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…

 

A Humbling Lesson in Gratitude

A Humbling Lesson in Gratitude

So yesterday, I was having a bit of a Grinch moment.  I was frustrated about several things and then while trying to go somewhere last night, my car got stuck in a snowbank in my driveway.  Frustrated and upset and tired of not having a significant other to help out, I slammed the door and went inside and decided to deal with it the next morning.  About 8:30 pm, I received a text from my landlady upstairs stating that someone was shoveling out my car.  I went up and it was my wonderful neighbor.  He had shoveled my entire driveway and then he helped me to get my car out of the snowbank.

Feeling very grateful to him and a bit embarrassed about my earlier complaints, I went back inside.  As I laid down, I pondered about many things in my life until I finally fell asleep.  It was then I had a humbling dream. I dreamt that I was getting ready to move to another city with my sister and my Dad and some other members of the family.  We were all going to leave at a specific time.  I had to run an errand to another section of town and promised I would be back before they all left.

This is where the dream took an interesting turn.  I had to drive to a part of town that wasn’t that safe when my car ran out of gas.  Knowing I was going to be late, I tried to make a call on my cell phone, but found all the data had been used up and there was no Wi-Fi.  I tried to borrow someone else’s phone, but it didn’t work.  Not long after, someone stole my purse.  With no money and my cell phone not working, I couldn’t call for help.

I wandered a few blocks into a neighborhood where hundreds of people lined the streets.  They were of every color, race, nationality and country.  Some had obviously been rich at one point as their clothing shown, but they had fled with just the clothes on their back.  I soon realized most of them were homeless locals and refugees.  I sat with one of the men asking if he had a phone and his phone didn’t work either.  I asked him why they were all waiting around and they said they were all waiting for places to sleep.  I looked around at the beds that had 2, 3 or sometimes 4 people to them and began to feel deeply humbled.  It was at this time that I found both my cell phone and even my shoes had disappeared.

Essentially, I was like these people.  I had no money, no shoes to walk anywhere, no car, no phone to call for help.  I was just like them and I realized how easy it was to have your life turn around so quickly.  As I partook of the breakfast food being served by volunteers, my sister came.  She had somehow found me and I knew I was going to be ok.  But as I left the building with the hundreds of refugees, I began to sing a hymn.  I don’t remember what it was, but it was a hymn of gratitude.  My sister joined me and soon, everyone there was singing this song.  For a moment, though these people were homeless, we were all grateful for what we did have.

I woke up from this dream and realized immediately the lesson that my Heavenly Father was trying to teach me.  We are all refugees in a way.  We owe our last breath to Heavenly Father for He has given us everything and can take everything away.  He does so to teach us powerful and important lessons in humility and gratitude and to rekindle that flame to serve.  How could we be grateful for an old car if we did not have to walk and take the bus?  How could we be grateful for warm shoes to cover our feet if we at one time didn’t have them?  How could we be grateful for our peaceful sanctuaries of home if we didn’t know the fear of losing that at one point? Once upon a time, even the King of all Kings was homeless as he was born and laid in a manger.

Mary and JesusYes, I am grateful.  I am thankful for the warm blankets on my bed and a warm home to sleep in, for the kindness of neighbors, for the love of family, for an old car that works and gets me to places I need to go, for a job that helps me pay my bills, for the food I have, for understanding friends, and most of all, for Jesus Christ whose birth we celebrate at this wonderful time of the year.

As the song below says, there’s so much to be thankful for…

A Woman Out of Time

A Woman Out of Time

Have you ever felt that you lived in the wrong era in history?  Did you ever feel as if you were somehow born for a simpler time?  I have often felt that way, especially when it comes to dating.  There have been so many times when I wished time travel was real.  My heart yearns for the days when gentlemen held doors for women and courted them with roses, strolls through a park, love songs, poetry, and soft words of romance.

I fully realize that even then that was somewhat of a pretense, but oh to hear the sweet words of a well-turned phrase rather than “Hey baby, what size are those wonders?”  (Yes, I actually have had several men ask me some version of that.)  I don’t mean insincere flattery, but a soft and sincere compliment given in that moment when your eyes meet.  When you catch your breath as his look speaks volumes and your heart races a little.

I yearn for the days when marriage was still the ultimate goal of dating instead of one-night stands or flings (which I won’t do).  When commitment, chastity and honor were a code to live by, not something to be mocked.  I’m an old-fashioned woman living in a modern world and with each passing year, I feel more like a relic on the shelf.

regency-woman-looking-at-the-stars-in-the-night-sky-lee-avison

Yes, I’m fully aware that I’m a hopeless romantic.  I know that all throughout history there have been cretinous cads, but surely there must be a man out there who still believes in romance?  I actually believe that there are many, and I still hope there is one for me. Maybe he is reading this post right now…I don’t know.  But if you are, find me…I’m still waiting…

“Run to You” by Whitney Houston

I know that when you look at me
There’s so much that you just don’t see
But if you would only take the time
I know in my heart you’d find
A girl who’s scared sometimes
Who isn’t always strong
Can’t you see the hurt in me?
I feel so all alone

Each day, each day I play the role
Of someone always in control
But at night I come home and turn the key
There’s nobody there, no one cares for me
What’s the sense of trying hard to find your dreams
Without someone to share it with
Tell me what does it mean?

I want to run to you
I want to run to you
Won’t you hold me in your arms
And keep me safe from harm?
I want to run to you
But if I come to you
Tell me…will you stay
Or will you run away?

The Season of Light and Gratitude

The Season of Light and Gratitude

(There will be more installments of my adventures to come, but for now, my heart simply couldn’t hold the joy of the season inside any longer!)

thanksgiving-turkey

When I think of Thanksgiving, I also think of Christmas, because the two holidays are so completely intertwined.  Not in the materialistic or commercial way some people think, but because of the dear meanings they hold to me.

girl and tree

Dealing with a bit of jet lag and waking up at 2 am, I couldn’t get my mind to shut off.  Having recently returned from England, I was already full of happiness after seeing my family again after a month. Though I laid there trying to sleep, I found myself humming a Christmas song and feeling like a child full of excitement. 

Nope, there would be no sleeping for me.  I threw back the covers, pulled out the Christmas decorations, put on the music (quietly so as not to disturb my upstairs landlady) and began to put them up feeling a bit giddy.

Season of Light

With each unwrapping, I couldn’t stop smiling.  Every ornament and decoration held beautiful memories of family and friendships and love.  I hadn’t opened this particular box for several years and I had forgotten.  I put on one of my favorite Christmas CD’s and the familiar music brought tears to my eyes.  I felt joy bubble up inside of me and could only describe it as pure gratitude and love.

The Savior and the child

Gratitude for nature in all of its glories.  Gratitude for my own small home and the peace I feel every time I open the door and step inside.  Gratitude for each and every miracle of love I have received over my lifetime from my family and friends near and far.  And most of all, gratitude for my Savior, Jesus Christ, whom I celebrate with joy and wonder this season.

How could Thanksgiving not be interwoven with Christmas?  A grateful heart finds joy in giving and a giving heart finds joy in selflessly serving with love.  For the recipient, the act of love warms their lives with gratitude.  The circle is complete.  So for those who wish to put up their Christmas decorations alongside their Thanksgiving decorations, you are really just celebrating the joy that comes from the Season of Light, Love, Gratitude and Giving.  What could be more wonderful than that?

Night and Thanksgiving