Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sweet Respite

I silently cursed the heat. Hated the drought that intimately violated the earth all around. Railed against the heavy, torrid air that cooked the lungs. Despised that it had sickened me during a hard afternoon run, concerned too many people, and then pushed me into medical intervention and through a gauntlet of scoldings and admonishments like an errant child.

Now that we were pulling into the driveway after getting the treatment, what simmered in me was just as oppressive and suffocating as what scorched the land. I, known for looking for the good, found none in this stifling day.

I moved to the front yard to turn on the sprinkler. Grass beyond the reach of the water hose was as brittle as a used light bulb. The only thing growing in the pastures beyond the yard were malignant patches of brown where lush grass used to flourish.

I sucked in a breath to sigh as I knelt to turn the faucet handle, and a surprisingly soft aroma floated gently upwards. The grass and plants lifted a bouquet of thanks at the descent of the sun, a delicate medley of offerings.

Hundreds of butterflies, aroused at the first droplets of water, swirled and cavorted as King David must have with absolute abandon, orbiting first me and then dancing out into a wider circle. Their raw joy overflowed into an exquisite explosion through the air.

A trail on the sidewalk of perfectly placed, muddy, teen aged footprints from the puddle under the faucet to the front door revived the memories of walking barefoot in the wet earth. I slipped off my shoes and squished my toes in, too, leaving my muddy footprints beside those of my teenager.

By the time my husband came back out with two frosted glasses of iced water, I had pulled the lawn chairs over under the sprawling oak tree and settled in, dirty feet stretched out in front.

Sometimes when you can't find the good, the good finds you.







70 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. LoLy: Glad you've found it to be so, too~

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  2. Fantastic ending to an otherwise blah! day. So the lesson is "wait for it; it will come"? I'm a believer.

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  3. So True!! Love this! Hate that your run led to a trip to the hospital, though. I won't tell you to be careful in this insane heat. Sounds like you've heard enough of that! :)

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    1. Jenn June: Ha! Thank you, my friend~

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  4. Dear Shelly, I'm so glad you are well and everything turned out with beauty and appreciation at the end of the day. Praying for rain and cooler weather for you and all those who are suffering under this intense sun. The imagery of the butterflies and wet footprints is so lovely. I'm learning to wait patiently for good to rise to the surface, instead of trying so hard to seek it. It just rolls in like a wave sometimes. Like your friendship.

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    1. Jenny: Ahhhh! Thank you, friend~ made my day!

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  5. Running in this heat?
    You are tough.
    But even the tough can get a bit over-heated.
    Glad you're ok.
    Take care, Friend.

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    1. Sweet Tea: My trainer is 22 and a world class rower. She is the tough one who thinks I am tough. I think I am just old, now.

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  6. Hi, Shelly! You reminded me my earliest experiences with mud. I was born and raised in the country and spent much of my time outdoors in constant contact with dirt and water. I never felt more alive than the times when I got caught in torrential downpours, walked barefoot on wet ground, trod through mud puddles or waded barefoot in streams and creeks, toes squishing. There's great honesty in getting dirty in a natural setting. I once was attacked and stung on the leg by a dozen wasps while exploring an old abandoned boat on a river bank. My father slathered soothing mud on the stings and I was good to go. I am aware that certain parts of the country are in the midst of a terrible drought. Mercifully, rainfall has been abundant here in Central Florida in recent weeks. I hope you are well and in good spirits, dear friend Shelly!

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    1. Shady: Such wonderful memories- and mud really does have healing and restorative properties, for the body and soul. Thank you- I am hoping for rain very soon!

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  7. Hi Shelly. I bet that mud was lovely and cool for you. I just can't imagine how you must be suffering with all that heat. It's something that we just don't get over here, and I must say that I'm thankful for that! That must have been a pretty sight to see all those butterflies fluttering around.

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    1. Thisisme: It was like a butterfly bomb had gone off! So amazingly beautiful.I wish I had been able to record it~

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  8. The good only finds you if you are willing to see it. Thanks for always being so positive and painting such beautiful images. Glad you are okay!

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  9. You are so right. It's the little things. Finding enjoyment when and where most don't expect it is always such a treat.
    Great post. You have a way with words...

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    1. Pat: Those little things are worth more than gold- thank you!

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  10. Preaching to the choir here lady! Very well written!

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    1. Craziness: I know you know this well- thank you!

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  11. So well written, and such a good thought to reflect on.

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  12. Great reflections. Your willingness to look for good made it possible to enjoy it. Your writing style is one of kind:)

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    1. Munir: Thank you so much, my friend!

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  13. Who is getting treatment? And I am glad you were in a place to receive a gift to you! Sandie

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    1. Sandie: I had to- got too hot and dehydrated, but I'm fine now. And yes, what a lovely gift it was!

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  14. good ending! glad everything is ok....and you can appreciate that everything is ok!

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    1. Annmarie: Thank you- I will try to be a little wiser or I will never hear the end of it from my family and my dr.~

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  15. so thrue nice ending...thanks for sharing...blessings

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  16. I bet there are many out there who have not had the joy of feeling cool mud on their feet that are wishing it had been them. I encourage them to remember and experience it again and be refreshed and renewed. Sure it's tough but we can overcome.
    Great post Shelly.
    Odie

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    1. Odie: You are so right, my friend!

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  17. Well said. You know, you make two glasses of iced water read as the most wanted things on earth!

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    1. Lydia: Oh, that water was so good!

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  18. I can see you with your muddy feet stretched out on a chair and hubby bringing that drink... Its good to feel free and all to soon, life weighs us down, IF, we permit it to. Enjoy your hubby and his love and being close together. Life is meant to be lived like this, and its what memories are made of. xxx

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    1. Crystal Mary: You are so right, my friend. It's a choice about what we permit. And yes, life can be so very good!

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  19. OMG, Dear Shelly. I missed your post; so sorry for that, my friend!!!
    Out of a whim, I dropped by and foundthis pot, whew so surprised.

    And you did have to go to the doctor? You are not feeling ill now, aren't you? So sorry my poor reading ability! Please, please take care of yourself and try not to push yourself. We have been hearing the numbers of the people taken to the hospital with the heat stroke by the ambulance through news program.

    Oh yes, you made me feel better with a lovely, delightful ending of the story(*^_^*) I can never expect my husband bring me drink or something like that, haha. But my husband waters our tiny garden, that reduces one of my jobs(^^;)
    Wow, wonderful butterflies scene!!! "The overflow of their raw joy was exquisite." Wonderful to read, my friend. I remember I have seen sky full (for me when young) of red dragonflies in early fall.

    I hope you can go easy on yourself just a bit♬♬♬
    Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

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    1. Orchid: I got too hot when I was running and had heat exhaustion, so that's why I had to go. I am fine now, though- went running again yesterday.

      Oh, those dragonflies must have been lovely! I would have loved to have seen them. And your hubby's a good man, too, in helping out like that!

      Thank you, friend!

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    2. Good Morning, Dearest Shelly,
      I'm SO SHAMED that I cannot read your wonderful writing correctly.
      At first, from Jenny's comment I got confused and then your reply to Diane's comment made me think it was a real thing...
      I thought I learned a hard lesson and please forgive me, my wonderful writer friend.
      Love you always from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

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    3. orchid: Oh, my dear friend Miyako, you did so perfectly well! Please do not feel any differently. You are amazing in your language abilities and I can barely make it in one language! Hugs to you, dear friend~

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  20. Dear Shelly, your last line is a gem of wisdom. It's been so true in my life, that when I've looked for good, as my mom taught me to do, I've sometimes not been able to find it, yet it's always found me.

    And one more thing--your paragraph on the butterflies is a thing of beauty. Thank you for it. Peace.

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    1. Dee: Thank you, friend. You are right- sometimes it happens on us when we least think it will, and what a joy that is!

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  21. I love squishing mud between my toes! Beautiful writing...as usual.

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    1. Missed Periods: I love that feeling! Thank you~

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  22. Shelly you remain a victor and a encourager! Blessings to you dear one.

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    1. Just Be Real: Thank you, my friend!

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  23. You brought another marvelous post to life Shelly. Thanks & hugs -Kelly

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  24. How often have my spirits been lifted as yours were that day? God does send us reminders of his unfailing love.

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    1. Belle: So very true. We just have to be open to receiving them~

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  25. How DO you run in such heat? Is it a matter of gradually getting used to it? I'm glad you are feeling better.

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    1. jenny_o: I think we are more used to it than others in northern climes because it's like this so much of the year, but it was kind of foolish of me as it was 104 that day with a heat index of 114. I am invincible, right? :) Thanks!

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  26. No wonder, however good finds good souls, not everyone.

    You are real good :)
    Love you , Shelly.
    As usual, I am smiling after reading your post.

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    1. izdiher: You touched my heart, friend! Big hugs to you~

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  27. Oh, there's something about butterflies.

    You did a wonderful job making me feel the moods.

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    1. Theresa: They certainly did lift my mood that day, and thank you-

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  28. Oh, Shell. What a fragrant, encompassing hug of a post.

    Thank you.

    Pearl

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  29. The mud mixed with the water would keep you cooler for longer. Its nice to just let go and let you hair down and be like a teenager.. I almost thought you were going to say you put the seat under the sprinkler...bet you were temped..LOL

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    1. Crystal Mary: That's good to know, especially since it is still scorching here! And yes, I actually have just kind of stood in the sprinkler to cool off. I won't ever get too old for that~

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  30. Awwwwww, I liked this, it was a poem. So sorry you needed help--heat exhaustion, then, instead of sitting in air condiditon, you sit outside and let the good find you through it all. Hope you are feeling better.

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    1. Jamie: Thanks so much! Yes, back to 100% and hopefully a little wiser about sticking it out too long in the heat. Counting down the days until the first cold front...

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  31. Shelly - Isn't it amazing what water can do to dried up "anything"?

    Thankfully He also provides us with the water of life. Have a wonderful day.

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    1. Marsh:; You are so right about which is the most important water~

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  32. Gorgeously written and so true! (I lived without a bathtub for a month. I have a new appreciation of water!)

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    1. Bossy Betty: I will never take water or rain for granted again!

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