Rose Gardener ~SM~

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He tends his garden, his price possession
I watch through stained kitchen panes as he moves and turns
Gloved hands pick up a creeping branch and prod it with a stick
Skillfully the soil is turned and its thirst quenched
This plant is done, he moves to the next

I follow his gaze and they land on his roses
As if to comfort them, he silently poses
Intensely observing
I watch still as he traces the path leading to them with his eyes
“Not now” he seems to say. Now is for the shrubs
Leaning down he picks his sack and swings it over his back
A builder’s back, sinewy muscles pulse and flex
Telling a story louder than words could have dared

I don’t enjoy this part of his routine
I prefer to wait till…well he saves the best for last
Turning I look to my own potted mounds
Lined up against my kitchen walls
I shudder to believe they will not green and bloom soon
And if they do? Whose hands will tend them as he does his roses?

Quickly I turn and only just miss his last step into his rose garden
Beautiful is his raw rugged presence amid the delicate reds and yellows
Here he takes off his gloves
Here he feels each petal stem and leaf
Here he crouches low and speaks “coo”
Here he smiles with his eyes
Here he cries
Here his skill is an art
Here his time is not rushed
Here his soul is at peace
Here his stand is at ease
Here his blood drips against thorns
Yet he doesn’t back down against the pain
He prunes, digs, and waters all the same
Here he does his best

I long to see touch feel him
Yet I dare not step on sacred soil
I stand instead in the space between the front door and the back door
Desperately waiting to hear a knock at the front,
Longingly hoping for that crack of light from the back
However, I’m neither torn nor perplexed
I live simply in my comfortable space
Watching, waiting, praying
Till the day my gardener comes.

Phenomenally Impossible ~ SM

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Holding on to an oily rod
Counting the stars that fill a cloudless sky
Packing sun beams in a box for our lady of snow
Seeing sound
Hearing light
Phenomenally impossible
Even for a phenomenal you and me

Golden sunsets before dusk
Cattle grazing in the field
Winter giving way to spring
Spring bringing forth summer
Birth
Death
Naturally occurring things
As real and true as the unrealness of you and me

Steps taken forward
Glances made backward
Yes I’m still here
For now anyway

My phenomenal you
Don’t settle for an unreal me
It would be phenomenally impossible
Even for a phenomenal you and me

Fear ~ SM 05.05.10

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Prickly heat rousing me from a slumber
Seeping in and hauntingly familiar
If this was a light, it would be amber
Warning me not to step any harder

Blindly, foolishly, the meter goes higher
Crazy, depraved my thirst cuts deeper
Heat, smoldering, hot like lava
My lips, pursed, they stick together

Planned, unplanned, fate took over
Confused, bemused, the game’s played longer
Strategies, tactics, you won’t be the winner
How can you win, when it’s so much bigger?

Two steps closer and I take four back
I’ve walked this route and can stay on track
Hands stretch out and mine stick to my side
Heart opens up and I play the doe eyed child

Don’t think it’s easy, on the surface ready to peel
It’s rooted deep, this feeling that I feel
You wouldn’t understand it, even if I let you near
Overwhelming, crippling, they call it fear.

Eclipse ~ SM 16.01.17

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Dear Sun,
You might find it odd that I’m writing to you today
We were never destined to be bosom buddies, I know
Just to co-exist in a careful balance of ….
I can’t find the words
Would it make sense to you if I told you I was captivated by your fieriness?
Yes, I’m sure people have told you this before
But this is different
You shine so bright, giving of yourself each day, never asking a thing back
Look at me….I’d be invisible without you
I wish I could hold your fire, just for a day, even for a minute
And say I gave you something in return for all that you’ve given me
But since that can’t be
I’ll just stay,

Forever a reflection
Signed,
Moon.

Sun: “Little moon, you’re cute
Going around, believing you’re just chasing your own tail
I wish you would recognize the power in the tides and seasons that you control
On a starry camp night, what would the kids do without you as a guiding light?”

Moon: “But it’s only because of you”

Sun: “Hush! That’s only partly true
Do you know what you’re made of?
So tiny, so small, yet you have the ability to cast darkness on them all”

Moon: “Now you’re just talking bull”

Sun: “Am I?
Do you remember when we met?
I was content to let you be…”

Moon: “That was a long time ago…”

Sun: “You never let me finish
Look at me
Do you remember when we met?
I thought you were the most impetuous little thing
Strangely beautiful beyond all that I’ve ever seen
I was intrigued by your many craters
So I let you come closer, I believed you were harmless
Till the day you fell in step with me
And took my glory from me
So little, yet you blocked me from reaching the world
Time stood still
I thought that was my end
But I made it past you and I’m here today”

Moon: “There must be another way”

Sun: “No, there isn’t
You and I are not meant to be
I’m happy here with the Earth as my focus
And as for you, all you need is a little light
I can be that for you
for as long as you need, I’ll be true”

Moon: “Dear Sun, some day, I’ll make you proud.”

 

What an episode of “Barney & Friends” taught me about Christianity…

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(I’ll bet no one saw this post coming!)

My daughter is fairly obsessed with the TV show “Barney & Friends”. We don’t have cable tv so I have about 6 episodes saved on a pen drive that’s permanently connected to my TV. Every single day, we watch at least two of these episodes!

The one in question starts with Baby Bop looking for another dolly for her tea party. In come Riff and BJ with a treasure map they’ve just discovered. Baby Bop wants in on the treasure hunt but BJ and Riff won’t let her join them because she can’t count. Even after Barney asks them to teach her, they still refuse because they want to get a head start on finding the treasure before someone else does. So Barney leaves them and goes to check on Baby Bop. Here lies….

Lesson #1: When you exist/live in someone’s world (in the episodes case, Barney is the headliner and “owner” of the show, in Christianity we believe God created the world), you really should pay attention to what they’re asking you to do so they don’t walk away from you and block your blessings. 

Barney meets an upset Baby Bop outside and after calming her down, takes her through a few games to teach her how to count. A copy of the treasure hunt then magically appears. 

Lesson #2: When you find yourself at a low point and feel inadequate to reach your next level, Jesus will walk with you and teach you what you need to grow. 

BJ and Riff meanwhile search through a whole bookshelf trying to find the number. They are sure it will be a difficult task and not as easy as turning over a rock. Baby Bop found the first clue under a rock. 

Lesson #3: God will use the wisdom of a non-believer and non-follower to amplify the faith of his followers. 

Baby Bop finds all the clues and comes to the last step where she is challenged to recite her numbers from 1-5, everything she had learned, in order to get the treasure 

Lesson #4: Sometimes just when it seems like your goal is within your reach, that’s when you get the biggest test. But with perseverance, you must go through in order to be a complete package. 

A treasure chest was handed to Baby Bop and in it, she found a dolly. She finally had one more dolly for her tea party. This portion produced the biggest lesson of all!

Lesson #5: God knows your heart’s desire and will supply it in your time of need and in a way you would never have imagined. Just stay focused on His instructions even when they don’t seem to be in line with what you think you need. 


I’m not a priest, prophet or chosen spokeswoman for God, (at least I don’t think I am), but every time I watch that episode, (and I do watch it often) my take away is always the same and is as I have shared above. Hopefully it makes sense to you and you find some peace every day in knowing that with God on your side, you can achieve anything. 

TGBTG

~SM~

“I Am” ~ SM (230615)

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I am fire.
I am truth.
I am wind.
I am dew.

I am rough to the touch from a silken hand
I am smooth and easy as I flow through the cracks
I am neither yellow nor blue
I am the light that reflects off a dusk moon.

I am wood and I am clay, but if I may, and on a good day, I am the diamond that catches the sun’s ray
I am as high as I am low
I am the seed you plant and watch grow

I am a scholar
I am a beggar
I am a daytime lover
I am a night time worker

I am the crown and the jewels
I am the skins and the stools
I am the clay thatch roof
I am the rafia woven cocoon

I am all of this and I am none of this
I am all that’s important to you

I am fire.
I am truth.
I am soul.
I am you.

~SM

Getting back in the saddle…

Hey love!

I have been awful at this blog so far for reasons you may by now be fully aware of (refer to post on Procrastination if in doubt!). Something did trigger today’s post, reading the article “Before I Go” written by a dad suffering from lung cancer and losing his life. Although I am not aware that I suffer any terminal illnesses, I do share his sentiments regarding his daughter and his need to leave behind a legacy of words.

So here I am, hoping life does not serve me a cruel hand by shortening my time with you. If it does and I am unable to truly convey to you what you mean to me and how much you positively impact me every day of my life before that time, then I hope I would have left behind words that would leave no doubt in your mind and heart that you are the bestest thing that ever happened to me!

Love you always…angels on guard!

XOXO

Ps: never repeat that “bestest” grammar in your English class! I will deny you ever got it from me!! ☺️☺️😄😄😉

The Thing About Failure…

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Dear G,

The first thing you need to know about this particular “F” word, is that it is relative. There is no black and white, and regardless of what we were all taught and how we were all graded in school, there is no pass mark. Got it? What, you don’t believe me? 🙂 Let me break it down for you.

Scenario 1: Kid comes from a family of brainiacs. All his older siblings were top in their class and both parents well accomplished in their professions. If said kid comes home with “B” grades, in his family’s eyes, he is letting them down and thus to some extent, classified a failure.
Scenario 2: Kid comes from a family where none of his siblings graduated from high school. Same for both parents. Kid toughs it out in class and scrapes through with “Bs” and “Cs” and ultimately ends up in some form of tertiary education. Success story! Kid is hailed in his family.
My point; failure (and success for that matter) is relative.

I myself am more of a Scenario 1 kid believe it or not. Most Ghanaian parents like to brag to their kids about how great they did in school, maybe to set some kind of benchmark for them. I don’t know. My reality was that while your auntie was bringing home the first prize in physics each year, I was struggling to make it out of the bottom ten list! Let’s take a moment to pray you didn’t inherit the “oh-my-God-what’s-with-all-these-numbers-and-weird-symbols-and-what-do-they-all-mean” gene.

I guess what I’m trying to say to you today is, don’t sweat the small stuff. But don’t get me wrong; you are not allowed to be anything but the best version of yourself. Anything less will keep you up at night. I guarantee it.

Great things come in the most surprising packages and instances. So when you feel like you’ve failed at something over and over again, when you reach the point where the thing you’re pursuing seems to be getting further and further out of reach, take a minute, take a day, a week or even a whole year and just stop to listen to yourself. The voice inside you that knows more about you than you can ever imagine will tell you if it’s time to pursue something else, or approach from a totally different direction. I call it God, some call it fate, destiny and even luck. We’ll talk about that later, but for today, you must always believe that there is a bigger world out there that you have no control over and in which you have a significant role to play that’s been predetermined. Once you find that track, there’ll be no turning back and whatever ‘failures’ you had experienced prior, will suddenly make so much sense to you.

Through it all, I will be cheering you on with bells and pompoms on some days, and other days with quiet pride and satisfaction. No matter who or what you become and how things progress, know truly, that I will always be your number one fan!

Love you always. Angels on Guard.

XOXO

The Thing About Womanhood….. (Part 1)

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Dear G,

I have to be honest, I’m dreading us getting through your puberty! I would like to freeze time when you turn 9, then fast forward straight to 25! 🙂 I kid. 🙂

There’s something uniquely special about becoming a woman that I hope to be better able to explain when your time comes. Beyond the physiological changes (boobs, periods and hair all over the place!), you’ll have to work through emotional and attitudinal changes that will be very difficult to define and manage, based on what’s going on in your life. I’m almost 30 as I write this, and I still don’t have all the answers. During your toughest most challenging moments, I hope knowing that I had not clearly defined my womanhood at this point in my life will give you some relief.

So today, I feel I am ill-equipped to talk to you about what it means to be a woman. A lot of women believe they have the answers. Culture also has its definitions. Here in Ghana, our grandmothers seemed to give the “Obaapa” (good woman) seal of approval based on your skills in the kitchen (including ridiculous fetes like picking up a hot pot with your bare hands without flinching! Pot holder anybody?), and your ability to catch and keep a man (be submissive they say; don’t talk back, take whatever verbal or physical abuse he dishes out and keep it to yourself, lay out his clothes in the morning before he leaves and serve him a hot meal as soon as he returns….it goes on and on).

I don’t want to over simplify womanhood to you neither do I want to leave you lost in its sometimes labyrinth-like passage ways. Maybe we should agree to have a fluid definition for it. Something like “staying dynamic and not letting others put up yardsticks for us.” How does that sound? Very cliché I think. 🙂 I guess I’ll keep working on it.

The next 10 yrs will be very interesting for me. Anything new I learn or discover, any ideas that change, I will share with you and maybe they will help you through your own journey.

I’m glad I can give you this front row seat.

Angels On Guard
XOXO

The Thing About Procrastination…

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Dear G,

This morning while driving to work, I happened to be listening to a radio talk show where a lady was being interviewed about a business she had set up that was up and running fairly successfully.

The problem?

I had been flirting with that particular business idea some 7 or 8 years ago but in the end, I did nothing to make it a reality. Today, it occurred to me that the success she was speaking about could have been mine. I was bummed.

I do have a very big problem with procrastinating; wanting to do something but putting it off for months and months till I got to the point where the idea or action was buried far and deep in the recesses of my mind, not to be thought of again till something happened to trigger it. Case in point, I got the idea to start this blog even before you were born. To share my thoughts and myself with you, in case something awful happened (still touching wood).

Now if this is a genetic problem, I pray you did not inherit it. Life is too short to waste a second not following through on that one thing that
popped into your head and got you excited and bubbly from breakfast through to lunch!

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Believe this; you are as in control of your destiny as you choose to be. Life will ultimately throw you curve balls and situations will come your way that will take you away from whatever path you choose. The key is to know when you’re off track and to have the desire to get back on. You will figure the rest out before you know it.

Attached is one of my all-time favourite songs, “Get Back Up” by TI. I call it “Psych up music!” 🙂 I hope you like it.

Angels on Guard.

XOXO.

Ps. I am going to try not to procrastinate anymore about learning French. So this December, on my 30th birthday, I will post a letter in French with at least a 100 words! Wish me luck!