The Octogenarians

I have referred to the SWMBO’s parents with humor in the past and hope to do so for a long time to come.

Today Marion, the octogenaria, called and asked to be taken to her Dr’s for a follow-up on an MRI done yesterday.  We were greeted by an ashen faced young doctor that’s lack of eye contact revealed his lack of preparation for this conversation.

John, the octogenaro, suffering from dementia, was for a moment able to grasp the gravity of the situation.  He was to be envied as that moment slipped away and he faced the world afresh.

New doctors were met.  Doctors with warm hand shakes, comforting smiles and caring eyes; they’d had many of these consultations and they cared in a distant sort of way.

Test were started, more scheduled and the process begins.

Cynthia, the SWMBO, the only child in residence, faces monumental tasks, beginning with waking each day and living.  There will be a time when she falls apart, shattered like a jig saw puzzle and that’s part of the process.  To find a little time in the day to put a piece in place, to understand the picture, the person, you are and each day you have a little more to offer.

I’ve been broken, damaged many times, lost most of , I asthe pieces of the this puzzle, I only seem to be strong…I only cry over happy endings.

For those that read this I ask for your prayers for Marion, John, Cynthia and all the people whose puzzles need attention.

peace out, mw

The Major and Darcy Weaver Chapter 4 The Story

The little whirl wind came closer and I could see that it carried neither dust nor even a single leaf.  It was caressing, in dust devil fashion, a single mushroom spore; lifting the tiny seed up to the sun as the little wind parted the tall grasses, teased a rose bush and skipped over some daises as it and its companion wound their way back to the wood.

As the little spore played with the wind and the sun it began to turn a snowy white and before the little wind could make its way into the wood, the little spore seemed to glow it was that white.

The little wind seemed to bow as it bent to lower the glowing white spore to the ground then slowly moved back and was no more.

Charly pointed to a spot on the ground, near where the spore had come to rest, as if offering me a chair.  I sat. Charly sat.

We watched the spore.  The sun began to set behind the massive trees.  We watched the spore.  The birds rested quietly on the boughs of the trees.   We watched the spore.

A cool breeze meandered through the meadow and the wood, a low hanging mist in its wake.  The mist grew dense over the floor of the wood, and in the failing light of that day, it spilled out toward the meadow and swallowed the little white spore.

Charly and I waited.  I didn’t know why, but it seemed the thing to do.

In what seemed like an instant, the sunlight of a new day, painted the tops of the trees a lighter green and as it bathed the meadow, dew drops on spider webs and flower petals glistened like polished jewels.  The light and the heat of the morning sun banished the fog to deep within the great wood…and then I saw it.

Where the little spore had been, there was a teeny tiny mushroom of the purest white.

The teeny tiny mushroom lifted its head and opened its eyes.  All around him were wonders upon wonders; trees so grand and strong, flowers and grasses, such colors and shapes, in the shadows of the trees growing from the wet floor of the forest, the curly leaved ferns.

“Hello”, he said.  “Hello, will someone tell me about this wonderful place?”  The trees began their lament of wasted strength; the flowers tried to tell the bees how beautiful they were, fish swam in the stream, the rabbits and chipmunks skittered into their holes.  No one answered.

“Will someone be my friend?  Does anyone love me?” the poor teeny tiny mushroom yelled out to the beautiful world around him.  What the poor mushroom didn’t know…mushrooms, like the flowers have very, very soft voices and no one heard him and no one answered.

There were no other mushrooms near and he was just too small for any of the other grand beings to even notice him, he was alone.

He began to cry.

He was a teeny tiny mushroom with itsy bitsy tears and Charly and I watched them fall.

But…when those itsy bitsy tears from that teeny tiny mushroom touched the ground, they sounded like great claps of thunder.  Those itsy bitsy tears shook the tears, birds toke to flight, the sky turned black, thick clouds hid the sun, and winds came out of the north, cold fierce winds like none that had ever visited the land before.

Trees were calling out to one another, looking for comfort, this storm would tare them apart; the flowers knew that all their colorful petals would be ripped away.  Everyone in the land knew that this was their end.

Then a voice rang out, over the bellowing of the trees, the whimpering of the flowers and the wild chirping of the birds…it came from a daffodil.

“Be quiet you ninnies.  A child is crying, a child is lost.  Find him.”

Flowers bent into the cold north wind to search the ground around them, the grasses moved in harmony to touch the ground and feel for the child, the birds looked from high above and the trees looked from their great heights…prepared to shout out other searchers.

It was a great oak that spied the tiny little mushroom.  Even with his powerful voice, he could not be heard above the wind and the thunder, the grasses were too far away, no one could reach him and without shelter he might perish.

The old oak knew that what must be done couldn’t be done but he must try.

For centuries the oak had stood in that very spot and now he must move.  The moss and the earth around his roots began shiver and crack and fall away as root after root pulled itself out of the ground and stretched out to pull the tree closer and closer to the little mushroom until great ancient roots were wraped around the mushroom; shelter from the wind.

One branch plucked leaves from another and gently placed them over the little one like a blanket, “Here, this will keep you warm.  Now is the time for sleep, not for tears.”

The cold north wind died down, replaced by a warm easterly breeze, the clouds parted and the sun returned to the heavens.

All in the land approached the end of that day weary from battle.  It could not have more frightening; the great wood would never have endured the storm much longer; the flowers would have all they were stripped from them; all could have been lost.

At the end of that day there was a song in every heart; a flower had found its voice, a tree had walked and a child, a child had been saved.  It was the best of all possible days.

That night, while all the land slept, that sound was heard in a garden; a garden that is a far away as the furthest star and a s close as a loving hug at bedtime, home to a great builder…and he smiled.

That night he walked through the land again and the music of his sweet laughter filled the dreams of everyone.

When the sun arose that first dawn, the awoke in the meadow a new folk; smallish, with violet eyes that delighted in wonder of color, turned up noses that could recognize the signature of each flowers scent, ears that hear a petal flutter anywhere in the meadow and could sing every song of the grasses in perfect harmony.  They called themselves; Fairies.

In the wood there awoke another new folk; larger, stronger than the Fairies and gifted with the vision to create, in wood, homes, spinning wheels, looms and all manner of crafts.  They called themselves; Elves.

And near the scrubs and among the ferns there was yet another folk, larger than the fairies but not so industrious as the elves; they knew that they would tell the stories and keep the histories.  They called themselves; Pixies.

Charly reached up and taped me on the shoulder, “Time for us to go.”

“Charly, there’s so much going on and no one seems to notice us, is this but a dream?”

“Stephen, we don’t exist here, you don’t exist here…no human does.”

“Then why is that Pixie waving at us.”

“Oh that…well you see, for all of time people have wondered and Pixies, they just know.  Knowing about humans…that’s easy comes natural.”

Charly pulled the twig from his pocket again, this time he put it down behind me almost on my heels, “Remember, eyes closed.”

I closed my eyes put my hands behind my back and reluctantly jumped.

I was disappointed to immediately find myself, alone, in my apartment, looking at my closed door.  I looked down at the olive green sneakers with orange laces, the tree bark brown woolen trousers held up by purple braces, a ruffled front shirt the color of early morning mist, my blue coat and this marvelous great hat.  I stuck my hand in my pockets and in the right pocket of my coat was a twig, with four leaves that were just starting to open wrapped in a piece of paper.  I had a chance to look more closely, and it was a small branch from an old oak tree.  On the paper was written: “The Builder return to the land that night and he looked over all that was done, he smiled and said, This Land I shall call Life. and so its been called, from that day to this.  C”

“Thank you all, I am Stephen PeerleesPixie Quickstep, at your service.”

“Well, Major, at least you gave it an effort.”  Darcy said, taking a sip from her bottle of hand crafted ale.  She leaned forward, resting forearms on the small polished bar, both hands around the bottle, not looking at the Major.  In the stool next to her he assumed a similar posture, staring straight ahead.

Darcy slowly turned in his direction, “You were supposed to lose, remember?”  She turned back to stare at the relection in the mirror behind the bar.  “PeerlessPixie, really?”

“Too true.”

“I could always lose another competition.”

“You’d need another story…have you got that much in ya?”  Darcy hid a small smile as she raised her bottle again.

“I just might.  Let me catch up on some old mail”, the Major looked at his beer, studied his reflection in the mirror, smiled, tipped his bottle in a salute to the image before him…”I just might have two hidden away.  There’s got to be a loser in there somewhere.”

The Major pivoted on his bar stool to face Darcy and Darcy Weaver pivoted to face the Major, bottle necks clinked as they said: ” Here’s to the losers.”  They smiled and returned to the reflections in front of them.

Love…

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires : To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy; To return home at eventide with gratitude; And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips. — Kahlil Gibran

Has ever man described love, captured the joy and pain…better than this.

The Major and Darcy Weaver, Chapter 3

“My eyes were closed tight, hands behind my back and by my reckoning; I jumped, maybe 6 inches high, over a twig.  That was about a minute ago.  I was waiting to land.  I slowly peeked at where I was going to end up; and through my now opened eyes, I looked at all the stars…where a hall was supposed to be.

“STARS, they were all around me; in front of, in back of me…” the Major turned to his left, tilted his head up, then down, spun left, then right,”…they were on top of, all around me, they were even under me, stars and nothing else.  What happened to the hall, the hall that was on the other side of the twig?

“What happened to my clothes, in the light of a gazillion stars I could see that I was no longer wearing my 49s sweat shirt and jeans anymore.  The pants I was wearing were of a of a woolen type, a deep brown like the wet bark of a tree, a ruffled front shirt with lace sleeves the color of morning fog, braces of the deepest purple, a coat the color of a deep water lake collar rising up to my ears sleeves rolled back and draping to mid-thigh.  I felt a little chill around my ankles and saw…the sneakers, an olive green with orange laces and no socks.

“It was then that I noticed the hat.  A scarlet hat of felt, yards and yards of felt.  Something was tickling my right ear, like a bug buzzing to close; I went to brush it away and discovered it was a feather.  The hat seemed to be growing feathers, long feathers, short feathers, straight feathers, bent feathers, when would it stop?  I reached to the top of the hat; it stopped.

“I was standing, floating; spinning it was hard to tell in that space.  There were explosions of colors going on all around me, colors I could never have imagined.  Then colors collapsed on themselves, and music was in the colors, thousands of beautiful songs played at my ear.  I was somewhere between the beginning and the end, here and there…and then I knew something else…I WAS FALLING!”

The Major grabbed the brim of the hat and with a look of panic on his face.

“From out of nowhere, there were clouds and water and very solid ground below me (I was sure it was below me this time) and  I was going to die.

“The wind was tearing at me as I fell faster and faster, it pulled most of the feathers from my oversized hat.  I twisted the hat on tighter…and I slowed down, I tilted the hat right, and I turned right, with the hat over my right ear, the few remaining feathers flopping in the breeze, I was floating (again).  Floating over a land that was nestled in the warmest corner of the calmest sea (and I had seen them all during my rapid decent).

“There were fields, filled with every kind of flower imaginable; there were patches of the deepest red, blues and green bunched tightly together; colors that in the breeze looked like waves on the sea.  It was a splendid, enormous, impossible patchwork quilt.”

The Major extended his arm, with his hand open he gestured in a wave like fashion from corner to corner of the field he was in.

“laid upon the ground for a giant’s picnic.

“The splendor that was flowery field was dwarfed by the forest bordering it.  Populated by trees of stupendous proportions, with bases bigger than houses, trunks and branches rising so high above they separated the clouds like foam on the shore wraps around a stone.

With a look of delight and voice almost a whisper, he said:

“Why this could have been a model for the Garden of Paradise.”

“It was then that I noticed that I was once more falling, not as far or as fast, but FALLING.  In great haste I twisted my hat, tried pulling it over both ears and then my eyes and was just about to scream…when I stopped, I landed.”

“’It took you long enough…just had to gawk.’ Charly said.  ‘Pull that thing off your eyes and lets us take a stroll.’

“’Well, Master Quickstep, what do you see?’

The Major tilted his head up as he spoke, shifting his gaze as if talking to a much taller person.

The Major stood silent for a moment, he slowly turned his head from left to right, his mouth opened his eyes grew wide as he said,

“Beautiful…colors, flowers, trees and grasses…beauty…sir”

“’Charly,’

The Major’s head tilted up and left,

‘Come, into the Wood.’ The Major said in a voice deep and pleasant.

“As small as Charly was he moved very very quickly and it was a struggle to keep up and as I started to break into a run, he stopped, turned and faced me, fists on hips he looked at me.  I was going to run him over or if by some miracle I could stop my feet from moving I was going to fall face first into the mossy ground or on top of Charly.  My olive green sneakers (with the orange laces) held their ground as if glued to the forest floor, my woolen trousers grew ridged and it was the very purple braces that kept me from flying out of those same trousers as I waved back and forth like slinky on an incline.

“’Are you always this slow?  Why ever do they call you, ‘Quickstep?’  Charly stood in a one of the scattered shafts of light that made their way thru the dense canopy above.  Charly gestured toward the ground around him, as if on cue a breeze shifted the trees and the pin points of light danced through the forest.  ‘What do you see?’ he asked.

The dancing lights showed the brilliant greens of the ferns, the tans and greys of clusters of mushrooms, discarded branches and leaves, a rabbit, squirrel and the damp moss floor.  I mentioned all that I saw, overwhelmed by the balance, the perfection of it all.

“Charly laughed more of a chuckle as he led us, (at a more leisurely pace) from the heart of the Great Wood back into the sunlight.  ‘Take that thing off your ears and listen.’”

The Major pulled the hat off of his ears and set it high on his brow so that it draped like a head dress and tilted his head as if listened to a distant voice,

“I listened and listened and then I began to hear them; all the voices, some were grumbling, some were unkind, some frantic and none were happy.

“All of the flowers seemed to be…well vain.  This is what I heard  ‘I have the true red’ said one red rose; and ‘Only I have grand stance’ said the iris.  Among each and every flower boasting of its splendor; there was unhappiness, for it seemed that flowers have the very softest of voices.  You doubt me, hold your ear as close as you might to any flower any flower you chose and tell me what you hear.

“So brag as they might, they couldn’t be heard by even their nearest of neighbors.

“Now they did have guests that stopped by I saw; the oh so busy bees, butterflies and the occasional aphid.

“The bees arrived in a flurry of rapid movements and even more rapid talk.  ‘The buzzzz queen said buzzzz buzz and buzz, gather-buzzz-ing buzz buzz, and buzz.  Good-buzzz.’ The poor soft spoken flowers couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

“The butterflies arrived and sipped a cup of dew off the flower’s leaves and gracefully danced across the colorful flower petal and listened to all the poor vain flowers had to say about themselves.  And they listened and listened and listened…a never said a word.  One daffodil referred to it as ‘…talking to a rock.  It would be so nice if once they would agree with how beautiful I am.’

“When the aphids arrived and they often did; they never listened, rarely spoke, except to say, ‘Very tasty.’  A complement the poor flowers really didn’t relish.

I listened as a Wisteria vine, wrapped around the branch of monarch of a fir tree shouted as loud as it could; of all the woes of the flowers, into the tree’s ear.”

The Major pulled himself up as tall and straight as he could and in the most commanding voice he could muster.

“You think flowers have problems.”  The tree’s voice boomed over the top of all the meadow, through every path in the wood and out to the sea; “I stand as tall as a mountain and as strong and all I do is support a nest of birds, be a playground for a family of squirrels.  A waste, just a waste.” And the tree’s voice trailed off, his eyes closed and he seemed to drift off to sleep.  But the same lament was echoed by every other tree in the wood.  Then the trees once more stood tall, ridged and silent.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something moving in the wood.  It rustled a few leaves, had no voice of its own…and then I saw it clearly…a little dust devil.  As it twisted and darted its path through the deep wood; it was drawing ever closer to the sun lit meadow and it was carrying something, something very small.