patti dawn swansson

Picking plums from the tree of life

I would like you all to see my angel wings

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angelIt is two minutes past last call at the nightclub I must clean in approximately four hours.

I am not there with the revellers at 3:02 in the morning on this first day of the year 2014. I am at home, still scrubbing sleep from eyes that closed at approximately 6:30 last evening and reopened a few ticks after 1 a.m.

My first order of business in this New Year was to bid farewell to 2013 by replacing the calendar on my kitchen wall with a 2014 calender. It features angels. I love angels.

Now what?

There are another 365 days ahead of me. I hope. I recognize that we all are on borrowed time because, as Jim Morrison wrote, no one here gets out alive. At least not in the physical realm. So there are no guarantees that I shall still be here to change calendars once again on the first day of 2015.

All that truly matters, though, is that I am here. Now.

Three scented candles burn to my right and illuminate a Buddhist wall hanging that reminds me that what matters most is how well we live, how well we love and how well we learn to let go. Otherwise, my tiny, 345-square-foot home is dark. And serene. This is a wonderful time of the day. My favorite time. My most productive time. This is when Sierra and I listen to the stillness of the world and our minds begin to frolic. This is when we do most of our writing.

We find ourselves giggling at the notion that many people are making New Year’s resolutions that they surely will not keep. Someone will vow to lose weight, then purchase a Big Mac and a large order of fries later in the day. The New Year’s resolution is something Sierra and I do not embrace. To make New Year’s resolution would be too much like living in the future, and we prefer to live in the moment. Perhaps that, in itself, is a resolve—to live in the moment. If so, it is not a new resolve, thus it is not the product of the non-ending and non-beginning of a 365-day cycle.

Like most, however, we contemplate at this time of the year.

We give thought to our dear friends Bruce, Sean and Brian, who gathered last evening to share the enjoyment of one another’s company on New Year’s Eve. We received a New Year greeting from another dear one, Cullen. We give pause to ponder others, such as my younger brother Mick. He is of good soul, although troubled. I worry for him. We give consideration to other treasures, such as the friendship of Helina, Terry and Attila. They are very giving people. Kind people. Yet they are under-appreciated and under-valued by those who ought to know better. I think of my mom, who has arrived at her mid-80s, and my five children, each of whom is grown and leads a life that do not include me.

Suddenly, the night is no longer at peace. It has been violated by loud bangs, which bounce off nearby buildings in downtown Victoria and echo along streets and alleyways. We think of fireworks or a truck backfiring. Or of gunplay. The sound of sirens serve as a soundtrack to the moment. Police cars? Fire trucks? An ambulance?

Now there is silence. The stillness of the night has been restored. As has the muse.

It is now 4:16 a.m. and I suppose the majority of the New Year’s Eve celebrants are now at rest. The residue of their revelry awaits me at the nightclub I must clean in approximately three hours.

The three candles to my right remain aflame, and I struggle with the moment. How am I supposed to feel on this first day of January 2014? What am I supposed to feel? The first day of a fresh calendar year is looked upon as a time of change. A time of renewal. A fresh start, if you will.

Is not every day the first day, though? Is not every day a fresh start? Must we need a calendar to tell us when and what to celebrate? Is not awakening on each morrow not cause enough for celebration?

I believe it is.

Each of our days is a short story. Our lives are a book of short stories. Many of those short stories are delightful. For example, I closed the 12 months of 2013 on something of a high because one of the fellows at the nightclub quietly told me he could see my angel wings. He was quite sincere. It was one of the two nicest things that have ever visited my ears in this lifetime of 63 years and one month. It rendered me dewey eyed.

Yet, why did I tear up? Were they tears of joy because his kind words touched my core, or did I weep in sorrow because others cannot see my angel wings?

I would very much like for all others to see my angel wings. I can only do that by giving you a better look at myself. Now I know what I’m supposed to feel and how I’m supposed to feel on this first day, and all other days, of 2014.

The three scented candles to my right are now without flicker. The room smells lovely. It is time to embrace this first day of January 2014. It is time to use my wings and fly with the doves.

Happy New Year.

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Author: patti dawn swansson

I have heard the angels whisper.

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