Mending the fence

Fence

Her purple scarf was looped around her throat, school books scattered on the bed. She dances to her favorite music. She has pushed up the sleeve of the shirt; the silver bracelet moves up and down the smooth skin of her arm, almost slipping off. Sophia is glad to see her daughter wearing the bracelet that she presented on her last birthday. Leaning against the living room door she watches her twelve years old daughter Jade.

“ Mom! You are here.what do you think of my dance?” She pulls out her earphone and looks at her mother.

Sophia steps forward and quickly kisses Jade on the forehead. “ You dance so gracefully with a natural flow!”

Jade’s voice is impatient: “ No, I mean my shoes. Look at them.”

Sophia is surprised to see the black, pencil high heels. She tries not to criticize so she laughs. “They are so high..”

“ They are not. They are comfortable and I am in love  with them.” Her voice is triumphant.

She smiles and leaves.

Jade is Sophia’s only child and her love. They used to do everything together; library visit, shopping, movies, hiking. Gradually it has changed. Jade behaves very different. She tries to defy whatever her mother says.

On one weekend Jade gets ready for her high school play.  It is a competition between two last teams. Clothes are spilling from her bag, she has thick makeup on her face. “Dad and I will be there tonight.” Sophia says brightly. “ We will pick you after the play around ten.”

She stares at Sophia. “ I am not a little girl. Pick me at eleven. I want to enjoy some time with my friends.”  The anger in her tone is surprising. Sophia does not want to argue. Jade shrugs and turns, bending over the dog. She kisses her, pulling  her ears gently; though she hardly stirs, her tail thumps the floor.

Sophia walks closer and hugs Jade. “ Sweetheart, you are a triumph, so relax, everything will be fine.”

She waves from the door. “ Bye, mum,” she says.

Later that evening it gets windy; a storm is brewing. The raw power of storm is terrifying.  Sophia accompanies her husband to pick up Jade. The doors are locked, parking lot is empty. They drive to a couple of Jade’s friends houses but she is not there. They search her desperately. Sophia’s face is white and hands are cold.

One early morning in October.  Sophia could not sleep. It is hard to see the her daughter’ empty room. She walks into the deck and stands quietly.The silence presses coldly against Sophia’s face. The morning sinks into a dull afternoon and unannounced grief settles closely around her. She misses jade so much. It is hard to see exactly where the change started. Sophia goes back over and over to different points in time to find where she could have altered the fate. She sits on the bench and her tired eyes closes. Jade’s lovely face floats in the gray space in front of her.

Sophia wakes up early; outside the first layer of dark has lifted, leaving the garden as still and flat as a painting under the gray sky. In her dream, Jade has been there, under the tree,shadowed by leafy branches. Minute passes. The stinging shock of empty garden fades into the familiar ache.

As she enters into the kitchen, the doorbell rings. Sophia twists the silver knob and pulls the door open. There stands Jade in a white t-shirt and a jean with a small black duffel bag on her right hand. Her hair has grown long. There are tattoos on her both hands. A small smile flickers on her tight lip. Sophia could not wait to hear her daughter’s excuses. She runs and pulls Jade closer and hugs her. Tears of love runs on her cheek. Jade sobs and whispers. “ I am really  sorry mom, I have given you so much trouble.  You can punish me the way you want.But I could not live without you. You are the best thing in my life.Please forgive me, please.”

Sophia cries and laughs at the same time. “ Yes sweetie, I have forgiven you. But now that you are back, everything will be fine. We will work it out.” She wipes her own tears with the back of her palm and her other hand wraps tightly around her daughter’s delicate hand.

A few notable acts

Me Time

What’s your ideal Saturday morning? Are you doing those things this morning? Why not?

Another beautiful Saturday morning. The rising day is emerging behind the trees. The morning symphony of the Spring birds make it more vibrant. Serenity walks lazily towards the back door. She twists the brass knob gently,opens the door and steps into the porch. The air feels fresh and new. A gentle cool breeze caresses her skin.She glances around. The trees in the back yard are warmed by the fresh sunlight, begin to unfold their new leaves. The apple tree in one corner shows off her beautiful pink buds and in a competitive spirit the Bradford Pear tree displays her symmetrical leaf canopies completely covered in fluffy  white blossoms. Serenity turns her head to the right  close to the wooden fence. She notices the beautiful dance of the Yellow Trillium and the Harmony Iris. Wow! So pretty! Says Serenity as a complement. They deserve a hug, she says with a smile and walks in barefoot to hug the trees. She wraps both her arms gently around the trees and hugs them. Then Serenity walks back to the deck, spreads her  blue yoga mat  to start her day with the sun-salutation. She lays in the Savasana on the mat and listens to the mumbled chuck of the warm orange breasted Red Robins and in a distance the fluttering whistle of the woodchuck. Serenity smiles richly and welcomes the joyful Spring.

Serenity walks into the house towards her daughter’s bedroom. She knocks at the door and says, Good morning! Wake up. It is almost eight thirty. We do not want to miss the gym.

Good morning mom! Yes I will be there, says Saffron, Serenity’s daughter.

Serenity drives to the gym with her daughter listening to the prelude ‘Enchanted Garden’. Serenity never misses the the class on Saturday. She loves the heart pounding, tough, endurance training of the Kickboxing class in every Saturday morning. They feel very tired but at the same time happy and satisfied.

Saturdays are the best time for Serenity to read and write her blogs, as she gets very busy in the weekdays with her office work. In the late afternoon, she and her daughter take their dog and enjoy a very long walk in the beautiful green trail.Their  eight years old German Shepard dog loves the open grass field, usually a few they pass on the sides of the trail. As they reach the dog gets her nose into a good smell, hops around, re-sniffs from different angles, then the climax: dive into the grass, rolls around throwing her whole body, wriggling  back and forth. Then she runs around with lots of excitement as she notices the squirrels chasing each others on the trees.Serenity and her daughter stand and enjoy the scene with smiles. Serenity walks into the living room, glides into the soft white color sofa, leans back more  and watches the stunning shows of ‘ Planet Earth’, shows on the stunning, fascinating national parks, cute puppies in the animal planet and a few good comedy shows.  Later in the day, she pulls her long black hair in a pigtail, wraps a soft peach color scarf  around her neck, holds her list , two big Blue cotton bags which she painted with pretty flowers on the front and goes for groceries. She rolls down the windows, enjoys the air, drives listening to the soft classical musics on the radio. She does not enjoy the grocery job but she likes to drive, walk around in the vegetable sections, check all the fresh, green items, walk to the candy and cookie isle. Also the other secret is serenity loves sweets which she is not allowed to but If she goes to the store by herself then it is easy to buy few of the forbidden items. Serenity smiles for her mischievousness.

Serenity sits on the dining chair with a cup of hot ginger tea. Like every Saturday she wants to visit the neighborhood  library to get the new books of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and Harari’s’ A brief History of humankind’. She loves to walk in each sections of the library, standing close to the book shelves. She pulls the books one after another, flips through the pages, reads  a few pages, then decides either to bring or not. She takes her time. For her, every part of book is magic and she feels as if she is in a magic land, where all the wonderful,enticing stories pop up as she turns the pages. She comes back with a few good books. Serenity is a planner she likes to make list and check things off, get things done. She extends her right arm, pulls the small pink note pad with deep blue flowers on the sides from the table. She glances at the long list of other important things to do, scratches her finger across the pad as if to tease out a better idea than the listed ones. Serenity sighs, she has to finish them first.

Serenity walks into her study to bring her check book, pulls a chair and  sits comfortably. Today she has to send this donations to the various charity organizations. She goes through them carefully, reads about them, writes the checks and seals all the envelopes with stamps on the top.  She moves ahead with the next task. Serenity brings out a few big  brown boxes from the nicely stacked shelve from the garage, tapes one side and asks her daughter to help pulling out unused or gently used  dresses, shoes to donate to the Good- Will center. They both seal the five boxes with clothes and shoes. Her kind husband carries them to the car. Serenity with the help of her daughter stat to paint and decorate a few Easter baskets  for the city’s Annual Easter  party for the underprivileged children. She likes to make cards at home and write prayers for the cancer patients. It is almost nine thirty in the night, when she completes everything from the list. Serenity stretches her arms and stretches her back in a downward dog pose. She is happy, satisfied  and grateful for today’s activities.

A Bouquet of Fragrant Memory:  Familiar Land and Beloved Faces (Part-1)

Life is magical. What happens in one day of our life is more magical than any fantasy movie.

Today is Saturday, a day to relax and enjoy. Emma sits on the maple porch swing in her backyard with her favorite cup of hot tea, flavored with ginger, cardamom and a dash of honey. The clean, crisp and cold air brushes across her face like a veil, sweet and delightful. She looks around and notices the magnificent lines of frost that stretch across the tree branches and the wooden porch. The silvery dew drops on the grass dazzle brightly under the sun light. It reminds her of the beautiful winter garden in her parents’ house and then her thoughts began to wander, trailing through lots of familiar places, familiar people and beautiful memories. She has been trying to travel and visit her family back in India, but it has not been that easy to take one month off for a vacation from the grueling demands of her job. It must be the force behind the law of attraction that draws us to our family and friends, Emma thinks to herself. Slowly she strolls back into the kitchen, and puts the tea cup down in the kitchen sink. She tucks a stray piece of her hair behind her ears and looks at the calendar on the kitchen wall to check the upcoming holidays. “O yes”, she says, “Thanksgiving is coming, this will be the perfect time to take a vacation!” Joy flashes into her heart. Emma breathlessly flies to the living room to talk to her husband and daughter, with winged steps.

It must have been that Emma’s desire to see her family and friends was so heartfelt that it was gratified. Or it was the force of love that moved every circumstance for her to travel so far on such a short notice.

After a lengthy discussion about visiting India on short notice, Emma’s family finally decided to take a vacation for two weeks, before Thanksgiving. The tickets were booked through Qatar Airlines. Despite being unable to make a trip for the family work for the last 20 years, somehow, the magical support of the world around them made this trip possible. Everything clicked perfectly. Emma was thrilled that her daughter, who had just graduated from the law school and passed the bar with flying colors, was able to take part in this adventure.

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Soon the day had arrived. Emma’s smiled as they boarded the plane. She decides to sit on the middle seat between her husband and daughter. The comfortable seats with pretty red seat covers are equipped with tiny TV to make the trip more enjoyable.  Emma appreciated the courteous, friendly, and attentive services of the air hostess. She even enjoyed the delicious foods, drinks and snacks which were served in the flight. Then Emma noticed that every two hours the air hostess came with snacks and drinks- which was fine at the beginning-but then came an unbearable feeling of suffocation from eating so much food. Emma was sure that most of passengers at that particular time wished for a long walk, or a run on the tread mill or to attend a body combat class.  It is total seventeen hours from Houston to New Delhi. After a long five hours, Emma got bored. She stretched her arms above her head, stared at the ceiling, and then looked around to see if the other passengers were having the same reaction. She noticed that most of them were busy in staring at the TV screen or sleeping. Emma turned her head slightly to see that her husband was enjoying some documentary with a smile and her daughter was busy watching the Harry Potter movie. But Emma feels the complicated hybrid emotions in her mind. It is hard for her to sit still. It feels like she could throw off sparks, which will shoot out in all directions like the colored arrows from a July 4th rocket.  Then she pretends to be settled and flips through the pages of a glossy magazine, and even tries to watch the Discovery channel on the tiny TV monitor. But Emma’s mind was like a butterfly. It fluttered with the excitement of going back to her country after such a long time and meeting her dear ones. It was almost time to land in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Emma unbuckled the seat belt gently and walked across the floor to the restroom with her swollen feet. After standing in a line for ten minutes, the small bathroom door opens and the lady with her baby walks out with a tight smile. Emma smiles back and goes in, locks the door from inside. She adjusts her wavy hair in front of the huge mirror, glides the light pink gloss on her lip, stretches her arms, and then goes back to her seat.

Doha’s Hamad International Airport is quite impressive with stunning architectural masterpieces, coffee shops and duty free shops. As soon as Emma walks in to the airport with her family she asks her daughter to join her for a tour of the airport. “Sure mom, I will be happy to walk with you”, replies her daughter with excitement.  Emma’s husband wanted to stay in the Oryx lounge so both mother and daughter walked around, stretched their legs, tried some good Arabic coffee, and visited the various duty free shops.  Emma with her family enjoyed the stopover of two hours in the airport which was very relaxing after a long flight. From Doha, Emma and her family boarded the next flight to India.

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The flight from Doha to India is close to four hours. Emma was quivering with excitement to meet her dear ones after a long time.  The wonderful pictures of her mother land floats in her mind. A wide grin beamed across her oval face as she started to imagine the surprise on all the faces with raised eyebrows, twinkle eyes, then the questions and at the end the wonderful hug and smiles. Emma was as happy as a lark and on cloud nine. As they approached India, Emma leaned towards the window to get a glance of the city that she left for such a long time.

Emma and her family, after the final immigration check, gathered their luggage and walked out with high spirits, blanketed with happiness, twinkling eyes, and big smiles to meet the family outside of the airport. The air may not be fresh and clean, but it was heavenly for Emma- the air of her Motherland. As they were driving on the road the traffic suddenly seemed overwhelming, the insanity of the cows, trucks, scooters and pedestrians all squeezing into one lane. Emma had completely forgotten how the cows and goats are actually the bosses of the roads. They can go anywhere they want and even relax on the middle of the road for a quick nap. Emma’s daughter noticed that honking doesn’t move the animals, and the driver has to walk out from the car to shoo the animals from the road. Emma and her family quickly buckled their seat belts. In seconds the driver’s total disregard for traffic lanes became clear. Emma’s husband noticed how the driver switched into oncoming traffic on a two-lane road, then stayed in the lane with traffic barreling towards them, until the car or the truck heading right for their car was close enough to read the driver’s  fine lines on his face or time on his wrist watch. Then the driver calmly moved the car back into the lane as if nothing had happened. It was like an action movie drive. Then the continuous and unnecessary honking will make one crazy with headaches. The pedestrians happily walk right in-front of any vehicle without hesitation. “Really! This type of insane driving! It will be a road rage in America”, Emma thinks to herself. Emma’s daughter was laughing with surprise but at the same time busy taking pictures of the mad traffic to post on Facebook.

Next part of my travel will be posted soon.

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A touch stone

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Be the Change.”

Today is Friday. Like others Emma is in a happy mood and eager to go home early. She plans to  take a long walk with her dog, make international call to her family, bake cookies for the charity event in her neighborhood. She turns her head slowly to the other corner of the room and notices how the cheerful office staffs are discussing about the delicious cheese cake they baked, or the wonderful gifts  they have received for Christmas and about the New Year’s Eve party. Emma smiles and thinks to herself that ‘ Yes there are so many ways to enjoy the life’. Then Emma adjusts her eye-glass and tries to concentrate on  her article on the’ Global warming’.

Emma wants to create a magic  through her journal. Creation is fun. She loves to play with the words and bring the reality to the reader. Writing is one of the most powerful technique and a perfect pathway to communicate with the readers. Emma as a student of Psychology and her deep interest in the recent psychological researches understands, that the readers attitude shift to become more congruent with the ideas expressed in a creative writing. Emma slowly moves her thick bangs from her forehead and concentrate on her writing.  She tries to add more powerful words and more reality to touch the readers. The words one chooses in the writing, reveal a lot about one’s thoughts and attitude. Her strong determination is to inspire, motivate and change  the reader’s mind. She always like to see the world through optimistic lens. Emma looks at her final draft for the last time then hits the ‘Send’ button.

Emma loves bringing smile to others.  The main purpose of her  creative writing is not only to uplift the spirit of others but also to be a strong voice against  the animal  cruelty, child labor, human trafficking, women’s right and global warming. She rests her chin in her hand, her  elbow on the table and looks outside through the glass window. The overcast morning has settled into a beautiful afternoon, high clouds rolling  across the blue sky.

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Love: The thread that binds

Return AddressYesterday, your pet/baby/inanimate object could read your post. Today, they can write back (thanks for the suggestion, lifelessons!). Write a post from their point of view (or just pick any non-verbal creature/object).

Dear mom,

Today I have the power of expression in writing. We always look at each other, and I just sniff,stare,  lick, bark  and runaround to show my love, my concerns. It will be a delight to  express my feelings. I am grateful to you because you saved me from the big truck on the highway, brought me home, gave shelter and took so much care for me. Every morning you tiptoes with breath held,come at gaze at me with big brown eyes( without your glass!) You try to avoid the radar but then, I lift my eyes slowly, wiggle my long tail softly, and say good morning with a lick.. I enjoy the long walk with you on the trail where you love to look at the pretty flowers,birds and I  like  the squirrels , bunnies and the other dogs.  I love to surprise you every time we go to the open field by  digging my nose to some areas, hops, sniffs from different angles, then towards the climax  how I  dive into the grass,rolls around, wiggling back and forth. I love all the playing together with the ball.  You are always so busy but when you smile I see your love. I enjoy sitting next to each other and watch TV. The best thing is all the delicious treats you bake for me and they taste so yummy better than the store brands. I understand all your feelings and emotions and the only way to express is to look at you, snuggle and lick your face. I hope nothing will ever   come between us. Bye for now.

with regard,

faithful Lucy.

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Inner perception

By Heart  You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind?

Poetry is indeed something divine. The one poem that is serene, uplifting and peaceful for me is England’s poet Laureate William Wordsworth’s Daffodils.

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’ver vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they

Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;

A poet could not be but gay,

In such a jocund company!

I gazed and gazed but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dance with the daffodils.

It portrays the deep relationship between nature and human consciousness. The emotions associated with the poet in this poem is not ephemeral but rather permanent and everlasting. Nature appears alive and happy with the cloud floats on high, stars shine and twinkle, waves dance and sparkle in glee. And the beautiful  daffodils are dancing in the breeze, tossing their head. The word ‘Daffodil’ reminds me about the arrival of spring and also joy and happiness of life, the inherent unity between human and nature.Whenever I feel despair or gloomy, the vision of dancing daffodils bring lots of hope in the horizon.