“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


last week was a hard friday afternoon

it was baseball games on tv and thoughts of glitter and wearing shoes instead of flipflops. it was laundry left in the washing machine and ideas for paintings left on the tabletop and pieces of poetry left in the silence of watering maggie's blue flowers less often. it was van morrison and raul malo and neil young mixed with radio opera, sliced avocados with mexican food and losing the back to a diamond stud and having no other with a fit tight enough. it was perfect days in autumn sunshine and nights in the 40s and no a/c needed and it was still trixie belden and a bit of bird by bird. it was insomnia every night without fail and plain cake donuts while rushing to work in the mornings. it was staying late in the evenings with lilycat. it was life going on.

today is 10-10-10, but those are just numbers made up by people a long time ago and put on a calendar and i admit to not thinking they have any power at all beyond the power we give them.  i give them none.  i am supposed to hold the power in me, though lately it hasn't felt that way.  lately i feel stucker than usual and i am stucker than usual and no numbers on a piece of paper will change that, unless that piece of paper is a winning lottery ticket.  this town closes in around me, this house closes even tighter, and the chance that it might get better and allow me to heal and breathe is gone, the final hint from the universe at last accepted, acknowledged, and cried over, and i get in the jeep and drive and there's no place far enough away.  i drive and i think and i keep the radio off or i listen to football games and the universe plays with me, lets me know it will be just fine.  a drive yesterday took me 70 or 80 miles down the road before i turned back, and in the middle of that decision to turn back, my phone rang and it was the ever-wonderful michael, in exactly the same place, he driving to meet some friends, passing me on the road.  he'd driven the back roads, i'd driven the interstate and we ended up in the same town at the same exact moment.  a smile from the universe.  magic.

mary's sweet olive tree is alive and well and tossing kisses of its perfume across the street to me.  i walk through the neighborhood and, turning the corner to home, the sight of the catawba tree gone all yellow green, soon to drop its leaves, stops me, almost bringing me to tears.  it feels like the last year we will visit with each other, this tree and i, and those sweet olive kisses suddenly seem like goodbyes.


  1. You're right: It just bees that way sometimes. And there was that kiss from the Universe, just saying even now, when you're swimming in despair, you're never far away from joy and wonder.

  2. Meri - It was so funny. So funny! I couldn't stop smiling.

    :) Debi

  3. I'm always amazed how driving somewhere can renew perspective.

    The synchronicity of your crossing paths IS magic.

    Thank you for the poetry (always! always!) and the reminder about magic too.

  4. what can i say...you know how the tears feel right before they spill over ..that I know the leaves giving up and the sleepless cool nights..finally

  5. Your writing is so perfect. It brings tears to my eyes...

  6. oh, your writing leaves me breathless... and the reference to bird by bird (lammott) and to 10.10.10 (which i just wrote an article about) and your way with stringing prose and plain cake donuts... i love visiting here. and hoping this week is a better afternoon.

  7. love your blog, and seeing Trixie Belden made my heart quicken... :)

  8. i know some place far enough to drive...in a few months...that will give you a long winding road for thinking and daydreaming :)

    and then laughs and understanding once you arrive...

  9. I read your article in Somerset Life and I quote, "Texas is the place I now inhabit; it is my home.
    I recently moved to another state and your comments reminded me that we are to be content wherever we are. Phil. 4:11.
    I moved from my hometown of
    Tyler, Texas.

  10. sister-friend,

    start packing. the smallest motion towards moving on will bring the bread crumb trail into full view.

    along the trail a SIGN will read: cats welcome.

    xoxo, graciel

  11. Your words are beautiful, raw, poignant. And somewhere in between the lines, despite the differences in details, I see myself. 'there's no place far enough away'... that in particular, I understand and feel, and also those small and wondrously timed gifts from the universe. Goodbye to one thing is hello to another; I will meet you there.

  12. magic and hope and kisses and change. and sadness, yes, there too, all wrapped up in a beautiful package that i just want to sit and stare at. i have been here myself this past week, holding my own package in my lap, turning it over and over in my hands.

    if we both open them, at exactly the same time, what do you think we will find?

    i'd like to think there is a tiny little bird in there, waiting for just the right moment to fly.

    or at the very least, a shiny new necklace, one that says "tomorrow."

  13. i agree
    we DO hold the power within us

  14. That is such sweet sweet synchronicity...the universe telling you that you are on the right road.

    I wonder what an olive tree smells like?
    hmmm...olive kisses. How lovely. Even if they are goodbyes.

  15. I can just see you now. In your Jeep, one diamond twinkling from an ear, the other bare. Your feet stubbornly in flip flops even though there's a chill. Smiling at the universe, thanking it for EW Michael.


come. sit under the emma tree & let's talk. i have cookies . . .