Spell a Day – Feb 2nd 2016

Imbolc, Groundhog day, The Feast of St. Brigid. That is right Gentle Readers, we are halfway though winter. While many of us in the US will be waiting for that little rodent to pop out of his home, I will be wishing for a more traditional Irish celebration. St. Brigid, the Matron saint of Ireland, shares her name and her feastday with the Celtic goddess of Inspiration. There are traditions of feasting and gift giving to ring in the coming spring. As the plow is also associated with this time of year, I read about a tradition where children decorate the plow and take it from house to house demanding sweets. The homes that failed to buy off these young people may find fresh furrows in their front lawns. I doubt we would get away with this today unless you really knew the neighbors. Or they wanted to plant a vegetable garden there.

The awakening of spring as it begins to win the war against the cold harshness of winter leading up to the spring equinox (at least for us in the northern hemisphere) is a cause for celebration and renewal. Today is the day to seek the blessings of Brigid for creativity and inspiration in your life and pursuits. Be they of the musical, artistic or literary ilk, she is especially important and this is a momentous time. Dust off those notebooks or tools of your trade and get back to your passions.

It’s also time to start that spring cleaning and purification phase of the year. Grab some sage smudge and push out the winter spirits to make room for spring. Organize that garage for the upcoming yard sale season, or to donate to charity.

A little springtime poetry. Until next time my friends.

Spring’s Awakening
Stretching to the sun
Seeking its life-giving warmth
Spring’s awakening

Pushing back the cold
Of Winter’s frozen embrace
Shaking off the ice

Relief is coming
From the bitter winds and snow
Of Winter’s harsh reign

Eyes turn to the skies
The sun peeking through the clouds
Spring’s Awakening

Advertisements

A Good Deed today…

Let me start by saying we are supposed to push into the 90s today. Sure, that isn’t as bad as where I grew up in South Carolina, but for Wisconsin, that is hot. Luckily today I am in an air-conditioned office being a logistical wizard. I did brave the heat to pick up some lunch for myself and a coworker.

I walk out of the place where we had ordered from and this slightly heavyset, obviously Native American man with a duffle bag calls out to me, “Marine?” Now, gentle readers, picture this: I am a 6’5, 350lbs computer geek. Granted I have decided to keep my head shaved because I am balding so bad it is pathetic (helps that my¬†wife likes it shaved so I do it for her). In my opinion, I in no way look like a Marine, current or former. I calmly respond, “No sir, my grandfather was one in WW2.” Don’t ask why I volunteer such information to so odd a question asked between complete strangers. It was a reflex response. The other man has stopped across the car from me near the front corner of my passenger side as I open the driver’s door.

He tells me this story about how he is visiting his brother on the reservation (points west so he did know where we were in relation to the reservation) and says he is trying to get to the east side of town. I hate to assume anything of anyone on appearances alone, but my immediate assumption that he is probably homeless will be clear in a moment.

I shake my head slowly, replying, “Sadly I am heading north back to the office. I was just picking up lunch for one of the guys and myself.” I could see disappointment flash across the man’s face. He began pressing me if I could just “take him as far as I was going”.

I know the world is full of horror stories about hitchhiker’s. Hell, I might use this in a thriller or horror book if I ever write one. Something told me this guy was harmless. I pause and I could tell he was thinking I might relent. I respond, “Look, I can take you up to the Kwik Trip before I get back on the highway.” For those of you unfamiliar, Kwik Trip is a gas station chain. Probably one of the best I have ever seen for their hot bar of sandwiches and such. Their gas seems to run pretty well in my vehicles compared to BP or Shell.

The man was pretty excited about it. It was hot and I am sure even the mile I was moving him along would be a help to him. It also put him near a pretty busy intersection so maybe he could find someone else who is going across the river to the east side of town. He climbed in the passenger side and we began talking.

He tells me that he asked if I was a Marine because I looked like an old buddy of his from the service. He knew it couldn’t be his old friend because the fellow soldier died in combat in Afghanistan. I expressed my sympathies for his loss and my appreciation of his service. I did not end up joining the Air Force when I had graduated high school, but my little brother served two tours overseas. Veteran’s and service personnel are true heroes, even if they never see combat and just are the ‘paper pushers’. Someone has to make that big machine keep rolling.

Waiting on a stoplight to turn green, this is where I knew he was saying whatever he could to get someone to help him. He begins talking about his time as a member of Seal Team 4, and how horrible it was that the enemy took out Seal Team 6. In my head I am trying to reconcile him being a Marine in Afghanistan, and a member of Seal Team 4 (which is South/Central America according to the Navy website by the way). I didn’t call him on his discrepancies. It was bloody hot out and I didn’t really go out of my way. I had a small concern that he might try to grab the wheel or something of the car. I figured I could probably handle him if it came down to it. Even though the idea that this could end badly flashed through my mind, my gut reaction was that he was just down on his luck.

So away we went. A short mile or so later I dropped him off at the gas station with a full parking lot. We said good bye, he thanked me again for the short lift and off he went.

“Matt”, if that is your true name. I don’t know whether you were a true Vet or not but it did not matter to me. You were a fellow human being, obviously suffering, and I was glad I could be a little help. I wish I had been just out for the day, I might have dropped him off somewhere on the east side of town. Sadly my job requires my presence so I had to head back. Take care.

A Brief Car Ride

The hot sun blazes
The car is cool and shaded
“Can I get a lift?”

A man down on his luck
Approaches me in a parking lot
“Man it sure is really hot,
Can I get a ride in your truck?”

“I have been visiting my brother
But now it’s time to head home
I’m hoping to find another
Going my direction.”

“Sir, I wish I could be of help to you
But at the highway I turn north
It’s only a mile but if that’ll do
I can drop you at the station.”

“That would be great
I appreciate it man
You are a good soul.”

“Don’t mention it sir
Thank you for your service too.
Good Luck, Safe Travels”

Poem – A Life Half-Lived

Sometimes I hear a song or a comment and my muse decides, “Hey buddy, you are going to write about this whether you want to or not.” Thankfully, what I consider some of my best work is because of this.

A Life Half-Lived

Who would regret the Life half-lived?
Would you know what you missed?
The things you could see
The person you could be
The tastes you didn’t try
Experiences let pass by
All the people you could meet
If only you would stop and greet
Each day as if it was your last

Think of me not as a saint
For I too know regret’s foul taint
I am just like you
I knew not what to do
There are days I lost
Never learning the cost
Of failing to seize the day
So in the end I could say
I lived as if each day was my last

Don’t make this mistake
The sands of Time do not wait
For us to decide

Poem – Weekend Work

Weekend Work

I gaze out the dirty window
of the cell where I spend my days
Seeing life pass and the wind blow
Longing to feel it upon my face

The hours spent alone
In a room filled with others
This prison of ours

A corporate life to pay the bills
Dreary existence of those who suffer
Cracking jokes or seeking cheap thrills
Shooting rubber bands at each other

Funny how life works
Slave away on a weekend
Execs get to play

One day we will burst free
Shatter the chains causing the strife
My hope for you and me
Is that we o before the end of life

Why do you taunt us Mother Nature? (Poem and Pictures)

So, after a few nice days. Thursday was full of rain. And this morning I awoke to this outside.

Snow4-10-15B Snow4-10-15A

Why do you taunt us?
Teasing us with thoughts of Spring
Just to take it back

A couple nice days
Then slammed with an all day rain
And followed b SNOW?!?!?!

Please Mother Nature
Enough is really enough
April is now here

Don’t you think it’s time
For sandals and sun and warmth
Camping and swimming

Let’s talk about this
Surely we can compromise
How about sixties?

I hope that you’ll see
It would mean so much to all
If Spring it could be

Wind and Clouds – Haiku

So, I seem to be really stuck on Haikus lately. My brain seems to be wired for the 5/7/5.

Clouds and Wind

The wind drives the clouds
Ever onward on their way
To places unseen

Driven like cattle
By the wind’s wildest horses
The clouds push forward

Clear blue skies behind
Signal a return of sun
To all those below

They are rejoicing
Free from the cold winter’s bite
Suffered for so long

So continue on
Wind and Clouds so high above
Darken us no more