Tag Archives: April Love

Thank you: #aprillove2015

lilacs04April Love final prompt: “thank you for…” This is a hard time of year for me. The academic year is winding down, and since I take the summer off from my CSU work it means things are winding up there. There’s a panicky, speedy overwhelm that starts to happen — “how am I going to finish all this work in just a few weeks?!” That is mixed with the mad joy of spring and the promise of summer vacation, and further complicated by memories of loss.

Every year at this time, I promise myself I won’t miss the lilacs. I get so busy I barely notice them, even though they are one of my favorite flowers. By the time I’m done with my CSU work, they are starting to fade, almost gone, and the moment has passed. Every year, I vow to not let it slip by again. After a long day yesterday, I got out of my car and started unloading the snow tires I’d finally had taken off. As I brushed past the lilac bushes by my mailbox, a wave of scent stopped me in my tracks. I stood still for a moment and the familiar feeling arose, “the lilacs are blooming and I’m missing it.”

lilacs03Then this morning, I was standing in the kitchen drinking my coffee when “Wide Awake” by Katy Perry came on the radio. Tears stung at the corners of my eyes. That whole album always reminds me of Kelly, takes me right back to that awful spring — May 14th, just two weeks from now, she will have been gone for five years. I’m sad, still angry, but so grateful.

Thank you for Kelly, for how she lived, for her friendship, for the loss that reminded me how precious and short our time is, together and alone. Thank you for lilacs and spring, for mornings and hot cups of coffee, for work and also for vacation. Thank you for all of it — brilliant and beautiful, tender and terrible.

Love, Clouds, and My Eyes: #aprillove2015

aprillovenotesApril Love prompt: “love is.” The way he leaves me notes on the kitchen counter, the way he makes each one different, the way he committed to it when he found out I was saving them, and the way it was already 20 years into our relationship when he started.

aprillovecloudsApril Love prompt: “clouds.” When I woke up that morning and saw the prompt, I didn’t think I was going to get a good picture. The sky was grey and overcast. It had been raining for the past few days and the sky was one big flat cloud with no edges. Then, as I was getting ready to take the dogs for a walk, the sky started to clear. There was a break as the sun was rising. I stepped out on to the front porch and took this picture.

myeyesApril Love prompt: “my eyes.” Hazel, which isn’t so much a color as a mix of colors — blue, green, and brown. Depending on the light, on what I’m wearing, the color shifts. My eyes don’t match either, each one has its own particular pattern of color and swirl.

Day of Rest and Something Beginning with A: #aprillove2015

April Love prompt: "something beginning with a": apples and an avocado

April Love prompt: “something beginning with a”: apples and an avocado

I was reminded of this poem yesterday, and as I read it again I thought it was the perfect thing to share on this day of rest, when I won’t really be resting because I’ll be at a yoga teacher training all day.

Autobiography In Five Chapters
By Portia Nelson
From: Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

1) I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5) I walk down another street.

Simple Pleasures: #aprillove2015

poudretrailspringToday’s April Love prompt today is “simple pleasures.” My life is made up mostly of such things. Just one example is long walks with my dogs. Long walks with my dogs and Eric, talking about everything and nothing or staying completely quiet, both together and alone. A camera that fits in my pocket so I can easily take a picture of how green everything is, how the leaves are starting to open on the Narrow Leaf Cottonwoods. Being able to walk out my front door and if I go left, I’m at Lee Martinez Park in 20 minutes, and if I go right, I’m at City Park in 20 minutes. Getting to walk along the Poudre River any time I want for hours and hours on a route ranging from social dirt paths to carefully crafted paved trails. The wildlife we bump up against in the early mornings, like the heron this morning being chased by the geese that flew only a few feet directly over my head and whose wings were so loud they sounded like giant bumblebees. The memories of other walks with other dogs. So simple, and yet it’s everything.

 

When I was small and trees that are tall: #aprillove2015

springautumnApril Love prompt: “Spring/Autumn.” One of my favorite trees on campus at Colorado State University. The color it turned this past Fall was hard to even believe, and there’s something about the way it stands there all alone against the wall of windows.

meanddressyApril Love prompt: “When I was small,” I was so awesome — funny, sweet, smart, sensitive, and creative. All I need to do is remember her, know that she is me…still.

April Love prompt: “Trees.” I have my favorites. Not just kinds, but individuals, pairs, stands. I could take you on a tour where I live, walk you through my neighborhood, the parks, and campus, and show you them. Until then, there’s these two who rest across the trail from the river.

#aprillove15: Home, Scent, Memory

ourmorningwalk05Prompt, “I live here.” Fort Collins, Colorado. I walk along the Poudre River with my dogs most mornings and am amazed that I can walk out my front door and be here in 20 minutes, am touched by how beautiful it is — always changing, always constant. Home.

sunseyepatchouliPrompt. “my scent.” Patchouli oil by Sun’s Eye. It’s the only thing I’ve worn, besides scented lotion, for 20 years. Eric wears it too, which probably makes me love it even more.

21yearsagoPrompt: “a happy memory.” 21 years ago. It was a foggy day in the mountains — Evergreen, Colorado. The elk were bugling because it was their mating season. We both wore green. Our roommate came and took a few pictures with a disposable camera. We had our “reception” at a local bar, pizza and beer, just the three of us. I don’t remember exactly what we vowed, but I do know we couldn’t stop smiling, looking at each other. Best decision e v e r, both the eloping and choosing him.

Sweet: #aprillove2015 and Wish: #aprilmoon15

littlemadmanApril Love prompt, “sweet.” This is a picture of my husband Eric at about six years old with his little sister Angela. They lived in Germany at the time, (their dad was in the Army and stationed there). Eric was on his way to a birthday party. He looks like a little Mad Man, except for the socks with sandals. It’s one of my favorite pictures.

April Moon prompt, “I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I wish…” I am acutely aware right now of the ways in which those who are sick, specifically those with various addictions, generate suffering both for themselves and those who love them. It’s so hard to watch someone you love be in pain, to be so sick and confused, and not be able to do anything about it, to have your support rejected, to know that the only way things will get better for them is if they choose to get help and you can’t convince or make them do that, to see them continue to resist, choose instead to keep going down a path of self-destruction.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I wish for suffering to ease. I wish that the confusion would lift and the truth be clear, that she’ll see how things really are and have the strength to make the right choice, that with the help of qualified professionals she’ll be able to save herself, turn things around. I wish that no matter what happens with her, those who love her will be able to find some peace, will know that they did everything they could for her. I wish for all those struggling with addiction the same clarity and strength, and for those who love them the same peace, the ability to be okay no matter what the outcome.