Walking Through Clevelands Emerald Necklace

Cleveland is a delightful surprise when it comes to getting lost on a good hike. It’s easy to just drive by and miss out on any one of these hot spots. It’s a kind of spot well-known to the locals. There are countless trails and paths that connect one city to another, through the metro parks. It is no wonder why these masterpiece trails are dubbed the Emerald Necklace.

This is the place to just be; to stop and see a little of this, or a little of that.  The sun beams on your face a bunny hops by..  And you can’t help but greet him with

     “awe aren’t you cute?” The woods crackle, a deer stands statue. Again you smile, hearing him say,

     “if I stand here maybe she won’t see me.” 

You do …..but just don’t tell him. You walk away ,to let him be. An eagle soars high above your head.   You appreciate his freedom.  You hear a knocking . You recognize it’s a wood pecker. But, where is he? Geese call out. You smile as they play follow the leader.

You look back at a shrieking  mom. She is terrified her toddler wants to pick up the frog. She grabs him in the nick of time.  You continue down the path and kick a stone. The air is so clean. Children giggle, you hear a discovery, just not sure what.

” oh look…. Look mommy look.” Their wonder makes you smile.  The trees dance. It could be the wind or perhaps a hidden creature.  You realize you found it. This is the perfect place to get lost.  This moment is etched in your heart . It’s your own private post card to give to yourself any time you need a smile. The clouds dance on the blue sky. Music blows in the wind starring the whistling birds,and the swaying trees. What a spot!

You just reach the end. It feels like the beginning. It dead ends into a lake. Look at all this wild life. Let’s see there are nine white heron. That can’t be right. Are there thirteen blue heron? To the left there are six water birds. It suddenly feels like a version of Snow White. Why there are squirrels, chipmunks, and …..no way! look beyond , way back there. Three deer sipping the water. This is the most -crazy -beautiful moment ever . So, much so, you have to stop  counting, and just embrace the moment. The cool scent of the earth fills your senses. Now open your eyes… And it’s OK to shake your head. Yes, this really is Cleveland with so much to offer. Who knew?

The metro parks truly connects Cleveland , and the suburbs at the core. Both locals, and visitors come together to play. There is no charge to visit. There is no charge to park.  There is no charge for stress therapy. All you need is a good pair of shoes, and the time to walk.

For a city struggling to survive like so many communities the preservation of beauty is impressive. A city that put forth such effort is worth a visit. For those having a tough time knowing which path to choose…look on a map…close your eyes and point. Any of the metro parks are a scenic in their own way. Happy trails my friends. For more information On the Cleveland Metro Parks,  this site may help:

http://www.clemetparks.com/recreation/hiking/index.asp

A Worms Lot

Just an every day man,

Caught in a coffee can.

Squirming to find a way out;

Unable due to his doubt.

Feeling slimy and stuck,

Can he escape in his truck?

There are so many fish waiting,

Biting without hesitating.

Oh, poor working man, caught,

Trapped in a worms lot!

Blind Rose

The weed spewed his hate.

“Little bud grown from dirt,

All who touch you will scar.

You glorified weed.”

Obviously a bully,

To be uprooted,

The Gardner took action.

But, the weeds’ voice stayed.

Echoing it’s criticism ,

To the young rose bud.

Such an exquisite rose,

All she could see was a weed.

Blind to her own beauty,

This rose saw thorns and dirt.

Unraveling The Stories Within

 

 

There are those crazy moments in life where non issues blossom.

It’s hard to see that until the story runs its course.

I guess this is one of those stories.

The year is 1989 ;

And, I made it big.

Out of all the employees the company wants me.

And, with that two dollar raise I am sky rocketing to $5.00/ hour.

I have the store keys.

wow what a thrill to be a boss before age twenty.

There seems to be no reality to hold my pride from sailing up to with the clouds.

And, why not when voted number one manager?

It takes a lot of effort to keep that title.

Arrive two hours early and  do a four person prep job.

keep the employees happy.

Expect nothing from them.

Tell no one.

Relax, and drink coffee without a care.

Exchange competent manager for cool manager title.

Yet, others notice a change for the worse.

Management smells something like rotten bananas.

The staff works for no one but me?

This has never happened with previous managers.

What is my secret?

Why is everyone sitting around expecting to not work?

I know the answer.

I’ve spoiled  them all.

I kind of feel bad.

It’s just gone too far.

All I can do is keep silent;

It is nice being the center of such respect.

Humiliation often follows a puffy head.

I know the rules yet I’m at a puffy place.

Perhaps, That’s why I lack foresight.

Rule number one never work alone.

Always enter and exit with at least one person.

Here is a non issue blossom.

If only I paid attention to actual issues!

It’s 8:00 p.m. My green hornet car dies again.

What a piece of junk.

Realization sets in, I have work tomorrow.

I’m opening manager.

Normally, my shift starts at 6:00 a.m.

So, let’s see to be there early enough To do everyone’s work load, I have to leave the house at 3:00.

What a mess.

I hate my car.

I’m not tired. How, am I going to sleep? How am I going to wake up?

I turn on the T.V.

This just in ” Beware women who are blond, and between the ages of eighteen to thirty. ”

my goodness that’s me.

I lean in to hear the details relating to my safe little community.

The news broadcaster fills me in to the horrifying details…

“There is a serial rapist walking the streets of this once safe community….

use caution around strangers…

…don’t accept rides…

he’s out there….please be careful

….if at all possible don’t walk alone at night.”

Of all the times for my car to break down,

Well, I’m in management.

I get paid the big bucks to do what I have to do.

I will have to risk my life by walking to work. I tell myself…this is not an issue as I stare into space.

The alarm clock gives off that annoying buzz.

It seems like I just fell asleep.

I eat my toast and cup of coffee.

I try to wake up.

I am slow to get ready, I really don’t want to come face to face with this person out there.

I could be his target today.

And, that would be awful.

Ok, if he shows up…I will .just keep my car keys between my fingers, so I can jab him and run.

I think about that some more.

What if that makes him mad?

What if he kills me? Oh this is all so dreadful. Now this is a real issue.

I leave the  house.

There are knots in my stomach, and streaks of pain in my back. I run back in the house .

I suddenly, have cramps before my intestines explode. I’m sick.

How can I go to work?

“Well, buck up  you are manager you have no choice.”

I hate management. I’m not that good. I’m cold; I’m tired, and I don’t want to die today.

I’m now ten minutes late.

This has put me behind.

Why do I worry like this?

Everything will be ok.

Stupid news caster just scared me. It’s fine. I comb my hair. Now, I’m ready to begin my walk.

This is not an issue…this is in your head…my inner voices chime.

Wow, I didn’t know it would be this dark. I can’t see. What if I get hit by a car?

Is that a Bob Cat? I think I heard a Bob Cat.  It can’t be. There are no bob cats here.

It’s really cold. My chest hurts. I’m not sure if it’s a result of the cool air or , a possible heart attack?

Oh man, I hear a dog. Is that dog tied up? Or, is he coming after me?

A car soars by. ” get off the road.” I hear following a long continuous horn blowing.

I shake my head silently implying “whatever”.

Is this worth risking my life?

A car screeches. An engine rumbles.

I’m pretty sure it’s the car who beeped at me. He’s turning around.

Where can I hide?

Sure enough a car passes.

However, I am out of eye sight.

Suddenly, I am keenly aware that I am being stalked.

That car is following me down the street.

I am almost certain it’s him driving up and down the street.

The rapist is here.

If only I can keep creeping  it will be ok. Ok if i am the mouse…I will Be the mouse.

..I will flee from the cat…and I will find the cheese by reaching the store.

I drop the keys as I reach the store.

How much more anxiety I can take?

Its ok… I made it.

I breathe in and out, I live another day. Why do I do that?

Just then, there is a knock on the back door. I knew it.

This is reality not , my imagination.

The rapist is outside my back door, and he is mad because thus far I have been able to elude him.

The light gave me away. Why did I turn on the lights?

I need advice. I run to the office and call my mom.

She will have wisdom how do I handle the situation..,the rapist who is beating the door down.

“Hey, I know you’re in there let me in.” I hear him call.  He says more,” I see the light..come on can anyone hear me.”

Silence fills the air before my mom speaks.

” I never got to tell your brother,

“I love you.” before he was murdered.

That has been my biggest regret.

I’m glad you called.

I love you…if the worst should happen I feel better that I told you that.”

“What? You think I’m going to die?  Great mom! Thanks a lot…that really helps…I have to go..bye…click.

My mom does her best to get in a final ” I love you.” I don’t want to hear it .

I call another manager and confess my wrong doing. I am in the store alone.

“So, this is how you get everything done.” Her clarity sets in. She has evidence to bring me down.

” Call the police..and then call the store manager.” She replies angry that I woke her up.

I call the police.  They don’t have to tell me twice, stay in the locked office.

I Call the head boss. My cheeks are red from dread. She tells me what I already know. My job is on the line. There will be consequences.

I make one more call

“Mom why didn’t you tell me to call the police? Why did you kill me off?

What kind of mother scares her daughter like that? I know there isn’t a single answer to any of those questions. I just have to ask.

As I am venting the drive thru goes off.

I quickly hang up. I

I need to inform the police the situation is escalating. The phone rings.

I confirm that I am the one who called earlier, and now the guy is doing wheelies in the parking lot.

” no, it’s the police…your phone line has been  busy.

We had no way to get your attention. Please walk to the back door. I nervously peek out.

There is the bread truck hoping to make an earlier delivery . It will save him two hours not to back track. What a crazy non issue.

Thirty years later as I remember this story….what I see is kind of funny. The world is full of stories.  This is the day I recognize a part of me…. The one who makes non issues into issues.  Perhaps that day gave me a clue that writing is more where I need to be. This is the perfect place to make a space where it’s okay to let the non-issues run free….let the yarn roll where it may.Let there be an  unraveling and recognition of the many stories within.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A simple Time Traveler in A Modern World

I don’t own a time machine. I’m technologically impaired; I’m afraid I might end up in The Land of The Lost, devoured by a T-Rex. I prefer the present. I ache for here and now. Just let me live, right here, far away from all the scary monsters of yesterday.

I don’t always have that choice.  The smell of gasoline pulls me up. I float to a time and space. I am six again. My grandfather is working in the bike shop. The customers are laughing. I’m playing jacks on the secret porch behind the shop. The day is filled with city life. The air is a cross between fried pastries, smog, and shop chemicals. My mom and dad have another fight. We are hiding to escape my fathers wrath. He should cool down soon.

I’m not sure how many hours pass. I hear the door unlock .My husband arrives.  I’m in my forties again.

” Hey sweetie how was your day?”  He asks with a smile as

He kisses my forehead.

“Ok I guess.” I say all knotted up. I can’t speak of this day in 2015 because I left again. I don’t want to be vague. I have no memory of today.  The rest of the evening I am here. I am with my husband. We eat; We laugh; We watch T. V.  I take in all the wonderful sites of  2015.

There is freedom; There is choice; There is love, respect, and validation.  We are not rich.  Yet, I often feel like a millionaire.  We live a simple life in a complicated world.  Every day I am thankful for escaping my childhood.  I made a promise as a kid when I get away, that’s it. I’m gone. I’m out of here. I will never be back.

I go to sleep.  I am six again. I find myself on a different day, another season. My mom and dad are getting along. There is crying. Perhaps wailing is a better word. I just stare. Nothing makes sense. I hear a lot about keys, and follow the light. I’m locked outside with my two sisters. It’s winter.  I’m cold. I want to know what’s going on.

Suddenly, I’m with my brother. We can’t park near grandfathers shop. Two roads are closed. We have a long walk which I mind. While grumbling I notice something strange. The snow has red streaks ; The site confuses me. This doesn’t look right.

“What’s that?” I ask my older brother.

“That’s our brother….that’s  why we have to walk…the street is closed the entire street has his blood on it.”

“No…what… I don’t understand…Isn’t he sleeping?”

“Yes, sleeping means dead.” The reply terrifies me.

My six year old mind rattles. When I sleep can that happen to me? This might happen in my sleep?  I’m never going to sleep again.  I only know sleep as the kind that happens when you are tucked in bed. I can’t grasp anything else spoken. It’s all too much.

I am back. I see the whole conversation in my head. First, I am angry. Who takes a six year old to such a graphic site? Who answers a question that way?   Clarity sets in. That thought is still lingering  in my mind. I could be killed in my sleep. I get it now .It is old wall paper that needs peeled off .  I recognize the Fearful  thoughts keeping me up at night.

Wow, I can’t believe the impact of that one conversation .  I replace that fear with the truth… This didn’t happen in his sleep. He died being at the wrong place, the wrong time. He is sleeping.  I agree. believe that. He is not hurting. It is the sleep mentioned in the Bible, when Jesus referred to Lazzaurus, as sleeping, when he died. I will see him again in a better place.  I feel comforted.

I’m able to sleep. The next day I wake up here and now.  I have a day full of mundane chores.  I’m happy. I am able to stick around long enough to be a normal person living in a day to day world. There are many memories waiting to emerge, each one giving me clarity…how I became me….a simple time traveler in a modern world.