Talking to the Animals

Walk with the animals, talk with the animals… I walked out of my client’s house today and saw two of my very favorite regularly seen animals across the street. I know. That sounds odd to say “favorite regularly seen animals.” The truth is, I DO regularly see many animals though. Here at my house, last year I got to know Freddie and Freda, my friendly squirrels. This year we’ve become friends with Eddie, their progeny. At each of my client’s homes, I have animal friends I see every time I go to visit them. In the Rockrimmon area, I have 2 rabbit friends who get under my car in cold weather and who hop up to the window and “talk” to me when the weather isn’t cold. Then there are my deer friends. These two bucks. One is the patriarch of the herd. One is a faun I met early in the spring. It has been neat to see the faun grow up. I haven’t seen the does lately. Maybe they’re staying in a warmer area. There is the possibility that they were killed. There was someone in the neighborhood who poisoned several of the herd in the fall. It was terrible and broke our hearts. I don’t know if they caught them or not.
So, today I walked out of my client’s home and there are my guys. They started to cross the street to see me. Yeah, I know, sounds unbelievable, but it happens! The papa buck was about to walk across the street but there was a car coming up the hill much too FAST. I did something any parent will recognize–I yelled, “Deer!! STOP!!” (Except as parents we yell the name of our child, of course.). Deer stopped! He looked at me and stopped immediately. I yelled, “Stay, deer! I don’t want you to get run over!” That dang deer stayed until the cars went by, just like a chastised kid! Hahaha! Then he ambled across the street towards me and made that weird little sound deer make, almost like he was saying “thanks!” Then baby buck came across the street. He’s the one you see on video. They have such great personalities. I never knew that before I moved to Colorado. Today, interacting with these beautiful animals was one of the very best moments of my day. Alan calls me Dr. Doolittle because I “talk with the animals.” Hahaha! I talk, they make weird sounds or just stare at me. To me, that’s just incredibly awesome and reminds me that we’re not the only live creatures on this planet.

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Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Somewhere, over the rainbow,

on the other side of the wall,

days are bright and sunny,

no matter winter, spring,

summer or fall.

If my clothes could talk

at the end of the day, 

they’d tell of the rainbows

I saw today.

Some rainbows I noticed,

Others I passed right by,

because I was too busy

feeling serious with a sigh.

There are rainbows nearby,

not on the other side of a wall,

but right in front of our eyes,

if we’ll simply slow down and

look up, whenever the bright colors call.

©D. Elaine Wood-Lane

11/3/16


Let’s not be so serious and worried about the news, the election, the environment and ourselves that we miss the bright, colorful moments hitting us right between the eyes. I’m not advocating irresponsibility or not caring about the world we live in, but let’s remember that it is important to take the beautiful moments seriously too. Here’s a scene I saw thousands of times while I lived the first 45 years of my life in the southern panhandle of Texas. I took these scenes for granted because they were so common. I live at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado now, which are also beautiful and easy to take for granted. When I saw this photo below, however, this is the scene that made my heart ache and my eyes mist because this beauty is part of my soul.

Hot Air

Sun shines down so hot,
Cotton field dirt burns bare feet,
The hot air shimmers.

Summer days of old,
Cousins playing on the farm,
Hot dirt, hot air…joy!

Huddled inside now,
Cool air, carpet, dimness here,
Where is hot air joy?

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
7-31-16


I recall a time in my childhood, when Mother’s family would gather at Aunt Mary and Uncle Dolf’s farm. We cousins would go outside to play in the 106 degree heat and we loved it! We played outside, walking through fields in our bare feet, finding magical objects in the dirt like arrow heads and pretty rocks and we were in our glory. Those are some of my favorite childhood memories.

Sunshine Through Gray

It’s a wet, gray, dreary looking day,
but I refuse to let it stay that way!

I’m going to smile some sunshine through,
until my warmth burns away all the dew.

So, gray Friday, I’m warning you,
I’m going to shine no matter what you do!

Happy Friday and July 1 everybody! Hope your day is full of sunshine, inside and out!

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
7/1/16

Shuu rin – Autumn Rain (A Haibun for dVerse)

Driving to work in the heavy autumn rains, it felt like the sun had escaped our view forever. Where the sun shines 330 days a year, when the clouds come and darken our world, we freak out a bit and depression and edginess spreads over the town like the plague. Nonetheless, after a soggy, cool weekend, I had dropped my boys off at school and was headed to work at the Dermatology Clinic at the Medical School. I got halfway there, talking and begging my old white Audi, Blanche, to hang in there until I made it to work. Suddenly she sputtered and coughed. I patted the dashboard lovingly, speaking gently and encouragingly to her. That’s when all the lights flashed on my dashboard and I felt Blanche die and start floating in the rushing river of water that Brownfield highway had somehow become. Yikes! I was really floating! Just like those people on the news in other places! I willed Blanche to coast right, twisting her steering wheel hard to the right, hoping it would help. I felt her tires hit pavement and steered even harder. She stopped, right in the middle of the busiest traffic in town. I was stuck in the middle lane of a three lane highway and cars were whizzing by like SST’s. What was I going to do? Suddenly a huge truck pulled up and stopped in front of me while simultaneously its emergency flashers started blinking. A huge, young cowboy climbed out of the truck and made his way back to me. I opened my door to talk to him. “Ma’am, has she died completely? I’ll pull her over to the side if you’d like me to do so. My truck can take her easily.” As I looked into the man’s deep blue eyes, I had an inappropriate thought that he could take me easily too. I didn’t say that out loud, though, thank goodness! I didn’t want to be a stereotypical divorcee, embarrassingly lonely and obvious. “If you could do that, I’d really appreciate it! I’m afraid I’m going to cause a stack up if I don’t pull her over. What do I need to do?” “Not a thing! Just sit tight and I’ll hook her up! Then when I signal, put her in neutral and guide her to the parking lot over there.” Sitting in the car and being pulled over to the side, I had to smile. West Texans might be a lot of things, but unhelpful they were not. As my car coasted into the parking lot and I put her in park, the young man jumped out of his truck and came back, leaned in over the open door. “Do you need a ride to work? I’m headed over to the main campus.” My day, even in the heavy fall rain, suddenly had sunlight.

Heavy, bruising rain,
Ice cold and relentlessly dull,
Making new rivers.

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
6/21/16

The Haibun prompt from dVerse Poets (https://dversepoets.com) was to use one of the Japanese words for rain as the title and to describe the type of rain being written about. A Haibun consists of a non-fiction paragraph followed by a haiku to summarize and deconstruct the main point of the prose paragraph. This is my offering today as a memory came to me of a heavy rainy day when a kind stranger towed my car to the side of the road.

https://dversepoets.com/2016/06/20/haibun-monday-50-shades-of-rain/

Log Jam

 

image

My life is so crowded,
It is jammed like an old dam,
when the river runs faster
than the narrow strait will allow.

Ideas, like logs, get bottlenecked.
Feelings move so swiftly,
it is hard to know which one
to let through first.

Chores stack up like cordwood,
all needing to be burned through,
but it’s hard to know which one
to pick up first.

People, like the ephemera of
the River of Life,
get stuck on the big logs,
awaiting a chance
to move through the dam,
free, happy, healthy,
floating or flowing
as they are meant to do.

Ideas, feelings, chores.
I guess the only thing to do,
like dealing with a jammed up dam,
is to remove the first log
and see what comes next.

Always do the next right thing,
for the person nearest you now.
Love one another.
If you have love,
the next right thing
for the next right person,
will come to you,
and the dam will become unjammed…

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
6/14/16


With 24/7 news coverage, work, home and family responsibilities, we can easily be overwhelmed. There are too many problems or opportunities for us to be able to focus on what comes next.

I’ve felt a wee bit overwhelmed as this week started with bad news about the shooting in Florida and the realization that so many people could be killed by one man with condemnation in his heart. I want to have all the answers so nothing like this happens ever again. I want to love family and friends more deeply effected by this tragedy. I want to know how to show my love and sympathy without seeming to be a rubbernecker looking at a horrendous car accident. Uncertainty slows down my responses, just like logs slow down and jam up in a beaver-built dam. Then I realize I still have clients to see, work to do, housework to catch up, writing to do, and the next thing I know I’m completely blocked. Ideas, emotions, work, housecleaning, all get jumbled together and stop. What to do, what to do? Set priorities. People come first. Then emotions and ideas. Then action. The dam unjams. I’m praying your personal dams remain clear of debris this week. If not, do the next right thing for the nearest next person. (This idea, I must admit, came from Leo Tolstoy.)

John 13:34 (NIV)

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (This command came from Jesus.)

Peace and love, Elaine