On Being Brave: My 2014 One Word

We’re fourteen days into 2014. rose bud

So, this post is a bit late, a poor omen to how the rest of 2014 will be, I hope not. For the past three years or so that I have been blogging, I have chosen a word, a One Word to guide my choices for the year.(Kinda like Frodo and the One Ring but without the creepy Black Riders following me around).

Last year, I chose the word–IGNITE. For parts of 2013, my word represented my choices: I remembered why I loved teaching, why I loved writing. Looking back over 2013, I see how my one word helped me back better choices like submitting my poetry and fiction for publication and attending a writer’s retreat in Michigan. I published a couple of stories, began writing a novel that I still love, overcame my fear of flying (I have a strong hatred for O’Hare), and adopted a kitten (really the kitten has nothing to do with my One Word just throwing it out there in case you wanted to know).

Even with a strong One Word showing for 2013, I didn’t plan on choosing another word for 2014. Until one chose me.

The word niggled at my brain. It found its way into my new favorite song with the title as my word. Now, my 2014 theme song. This word wouldn’t let me go. Despite wanting to focus goals and checking off boxes next to things that I accomplished, this word, this one word kept hounding until I accepted:

My One Word for 2014

Brave

Brave looks like submitting more writing, consistently putting myself out there for both acceptance and rejection.

Brave looks like being bold with my words, saying what I need and want.

Brave looks like fierce honesty coupled with compassion.

Brave looks like blogging consistently, being more open both online and in person.

Brave looks like embracing imperfection and accepting that I can’t be perfect.

So, here’s to a BRAVE 2014.

Maybe, going to Mordor with Frodo would have been a safer idea.

These Quiet Mornings

I wake this morning aching grateful. Morning comes, and I greet it leash in hand. The dew grass spit as we trampled down the knee stalks, the water splashing between my toes and out my shoes.I watch my dogs put noses to the ground, waddle off into the higher grass, spring back, jump up to my nose and lick it. I pet their heads and call them by name. We meander back to the house. Door open; wet paws slip on the hardwoods.

There is joy in the morning, these quiet mornings.

Coffee sputters and gurgles. I stand and wait and wait and wait. Favorite mug, a touch of cream, breathe in morning’s smell. One child up already makes breakfast. Perhaps, I shall write a bit before the burden of the day begins anew. In those stolen bits, I burrow away in my writing corner, my desk to give life to my thoughts. I need this ritual of writing in the morning. Before the email blares its siren song, before the “I can’t take another minute of you” bicker begins, before the demands of video games and television and whinings all crash-land in my living room. Now, I write before the day steals my morning from me.

There is joy in the morning, these quiet mornings.

Today, deep in the South’s wet blanket humid summer, it’s easy to allow day to rob me of this morning. I never wake without a list of things to do, hardships breaking my resolve. In short, my mornings aren’t always grateful, sunshine-filled gloriousness. I have bad days, but isn’t this what grace is for? Don’t we all have days when the bed throws us into a world ready for a new victim? But mornings do come again for me, and I embrace this morning with grace.

There is joy in the morning, these quiet mornings.

 

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Oh, Summer

Summer slips away–

Washed into shore,

Pulled  by the undertow–

Clings onto the bits of sand,

Overturns our sandcastles,

Then exits.

Leaving us only

With shell bits of lives

Between our toes.

Tell me about your summer, this year, last year. What do you remember–sights, smells, sounds?

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Garden Rows

Black soil rows

Lined up–

Basil, thyme, rosemary

All for remembrance

Of seeds, of death, of life.

These hands

Cut soil with trowel

Like a scalpel–

Then new and old

Dead and living

Converge

In garden rows.

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