Friday, June 6, 2014

Pay Attention

 By Cathy

she sees the patterns of her life clearly now
something to do with her age no doubt
it was not always like this
but now she recalls. . . 
and when she does she understands the patterns  were always there
she just wasn't paying attention

the little girl walks past the wobbly old fence, her red flip-flops
beating out the rhythm of her own walking
flip-flop, flip-flop
her mother is close behind her
 reminding her to not go too far
they emerge at the ocean’s edge and she plays in the sun
while her father fishes on the shore; down the beach from them
later the three of them sit outside the camp site 
and examine her treasures  
tiny seashells, homes for clams and snails, a sand-dollar 
and a few crab claws
he explains how almost all of nature and life has its own pattern
if we only take the time to notice
but the little girl is too busy lining up her seashells in a row 
and hardly listens

  the chestnut brown braid of the teenage girl
almost reaches her waist
as she sit on the floor in the kitchen of her childhood home
she is tethered to the beige telephone
which hangs above her on the wall
and her fingers gently trace the diamond pattern 
of the worm linoleum beneath her
the cord bounces up and down creating a playful pattern 
on the wall behind her
and if she listened carefully
she would hear the rhythm of the rain 
as it hits the glass windowpane
but she is too engaged in the story of  her best friend's break-up
to hear anything but her voice
so again the patterns around her go unnoticed  

years later, as a new mother, she tells her husband she has figured  out  
the sleeping pattern of their new son
only to have to tell him the very next day that it has changed
she is in awe of their son's toes and the symmetry of his little body
perfect in every way and she can’t get enough of him
she reads to him, repeated words and sings songs
clapping out the rhythm
as the itsy bitsy spider climbs higher and higher
but she is so tired she can hardly manage a shower
and again the patterns go unnoticed

today the patterns of her life delight her so
the making of her morning latte, the walks she and the dog take, 
the flowers in her garden
her daily photo
patterns emerge all around her
winter crystal snowflakes
does he love me or love me not petals of the daisy
summer ladybug wings
and butterscotch orange leaves
her father was right and she understands this now
 and she wishes she could thank him
thank him for all he taught that little girl 
because today. . .
there is not a day that goes by 
that she does not pay attention
to the simple patterns of her every day life

what patterns do you notice in your view finder? 


Carol said...

Every aspect of this is so good, and so moving. Your mother and father did a great job with their lives to bring up such an appreciative and thoughtful daughter. You are also a great writer and photographer. LOVELY!

CarolHart said...

Wonderful prose Cathy. Thank you.

kelly said...

i do so love listening to your stories cathy...and so much truth here. such a perfect way to go into the weekend. thank you. xo

Dotti said...

What a moving narrative! And the photos are so perfectly placed, the perfect illustrations. Oh, what a nice way to move into the weekend! Thank you, Cathy!

terriporter said...

Such beautiful illustrations of patterns, both the photos and the words. I so enjoy your writing style and the way I want to read every word so as not to miss a single kernel of wisdom. So true, every word and I'm sure all of us "of a certain age" appreciate your story even more because we can identify with it. Thank you, Cathy, for being you and sharing that with all of us here.

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful poem of words you have woven for us, cathy.

AFishGirl said...

So incredibly beautiful, every moment, Cathy. Leaves me breathless but also full of good breath. Whew.

Cathy H. said...

Simply Beautiful!

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing part of your day with us. If for any reason you are unable to leave a comment here on this post, please leave your comment on our Facebook page or in our Flickr discussion group. We love hearing from you!

© Focusing On Life