Camano Island


BY ERIN LAVERY

Photo by Steve Douglas on Unsplash

I wake before the sun.
The warmth of the covers leave my body and I walk into the cold and the dark.
My hands wrap around my mug and it fills with hot coffee.
If I had woken when I had planned, the steam would be rising from the cup,
But it’s not.
For a moment, it’s just me in the silence and the cold and the dark-
reminding myself that it’s almost morning.

Then, I hear my son’s feet touch the wooden floor three rooms down.
He loves the morning in a way I can’t understand.
For years, I have tried to wake early enough to get a head start on day
Before others are awake and need me.
He, in his innocence, has taken this as an invitation to spend quiet moments with me.
He lays in his bed, listening for my own feet to touch the ground so he can come and find me.

Some mornings, when I am bold enough to stay asleep longer than usual,
I wake to the sound of gentle knocking.
Then, a small voice breaks through the sound of his tiny fist against the door.
“Mom, you slept in on accident.”
It’s never an accident.

But in spite of my longing for a quiet
That belongs to only me,
perhaps these days are the best I’ll ever know.
These days are without any moments to wonder whether
I am making good use of this very short
Window of time I have on this planet.
Instead, it is just me and the cold and the dark

And the little man who loves me more
Than the warmth of his bed.

He sits at the table beside me now, pulling out the marshmallow bits from the cereal box.
I pretend not to notice, gazing to my right
Through the wall of windows overlooking Livingston Bay.
The sun is rising in the distance-
Running toward our sky to join us.

By Erin Lavery

Shooting Stars


Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash


So briefly we shine

streaking through this life

bright lights

here and gone

Rushing into and out of

lives of others

some see us

some do not

For some our light

lives on

in their hearts

pieces of our matter remains

For others

they never know

that we were even

here

Each of us

bright shining stars

burning hot moving fast

beautiful

Land Of The Lost


The older I get, the more people I lose from my life. A natural occurrence of aging because everyone around you is older too. Still, sadness and grief remain an ever returning constant.

Last night, my uncle Robert passed away unexpectedly. He was in his early 70s, only a little more than 20 years older than me. It was shocking and sad to get the news this morning from my father, who will turn 79 on Monday. Each passing reminds me more that others in my life will also be leaving soon…..and sooner than I would wish.

My uncle Robert was a giant of a man. I remember him from a very young age being larger than life and quieter than snow. He did not have a lot to say usually, but when he did it was either very important that you listen or very funny. He had an amazing sense of humor and a heart as big as giants. Always there to lend a helping hand no matter what someone needed. And he never, ever failed to make me laugh.

My heart aches for his family today. He was married to my aunt, my father’s sister, for 56 years with two wonderful children, my cousins. Along with many grandchildren. A man of quiet faith and steadfast love and support.

I am sad about his passing, very sad. But I think that his passing has brought once again to light the fact that others in my life will also pass from this life and some sooner than others. It is the way of things, the circle of life, but it does not make it any easier to wade through the ocean waves of grief. From my childhood, only a handful of the “older” generation now remain. Soon, I will be the older generation, or part of what is left of it.

The others will pass into the next life, but they do not pass from memory or from the heart.

I have a wonderful family of my own and I am so grateful for each day with them. But those I have lost are still part of my thoughts, my memories, my heart. And I navigate the ocean of grief some days with no waves and some days with many as I celebrate the present and the living while missing those who have been lost.

Pressure


water

 

It bears down on me

like so much pressure

pushing, ever pushing

never letting up.

 

School, work, family

always something to do

never any rest or peace

even in my dreams.

 

Overwhelming pressure

leaving dents

in my mind, my heart, my soul

getting deeper all the time.

 

Smothering, getting sick

no strength to push back

going under

and no one sees.

Lost


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So much gone
never to be found
not enough tomorrows
for the lost

Searching in vain
frantically running
seeking something
always lost

Plugging the holes
it never holds
over and over you try
still lost

No more tomorrows
time far gone
remaining empty
forever lost

Reaching


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Reaching out for a hand
to hold as we fall
hoping it will save
wishing, knowing not at all

What if the hand’s not there
how then do we survive
when we are all that’s left to hold
do we remain alive

Is there any way to tell
what tomorrow brings
will we awake
when the alarm bell rings

We keep reaching
looking to find hope
just tie a knot
at the end of your rope

Life



Horribly beautiful
in all it’s glory
inspiration one moment
desperation the next
painted with
telling brush strokes
the truth never
quite revealed
horribly beautiful
this thing called life

Final



Last one
countdown begun
year’s final day
made its way
some here some gone
with friends or all alone
taking stock counting down
some smile some frown
looking forward glancing back
what you’ve got or what you lack
holding on or letting go
what you do or don’t know
precipices of future loom
live in joy or doom
choice is yours to make
steps you choose to take
come now this final day
then new dawn new way

Swimming



Mind full of chaos
life full of stress
pushing for the surface
always swimming

Searching for sleep
looking for peace
trying to catch a breath
always swimming

Sorting things out
picking and choosing
cutting through the waves
always swimming

Finding few answers
reaching ever forward
working just to stay afloat
always swimming

Risk



Everything’s a risk
nothing guaranteed
tomorrow is not promised
it’s all just chance

Fortune favors the bold
timidity hinders success
out on a limb
willing to take a risk

Nothing ventured nothing gained
hanging back leaves you behind
pack leaders never afraid
risk is at the front of the line

Tomorrow waits for no one
procrastination isn’t a risk
reach for the stars
and beyond

Life is worth the risk

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