Simplification


focus

I wish I lived during simpler times

When text messages or emails were letters written, sealed with wax and mailed with hopeful intentions

When the sound of clopping hooves on a gravel road, not a ‘ding’, meant a message was arriving

When things took time, when nothing was instantaneous, when we relied on our own selves to fill the lulls – to read, to write, to draw, to stare at nothing and daydream in silence

There are too many options, too much noise, so much stuff!

The need to acquire more things can’t be satiated

I try to simplify, declutter, compartmentalize my stuff, my thoughts, my life

But I need to do it over and over

The white noise, dinging tablets, vibrating phones is a constant distraction

A force that pulls my mind away from what matters

A beckoning to come and see what I might be missing

And when I finally give in there is no satisfaction

There is only regret when I notice I missed nothing – just like I knew, but couldn’t let go

Feeling like a fool I vow to simplify my life

But know how the cycle goes

And do what I can to minimize the distraction as I try to live my life

 

Sunflower Field


sunflowers

Photo Credit: 360mm Photography (Jenn was our photographer)

Sunflowers surround her
All their yellow faces looking up at the sun
She traces her finger along the silky petals
Towards the fuzzy centre
Her finger lingers there as she
Remembers her youth for a split second
Embraces the feeling of carelessness and freedom
But as quickly as the moment comes
It begins to fade
She closes her eyes
Feels the sun on her eyelids
And can still see the orange hues dancing
Behind the veil of her lashes
She breathes in a long, deep breath
Smelling the crisp air
Bringing back more memories of her youth
The distinct smell of a new day
And all its possibilities for play
For happiness and sunshine
For friendship and laughter

This is what the sunflower represents for her
On her wedding day, her bouquet was a cluster
Of large yellow sunflowers
She held it in her hands, holding onto her dreams
Of happiness and of new beginnings
Grasping onto the little girl within her, who is
Giggling and carefree in her field of silky yellow petals
Staring up at the sky, hoping to be bathed in the affection of the sun

Her hand drops down to the stem now
And in an instant she’s back in the present
The moment has passed
The sunflowers so still and tall
Make her feel small and fill her with longing
For carelessness and freedom
And effortless, fleeting moments
Of true, undiluted happiness

©Cristina Cole – All rights reserved.

Reminiscing About School Days


BackToSchoolVintage-GraphicsFairy

(Photo Credithttp://thegraphicsfairy.com/vintage-clip-art-back-to-school/)

I used to love going back to school after the summer…

A blank slate
A new beginning
The smell of paper
The smell of new text books
The smell of wax crayons
And Mr. Sketch markers
Intoxicating to a child starting a new year at school

New school bag filled with
Fun new pens and pencils
A new lunch bag with lots of snacks
Made by mom with love
A new outfit and shoes
Freshly-washed hair with barrettes
Pinning it back to show a fresh, smiling face

Eyes looking up at the school
Nose sniffing the fresh air
Mouth turned up at the sides
Heart beating with anticipation
For the first day back to school

©Cristina Cole  

Thunderstorm


I fell asleep to the sound of thunder and rain last night. It was blissful…

thunderstorm

(Photo Credit: Michael Bolognesi Photography)

Through the veil of my eyelids

Flashes of blue light seep through

My body tenses while waiting for the thunder to follow

The rolling sound comes nearer until finally

A loud crack shakes through the sky

Then a blanket of rain begins to fall

Soaking the earth, soaking my soul

The soothing sound rocks me to sleep

Nature sings her lullaby

And I listen like a child

While wrapped in my summer quilt

Mother Nature nurtures my senses

Until I give in to a heavy slumber

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole

PB&J: Potluck, Bonfire and Jesus


church bonfire

Photo Credit: Allyson MacLeod

Our church, KesPres organized a great event for us last night. We all brought our families and a potluck item to share, and enjoyed dinner together. Afterwards, we gathered around a bonfire to share stories of where we see God in our everyday lives. We sang songs while Kirk played his guitar and the children roasted marshmallows too. It was such a great evening. Here’s a snapshot of it in a poem I wrote when I got home:

Jacob sits in his stroller
Watching the children giggle and run around
I gaze around the room and feel rich
Different conversations happening
The clanking of cutlery on plates
A burst of laughter at one end of the room
The intoxicating smell of different dishes
All prepared with love to share with each other
All the mothers are taking care of their children
As well as everyone else’s – just like a big family

With full bellies and satisfied taste buds
We all sit around a fire
Sharing stories of how we see
God working in our lives
Where his blessings show up
Every day, in simple ways
I watch Jacob watching the fire, mesmerized
I get a little choked up, realizing
This is the first time he’s seeing fire
A fire that God has provided for him
And ensured Jacob’s first glance
Would be in the company of his
Large, loving Christian family

The guitar is strummed
And Kirk’s voice carries over the breeze
Coaxing us all to follow and sing with him
For God, to God – giving praise for his blessings
Warmth washes over all of us
From the fire, from the fading sun on our backs
And from the love being shared in this large circle of our family

Allyson silently takes pictures of the moments we share
Capturing little miracles in her lens
Of families gathering together
Sharing joy in each other’s company
Of children roasting marshmallows
Their goopy fingers holding a stick
Roasting their second marshmallow on the flame
Getting excited as the outer layer begins to brown

The evening is winding down
I can feel the strings of my heart being pulled
I’m already longing for another night like this
And know
That God is working
To make more happen

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole

Lost at Laundry


sock

The lonely black sock
Waits for its other half to return,
Reminiscing about the days when they were snuggled
Side by side in the cherry-wood drawer.
Those days were warm.
And even though they’d be separated later,
It was only a foot apart.
They could still snuggle when the feet they covered nestled together on the couch
Or wave hello as they swung by each other during a stride.
Neither was jealous of the shoe that covered the sock
For they would be reunited again, in the cherry-wood drawer one day.

But before they can return to their cozy home
A hard journey must be faced.
Each week, before the promise and warmth of each other can be enjoyed
They must fight to stay together through a war.

First they’re torn from the feet they cover with a rush.
Then, they’re thrown into a basket.
Sometimes they’re lucky and remain close,
Other times they land in a heap of other clothes.
Tough and rigid jeans stand between them like a wall.
They must wait a few days, longing for each other.

Then the day of Laundry finally arrives.
They can catch a glimpse of each other as they’re
Thrown from the bin into the Angry Sea of Suds.
Twisting and turning, they struggle to stay above water,
Trying to reach each other, to stay close.

Fear grips them as they’re torn apart
During a vicious spin.
All they have are their memories of the
Cherry-wood drawer to keep them hanging on a little longer.

Once they’ve made it through the Angry Sea of Suds
They’re thrown into the Wicked Wind of Warmth.
They’re tossed around for what seems like days
But it’s only an hour.
An hour of sheer torture as they can see each other,
Almost touch each other,
But there is too much chaos.
And the tough rigid jeans laugh at them.
At their little selves trying to stay together
Amidst all the strong clothes of the load.

Once the Wicked Wind of Warmth subsides
They feel relief and joy.
Their journey is almost over,
Soon they will be reunited.

Usually, they’re snuggled side by side by that evening,
But tonight is a very sad night.
This time, the journey wasn’t a success.
What happened to this poor sock’s partner?
Did the Angry Sea of Suds devour her?
Did the Wicked Wind of Warmth blow her into an abyss?
Or maybe she fell out of the basket on the way.
His poor soul is sad and lonely.
He’s tucked into the cherry-wood drawer on his own.
He has a week to wait for her to be located
By the laundry police.
If she isn’t found by then
His fate will be a long lonely life of waxing wood furniture.
How his heart longs for his other half,
Who was lost at Laundry.

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole

The Opposite of a Love Poem


Here’s the opposite of a love poem for those not celebrating Valentine’s Day. It’s something I wrote when I was in the “bad relationship” I discussed in Roads.

rocking chair

Life Will Be Different

The moon is full
The crickets sing
The wind flirts with the trees
I rock in this chair
And wallow in despair
With thoughts of you and me

You slumber inside
Your snore is loud
Your breath of booze is sharp
I think if the hate
For your drunken state
And want to rip you apart

You’re selfish and cunning
Manipulative and mean
The greatest liar I know
And over time I see
That you’re not right for me
And my resentment continues to grow

When I decide to leave
You will promise me things
And shed tears of disbelief
But I will be strong
And only move on
To the life that waits for me

And the next time I watch the moon
Hear the crickets sing
And listen to the wind dance in trees
I’ll sway in this chair
Feel the breeze in my hair
And enjoy the life I live for me

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/criminalintent/5235848024/

Dawn


dawn

At dawn, when the dew
Graces blades of green grass
When the sun pierces through
Tiny slivers where the curtains separate
This is the most wonderful part of the day

Dawn is the new beginning
Events yet to be written
Memories yet to be born
A blank slate

Just like a newborn baby
Exudes a potent scent of joy
The fresh aroma of a new day
Fills you with similar excitement

Intentions chaotically swirl through our minds
Birds feel our joy and serenade us
Creating a song that jolts our spirit to life

I will never take a single day for granted
Because when Dawn greets me
I remember how good it feels
To be alive

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/frank_wuestefeld/4306107546/

Black Umbrellas


black umbrellas

Within a cluster of roses
A buzzing bee imposes
On sweet pollen juice
Until it cuts loose
In fear of shadowing noses

A swift sniff of sweet delight
And then the nose takes flight
For droplets fall
And black clouds crawl
Above the vast sky once bright

Like synchronized swimmers
Rows of black shimmer
As umbrellas open quickly
And the rain falls thickly
Leaving the whole town to simmer

As though the thick rain
Were fire droplets of pain
All run in panic
And acting manic
People scream as if being slain

The storm has surpassed
With such heavy mass
But nature is now silent
Though moments before defiant
And black umbrellas lay dead in the grass

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole

Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chunkfree/8151420528/