Spring Comes! (Flash fiction)

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spring

Crocuses flaunted bright petaled heads in the early breeze, in the hospital garden and daffodils graced the glass vase adorning her sterile environment. Jane loved spring, but this year she couldn’t enjoy these divine bursts of colour. Her world had faded to charcoal, dust and ashes.

Rabid cells had vandalised her garden, the radiation only added to the havoc. She was dying. They didn’t tell her that, but she knew. Only her eyes were free to walk among the flowers. Her aging body no longer obeyed her commands. Death waited brooding in the shadows. It had already laid claim to Frank, her husband of forty years and long ago it had claimed a tiny life, almost claimed hers. She’d escaped that time, escaped but with a barren womb and tortured mind. Frank had so wonted a son, he’d striven hard to hide his disappointment, but she knew, always felt guilty. He would have made such a good father, had been a good father to so many boys, but never his own.

Frank had been a teacher as had she. They’d met long ago when she’d transferred into a new school and he’d taken her under his wing. Now he was gone, it was all gone… all but the daffodils and the cards surrounding them, a kind gesture from old colleges that remembered. Where were they all now she wondered, all the little faces she’d taught, laboured over. They’d flapped those little wings and flown off to new horizons leaving her alone, alone in a hospital bed…

Pain surged through her body; the meds. were wearing off again. Not to worry the nurse would be here soon. A pleasant girl, but busy, always too busy to sit and talk, to hold her hand as Frank would have done…

The pain killers kicked in bringing with them a feeling of overwhelming drowsiness and confusion. Was there was a boy sitting by her bed? She glimpsed him before falling asleep. Who could he be? Which of her pupils would care enough to come all this way? When she awoke he was still there. He reached to take her hand saying nothing. It was so comforting to lay there touching another human being, oh the comfort of that hand. God bless that boy.

“Who are you?” she whispered, surprised that it took so much strength to mouth the words. He held a finger to his lips, silencing her efforts.

“Don’t talk. It’s OK. I’m here for you. I won’t go away.” And he didn’t. As early morning turned to shades of purple and green, as her exhausted body found refuge in troubled dreams, he was always there, holding her hand, stroking her hair in his silent vigil.

Just before dawn when shadows spring back before the rising sun she summoned the strength to ask one more time.

“Who … are … you?”

He smiled, “you don’t know my name, but dad sent me.” Then she knew. Taking his hand she rose from her bed and stepped into springtime.

Engaging life!

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life

There is only one invitation it would kill me to refuse, yet I’m tempted to turn it down all the time. I get the invitation every morning when I wake up to actually live a life of complete engagement, a life of whimsy, a life where love does. It doesn’t come in an envelope. It’s ushered in by a sunrise, the sound of a bird, or the smell of coffee drifting lazily from the kitchen. It’s the invitation to actually live, to fully participate in this amazing life for one more day. …

Accepting the invitation to show up in life is about moving from the bleachers to the field. It’s moving from developing opinions to developing options. It’s about having things matter to us enough that we stop just thinking about those things and actually do something about them. Simply put, Jesus is looking for us to accept the invitation to participate. It’s like the president is calling and we just need to answer the phone. We need to show up.

Bob Goff.

(Great quote! I agree entirely  (I’d just skip out on the coffee bit – I hate the smell of coffee lol!)

Everyone has a story waiting to be told.

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story telling

I was overjoyed recently to learn that my teenage granddaughter, unbeknownst to me, shared my love of history. Not the facts and figures kind but fascination for the stories of lives lived before our own. She was asking if there were any interesting stories in our family. Going through old photos (some very old) I pointed out some of the characters from favourite family tales, my  grandfather who got disinherited for marrying a gypsy girl, my father, one of  the three in his battalion to make it back from the early WW2 Burma campaign etc. As I went through the photos I came across more and more stories and then it hit me – everyone had a story to tell, different stories, some adventure, some travel logs, some character studies, some love stories etc. but everyone has one.

I’ve always been fascinated by people’s  stories and have often chatted with old folks to absorb all I could,  finding them a treasure trove of historic information and frequently incredible tales. You just never know who that frail old lady or gentleman perched on a walking stick is! In bygone days (before TV, internet, or even gas lamps and the printing press), it was common practise to sit around the fire at night and tell stories. The old and ancient ones would tell of the battles and wonders of their youth. These stories were retold and passed on from generation to generation (often getting just a tad exaggerated in the process lol!) giving rich earth in which families might grow rooted in understanding of their personal heritage.

I realised in our present high tech age my granddaughter knew next to nothing of her personal heritage, nothing of the heroes, the medals, the great achievements of some of her not so distant relatives.( She was pleasantly surprised).  Considering we English are well known for our historical reverence, I was quite shocked at the realisation that so much, so many wonderful stories are disappearing forever. Perhaps we need to revive an old and ancient custom.

Land of Spirits.

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imgur.com iceland

(Photo from imur.com)

Cold, wild, mysterious and incredibly beautiful this land draws many photographers. I’ve never been myself (though I have an open invitation) but one of my daughters went to visit and stayed several months with an old friend of mine. I’ve learned a lot from them both. It’s known for strange events and supernatural happenings and has been the background for several epic stories.

Ivo De Decker iceland

(photo Ivo De Decker)

It’s social structure and economics are quite unusual, it’s people independent. There are hot springs and geysers, and much of the power is generated naturally due to the volcanic nature of the island. Have you guessed it yet?

Peter Hammer

(Photo by Peter Hammer)

The answer is Iceland! Enjoy these glorious pictures gleaned from my friend’s facebook and let them wet your appetite!

(Be sure to click on them to enjoy them to the fullest)

coolbiere iceland

(Photo by coolbiere)

Einar Gudmann iceland

(Photo by Einar Gudmann)

Menno Schaefer iceland

(Photo by Menno Schaefer)

bored panda iceland

(Photo by bored panda)

It’s all in how I look at it.

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spring outside

I’m battling frustration this weekend. Spring is coming with the warmest days yet (wonderful for early March!) Daffodils are blooming here and there and there’s an abundance of snow drops, primrose and tiny new buds. The lakes are calling, the sun is calling and I’m fettered inside.

The fun weekend I’d planned with my grandson, while his mum and step dad are away, came tumbling down on Thursday evening when it became clear he was coming down with flu. The usually effective doses of water, fruit and prayer, while ensuring a mild case, didn’t take it away completely.

So, here we are, the third day of him laying on my couch watching DVDs and occasionally playing I pad when his eyes are not sore. Thankfully he’s not suffering too much and is a cheerful little soul. Being nine now I can also nip quickly to the shops round the corner and pick up fruit and whatever he can manage to eat (he has a very sore throat poor thing). But… he does get lonesome and bored sometimes so I’ve spent hours  cuddled up watching movies with him. Now I do enjoy the odd movie now and then but I think my eyes are turning square and the sun outside is so very beckoning.

Still, I have one comfort. I too felt flu coming on when I woke Friday morning, but thank God the prayers worked for me and I’ve been fine and healthy (just a little more tired as my body builds up its immunity). When I look longingly out of the window I remind myself at least I’m not stuck on the couch!