Tag Archives: Reflections

Rainy Day Reflections

Carol A. Hand

Rainy Day Reflections – March 27, 2019
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Greeting the morning
listening
to the sounds of the awakening city
the loud constant whirring of traffic
on wet pavement just before school starts
joined by deep thrumming in the distance
as the train whistle sounds and the school bell shrills
Sounds crescendoing accompanied by thunder
rumbling in the distance then booming overhead

*

Retreating inside
listening
to the refrigerator quietly humming
before my dog and parakeet awaken
to greet the morning with song

*

I miss the long ago sounds of the forest
but I have to believe there’s a reason
for being here now
questioning
whether simple loving actions matter
contemplating
the importance of purpose,
perspicacity, persistence, and patience
as the storm moves on to the east,
clouds clear and traffic sounds fade
allowing bird song to be heard once again
as my little dog awakens and explores the new day
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“I think I’ll try to climb up the steps.”
“I know I can do this!”
“I can do this, too!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For My Daughter

Carol A. Hand

I feel your concern as I walk slowly now
trudging up and down hills or on icy sidewalks
following behind as you lead the way
heading toward a future that is yours alone
I need to travel at my own pace – sure-footed
to avoid adding to the burdens I know you carry

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Loving you means trusting life and letting you go onward
accepting the limitations of a frail aging frame with grace
watching you with love, compassion, joy, and heavy sadness
remembering conundral choices that I suspect hurt you
hoping one day you will understand that loving you deeply
gave me courage to face daunting challenges to keep you safe

*

My daughter, Turns Falls, Massachusetts, 1975

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Yesterday, March 5th, was my granddaughter’s twelfth birthday. We had a lovely family celebration. But it’s a date that always makes me feel both deeply grateful, and deeply guilty.

I was traveling when I learned that my daughter was in the hospital giving birth to her daughter prematurely. In the midst of a powerful late winter snowstorm, the airports were closed in both of the cities where my daughter and I were. Renting a car to drive hundreds of miles through the storm wasn’t an option. There was no way I could be there. I could only fly home to a distant state the next day while the storm continued to batter the city where my daughter was.

When the airport reopened on the third day, I was faced with a conundrum. I was carrying heavy responsibilities for gifted, at-risk graduate students in a university that was unsupportive of those who were different in some way. If I left again to be with my daughter, it was likely their graduation would, at best, be delayed. I decided to send my partner, my daughter’s stepfather for most of her life, to be there instead. It was several months before I held my granddaughter for the first time.

All of the students I was advising graduated, many passing their final requirements with distinction, and they went on to careers helping vulnerable people. Yet, I know my daughter was deeply hurt. I will always wonder if I made the “right” choice, just as I will always remember that her birth was the greatest gift in my life.

Reflections about Detachment

Carol A. Hand

You tried to take it all
but it was never enough
to fill the insatiable void
you carried deep within
Ultimately you taught me
a valuable lesson

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wounded

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Detachment –
the art of letting go of my ego’s needs –
for attention, relationships,
approval from others,
or holding on tightly
to anything I loved

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Unencumbered I was free
to live my life as I pleased
The gifts I’ve given freely
bore the fruit of a worthwhile life
and helped my spirit grow
in ways you may never know

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healing

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You say you’re proud of my accomplishments?
We’re family and I should listen to history revised?
Naw… I’m done with that.
Compassion, forgiveness, and wisdom don’t require one
to continue a charade based on illusions
as a partner in the dance of perpetual mutual rewounding

*

What I can give you out of kindness is distance and space
and my sincere wish that one day you will discover
and learn to celebrate your own accomplishments

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Neither One Thing Nor Another

Carol A. Hand

 

Catfish or Eagle Clan? (drawing by Carol A. Hand, photo of drawing edited)

***

Born in between
neither one thing nor another
a mercurial shape-shifter
one moment flying high
above the clouds
the next plunging
to the murky depths
of nutrient rich swamp bottoms
where the roots of water lilies feed
experiencing both
the freedom of flight and far-vision
and swimming deep
surrounded by the rich abundance of possibilities
exploring alternatives and seeking wisdom
rather than choosing
to remain in the darkness
constrained by conforming ignorance
and spirit-freezing fear

 

***

Morning Greeting – October 10, 2018

Carol A. Hand

Greeting a blustery morning
through rain-dusted lenses
witnessing and listening to the storm
blaring sirens barely audible
above the sound of roaring wind
Trees twisting, bending, and bowing
in the fierce gusty northeast blow
still-green leaves covering the earth
ripped prematurely from their branches
a blessings perhaps given the coming snow

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Stormy Morning – October 10, 2018

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Sending healing purple light
to my relatives, the trees
the cottonwoods, willows, and maples
the spruces, birch, and aspens
the crabapple and mountain ash
heavily laden with ripening fruit
may they all survive this and coming storms
until their life’s purpose is complete

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Heavy-Laden Crabapple Tree – October 10, 2018

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Grateful for a simple little house
that stood through the stormy night
an often taken-for-granted luxury
in a world where so many are without
safety, sustenance, or shelter
Reconfirming my intention
to remember moment to moment
to live with wisdom, compassion, and joy
despite the storms along the way

*

Fourth Year Anniversary Reflections

Carol A. Hand

Yesterday, my blog turned four years old. I still wonder what led me to blogging. Initially I thought it was the stockpile of unpublished reflections and stories I wanted to share. They were stories based on a particular perspective as an outsider who wasn’t content with merely pointing out injustice and oppression. My work has always involved trying to solve puzzles and experiment with possible constructive solutions from a critical view. It seemed fitting to name my blog Voices from the Margins.

After a couple years, though, I ran out of those old reflections. So I began to experiment with different topics and ways to write. I also learned a little bit about photography using my old digital cameras. I kept blogging because of the dear friends I met here in the blogosphere. Although few of my original friends still blog, new friends have filled the void.

I have no illusions that my photos or blog posts are great works of art. But I do have fun creating them and sharing them with others.

On this anniversary, I wondered what comes next. I find myself re-engaging with the world a little more and taking on long-ignored home repair projects. The title of the blog still holds true, but perhaps the blurb about my blog needs a bit of updating. There are all kinds of issues I could write about from a critical frame, but so many others do that far better. What is less common are those who look both critically and gratefully at what is and ask how this informs practical everyday choices.

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January 30, 2018

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Increasingly, my posts are deliberately a little like the bright moon on a dark night peeking through tree branches. Reflected light that flows through me, meant to provide solace and encourage creative, peaceful, constructive, thoughts and actions in a time of darkness.

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Januray 30, 2018

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These days, though, like the moon, my presence is not always visible. I am woefully behind replying to comments and reciprocating visits to other’s blogs. I apologize. I will try to do a better job because your friendship and what you share matters. I am always touched by the work you do.

But I do become micro-focused, like yesterday, when I had intended to share this post and visit blogs. I became so intent on finishing my newest project, sanding an old window frame, that I failed to stop and see the beauty of the day. I only saw the birch tree lit by the sun in a clear blue sky after I took a photo to record my progress.

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Window Frame Repair in Progress

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Today, I will take time to thank you all for being an important presence in my life.

Passing Time

Carol A. Hand

Daylight Saving Time always catches me by surprise. Traveling between times as I write about the past heightens my awareness about how quickly things change, one season to the next. East and west markers change as I witness the sun rise and set.

I’ve never been comfortable adhering to rigid schedules. Now in retirement, I only have one commitment that requires being “on time.” What a funny expression, “on time.”

I have a number of non-working watches. Finding the right replacement batteries seems such a waste of my time. But I do have clocks. A lot of them, in fact.

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I can’t always remember which ones still need to be changed …

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Most are battery powered because I lived off the power grid for so many years, or in prairie storm-country where I often lost power. Some of the clocks are works of art and craftsmanship.

Despite all of these constant reminders, I much prefer to live by “Indian time,” doing things when “the time is right,” rather than adhering to rigid schedules. It makes life more unpredictable to be sure, but there’s a lot to said about the benefits of “going with the flow.” Maybe that explains why I’ve only changed some of clocks to the newly imposed meaning of time.

I prefer to measure time by watching the sun rise and set, and by marveling about how quickly my grandchildren change as they grow. It brings to mind a song from Fiddler on the Roof, Sunrise Sunset.

“Is this the little girl I carried
Is this the little boy at play
I don’t remember growing older
When did they

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Measuring the Passage of Time – 2009 to 2016

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“When did she get to be a beauty
When did he grow to be so tall
Wasn’t it yesterday
When they were small

“Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

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“Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears…”

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Clocks or no clocks, it’s time for me to get busy editing. May your days bring you many moments of peace, happiness and joy.

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The Marks of Time

Carol A. Hand

Each moment that’s lived leaves its mark

Like the annual growth rings of trees

 Lean years and times of plenty

Recorded as part of our being

Times of joy and loss visible on our external frame

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Maui - 1998
Maui – 1998

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Layers of old cells and new, some dead, some living

Protect our inner life-giving center

Nurtured by roots invisible to the eye

Some deep, some shallow, some in fertile soil

And some with little life-giving nourishment to discover

Some growing in native lands surrounded by all their relations

Others transplanted in alien places, alone

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Banyan Tree - Maui - 1998
Banyan Tree – Maui – 1998

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Transforming light into life as we reach toward the sun

Breathing deeply beneath moon and stars in sometimes gentle breezes

Subject to forces of wind and weather we can’t control

As storms rage around us and chainsaws whine

We still stand as resolute and steady as we can

Drawing nourishment and inner strength

Afforded to us in each moment as long as rains fall

As long as sun rises and continues to shine

Until it’s our time to return to the the earth

Providing nourishment for generations that follow

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For more information about trees, here’s a link to a clear overview: http://www.kidzone.ws/plants/trees.htm

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