Soap Sticks…#125

 

Vintage sepia toned image of a very old donkey. Lying in the sand stock photography

Soap Sticks…
The dark russet of her hair, wiry, tickled the legs and her boney back made sore the tiny bottoms of my sparsely clothed butt. She was a tough ole girl still walk slow, proud of herself when we climbed on her back, you would swear the old mule would strut. Silver hair replaced the brown around her eyes and mouth, in her prime she pulled heavy plows and wagons, Soap Sticks was a genuine southern mule. She woke at four O’clock every morning with a braying that echoed off the bluffs above our home. Like a barnyard rooster, it was her way of telling everyone to wake up.

Her world in those days was filled with sunshine and all the oats that she wanted to eat, her long ears had finally gone dead, her sight week. Soap Sticks was wise, her senses distinct and she roamed familiar pastures by instinct. She inhabited brooks in the pastures nibbled on whatever the land would yield. Her love for children never changed, when I came next to her she would instantly kneel to the ground making it possible for her little girl to climb upon her back.

Climbing on her back leaving the pasture I would hold to her rough mane, she took me through the fields of cotton, corn and sugar cane where she would stop for me to break off a sweet piece of the sugar cane. She would go down into the brooks deep enough to let the water tickle my feet. On any given day, she would be the one that made the decision to give me these special treats. Unafraid, I knew that she would never bring any harm to me, when she tired of the ride she would slowly take me back to the farm where I would put her back into the pasture.

It was a brisk fall day that my daddy came into our kitchen to say that Old Soap Sticks had gone very far away. “Where” I screamed, he told me that she had suffered all night, she was very old and that about four O’clock she just closed her eyes and went to her final sleep. Daddy buried her in the pasture by the little brook she loved so much, close to the clear sweet water. I said a prayer over the tall mound where she would lay forever, I did not cry, as it was not our way.

I knew that Soap Sticks would not be old or alone, she would roam green pastures and drink from bubbling brooks, at last, she was truly home. She could now hear birds sing and see other animals around her. I do not know how old I will be before I go into that final sleep, but I know when I do Old Soap Sticks would come running, kneeling down to carry me to my final home.

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree
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Living for Today…#124

Enjoy miracle alive life love magic help nature. Enjoy miracle alive life live love magic help nature typography art paint healthy health appreciation faith hope royalty free stock photography

      Concern builds today as we struggle to live within the now while anticipating tomorrow…the future. Such is life, the perception that we could change yesterday, the making sense of living in the now, and the imagination of what will come tomorrow? It is all beyond reality, a parable of abstract dreams from which we wake to find that yesterday will not return; today is the only time within our grasp and tomorrow is only a promise that may or may not come.

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Shattered…#123

 

 

Old Homeplace Barn
Old Homeplace Barn

Shattered…

On a warm summer day, an old soul returned to a place where a part of it remained for years. Waiting while misplaced pieces of it floated through life on waves of tears. Many gathered on this day all had the same ancestral blood flowing through their veins. Some came out of respect, the unbroken circle came for gain.  These mortals had tried to keep the old soul away from this final commemoration. They did not care about its many years of painful isolation.

Death had not fractured the unbroken circle, gone unchanged for years. The return of this old soul brought to the cloistered flock panic and fear.  Disregarded, invisible with no right to be heard, unwanted at birth, then cast out on a painful journey at an incredible cost. To penetrate the unbroken circle was a battle that would forever be lost. The old soul believed it was a time to grieve, a time to pray. A time to remember when an innocent soul was simply forgotten, tossed away.  On soft breezes, those that gathered

could be heard with a pretense of moans. Their voices echoed memorials where truth was silenced the real story hidden, inside of the unbroken circle forbidden. The old soul stared down at a mound of dirt waiting for love that the grave could not offer, while the unbroken circle gathered and divided the coffers.

A loving soul had returned to where a part of it remained for years. It gathered up the pieces of its heart and wiped away the tears. The shattered old soul had returned on that warm summer day. To grieve the loss of never hearing “I love you” or feeling a gentle touch. It needed to tell the unbroken circle when one is unloved their lives are crushed.

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree
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Music in Your Heart…#122

Image result for music imagery

Music in your Heart…

Expand your senses no one can take away your right to choose, believe in yourself. Wake up your emotions, live on the edge for a while; rid yourself of life’s clutter, let your imagination soar. Let no secret voices guide your life, no clandestine decisions stop you from saying the right words; without a loving spirit, the unique music within your heart will never be heard. Make your own imprint on life, leave a legacy for the coming generations; give yourself permission to set lofty goals and solid expectations. Listen to the music in your heart.

 
©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

As a Child I Prayed it was the Way…#119

 

Image result for Native American women Praying images

As a Child I Prayed, it was the Way…

Knarred pines below the mountain where we lived were living gravestones on the
land we called home high above them was the kudzu-shrouded caves where I played with constant skinned knees, Hoarfrost eyes and long black braids. Below this mountain was hallowed ground and beneath decaying pine needles the bleached bones of my ancestors lay hidden in the mounds.

My Great-grandmother whom we all call “Ma” said the mountain was like a cathedral, a place where she took me every morning to pray, she told me that it was our way. As the night shadows disappeared in the mornings golden rays, we raised our palms toward the sky to bless another day.

Ma’s voice strong and clear begin to chant in her native tongue the words robust and bold; it came from deep within her as if orchestrated by her Soul. Floating across the mountains scarred face her mantra rose to the Great Mystery – her God, she said that I must always honor this sacred place.

She told me that the sounds of a waking earth should reminded us of how the world came to be, her prayers spoke of rebirth and how our Souls would someday be free. We walked through emerald grass damp with morning dew, the unseen breeze kissed our face, and she believed that with the beginning of each morning our life was once again renewed.

We hurried to the creek behind our tarpaper shanty to wash away all of Yesterday’s sorrows. I held her hand wishing that this were how our lives would always be, that I would never grow up and she would never grow old, and it would always be Ma and me. Yes when I was a child my Great-grandmother taught me many lessons about life, it was the way.
©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

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Living with Grace and Spirit…#118

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Living with Grace and Spirit…

Believing in the existence of God creates an everyday fight between the mind and spirit. Believing that God has set down in life’s book a predestine path to walk is a struggle between faith and doubt.

The disbelief in God leaps out of the undergrowth of insecurity and becomes a poison racing through the veins of trust, and the pathway through life becomes a thicket of mistrust and betrayal.

Get off that path and trust in what you believe in, whatever your beliefs enjoy your life; enjoy the world we live in because Heaven may be the air we breathe and the joys of our lives in this life.

Stop being a victim of someone else’s convictions; create your own joy, measure
your blessings, and do not let others define who you are, you can believe in your own spirituality without proof. Look at the unexpected objects placed in your path as lessons, resist learning and you may miss life and the delights it offers.

 

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In the Darkness of Night…#117

CHICKASAW NATION SEAL

“To my father and all of our Chickasaw family who walked before him on the Trail of Tears”.

In the Darkness of Night…

I hear the cries of my grandmothers and

grandfathers, I feel their fear; I walk with

them in my dreams on the Trail of Tears.

Their feet bloody as they walked the rutted

trail, every scar on their backs is another

story to tell.

 
They planted crops gave blessing and took

from the land only what they would need, a

word they did not know… greed. Strangers

with pale skin came from the east where

living off the land was unknown; my people

taught them how to live, when no longer

needed the white stranger’s drove them

from their ancestral homes.

 
The Grandfathers and their families stood

tall, their backs they refused to bend so the

white strangers herded them like cattle to

a far off land… to die in the hot barren sand.

My people believed the land belonged to no

one, given to all by the “Great Mystery”; still

they died with broken souls never knowing

that their story in time covered the blood-

splattered pages of history.

 
My people watched as women gave birth

and warriors carried the dead, the children

went to sleep hungry with the ground as their

bed. The day came when these great people

corralled on dry barren land, given musty

water and bug-infested corn meal to eat,

in a place with no hope, to the white man

they were bound; a killing field where the

blood of my family spilled upon the ground.

 
I hear you my grandmothers and grandfathers,

your cries do not go unheard in the darkness

of night; for in my dreams I walk with you,

I feel your fear; I wake each morning with the

taste of your tears.

 

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 
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