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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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

Muddy Water…#121

Image result for old bridge muddy river image

 

Muddy Water…

 
Down a rutted country road from my

childhood home five miles or so the

muddy Flint Creek flowed south, really

slow.  I could not have been over five

or six, when I walked that road but

never without carrying a big stick.

 
I carried that stick with eyes open wide,

because if a rattlesnake bit you… daddy

said that you might die.In the summer, I

would go there every day skipping and

hopping along; I would jump from that,

rickety old bridge twenty-foot into that

muddy water, then right before the sun

went down I would go home.

 
My daddy never wondered where I had

gone, everyone who crossed that bridge

during the day told him, so you see I was

never alone.  When I finally got home,

daddy would just look at me with a sly

grin, and say with firmness, “Baby you’d

better not let your mother know where

you’ve been.

 

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

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Motherless Child…#120

Motherless Child…
I grew up in the tranquility of the woods, running free beneath the Oak, Birch and Chestnut trees. The voice of a loving mother was not to be; in my heart, she was very dear to me.

I remembered her voice upon the waves of a summer wind; I pretended that she lived within my enchanted dreams. With the sun upon my face as it filtered through where I sat on the branches of a tree; I pretended that the branches were her loving arms wrapped around me.

I grew up with many strange voices, and left to take care of me, my daddy really tried. So I flourished under heavenly skies, I was silent in my loneliness, from birth a motherless child.
©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

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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

Image result for walk your own path images

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.

 

©2019.elizabethannjohnonmurphree

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