Waiting

For the turning of the tide.

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Life is filled with longings, hopes, dreams, and waiting. Always waiting it seems. When my husband and I were young and newly married, it seemed we waited a lot. Waited for the next pay check, waited to start a family, waited to be more financially more secure. Waited for things to be easier. We didn’t stop living, but we were so conditioned and focused toward working toward a future goal, a better life, that I think often we didn’t savor what we did have in the moment. We were happy and deeply in love but were always looking forward, forward, to when times might get easier.

But I wonder now, a year after my husband of 44 years has died, if we also lost a little in the process. This holiday season, I have been missing him terribly and thinking back to those early years together when so many things seemed like a struggle that we sometimes forgot to live in the present. I think back now and wish that I could have appreciated a little more then, what was then.

On this Christmas afternoon just past, as it stretched into the fourth night of Hanukah for my young grandchildren, my heart was aching for those early years of marriage and children and hope. Yet the sorrow was vying with the fact that I knew that I was in the process of making new memories with them. I hope they will remember the Hanukah/Christmas that I began to teach the 7 year old how to use a sewing machine and helped the 4½ year old make a unicorn purse and string a heart necklace.

I hope that they will remember. Because now it seems that time is moving in reverse. I used to dwell in the future. But now if I dwell too much in the past, I will still not be able to  fully live in the present. Surely there is a balance to be had, of looking forward and hoping, while holding onto the memories and love of the past. And not losing either.

The tide comes in and nourishes the seaweed on the rock, then temporarily withdraws, allowing the seaweed access to light and air. It seems so simple when looked at like that. But it is anything but simple. It is, in fact, a complex ebbing and flowing that has taken eons for nature to perfect. How do I learn to manage that, keeping the delicate balance between holding and letting go?

Veterans Day 2019

Here in the States, November 11 is Veterans Day. Originally it was established as Armistice Day, the day Germany formally surrendered at the end of WW I: November 11, 1918. In 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day, to honor U.S. veterans and victims of all wars.

In 2015 my husband and I took a long awaited trip to France. One of the places we visited was the American Cemetery in Normandy. The cemetery covers 172.5 acres and contains the remains of 9,388 American soldiers. There are graves of Army Air Corps crews shot down over France as early as 1942, and graves of 4 American women. But most of the graves are of those soldiers who died during the Invasion of Normandy.

It is a sobering place, as you look out over row upon row upon row of crosses and stars of David. My husband said, “There is such sadness here.” My thought was of all those men, overwhelmingly young, who would never have a chance to have a career, or fall in love, or get married, or live to see their children grow up. They would never see their lives open up before them.

Here is a closeup of an infinitely small section.

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The American Cemetery at Normandy                                                                Image: ©Hannah Keene

Posted for the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Bravery.

Winsome

This is a shot of my friend’s brand new puppy. New, as in, he had only been in his new home for about 30 minutes. In this shot he is 6 weeks old. His name is Mitchel.

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Mitchel at 6 weeks                                                                                                           Hannah Keene 2019

Posted for Ragtag Daily Prompt Challenge: Winsome.

Cosmic Photo Challenge: Misty Memories (Photos and Poems)

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Hannah Keene 2019

Far and away my true love lies
Just beyond the hill
And many a day I long for arms
That would hold me tightly still.

But far and away the grey gull flies
Quite far beyond the hill
And brings sweet memories back to me
Of a love that lingers still.

~Hannah Keene 2019.

Posted for K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: Misty Memories (Photos and Poems).

A Boy and His (Shared) Dog

I am finding myself somewhat nostalgic and sad lately. The daylight is beginning to fade sooner and sooner, and while fall is usually my favorite season, September 2 marked the first year anniversary of my husband’s death. So I have been looking through family pictures of late, and went searching for these, as they are among my favorites of the past year – the first year without my husband of 44 years. While the post itself is far longer than six words, the title is exactly six, so I hope I can still use the Six Word Saturday hashtag.

I have written before about the fact that my good friends, Martha and Arthur, and I share our two dogs. Theirs is Teddy the Labradoodle and mine is Zoë the Miniature Schnauzer. When my husband and I returned to Northern California three and a half years ago and moved into our retirement community (St. Paul’s Towers), the grandkids were just 1 and 3½. Teddy was bigger than the 1 year old, obviously, but he was also awfully big for the 3½ year old. About a year ago, when they were 3 and almost 6, the two of them decided that it was time for them to start walking the dogs instead of just accompanying me when I walked them. So they became the walkers, and I became the accompanying and supervising person. The 3 year old was still rather scared of Teddy, but was comfortable walking Zoë. The almost 6 year was adamant that he wanted to walk Teddy by himself, without me holding on to the leash. Here is the result: he walking confidently on ahead with Teddy last February, when he was fully 6+ a few months. My granddaughter, Zoë, and I are lagging behind, in a perfect position to capture a photo.

Walking the Dog at Twilight

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Images: Hannah Keene 2019

Posted for Six Word Saturday. Well, at least there’s exactly six words in the title. 😉