Bright Pink Scarf

Week after week

on Sunday mornings

I show up

Walk right through the door

get another cup of coffee

and take a seat

down as close as I can be

just like I’m supposed to do

holding my head up high

holding AVA tight

None of the church ladies

and certainly not the men

have ever said a word

more than a half hearted “hello”

and I can’t quite figure out

the real reasons why

Maybe it’s because I can’t hear

maybe they just don’t care

maybe I’m not the type

they want around

Heaven knows 

 I sure  don’t try

hard at all

But just this one time

a lady said, 

” I like your bright pink scarf”

and I didn’t hear

because she stood 

so far away

like most people tend to do

If it wasn’t for the man

that sits beside me

week after week

on Sunday mornings

I never would have known

Sometimes I just have 

to stop and think

count my many blessings

know that God alone

knows everything

and loves me just the same

He knows this bright pink scarf

isn’t just fabric wrapped around my neck

it’s a gift from a kindred spirit

that always sits besides me

lip syncs lyrics

loves me just the way I am

and when I’m wearing

something I’ve been given

I’m wearing love and acceptance

and I feel it

down in my soul

like a kiss from heaven

little bit of lovin’

standing out and set apart

like my bright pink scarf

Bites and Pieces

Roses and Thorns

A person that plants thorns, must never expect to gather roses.           -Paulo Coelho

I read this and sat outside on my patio, pondering the wisdom of these words as I looked at the garden filled with flowers and green plants,and tall trees that are losing their leaves.

There’s a chapter in Paulo’s book,The Spy, where the mother gives her daughter a package of flower seeds and tells her to carry these seeds so they will remind her of who she is and where she’s from. 

The mother says to her daughter, “These are seeds of tulips, they will only bloom into tulips. The seeds you plant will not change into another type of flowers.”

There it is. Simple as that.

What you plant, is what will bloom. 

Or at least, that’s the way it works in the garden and the yard.

 I dig up wayward trees that are growing in cracks and even in the gutters of my studio, and I replant them where I believe they will grow deep roots and become tall, beautiful trees that offer shade and shelter.

I buy clearance plants from Lowe’s- bedraggled, pitiful, little things and I plant them and I nurture them fully expecting them to thrive and bloom…and they do. 

That’s another lesson from my Mema, who would tell me over and over, “Don’t give up…the tiniest little root is all it takes. You just gotta pour love on it.”

This is how people are,too, but sometimes you can plant roses and tend to the roses as they grow and bloom, only to find out that others look at the beautiful roses and only see the thorns.

They may breathe in the scent of the roses, understand the time and work put into establishing the roots, nurturing the soil, making sure it receives plenty of sun and water and is encouraged to grow, but instead of focusing on the beauty, they point out the thorns.

“These thorns can cut. They might leave a mark or even a scar. You could get caught in those thorns and they will rip through you. There’s just too many thorns here.”

Never mind the intoxicating scent. Never mind the way the roses add beauty and color to the garden. Never mind how the roses climb along the bricks, offering shelter and privacy.

All they can see is the thorns.

I think that’s one reason I don’t really like roses. I always think of roses as high maintenance flowers. They are beautiful but they require pulling on gloves that reach to my elbows, using special tools, wearing shoes and tip toeing around as I work.

I’m the kind of woman that likes to reach into the garden with my bare hands, picking off dead leaves, pulling up weeds, digging holes and laying in plants without giving any thought to thorns that might cut me. 

I prefer to stand with my feet in the soil, turning stones over with my toes, wiggling down and using my body as a tool instead of looking for something that might make it easier, but won’t feel as good.

I may be “good and sore” as my Mema would say at the end of the day, but there’s just something special about the feeling of good, simple, hard work that you can feel and see.

That’s so much like the relationships we have. Sometimes we plant roses, and get distracted by the thorns. Sometimes it’s because others point those out to us.

Sometimes we plant yellow tulips and to our delight, find that a single red one somehow got mixed in the package and bloomed- making the garden even more beautiful.

Sometimes we plant flowers in pots and find that a tree has taken root in the fertile soil   and we know that, in order for it to really reach it”s full potential, we must transplant it out of the confined pot and into a place where it won’t be limited.

Sometimes we have to sit back in a rocking chair and wait and watch for the seasons to change, the roots to get established and the time to be right for the beauty to grow, show up and ssurprise us.

Just remember…anything can grow if you pour on the love and attention….and you can grow beauty or only thorns….it’s all in your hands and in the way you choose to look at the garden of life.

Trick And Treat

👣💗 Inspired by Paulo Coelho: “It is easy to be a hater. Go for the difficult task: be a lover.”

There’s a trick

she’s still learning 

the hard way

But years ago, she wrote

a simple prayer in a poem

” Let my heart be broken

torn into pieces

bring me to my knees

Let my heart be open”

And now she sees 

quite clearly

that she wouldn’t do it

any other way

she’ll still choose to love

when it’ll be easier to turn away

she’ll still treat others

as if she’ll be treated the same

she’ll still hold open

the doors and the invitation

although it’s been closed on her

many times before

She’ll still choose

to let her heart be broken

than to regret the chance

She’ll still go forward

though others hold back

It’s a trick

she’s learning

 the hard way

But she can’t be any different

since she had asked.after all.

to let her heart be broken

torn into pieces

and filled up

patched well

etched and engraved

with love.

..
Jeanna’ Mead

11 01. 10/31/17

http://www.jeannasoul.com

Lyrics and Tears

I always ask my clients what music they would like to listen to during their sessions.

Often they don’t have any preference, so I’ll play a Spotify soundtrack based on my previous week’s choices.

Since I can’t hear the music unless it’s really loud- much too loud for the relaxation of my clients- I rely on the lyrics app to show me that the music is indeed playing and filling the space with beautiful rhythm and words.

Sometimes I find myself dancing, my  bare feet picking up the vibrations from the wood floor and the speaker and sometimes I’ll catch the words and almost gasp as the beauty and relevance hits home.

I’ll memorize the name of the song, holding it in my heart until the session is finished and then, I’ll send the link to those that I just know would love to hear that song..or perhaps they need to hear it.

One such song was “Known and Loved” https://open.spotify.com/track/1NLCMB3DAPXos7OYvNzrTf

I needed to hear this song…actually needed to read the lyrics over and over.

“Feels like you have lost yourself again

Sit in silence with a friend

when you are fully known and loved”

That is why my patio is so important to me. It’s where I go to sit in silence and to write and to read but it’s also where those that know me best, come to find me.

It’s where I get to fully know and be known and to give and receive love in deeper ways than I ever imagined from so many  fabulously flawed, perfectly imperfect people but it’s also where I come to know myself to see myself as fully loved and known by the Creator, just the way I am-also perfectly imperfect and fabulously flawed just like my friends and clients are.

A client wrote a review on Google a couple of days ago that captured the essence of what I hope people feel. 

“An amazing environment …warm and sincere welcome…leave your stresses..healing touch…looking forward to coming back”

i read this with tears in my eyes,a smile on my face and an ache in my heart that comes from feeling fully known and loved.

My intention is always to create such a space where people can sit in silence and be heard, where they can talk and listen, where they feel touch not only physically but spiritually,as well and where they feel as if I’m more than just their massage therapist but I’m also someone that truly cares and hopes that each person lives s life in which they are fully known and loved.

I’ll keep playing the music,reading the lyrics through blurry, teary eyes and welcoming the chances to  know and love.
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You can leave a review, too…Goo.gl/D1UUhQ
and let others know what it’s like getting a massage with lyrics and tears.

October Dances

As September collapses into October each and every year, I find myself at that familiar ragged edge once again.

This is the month I began saying “goodbye” to the woman that raised me, loved me,claimed me and shaped me.  It’s a month full of “last” and of too many “first” and I dance along the edges between the need for solitude,the desire for company. It’s a time when I long to be asked to dance and when I want to dance all by myself. 

My Mema, Lord, have mercy, was the most charming, creative, headstrong, fearless, loving woman that ever danced this earth. 

And I say “dance” instead of “walked” because that’s exactly hl what she did.

Our garage door was left wide open and Marty Robbins, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Dolly Parton would keep us company while we worked in the garden, planting onions, beans,tomatoes and peppers or just sitting out in the driveway talking.

At any moment, she might catch my eye, wipe the dirt off her hands and grab my hand while saying , “Come on, let’s dance.”  We would do a little two stepping in the grass and she would be singing the words so I could read her lips.

Her blue eyes would twinkle and she would say, ” Oh, I just love this man’s voice….he could put his boots under my bed anyday”

That was just a figure of speech for her. Truth be told, the only man who ever left his boots under her bed was the man she loved till the day she died. 

Daddy and Mema could cut a rug better than Fred and Ginger. I remember being star struck watching them on the dance floor when I was 5 years old. Mema in a long, flowing chiffon gown and Daddy in his trademark black suit were the only couple on the floor and they swirled and turned and moved as if they were one and the ballroom was a stage. 

As the song ended, people burst into applause and Daddy took Mema back to her seat, and smiled at me.  I felt as if I was the luckiest little girl in the world- I was the daughter of people that could dance like that! 

Mema used to tell me stories about how her momma- a stricter God-fearing woman- didn’t approve of dancing so Mema and her sister would sneak off into town and watch the couples dancing then come home and practice in front of the mirror with each other until they got the moves down pat. 

That disapproval didn’t make much difference to her and maybe that’s what fueled her passion so much. There was this strong streak inside her that just didn’t “give a hoot” what anyone else thought.

Even me. 

There were times when I was a teenager trying to fit in and be “normal” when Mema grabbing my hand and dancing in the aisle of Minyards just embarrassed me to pieces.  I would pull back and whisper, “Mema, people are WATCHING!” and, those eyes would twinkle again and she would laugh and say, “Well, then come on, Jeanna’, let’s give them something to watch!”

“Something to watch” was exactly what she was. She could shake and shimmy, turn and twirl, keeping perfect rhythm to the beat all the while carrying on the exact emotional gestures that best suited the song.

This was true no matter what she was wearing or where she was,  and our home was her favorite dance hall.

There were 3 switches on the light plate by the front door of the house we lived in. The first switch was the porch light,the second turned on the foyer light but the third switch was magic.

When that third switch was lifted up. down would come one of the many LP’s stacked high on the stereo and, by the time, you’ve taken a few steps. the rich voice of Freddy Fender,Nat King Cole, Kenny Rogers, Ray Price or Barbara Mandrell would fill the house, loud and clear.

  Sometime it would be gospel, or Big Band or holiday music but most of the time, it was country-western.

And there she would be, barefoot and in a gown, standing in the kitchen, putting a pot of stew on for dinner while frying bacon for breakfast as the biscuits baked and she’ll be singing along -because she knew all the words by heart-tapping her spatula and dancing as she went as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

Maybe that’s why it’s only natural for me to find myself dancing up to meet a client, or twirling around during a session unbeknownst to the person laying facedown on my table. 

.Maybe that’s one reason that I don’t feel like I truly know someone until I’ve danced with them. 

Maybe that’s why I dance in the aisles with my little Riven and watch her shake and shimmy as her eyes twinkle with that same mischievous delight. 

Maybe that’s why October is the most bittersweet months of all and why I find myself hiding away, seeking some peace and quiet so that I can hear my Mema’s words again.

“Don’t give a hoot.”

“Let them watch.”

“I just love this.”

“Come on and dance.”

Maybe that’s what life is all about….not giving a hoot about what anyone else thinks, letting others watch as you do whatever you love to do and. saying ‘I love this’ every chance you get.
After all, someday you will be way up yonder in glory and Mema just might grab you by the hand,with a twinkle in her eyes and say, “I just love this song..come on….let’s dance!”

For you, my beloved Mema..

i love you with both hands and I’ll dance…..every single chance I get.

4 37 p.m. 10-9-17

Jeanna’ Mead