Caught

There are a couple of things I suck at: laundry, urinating while standing up, anything involving rubber balls and sewing. Some things I’m bad at that I wish I could do better (math, knowing song names and artists and not just “that guy with the big hair and huge lips” and being patient) and then there are things I am good at that I hate. Driving for instance. I know the rules and can drive quite well; the task, however, is one I dislike. (My husband says it’s because stupid drivers upset my OCD and I go from “nice Sara” to “raging jackass” in a matter of seconds).

Yesterday I was late for a doctor’s appointment I had forgotten about and was perhaps pushing on the gas pedal a little more judiciously than had I been timely. I got behind a red minivan who, in my opinion, was going a bit slow. Perhaps I tailed this van more closely than was warranted and perhaps I was a bit angrier in my facial expressions. I am, after all, not a tentative driver.

We came to a left turn, and the driver ahead of me stopped, peered through his side mirror and then turned. My heart landed in my stomach and I backed off, crawling a mere 15 miles per hour behind the minivan. When we arrived at a stop sign, the red van in front and me behind, I pulled down the sun visor and slouched in my seat, not anxious to be recognized.

For whose face peered out the side mirror in frustrated annoyance? None other than my boss and new neighbor.

 

 

Mother Nature Calls

 

Calm, rippling waters

A family day on the river

Blue, cloudless skies

Sunshine ripples silver

As we meander through the waves upriver.

 

Glorious eagle  silhouetted

High on a branch for all to see

His majestic profile, proud and erect

Cameras emerge and aim at the tree,

Reflection and awe abound but not me.

 

I think, “Is this almost over? I have to pee.”

 

 

 

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Glorious

The Beauty of Trees

Trees are extraordinary beings. They have the ability to grow almost anywhere provided the proper nourishment.

In cracks.

Through roofs.

In the hottest desert.

And in the coldest tundra.

Some of the most beautiful trees are carried on the wind, flying across borders to find a niche and grow. They sink into the soil, plant their roots and spread, often giving rise to entire forests of trees.

Trees who provide shade and comfort. Trees who protect and nourish others. Trees who have forged a life and supported whole ecosystems even though they were not planned.

There are forests of trees across our nation  in danger of extinction because of gardeners in their big, orange rubber gloves who object to the chaos of unplanned beauty. They will bring their poison and their shovels and kill the trees which have left indelible marks on the American landscape.

Some trees are so deeply rooted they will never move, but those who are young, who cling to small bits of soil as they find their way in these new environments are in danger. It is for these small saplings with their fragile limbs who worry me. Their extinction, once protected by humanitarian foresight to shelter the least of these, has been removed by an orange-gloved developer in an act of cowardice and malice.

To all my tree loving friends, fight. Protect your trees. They are what make America great. And to  all my trees, dig deep and stay strong. The winds of change move slowly but they always blow toward justice.

 

 

Brave

 

His gait is slow as he walks up the front steps, the porch light gleaming off his polished badge. I greet him at the door and am wrapped in his warm arms. His embrace is almost too tight, but it loosens as his heartbeat stutters and then slows.

He brushes the raven curls from my face and I lean up to kiss him. “You’re the bravest man I know. Remember that.”

“Some days I wonder.” He runs his hand along the corded scar that snakes from my shoulder blade and down around my hip. Like a migratory path, he travels the bumpy road by instinct, the slight tremor of his hand the only indication the journey has led him too far back.

“Your job is critical. You fight the monsters the rest of the world fears.” His touch is soothing, and I relax into the current of his caress, floating on the simple joy of the feather-light contact of his fingers along my back.

“I can’t fight them all.” His shuddering breath tells me more than his words, and I know he’s remembering that night when my blood flowed like a river on our kitchen tiles.

I rub small circles on his lower back, trying to erase the memory and knowing I never can. “He’s dead. You made sure of it.”

“But he’s not.” His eyes collide with mine, and I see the regret and guilt flash in his liquid brown depths. “I wasn’t fast enough. I wasn’t there for you when you needed me most.”

And I hear my echoed screams, feel the sharp piercing metal slice through my skin, and I know he’s not dead, not really. His empty, black eyes chase me through my sleep and I relive that moment each day, huddled in a corner as I wrestle an intruder only I can see.

“You’ve always been there for me. You saved me.”

“I can’t fight this battle for you.” His grip tightens again and I feel his anxiety mounting as it reverberates along his limbs to seep into my skin.

“Everyday I am better than the one before. I will win.”

He resumes his gentle caress, tracing the pathway which almost led to my death. I’ve come to think of it as my own badge. Though not as gleaming as his, it is still a visible reminder that despite all odds, I was strong enough to live.

It tells me I have courage.

It gives me a reason to fight the battle no one else can fight.

He kisses my crown and leans into my embrace, burrowing his face into the hollow of my neck. I smooth his hair, and for the moment, share my strength with him.

“You are a brave woman.”

And right then, I am.

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Critical