugar.
Hmmm… this definition of cake from my 1976 dictionary doesn’t really tempt my taste buds. So online I went and found the following.
cake. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved March 27, 2016 from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/cake
- a sweet, baked, bread like food, made with or without shortening, and usually containing flour, sugar, baking powder or soda, eggs, and liquid flavoring.
- a flat, thin mass of bread, especially unleavened bread.
- a shaped or molded mass of other food: a fish cake
- a shaped or compressed mass: a cake of soap; a cake of ice
What do you think – still not what cake means to you?
In 1976, the same year as the edition of my trusty dictionary, I lived in Fallbrook California as an exchange student. Class of ’76 at Fallbrook High School if any of you are reading this. I discovered Carrot Cake and OMG – it was delectable. Before arriving in Fallbrook, I was oblivious to cake made from carrots – we used bananas. The good old ever dependable banana cake graced tables at most functions I went to back in New Zealand. Then I discovered Carrot Cake and Combined with Cream Cheese icing sent my taste buds into Cosmic overdrive.
This cake is now one of my heirloom recipes and 40 years on, it is still a favorite birthday cake for family and friends. I share this recipe with love.
“14 Carrot Cake“
♥ Beat – 2 cups of sugar, 1.5 cups oil (I use canola), 3 eggs
♥ Add (sifted) – 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon each of baking powder & baking soda, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and pinch of salt.
♥ Stir in – 3 cups grated carrots, 450grm tin crushed pineapple & juice, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1 cup nuts (optional).
Grease and flour (or use baking paper) 9 inch/22cm tin and bake 40 – 50 mins at 325F/160C.
♥ Frosting: 1/2 packet cream cheese,2 tablespoons butter, 1 cup icing sugar, vanilla essence. Mix together on ice cake when cold. (I double the recipe to ensure a thick layer all over the cake, and yes enough to lick the spoon as well ♥
Enjoy – I dare you to try this recipe and tell me what you think. Also, if you know the original creator of this delicious CAKE, please tell me so I can attribute the recipe to them.
A to Z Challenge – Beauty
BEAUTY: Combination of qualities, as shape, proportion, colour, in human face or form, or in other objects, that delight the sights.
The smell and colour of summer explode into life.
A glorious time where abundance is a word thrown around freely when it comes to summer fruits.
My plum tree drips with ripe and falling fruit and invaded by Kereru.
I hear before I see – a loud whooshing sound rips through the air and Kereru lands on plum tree branch. An incredible balancing act unfolds as bird starts feeding on plums. Dancing between branches Kereru gets the best vantage to select and feast on the perfect plum. I watch bird pluck plum and gobble it down whole; sometimes losing them to the ground below, to be picked at by ground dwelling animals, or composted back into the earth.
The Kereru is the New Zealand native wood pigeon. It is magnificent, a bird of BEaUTY and delights my sight.
A to Z challenge – Apprentice
APPRENTICE: Learner of a craft, bound to serve, and entitled to instruction, beginner, novice.
My 58th year as an earth bound apprentice
learning the craft of life
For new experiences
Realisation for dreams
By what I have already experienced
And lessons learned
At the majesty, dignity and beauty of planet earth
and sacrifices made to support human life
By the generosity of friends, loved ones and strangers
When I leave the planet
A to Z Challenge 2016
A to Z Challenge using all the letters in the alphabet reminds of my typing class at high school.
No computers back in the 70’s just a manual type writer, with a metal cover hiding letters allowing just enough room for fingers to push keys and type.
The quick brown fox jumps of the lazy dog
This sentence used every letter in the alphabet! And we practiced, practiced and practiced.
The correct hand and finger placement for speed typing important and enforced in class. Fingers always hovering over middle row of letters; asdfghjkl
I never did master using all 8 fingers correctly, instead my fingers dance over keyboard searching for the right letter. Mistakes made, but now quickly erased or corrected with the back space key or spell check.
The concise Oxford Dictionary of current English, 6th edition 1976 was my bible before internet and online dictionaries. I still use my trusty dictionary, albeit less frequently.
The first entry in this dictionary is:
A, noun, plural A’s. First letter of the alphabet; (Mus.) sixth note in diatonic scale of C major; first hypothetical person or example; highest class (of road, academic marks, population as regards affluence, etc); from A to Z, over the entire range, completely; from A to B, from any place to some other place
This 1976 dictionary is where I will get my A to Z words and meanings from.
March: Wildlife in the Garden
Sometimes rheumatic fever = rheumatic heart disease = heart valve damage = heart valve replacement……
I never in my most gloomy moments thought I would be inflicted with a heart condition.
Preparing myself for double heart valve replacement, the usual doom and gloom thoughts fill the spaces in my mind reserved for such occasions.
Why is it easier to think of the negative rather than positive? I push and pull myself through these thoughts and try to tether myself to the positive.
The last 6 months have been filled with doctors and hospital appointments, hospital admissions and discharges, work and all the emotional stuff that reveals itself in times like this.
Holding myself in limbo I process what has unfolded and come to terms with how my life will be post surgery
Then finally acceptance, belief and trust replace anger, blame and fear
I am ready to move into the next lane on my freeway of life and embrace all that it offers
That dreaded phone call, the day before surgery
Heart races, anxiety heightens
I know the conversation
“your surgical date has been deferred”, spoken as if doodling
I stop listening to the reasons why – everything a blur
New date given, but be prepared for the “possibility of postponement”
Those negative emotions forced to the fore again
I am back at that place of anger and frustration
Road blocks are temporary
Nourish your Heart
5 months after diagnosis
1 month before surgery
This topsy-turvy 5 months has brought to the fore emotions hidden in dark places
Anger, shame, guilt and fear
They jack in the boxed out from the abyss so quickly, danced in frenzied style and taunted my psyche.
And consumed my every day
Advice from a good friend
“Nourish your Heart”
Push the jack of negative emotions back into its box
Find emotions worthy of my attention
Joy, love, compassion, trust
Only then can I
Nourish my heart
Take one fifty something woman
Toss in four ethnicities – Cook Island, Niuean, German and English
Add lashings of passion, poetry, sport, FAMILY, spiritualism, health and wellbeing, PHOTOGRAPHY, craft and travel.
Combine with oodles of thought, questions, ideas and reflection
Mix well together.
This is a blog for musings about my life and experiences on planet earth, a place for poetry, writing and photography.
Enjoy my take on life.
She was manic, busy and energetic – clearly loving her work. Her time running out and my appointment at least 30 minutes late.
I sat there feeling guilty for wasting precious time of this very busy woman.
Trying to access my files on her computer
Asking a colleague for help to make my documents visible and finally achieving it.
A pause from her suggested something may be up, but she had her game face on, and no emotion showed – a good sign I thought.
Her questions, my answers all appeared to tick the “you are healthy” box.
“So lets check that echocardiogram” she said.
Alone I sat in the room with examination bed and curtain at one end. Messy desk topped with artificial hearts, papers, stethoscope and cup of tea at the other end. Cream walls.
Waiting seemed like forever – I practiced my apology for wasting her time
The door flew open and the words “you are in serious trouble” spilled out, followed by “you have severe heart disease”. She loomed over me explaining exactly what she had seen on the echocardiogram, but I heard nothing. Those words “severe heart disease” echoing inside my brain.
What! When? How? Why? Visibly shocked.
I am a fitness instructor, how could this be. I cycle, run, exercise for leisure and for occupation.
“Did you have rheumatic fever when you were young” she asked. “I have no idea” I mumbled
Diagnosis – Rheumatic Heart Disease
Within an hour, I was a patient. I work with patients.
Within an hour, I was prescribed medication. I never take pills.
Within an hour, my life changed.
Three words side swiped me – Disease, Patient, Medication
Prepare for valve replacement surgery
After paying for the consultation, I sat in my car feeling totally alone
How do I tell my family?
Early for me, but not others
as I pedal my 30km circuit
watching the action unfolding for a new day
Sun just starting to warm the day, but cold air hits hard as head wind tests my stamina.
Sand rustled up by wind catches my breath and salt from wave spray stings my eyes.
Seagulls fight over dead fish washed up on beach, a gift from the ocean
People on the hunt for the best coffee house
Where coffee is the stimulus for conversation
Some absorb daily newspaper – mostly bad news
I am moving at supersonic speed, in my head
Realistically a slow pace hard up against that unforgiving head wind
I look forward to the turn round, where the wind becomes my ally and gifts me a quick return home.
Let the scene write itself
Draped in light caught through Ironwood trees
Branches hang limply, long needles entangled
and some fall to shield earth
A soft hue meanders over church of old
Monuments to the dead scatter surrounding edges
Looking further back to what remain
of traditions long gone
Rubble reminds me of past ceremonies
where descendants once gathered
A bone of an ancestor lies abandoned
caught between the then and now
Apprehension grabs my solar plexus
As I wonder who this bone was?
My writing space
My space to write
Is where I feel comfortable
Where inspiration and creativity explode into words
Where I can pluck the gift of wisdom, catch ideas, harness knowledge and life experience
And turn them into verse
I am a hunter and gatherer of thoughts, notions and ideas
Jotted on snippets of paper, used parking tickets, napkins and collected to remember the moment
Then gifted to any one who wants to read
My space to write is everywhere
Man in a Church
That could be me today sitting in a church, a place I seldom frequent
Wondering why a curve ball thrown my way, creating mayhem, uncertainty and confusion has invaded my seemingly perfect life – why me?
That could be me today sitting in a church pondering the existence of higher beings and wondering if miracles really do happen.
That could be me reflecting on destiny, faith and purpose of life – more poignant now.
That could be me today sitting in a church asking for help
Will he be upset if I join him and share his solitude?
Dreaming of all that is possible and impossible
Learning, Living, Loving
Flirting with the zest of life
Teasing imagination in ways that seduce the mind
Exploring flavours taste buds have yet to experience
Feeling apprehensive and scared, at the same time excited and giggly
Butterflies dance in solar plexus
Looking to the stars, seeing the past light up the sky
A kaleidoscope of yesterday bursting into life
A colour explosion
I am 20 again, adventurous and seeing the world through eyes of HOPE
Write a list
Today’s list for life
First cup of Tea
DriVe to work in Sleepy dawN light
laugh GigGle achiEve goals FRiends
ShaRed lunch STories coMplete tAsks
home in DarKNess
Cats CooKing Reflection
WRITE a list, WRITE some more, DREAM
Why do I write
Day one of writing 101 and I have drawn a blank…
No words to write
No thoughts to ponder
A blank page, a soundless voice
Where are the words that create the stories of life
Closed eyes look deeper into the abyss of creativity hoping to find misplaced inspiration.
are thin like a watery broth
lacking flavour, body and texture
The desire to write is strong
but the void stronger
Find a way out….
Walk into creative spaces
and form stories
Choose the right ingredients
to pollinate the soul, heart and mind