Come walk with me

Come walk with me among the stones and trees, away from the distractions and we will reflect on what truly matters. . . .

Thursday, April 30, 2015


My divorce decree arrived in the mail today. Two stamps with images of Maya Angelou were on the envelope.

Now I know why the caged bird sings.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Heart Will Always Listen

The hall is empty.
The music changes everything.

* * * * * * *

The Hollow.

We lived in the Hollow, the hollow of the mountain, and a great blue wall rose around us. The windows of my sixth-grade classroom framed the landscape. It was an ever-changing masterpiece. Fall, winter, spring--the mood changed as if Bierstadt were sitting just outside with his palette and easel.

We each had a box of pastels and I drew a clipper was voted second best in the class. Betty Ann had drawn a mermaid perched on a rock...odd selections for mountain children.

My great, great, great, I lose track of the greats, grandfather was a bowlegged sailor who fought his way through the Indians to make a home far from the coast. He would have dozens upon dozens of descendants who never saw the ocean but had images of clipper ships coming closer and closer in their minds' horizons.

The waves rose and fell, mountains and hollows, mist sprayed from the splashing of creeks on rocks, and the fog, the fog billowed and rolled from the foot of the mountain all the way to the sea. On those days, mountain people recalled the oceans they had known, though not consciously, of course, just in their hearts, their bones.  They stood on the pinnacles and watched the ravens and hawks sail and dive with no place to light in the vastness, so that they were forced to return to the arks of cabins and barns.The mountain folk stood and they remembered.

They swore they could hear the waves crashing at the foot of Fisher's Peak.

Friday, April 24, 2015

What's Forever For

Michael Martin Murphey's voice is pure as butter -- rich, satisfying, sustaining.

I see love-hungry people

I see them, too. I see me, hungry for love and for life. It is 1980 something in the kitchen of our restaurant. Mama and my little girl and Michael Martin Murphey's voice,  rich as cream, while Mama made dumplings for supper.

If love never lasts forever, 
Tell me, what's forever for?

Mama nodded as she worked, Amen, Amen.

She worked the flour and lard and milk, looking down, thinking, somewhere else.

My little girl and I were going on a picnic, packing a lunch for the Shot Tower at Fosters Falls, straight up I-77. It was summer, and the Queen Anne's lace softened the road's edge. New River rolled below us like forever, like all our days, all the days that had ever been and ever would be. The sunlight on the water reflected for years afterward.

Photo of New River at I-77 by Denise Coalson; used with permission.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


We were sitting in our hotel on Sunday morning when I glanced at my phone; it was 9:02.

People were having breakfast, checking out, loading their cars. The sun was shining. It was a cool, spring morning.  Life goes on.

Just blocks away, people were marking the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. We had visited the memorial the day before and the experience overwhelmed the senses--the gates/walls that stand on either side, one with 9:01 etched into it, the other with 9:03-- in between, the black water, the empty chairs, one for each person. There were flowers, teddy bears, Dr. Seuss books. It was quiet, very quiet, even with so many people.

Twenty years. 2-0 years. Twenty whole years. Facebook. Smartphones. 9-11. Birthdays. Christmases. Graduations. Weddings. Sunrises. Sunsets.

I was in Oklahoma City for an awards ceremony, a celebration. Celebration. Anticipation. Cowboy hats and turquoise. Happy folks. Rewards.

The space ...between how I live my life now.

My friend has lost both her children. They were grown. They had lives, real lives, friends, jobs, hobbies. 

* * * * * *
We toasted one another with wine, made new friends, grabbed old ones. Pictures. Pictures. Pictures. Save the moment, savor the moment. 

* * * * * *
The morning after....9:02. People are happy, making coffee, having breakfast. 

The space between anniversaries.