Fernweh

Fernweh

(I wrote this while listening to the music below. So quiet, so relaxing…so full of Fernweh.)

I just discovered a new word…Fernweh. It’s a German word that basically means that you are homesick for a place you have never seen. It sounds silly, doesn’t it? How can one feel such a wistful desire for a place you have never been? But as a confirmed Hopeless Romantic, I can verify that Fernweh does exist. I have known it…many times.

It is difficult to describe, but when you hear a certain piece of music or see a photo or a maybe a scene in a movie, you are suddenly overwhelmed with a nostalgia and yearning that envelopes you. I have often found myself standing on an ocean beach or a windy hillside looking out over the distant scene and feeling that slightly sad and wistful yearning to go “home.” But home to where?

Ah…therein lies the secret. For in each person, our “soul home” is different for each of us and can sometimes change over the years. For me, it has been the same since I was a little girl. I listen to the music below and I yearn to stand on the faded glory of yesteryear’s castles looking at a storm sweep up a green hillside. I can see myself…in clothes of a bygone era, hair blowing freely, staring at the distant horizon waiting.

Why does my heart know this place? Almost like a memory, it is imprinted on my mind like a faded dream. When I wander the timeworn stones and pathways of a crumbling English castle, I have stepped back in time and can hear the sounds of ancestors’ voices. Was that the sound of horse’s hoofs on the cobblestoned bridge? Is that distant merry laughter from the ruins of the great hall below? I hear the melancholy notes of a Celtic flute and I’m instantly transported. I am reluctant to leave. I close my eyes and my soul trembles slightly brushed with that haunting desire.

Yes, I know and understand Fernweh, but I believe most do. For in all of us, there is a memory of a spiritual home. We may not fully acknowledge it, but we all hear that distant music. Someday we will all find our soul’s “home” and finally be able to lay aside that quiet yearning for something more.

Of course some will say “Melissa, don’t be silly, it’s all in your head.” But as Dumbledore said in Harry Potter, “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” (― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)

Dancing Under the Moon



It's a full moon 
I'm dancing with the fairies 
sipping honey wine from a flower cup 
made of moon dewdrops 
and silver rain

The golden haze of the Autumn light
Suspends reality 
Opening a door to the other world
of halcyon dreams
and glowing Aurelian walls

The cool, free winds
blow cobwebs away in my soul
brushing away old, dusty memories
as I find little me
leaping with the eternal stars

This Is Me

This song and the video below represent to me the amazing qualities we have in all of us.  I saw these beautiful, imperfect people standing tall and proud and brave and the tears poured down my face. I have my own insecurities, and I often feel like the words in this song. “Run away they say, no one will love you as you are…”

But these beautiful children of God show me something different. 

I am imperfect, bruised, broken, beautiful, strong, courageous, and…loved.

I am the wallflower, but I am whom I’m meant to be…this is me.

“I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one will love you as you are
 
But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious!
 
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, THIS IS ME!”

Tick…tock…

Tick…tock…
The rain drops hush the heat
Of an intense summer day
The night comes in gentle grey
With no sunset colors at play
All is one in unified silence

The midnight hour draws near
And the heavy burdens appear 
The ticking of the clock
Accompanies the melancholy
Of her relentless thoughts

It is in the stillness of this hour
That her inner critic begins to sour
Every ambition, every hope
With sobering truths
Of cold reality

The clicking of the endless clock
Is the wordless march
Of impervious time
Dutifully doing its mechanical part
Stilling the wishes of her romantic heart

She sighs...
Another morn will come
and with it she will smile
For that is her duty
To pretend for a while...

Photo by Rafael Barros from Pexels

Join Me in Paris

Join Me in Paris

Audrey Hepburn Eiffel TowerCome and join me in one of my favorite memories and trips of all time…Paris.  Let us wander the streets together.  The streets walked by millions of lovers, artists and hopeless romantics searching for that elusive idea of “love.”

Walk where the architecture swoons with every curve and where the Seine is graced by slow moving boats.  Stroll where a dress is a masterpiece of art and cuisine melts on the tongue.  Why do visions of Audrey Hepburn standing in front of the Eiffel Tower call forth the ultimate in femininity and class?  Why is Paris “always a good idea” as she once said?

Ah…Paris. The very name sends a little romantic thrill through my heart.  When I was 12 years old, I saw a movie that was based in Paris and ever since then, I’ve been in love with it. After wishing, hoping and dreaming for over 30 years, I finally was able to travel there for a few days.  It was both eye-opening and beautiful.

I remember being warned that it was dirty and not as romantic as many liked to think it was.  Of course I saw the dirt, the graffiti, and yes, even some vermin (both human and animal).  But I also saw everything that people love about the place.  There was a boulangerie with fresh baked croissants and bread.  Friends sitting with their coffee at charming little cafes, locals playing a game of Boules (a game that involves heavy balls), street musicians and entertainers, and beautiful locals passing on their bicycles.  And of course, there was that stunning French flair for fashion that made me a wee bit envious of the beautiful women that passed by.

There were Gothic churches that swept your eye upwards to the sky.

Paris Church

There was opulence in every corner at the Palace of Versaille.  From golden gates to painted masterpieces on the ceilings to the stunning gardens…no detail was left untouched.

Palace of Versailles

But most of all, there was the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel tower at night

To this woman, the Eiffel Tower was the ultimate romantic dream.  It symbolized the idea of love for me.  It was as if simply by being there, that one could find the love one had always hoped for.  Throughout the years, hopeless romantic daydreams were often accompanied by the Eiffel Tower in the background.

The day I finally got to see it, I was completely surprised at my reaction.  I left the subway and walked around the corner and up to the platform above it to get the best view.  When it came into view, I was suddenly overwhelmed by my feelings.  The tears started to flow and I couldn’t keep them back.  It was one of my first long-held dreams that had come true. (Video below of me and my reaction.)

As the character Sabrina in the movie “Sabrina” said, “Only where the light is pink, does the song La Vie en Rose (Life in Rose) make sense.” Why? Because to see Paris is to see life through rose-colored glasses.

And during these days, when the world seems so full of confusion, pain and darkness, rose-colored glasses help me to find the beauty that still exists.


We loved first in our dreams...
You reached from beyond
into my unconscious mind
and found me in the realms of fantasy
Falling in love was as easy as breathing
And we did with an intensity that seemed
To brush the very tenets of my soul
Every spiritual nerve tingled
As we laughed at jokes
As you tenderly touched my face
As your arms reached around me
And we sighed in perfect contentment
It was a fullness of joy...
That still companions me
in my waking hours
You reminded me how to love...
Which I'm holding in my heart
Until we meet again.

Writing Challenge – :)

We are doing something different today.  So I was challenged by my sister to use some of these funny, crazy words in a sentence (they are in the picture).  I love a writing challenge, so turned it into a silly poem instead.

Old wordsOn a rickety front porch
Sat one persnickety old man
Who lived in the valley
Of a town called Spokane

He grumbled and mumbled
When the neighborhood children
Would create another brouhaha
With their ridiculous shenanigans

Their noise and laughter
Disturbed his afternoon naps
As he sat in his rocker
Drinking his lemonade Schnapps

One hot day some rascally kids
Decided to play an unkind joke
They threw a glass of water
On the sleeping old goat

“You young whippersnappers,” he called
“I’ll wallop the lot of you! 
Skedaddle from my yard,” he yelled
As he threw his old shoe. 

Feeling bad for what they had done
The young children decided to make
Some gifts to say sorry
So they picked flowers and made a cake.

On tenterhooks they crept up
To the sleeping old man
Laying down a pumpernickel cake,
And flowers in a can

When the old man woke up
And saw the presents before him
He was completely gobsmacked
And his frown turned to a grin.

So remember young ones
When you have the choice
Find the strength to be kind
And share your compassionate voice. 

Unfinished Symphonies

Unfinished Symphonies

Waltzing in your arms
On the sifting sands
Swaying to the rhythm
Of the hushed waves
As the colors of dawn
Sang a silent song
Only the winking stars
And the rustling palms
Had been witnesses
To our fleeting romance

Our eyes sang a lyrical melody
Our entwined fingers
Played a symphony
With a rising crescendo
Of unspoken emotions
Our lips met…
Desire, passion, love, frustration
And hopelessness crashed
Into one unforgettable moment
Of impossible longing

We watched the stars disappear
As we held onto the night
That could never last
We fought farewell
As the notes of our symphony
Faded into a minor key
With one last wistful kiss
We watched the curtains fall on our dream
As the rising sun of our new reality
Made its melancholy debut

Nothing Left to Lose

Nothing Left to Lose

I wrote this a few years ago.  Originally meant to be a song, I had an expert lyricist look at it and then tell me her thoughts.  First she said it was a poem, not a song.  She was correct on that.  It is a poem, thus I have chosen to publish it here.  She also said it was too sad, too “victim” and that no one could relate to it.  Well, she obviously didn’t pay attention to the end, because as always, it turns around and gives one hope.  Somehow I think she was wrong and that more people can relate to this than she thinks.  And unfortunately, this is more true now than it was when I first wrote it, but I still see light at the end of the tunnel.

Nothing Left to Lose

Sitting on an empty floor
Watching the window and the door
Hoping that some inspiration
Will come through this time

No money, no career, no lover, no home
I’ve never felt so defeated and alone
Don’t feed me some kind of cliche line
that kind of fiction won’t work this time

I’ve got nothing left to lose
Nothing left to prove
Nothing left to confess
No one left to impress
Just me…

I have worked every job and moved every year
Began a hundred times and cried too many tears
Running a race that never seems to end
Begging for something that would help it all make sense

I’ve got nothing left to lose
Nothing left to prove
Nothing left to confess
No one left to impress
Just me…

But I realize that maybe it’s time to try again
So with quiet conviction and a shaky hand
I push myself up off the floor
Let my imagination roam once more
I will build up from the ashes of my life
And give my dreams at least one more try

I guess I do have something left to lose
I do have one thing left to prove
I have more that I want to express
But only one person left to impress…
Just me

rock-bottom-became-the-solid-foundation-on-which-i-rebuilt-5283543

Peace Be Unto You…

Peace Be Unto You…

In this turbulent world that seems to grow grimmer by the day, I wanted to write about one of my favorite subjects on this Easter Sunday…peace.   As the years have passed, I have come to discover that my favorite emotion is being at peace…that gentle, reassuring, loving feeling that all will be made well.

It has come on a summer’s night listening to crickets and watching fireflies dance.  It has come as friends sang softly by the light of a campfire.  It has come as I watched a sunrise from my window or walked through the quiet of soft snowflakes falling.  It has come as I lay warm on the sand listening to the ocean waves. It has come as I sat on a dock watching a sunset and listening to a dolphin sing.  It has come as I held a baby, calming it and letting it sleep against my shoulder.

It has come to me in a empty room where I hid to stop the tears of a broken heart. It has come to me in my mother’s arms and it has come to me under my father’s hands as he has given me a blessing.  But most often, it has come on my knees as I sought answers to desperate prayers.  My racing heart slows, my mind grows quiet, I feel a calm warmth that seems to spread over and around me as I listen for those words “Peace…be still.”

As the night draws nigh on this holy day, I listen to the birds singing the sun down.  The colors tint the sky like pale Easter eggs and the glorious words “He is Risen” echo in my heart.  I know He lives…and that He loves us. The world may rage on, but in my soul, I have peace and that is enough for me.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:26–27).

Not Today

Not Today

Lemon daffodil sunshine
Crayon blue skies
Pale rose tinged clouds
And lark song greet the sunrise
The world is awaking…

But as I stare out the window
After a long, dark night
Feeling the unspoken fear
Of unfulfilled promises
I turn away from the light…

Too many times
My butterfly hopes have faded
With a final flutter
Over the wishful horizon

They disappeared…

So just for today
I close the curtains
And burrow down
In the blue shadows
To hide my heart away…

Tomorrow will come
With bright hope renewed
But today I hush the world
To find the inner strength
To try again…

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Reverie

wishing (2)I stand at my window
Studying the elusive stars
In a moonless sky
Listening to the silence
Of a sleeping world
Cradling wishing dust in my hand
In simple innocence
I close my eyes…

I am wrapped in your arms
Resting my head
Against the strength of your heart
Content in our joy
Stillness in the moment
Feeling without saying
Knowing without words
Loving in silent rhyme…

I open my eyes…
I stand alone at the window
Fairy dust clenched in my fingers
I slowly let it go
Whispering the closely held wishes
Of a lonely heart
I watch it disappear into the stars
Still quietly hoping…

Clarity

Clarity

Several faces cross my mind
Memories of dried up wishes
Daydream bouquets wilted
Another handful of dry petals
Blowing away as I toss them
Into the cold spring wind…

March lions hail down
Pellets of frozen ice
Winds slice through my armor
another false disguise
Pulling my coat closer feeling resigned
I turn and bump into you.

A flash of immortal fire
splits the darkening skies

Two souls find each other
through the meeting of startled eyes
And suddenly with a lightning view
I realize in all of those confusing faces…
I was searching for you.

Reunion

Reunion

I knew you a long time ago…
When spirit touched spirit
And our minds were intertwined
There were no obstacles
Such as distance
Or baggage
Or heartbreak…
There was just us
Believing we could fight the world
To find each other again

It was simple…
Before life interfered
And we found ourselves
Far from each other
With a veiled mind
And no remembrance of carefree days
Running through the stars
Nor the tender promises
Two innocent souls had made

Years have passed…
And time has mellowed my heartache
But I still wait for you
For our breathless reunion
When with a hesitant glance
Our eyes will meet
Our spirits will touch
The flame will rekindle
And we will smile
Remembering just a glimpse
Of eternity…

Another Auld Lang Syne

Another Auld Lang Syne

Glancing through old photos
I found one of you.
One that I had forgotten…
And I quietly withdrew
The ache surprised me…
I had not expected
That familiar twinge
Nor the silent tears

One photo…
Memories of laughter
and tender plans
of a woman in love
With an unforgettable man
A reminder of a pipe dream
that was just a mirage
A memory of love
That was only mine…

I know I have been consigned
To the distant corners
Of your heedless mind
I’m just another woman
In your long line of hopefuls
Just another distraction.
Just another wasted attraction
Just another faded illusion
Just another so-called friend…

Unable to throw your photo away
It gets packed for another day
When my heart is healed
and I close that door
When the sweetness
of your embraces

Don’t hurt anymore
When I am strong enough
To finally forget…
You will be nothing more
Than another Auld Lang Syne.

Holding Up the Light – An Allegory

Holding Up the Light – An Allegory

She stood on the rocky beach holding up the lantern as the brilliant sunset faded into pale memories. It’s warm flame cast a pleasant light over her as she waited. He had said he would come. She believed that he would, but as night drew closer, she began to doubt.

She searched the horizon but saw nothing as the twilight slowly dissolved into darkness. The warm breezes that had danced along the shores during the day turned cooler and began to hint of rain. She could see storm clouds in the distance. Still…she did not move. She held onto the light.

As the rain began to fall, she could feel the cold settling in. Would he see it? Would he see her light among the others on the coast? How would he find her among the lights of the towns and homes that spread for miles? How would he see her small lamp, held close to her heart while she shivered on the shore?

The tide started to come in and the large rocky beach began to disappear as she backed towards the cliff walls. She had nowhere to go, for if she gave up and left, he would never find her. It was then the first, large cold wave washed over her. It took her breath away and she gasped. She shivered and the light wavered as she stumbled backwards and fell to the ground. The light sputtered in the lantern and almost went out. She looked up at the edge of the dark horizon and the lantern lying on its side and began to wonder if she shouldn’t give up.

“Not yet,” she whispered. Cautiously, she reached over and picked the light up. Pushing against the sharp rocks which cut marks in her legs and hands, she stood up. The light had partially dimmed, but it still burned. She held it close to her body to warm herself, careful not to cover the light completely. Shaken, but determined to not give up, she stood still and scanned the horizon. He was still not to be seen.

As the night wore on, icy waves continued to knock her to the ground as the cold rain pelted. Tears mixed with salt water. She was now numb from the cold and exhaustion, yet she picked herself up every time and stood her ground. Maybe he would not come. Maybe she had waited all this time for nothing. She felt foolish for continuing to wait, but something inside her heart told her not to leave. Not to give up.

It was in the fourth watch of the night that her hand dropped with the lantern at her side. She could not go on. She had given everything she had. She dropped to her knees and let the tears flow as she stared aimlessly at the horizon empty with despair. She had held on for so long…

It was then the spark of light in the distance caught her eye. She stared at it, not really believing it was meant for her. Yet, within a few minutes, the light grew larger and closer. Could it be…? She almost couldn’t breathe. Struggling to stand up one more time, she lifted the lantern high above her head with a spark of hope. The light on the small boat became clear and with it, she heard his voice calling over the waves. Miracle though it seemed, he had found her light. He had found her.

Her sailor had come home.

Of Castles, Weddings and Fairies…

Of Castles, Weddings and Fairies…

‘Tis time! ‘Tis time!
They gleefully cried
And the medieval muses 
rushed to my side…

Gather round my friends
and ye shall hear
Of Melissa’s adventures
Both far and near

Of enchanted castles
And storybook tales
of mystical fairies
And love that never fails…

I couldn’t resist the storybook poetic beginning. England just seems to bring it out of me. I think Shakespeare would have been proud, don’t you?  Ha!

I’m finally getting around to writing about some of my other adventures in my brief sojourn to Brockenhurst.  This time we visit a country manor (a castle in my opinion), stumble upon a fairy tale wedding, and I even captured a photo of a fairy!  (It looks like one to me anyway.)

20191108_122236_HDROn a cool, rainy November day, I visited nearby Rhinefield House. Driving up a one lane road, the stunning scenery was lined with ancient oak trees in their prime of autumn colors.  Then the car turned the corner and the castle came into view.  Catching my breath, I just uttered “Wow!” This old castle turned hotel was the epitome of elegance and refinement with years of history around every corner.

Though it was closed when I visited, the Alhambra Room is an artistic masterpiece and the story goes that a woman had it built for her husband as a smoking room.  She wanted him to be able to smoke in luxury.  I think she achieved her aim, don’t you?  (Ah the whims of the wildly wealthy…)RHI-Alhambra

Of course, such a place is a magnet for weddings and there was one in preparation the day I visited.  I peeked in the medieval banquet hall to take a photo and was stunned by the wedding cake in the opposite corner.  No that’s not a fake photo…the cake was about 10 feet tall.  I’m only in the picture so you can judge by my height ( a mere 5’4).  Complete with waterfall, I decided that it must have belonged to a fairytale princess.  It just seemed like it should belong to royalty.  In fact, the whole room seemed to have an enchanted glow about it as I gazed on it from above.  

The wedding cake 20191108_120940_HDR

From the grand interior, I exited to silently stroll around the considerable and beautiful grounds…fountains, ponds, autumn arbors and open vistas graced every turn.

20191108_122225_HDRFountainsArbor at Rhinefield

Even an old, hidden door beckoned one to secrets that lay beyond…

20191108_123526_HDR

But time was waning and the secrets of the old castle would have to wait for another day.  Perhaps someday I will return…only destiny knows, but with so much country left to explore, it will likely be just another memory tucked away into my love affair with England.

And what of fairies?  On a cold, early Sunday morning as I was making my way across the fields towards the train station, I stopped in awe as the sunrise seemed to catch the light of every dewdrop and turned the whole glittering scene into a magical panorama.  I had to take several pictures.

While going back through them, I found something I had not seen when I took the photo.  If you look on the path, you will notice a small blue light.  To me, it looked just like a blue fairy.  Had I just stumbled upon her as she was finishing her morning rounds of painting each blade of grass with dew?  Who knows?  Choose to believe what you will, but while visiting England, magic found me and with it, I found childlike wonder in the every day.

So closes this 2nd chapter of my adventures in Brockenhurst.  Will there be more?  Yes, for the muses tell me there must be.  The magic must be shared… 🙂

The Blue Fairy

 

Christmas: A Season of Hope

Christmas: A Season of Hope

When I originally started my blog, it was a way to practice my descriptive writing. I never expected anyone to read it nor that it would develop into what it has. But as each inspired piece of writing has come out of me, I realized that most of what I wrote was about Hope.  As I have come through this 8 year journey since I began my blog, I have found many ways to endure difficult times and crises in small, everyday ways.

Every year for the past 9 years, I have had the same Christmas wish.  I won’t reveal what that is, because it’s too personal to me, but I will say that it has not yet happened. Yet every Christmas finds me gazing on that one star and making that one whispered wish.  Why?  Because Christmas is the season of Hope.  Hope that those promises made to us long ago will come to pass.  Hope that when we wake on that sacred day, that we will find some hint of our most treasured and beautiful desires coming true.

There are times I feel that it will never happen.  I lose faith…I lose hope.  Yes, it’s ironic that the woman who writes about hope sometimes feels it slipping away from her.  But we are all human, we all have our good and bad days.  And had I never experienced disappointment, how could I know the joy that comes from a hope fulfilled?

I can say that every time I come to the end of my rope, something happens to give me the strength to keep going.  It might be as small as a hug to something as large as an unexpected financial gift, but whatever it is, I see it as Heavenly Father’s way of saying “I’m aware of you, little one.  I know you’re struggling, but I am here.  I will not fail you. Be still and know that I am God.”

So here I am…still and quiet, listening, waiting and yes…hoping.

Merry Christmas my beautiful friends! May you all find your dearest hopes come to pass this New Year…