In 2021, I Woke Up

This year the plague came
and I blamed the wind
for carrying destruction
and I blamed the sun
for its ineptitude
and the rain,
no friend of mine,
only served to drown
my expectations.

and social distance
masks and antiseptics
how was a soul
to survive?

Pushing 2020
out the door
certain relief
would follow
but change is not
a date on the calendar
a release of circumstance

I turned inward
faced the gloom
and found a spark
forgave the weather
the virus, the news

In 2021, I woke up…

(For Reena’s Exploration challenge: I woke up in 2021… Image my ow


Pivotal Moment

Two babies, two cars, a mortgage, and depression I just couldn’t shake.  What was wrong with me, I wondered.  Was I missing something?  Is there more to life, I’m not seeing?  I prayed to the Heavens.

Six months, I dreamt of returning to my childhood home.  Every time, I remarked the same changes: the blue wall-to-wall carpet was replaced with red in the living and dining rooms, and geometric patterns running up the stairs; and one wall in my sister’s old bedroom was bricked.  Whereas we had a dog, the dream residents had a cat.  Always, I would exit through the back door, where I would fall and jolt awake.

One day, driving past the place, I noted an Open House sign and went in.  There was the red carpet, the designs on the stairs, and the bricked wall in my sister’s old room.
Shaken, I passed the cat in my haste to exit – out the front door.

Ask and be answered –
Source listened, and delivered –
a resounding “Yes!”

(Written for dVerse pub, hosted tonight by Merrill.  The challenge is to write a haibun on the topic of transition.  I am also linking this to my weekly challenge, where the prompt is veil.  Although I did not use the term in this piece, I felt as if a veil had been lifted.)

The Red Box


“I am sending you a red box,”
the voice says in my dream
(a dream within a dream, really).
“Will you be there to receive it?”

An image of a lipstick-red, life-sized,
shiny red box dances in my head.
“I will!” I say, wondering who would
send me such an extravagant gift.

“Will you be coming, too?”
I add quickly, remembering manners.
I am asleep, if you recall, have no idea
who I am speaking to: a poor connection.

“Do you know who I am?” asks caller.
“Yes, of course!” I respond, not actually
knowing at all,  trying to be polite.
“Looking forward to it.” Am I?

“You don’t sound surprised.”
“Surprised and delighted!” I assure,
falsely – in this semi-consciousness,
sensibility has not yet set in.

Only when I disconnect, do I panic.
Some distant memory surfaces,
a vague recollection of indiscretion –
have I invited danger into my house?

Now, I am awake – faculties firing,
heart still beating, curious/ alert.
What could this mean, this
dream within a dream?

Look to where my mind went –
larger than life expectations,
when no such detail was revealed –
was the panic just as unwarranted?

Am I subconsciously mocking:
commenting on the instability
of thought processes, in this
altered state of health?

I ponder meaning, wonder at
the significance of red boxes,
when my husband delivers –
a small, red patterned box.

“I won this for you,” he says.
Three beaded necklaces inside.
I thank him, dismissively, rapt
in my mystery, inattentive –

I’m sending you a red box;
was the message, will you be
present to receive it? –
Oh God!
The pieces fall in place.

Presence alone heals
weakening connections,
honest communication,
with expectations aside.

Distraction, fear, anxiety
are the undermining factors
that rape relationships
turn us from the actual gift.

I am awake, but dreaming
suspended between fantasies
of promising futures, and insults
from the past – selfish indulgence.

Marriage is the red box,
in its ever altered form –
offering endless gifts if
only we’d receive it.


A Call To The Quest

My friend Andi’s insatiable craving for knowledge has her signing up for all kinds of workshops and lectures.  I am more selective in how and where I spend my time and money, so when she called up and asked if I was interested in a private audience with a medicine woman, I said I’d pass.

“Will you at least go with me?”  she pleaded.  “I’m a little nervous.”

So, book in hand, I accompanied Andi to meet her newest guru.  “Come inside,” she insisted, when I indicated I’d wait in the car.  Grudgingly, I obliged.

The woman of honour was visiting from New Mexico, and was being housed in a bungalow belonging to a friend.  The house was small, and unassuming.  As we stepped through the front door, we were confronted by a wall, which opened on either side to reveal either the main sitting area, or a hallway leading to bedrooms.  But all of that immediately became a blur to me, as my attention was captured by a large portrait hanging in front of me.

Pictured was a man poised majestically, with feathers adorning silver hair that was pulled back from his face.  Intense dark eyes peered out from the portrait and seemed to penetrate me to the core.  A chill ran through me as I felt an onslaught of tears overtake me.

“Do you know Bartholomew?”  a voice asked to my left.

“No.  I’m sorry……I don’t know what came over me.”

“Don’t apologize.  Go with it.  What are you feeling?”

The voice was calm, and soothing, and I seemed unable to tear myself away from the image long enough to see who was speaking.

“It’s sounds crazy,”  I blurted between sobs, “but I feel as if I’ve been lost for a long, long time, only I didn’t know it until just this moment, and now I am home.”

“Well then, welcome home.”

This was absurd.  How could an image cause such a reaction?  What was happening to me?

The woman gently ushered me into a room.

“I only came to keep my friend company,”  I panicked.  “I don’t have an appointment.”

“Not to worry.”  The woman had long flowing hair, and her face glowed with a soft light that defied any telltale signs of age.  She was not what I expected.

She began to run her hands just above my body, as if searching for something.  The flow of tears continued, and by now my nose was running, and I felt an urge to use the toilet.

“I’m sorry,”  I apologized as I quickly exited in search of the bathroom.

“No problem, Running Water,”  she joked, and added, “That is surely your Indian name.”

After what felt like an uncomfortable length of time, I finally got ahold of myself.

“What happened?”  I asked the woman.

“Your soul made a connection to something that is obviously of importance to you.”

“And what is that?” I was stilling feeling somewhat vulnerable.

“I like to call it the Great Mystery,”  she replied.  “Some call it The Way.”

It was definitely a defining moment for me, from which I would be forever transformed.



The year my second daughter was born, it seemed to rain eternally.  I can’t say when the depression set in, but by February, I didn’t want to leave the house.  I prayed a lot to God, asking what was wrong with me.  By all accounts, I had everything anyone could want:  two beautiful children, a brand new home, friends and community.  The more I tried to rationalize, the greater my gloom.  Is there more to life than this?  I asked.

During this time I had a recurring dream, in which I visited my childhood home:

 I walk in the front door and notice that the carpet leading upstairs has been changed to one with geometric designs, and that the once blue carpet in the living and dining area is now red.  Upstairs, I see that one of the walls in my sister’s old room has been bricked over.  As I pass through the house, the inhabitants are unaware of my presence.  Only the family cat swishes her tail in annoyance at my presence.  Stepping out the backdoor, I fail to see that the step is missing, and fall, jolting myself awake.

Haunted by the dream’s insistence, I decided to drive by my old home.  A “for sale” sign on the front lawn revealed that this day was open for agent viewing.  Curious, I walked in.  A quick glanced revealed red carpets throughout, with a geometric pattern running up the stairs.  I rushed up the stairs and down the hall, where I found the room with the bricked wall.  How odd!  Descending the staircase, I glanced at the photos on the wall to see the faces from my dreams staring out at me.  In the kitchen, I spotted the cat’s bowls.  The agent on duty asked me if I wanted to see the back yard.  Remembering my dreams, I said no and made my exit back through the front door.

I drove a block before the trembling hit me.  Shaken, I pulled over.  What had just happened?  The house was exactly as I had dreamed it.  But why?  Everything suddenly seemed so surreal.  What did it all mean?

I felt as if I had just been hit over the head with a giant frying pan.  For months on end I had prayed to God and asked if there was something I was missing in my life, and now this.  I decided that God had answered my prayers, with one resounding “YES!”.  There was obviously more to life than what I was experiencing, but I would need to look within to find it.

Needless to say, that day changed my life.