Transgressions

40536711_474610336350120_3869628580073832448_n Today I opened my box. I opened the box that holds the five stones of my heart. Five stones that I have locked away and tried to forget about.

Today I sat with one stone. The stone that is the heaviest. The beautifully heart shaped pink stone.

Pink and passionate and perfect was our love. We were playfully competitive. We played hard and the competition sparked our whole life. We loved just as passionately.

I never knew a man who put me so high on a pedestal. I never knew a man who cherished me so deeply, a man who adored me so openly.

I was in awe and I felt like a beautiful woman walking down the city street displaying expensive fur and shiny diamonds. I owned what others sought.

This had to be my soul’s mate.

Today I put on meditation music. I doused myself in oils and turned on the diffuser. I asked my Lord and my guides, those who have gone before me, to protect me as I sat there in my living room holding the cold heavy stone I had painted a pretty hot pink.

I envisioned a white light of God’s protection surrounding me and I thanked my Lord.

I began to relax, I thanked God that I was there, sitting on my couch holding my heart shaped stone. I envisioned myself reaching down into the earth, grabbing onto a beautiful crystal to anchor myself.  I asked Him how to let this go. I asked Him to show me how to finally really be free.

I saw two cupped hands being lifted. A beating heart pulsing in the uplifted palms. I saw a beautiful butterfly take flight as the heart melted away. I thanked God for letting me see what was possible. It is indeed what I need to happen. It’s time to let this burden into the open, hold it to the light for all to see, so that is may take wings and free my heart.

The word transgression flashed in my mind repeatedly as I meditated. So I looked it up later. I found many synonyms for transgression: offense, crime, sin, wrong, wrongdoing, misdemeanor, felony, misdeed, lawbreaking, vice, evil-doing, indiscretion, peccadillo, mischief · mischievousness, wickedness, misbehavior, bad behavior, error, lapse, fault, trespass, infringement, breach, contravention, violation, defiance, infraction, disobedience · breaking, flouting, nonobservance, overstepping, exceeding

I smiled as I realized the message of that word.

We are all on our own life journeys. Transgressions are going to happen. We become wounded by others who are wounded by others. We should hold no hate, no grudge. Our paths cross and we love and we hurt and we learn. We grow from each encounter.

But some times these transgressions are not so easy to grow from. We hide them. We hide them and let them fester.  We stay in the pain and the grief. Parts of our heart shuts down. We cause transgressions to ourselves and to those we meet.

Ancient feelings of independence and freedom from the days of my young motherhood came to me during meditation. Pure, carefree emotions. I cried.

My wings have been clipped.

I didn’t realize how much I miss my wings. I thanked God for allowing me to feel that bliss once more. To remind me of what I am working towards.

I want my life back.

No more ugly anxiety creeping on the sidelines whispering of horrible possibilities.

I envisioned cords being cut and wings beginning to untangle.

Today I want so much to lay down this burden.

Today I want to tell you my story.

This part of my story begins way before the story actually took place.

It began as soon as I was born. It began as my journey.
It began the day a little boy named Roger was born.  It began as his journey too.
But his journey and my journey crossed paths at this particular time.

I want to share this chapter of my life journey so that I may let it out. I want to share it with love and not hate or fear or disgust and blame. Only love so that I may let it go.

I met Roger on that stereo typical starry summer night as I sat outside my new Kentucky apartment. I was so lonely. My two children, James age 6 and Allison age 2 were asleep in their bunk beds as I sought some solace from my thoughts.  I gazed at the stars from the stoop.

My sister had convinced me to move to Kentucky three hours away from my hometown. I was 23, divorced and my gypsy soul jumped at a new adventure. I had a huge garage sale, gave notice at my place of employment and packed my little station wagon and my kids and headed to live with my sister until I got my feet on the ground. My plans were to go back to school to get a college degree. I quickly found a job and registered for classes.

But that night as I sat on the steps watching the stars and feeling very alone, a man stopped in. He asked if he could sit beside me. Of course, I was very uncomfortable at first. But with his warm banter I began to feel relaxed. He asked if he could stop by another night if he saw me on the steps. I assured him that would be okay and he went on his way. After a couple of evenings on the stoop he asked me for a date and I agreed.

We went on one date and I shied a way. I don’t really recall the reason but I asked him if we  could just remain friends. He obliged, stopping by once in a while to sit and talk. But soon I would call him to come help me with some household chore. Roger was so humbled that I called on him, so grateful to be my friend. One night I went out with a girlfriend and had a shaking experience. Roger was there to pick me up and help me through it.

I remember when he gave me a friendship ring with red rubies and diamonds. I cried. No one had ever spent money on me just because.  Our relationship blossomed.

After a year, we began to date. It was truly amazing and wonderful. We loved and played and worked hard together. My three year old would affectionately call him Roger Rabbit. She looked forward to him coming over. We took the kids on short trips hiking, we went to fairs, engaged in loud raucous water fights in my apartment. He bought me a pair of white nike shoes with a pink check on them. No one had ever spent money on me. My love of pink was just beginning.  He would sing to me as I lay half asleep in my bed before he left to work. We even began to attend church together.

His soul was as youthful and mischievous as mine. We were deep into a very intense love affair.

I never saw it coming. Slowly it crept into our lives. I didn’t know the script. I had never been in this play before.

Jealousy.

Jealousy first appeared as little comments about how I was dressed. It led to comments on other men looking at me. He claimed I had to be doing something to cause that.  I began to change the way I dressed. I began to avert my eyes. I looked down as I walked. I tried not to draw attention to myself.

The more jealous and controlling he became the more he attended his church. Maybe it was the other way around. It doesn’t really matter.  He began to wrap his religious beliefs into his reasoning about how I should be behaving. I attended church with him. I even got saved. He was so proud and presented me with a pink bible with my name engraved on it.

This was a confusing time for me. He was discouraging me from visiting my family back home. He didn’t want to come along but he didn’t trust me while I was away.  He was talking marriage, but I feared his jealousy would become worse if he “owned” me.

I loved him. Our good times were amazing and so intense. But the jealousy was becoming worse. We were beginning to argue.

One night we even argued about the bible. He slapped me. I fell to the floor devastated. I had never experienced abuse like this.  I told him to leave. I knew in my heart I had to break it off.

He called me crying. He stopped by my apartment crying. He said he was so sorry. That the devil took over him. He never meant to hurt his “Precious”. He would never ever do that again.

He talked of his father’s abusive ways towards him and his family. He talked of running from the house for their lives as his dad shot a gun at them. I began to feel sorry for the terrified little boy that had withstood beatings from his father.  These transgressions he had never healed from burdened my heart.

I stayed strong for two weeks. But then one night out of loneliness I felt sorry for him. It was so easy to be with someone who adored you. I caved and let him back in. The reunion was amazing. Our life together was all good again.

Soon, his landlord asked him to move out because he was never there.  They were worried the trailer he had rented would become run down with no one living in it. Or at least that is what he told me. So he moved in with me.

The jealousy slowly returned and we began to argue even more. I told him he needed to move out. He slapped me again.

He stayed away after that until late at night. I felt responsible for him. He had no other place to go. He told me he was looking for a place to live but he was being very picky about each place. We didn’t talk when he did come home. I tried to sleep on the couch but he grabbed my arm, even breaking my pinky finger as he fiercely ripped the blanket from me.  He forced me to sleep in the same bed with him. He claimed he was afraid I would stab him in the middle of the night.

I was living in some bizarre nightmare. I didn’t know how to break out of it. I needed someone to talk to.

A couple months crawled by while living in this suspended state of extreme stress. One day I accepted an invitation to have dinner with a gentleman. I never should have done it. But I needed to get away. I needed to feel normal again. I needed someone to talk to.

It was an enjoyable evening. We had dinner under the stars on a beach by the lake. We chatted about life. I talked to him about Roger. We went for a drive and even saw an amazing display of the borealis blushing the night sky. I took it as a sign. I had some hope. I could get myself out of the mess I was in.

When I returned to my apartment Roger was waiting. He sat in a chair in my living room. I was to find out later that he had been to my girlfriend’s apartment looking for me. He had been rude and angry to her. There were no cell phones at that time for her to give me a warning.

I began to go upstairs to my room. He followed me demanding to know where I had been. I told him it was none of his business. He shoved me up against the wall and held me there. He took the ruby ring off my finger and mangled it in front of me. He called me horrible names.

He began to hit me. I couldn’t escape. He was just too strong. We ended up on the ground. He pulled me by the hair and drug me down the stairs continuing to assault me with his words.

Downstairs, he ordered me to tell him where I had been and with who. He would hit me on the head every time I said anything. I learned quick to keep my mouth shut.

He insisted I had had sex with someone and began to pull my jeans off. I feared he was going to rape me. He tore my top and jeans.

He forced me to the ground again as I tried to escape,  he pummeled my back with his fists. He drug me around some more. I pleaded with him to stop.

I asked him what God would say about him doing this. His eyes were black and he looked me in the eyes and said, “God has nothing to do with this.” He told me he had all night to do what he wanted with me. He continued to hit me.

I saw sparks of light every time his hand landed on my head. I prayed silently and cried asking the Lord to please take care of my children if I died that night. My thoughts were about them, who would love them like I do after I’m gone. I’m all they have.

In a strange twist of fate, or maybe God’s intervention, he pulled me over to the phone to call my sister while he straddled me on the ground. My sister had kept my children for the evening.

Roger felt betrayed by her since I had gone out for the evening with her brother in law. As soon as she heard me screaming in the background she new I was in trouble. She immediately called the police.

Out of panic, Roger laid down on top of me, covering my face with a pillow. I couldn’t breathe as he began to whimper about the police coming. He told me he was scared and begged me not to scream. He shut off the lights and pulled the shades so the police would think no one home.

The headlights of the squad car shown on the shades.  I begged him to take the pillow away. As the police banged on the door, I promised I would not scream. I thank God he believed me. As soon as he removed the pillow I began to scream for my life. I wanted to be with my babies. I wanted to live to love them through their lives.

The police crashed in the door just like in the movies. They busted in with guns aimed right at us. Roger jumped up off of me his hands raised.

Crazed and mindless with fear I ran. I ran towards the police. I ran past them. I ran and ran to my girlfriend’s apartment.

She opened the door as I fell into her arms,  another hysterical, beaten woman. She held me as the police came to question me. The tears flowed heavily.  Roger’s report was that I attacked him first. He was just protecting himself. But they saw the abuse bruised across my body.

They took him to jail.

At the hospital, my tears never stopped. I can’t believe a person can have so many tears. I couldn’t talk. The x-ray tech questioned if I were in pain?  He told me it was over now. I was safe and could stop crying.

I couldn’t tell him my heart and my soul was pulverized. I was raised in a very gentle, calm family. I had never experienced my parent’s arguing much less pure violence before. I was in shock and so much confusion and pain deep inside my heart.

My parents came to be by my side. My dad came to stand by my bed. He touched my forehead as he thought I lay sleeping.

My mom talked about the shock of seeing me with both eyes swollen almost shut and my face all puffy. I didn’t realize at the time that she was in very early stages of Alzhiemers.

I asked them to take my children home with them where they were safe. I was ashamed and very sad for them to see me that way.

I stayed in case I had to testify in court.

I was sent to the Swan (Stop Women Abuse Now) house for fear of Roger finding me. He had been released on bail the next morning. I was terrified of the man I deeply loved.

He sent me roses the next day. No name attached but I know they were from him. I threw them away.

He chased me down on the interstate a few weeks later as I headed back to my hometown. He cried and begged my forgiveness. I showed him the pictures of how I looked after he was finished me. He cried and begged me to throw them away.

I told him I could never ever trust him again. I drove away as he stood on the busy roadside and cried.

I moved home soon after, still terrified that he would come after me. I couldn’t watch t.v. for any violence further traumatized me. I had no one to turn too. My old friends were all married and busy. When I was with people, I felt no one wanted to hear my story. I desperately needed to talk it out but didn’t want to burden others with my need. I know I walked about in a state of shock for probably a year afterwards.

Slowly life took over. I pushed my pain and my terror further and further down. Slamming shut that lid anytime it surfaced. I created other transgressions because I didn’t fully deal with this one. I hurt myself, my kids and others. But that will be a future memoir.

I am now opening the box of five stones of my heart. I am taking each stone and working to cleanse my heart.  As I set the Roger stone down beside me, I realized it had transformed from a cold hard stone to one of warmth. I choose to leave this stone in the open for now. I shall wait as my beautiful butterfly emerges. I will wait as she stays still awaiting her beautiful new wings to dry. I pray her flight smooth and her soul be free.

I love you all for reading and accepting me for who I am. I thank you for helping me on my journey towards healing.

Love you all.

~Sara Jane Rauch~ 09/01/2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Healing

That energetic little fox slipped into my life again today.  I never even knew I needed her. But there she was.

Allow me to explain. I have just recently been given the instructions and tools to begin a journey of personal growth. To finally hunker down and begin serious work to pull out and deal with demons of my past that have been chasing me through my whole life. I am to face them, address them, let them come to surface and then to honor them for what they are and return them to the earth. Release them so that they may release me.

Today, I was to go to nature and gather 5 stones. Stones of my heart if you will. I will put these stones into a box and close the lid. I will take each stone and label them with issues from my past.  I may write on them words that describe my feelings of that issue. When the time is upon me I will sit with each stone individually and do my work with whatever it is from my past that I have bestowed upon it. There is more to it then just that but the info suffices for this blog.

So as I made plans to ride along to our ground and wade the creek to find my stones, I received a text from my oldest son asking if his, Lilah, could come hang with us for a couple hours while they took care of some things. I laughed to myself and thought how fitting. My oldest granddaughter LOVES nature and being outdoors. She LOVES our adventures together. Of course, I readily agreed.

As she chattered away on the 10 minute ride to our piece of land, I searched the internet for the symbolic meaning of the fox. For Lilah, since I can remember, fancies herself a fox. She loves animals, strongly relates to them all but especially so of the fox.

Symbolism for the fox means that a solution to the problem is at hand. The fox has the ingenuity to solve any problem. It will lead you to solitude and silence until you see the way out. Which is just what I will need as I take this personal growth journey.  The fox also lets you know that you have all the tools and resources to adjust to new living conditions or a new job. So perfect!!

As I start my new job and am having the usual, well usual for me, anxieties, my foxy little granddaughter shows up to ease me through. And she does!!

We promptly take a big swig of water each and start down the trail toward the creek. The whole way Little Fox is oblivious to the real reason for our nature trek. She begins dodging under logs and over rocks throwing comments back at me constantly. “Grandma! Look at this rock!” and “Hey Grandma! I bet I can turn this flat rock into a shelf!” Sure enough she shoves a flat rock into the muddy ledge of the creek and quickly finds a special rock treasure to place on top of it. “Look at me, Grandma! I’m shelving rocks!!”

As I kept my head down searching for the right stones to begin my work, my eleven year old granddaughter is always step ahead of me, shelving all the stones she can find. “Look Grandma, we will be able to find our way back by following the shelved rocks!” I admired her shelving artwork and her shelving jargon made me chuckle. ” I love to shelve!” “I’m getting really good at shelving!” ” Wonder where I can shelve next!”

Soon we needed to turn back and sure enough her “shelving” reassured us that we were indeed on the right path. I began to think about her work. Shelving stones. It’s what I have done in the past when traumatic events presented themselves. I got “really good at shelving” my stones.  Always there was reason to shove them down and close the lid. “Wonder where I can shelve next!” I put those problems in a box and slammed the lid down as tight as I could. When the lid would begin to open, I couldn’t deal with the pain and I would slam it again and again. “I loved to shelve!”

Until finally it all came seeping out. Creeping into my life at the most unexpected times. Leaving me, every stinking time, wrecked and zapped of energy. Anxiety and panic attacks now direct my life.

Those old shelves were handy while I had no time to do the work to heal those emotional and physical scars. I could set those stones, those slivers and shards of my heart, upon those shelves and keep going on, for my children, for my aging parents, for my sisters, my brothers, my family and friends. Everyone needed me to keep being the strong woman I am. I needed me to be the strong woman I am. I thought I was okay. I thought I was fine and whole and healed.

But I am not.

I am broken, my heart and soul are broken. I have wronged my self. I have wronged others because of my brokenness. I have been burdened for a long long time.

But now, finally, it will stop.  I will journey my way back through my past. I will take each of those stones off their shelves. I will dust off the box I have shoved them into. I will hold each stone. I will caress it.  I will sit with it. I will feel it’s heaviness. I will open myself and I will wait.  I will visualize each stone as God shows me how to honor them and put them to rest. One by one I hope to toss those pieces of my past into the river and to let nature wash them, wash me, clean. I will return those stones to the earth where they belong.

~Sara Jane Rauch~   08/2018

 

Sweet Viola Jane

1460246_10153466057230037_41362425_nViola Jane. Two sweet names that play on my lips. Their syllables ring bells and its melody releases a cool smooth mist to my brain. Some undisturbed ancestral bond begins to awaken. I love her deeply for she is flesh of my flesh. I see the old repeating in her. I see eyes of my aunties and toes of my uncles. I hear ancient wisdom whispered in her voice. I see the new too. Her daddy’s nose and her mama’s cowlick. The first time I felt the weight of  her warm little body wrapped up so tight  some primal call stirred deep in my soul. She fills my arms like the firm, quick click of a jagged missing piece to this crazy puzzle called life . Her eyes are bright blue like a new morning sky, the shape of fresh raindrops falling soft on their sides. She peers innocently from their delicious depths. Her tiny dimpled hands reach for my face and the feel of her kisses mangles my heart. That desolate empty room I kept locked up so tight,  bursts right open and reaches full occupancy now this cheeky little chamber maid 539058_10153401686690037_1965378635_nfills it so well. Her  plump little nose, upturned so perfectly, perches uniquely above her fresh white, gap tooth, smile.  A face full of secrets, a face of innocence,  her future wide open, her future not told. I ruffle the baby hair that tickles my nose and I nuzzle her neck and I kiss that lone lock of hair that adorns her forehead. This wonder filled child smells of mysterious wisdom of some other  life I dare not peek. She brings me her humor jingling from her rose perfect lips. Her simple  giggles and quick teases radiate from those eyes, those bright blue eyes. She works her perfect sweet magic and pulls me into her little girl world. She commandeers this adoring audience, as she observes the world in her quick quiet way.   With a blink of her eye and a bat of her lashes, she chirps out words on musical notes. Her pure sweet beauty squeezes my old lady chest and it’s  all I can do to breath in her love. Then she gives me a hug and she blows me a kiss. I rock my love and her sleepy small voice calls out,  a melancholy reverb bouncing through my bones and my mind and my soul.   “Mee Maw, Mee Maw!” She calls to her granny. My arms are content, my heart is complete. I hear a distant ancestral sigh as she closes her eyes. Then sweet baby girl, sweet grand daughter of mine, whispers so quietly, “I wuv you Mee Maw!   1536637_10153669797970037_1329461930_n   1174716_10153297237495037_225709610_n1381533_10153324165365037_1585145596_n934079_10152821677955037_73441664_n

Oh Daughter of My Daughter

Oh daughter of my daughter

Oh granddaughter of mine

Beautiful of most beautiful that God can create

Your tiny soul peered up at me

Our age-old destiny set

As our eyes met

Your heart took mine

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You smiled at me

Like old soul mates  do.

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Her Forgotten Days

My fingers glide effortlessly on this keyboard with a will of their own. I begin to type and  a love song banters and begs to be freed. Sweetly my words flow as sounds and memories mesh and  nostalgic joy begins to sing of her forgotten days.

I want to tell you about a woman. My words can never recreate the person she really was. Words will never show that special twinkle in her eye as she swept up an unsuspecting visitor with her inquisitive conversation.

She loved to engage people in  banter.She had a way to pull them in and warm their hearts.  She was always interested in where they were from and who they knew, places they had traveled.

I often wondered how she knew so much about so many things. She had always just been there at home with us twelve children and dad. How did she lead friends and visitors along and have the knowledge to take them with her across the ocean or up a mountain and down to the devil, back up to God.

As I would quietly climb onto her lap and lay my head on her shoulder, she would rock me back and forth; talking on and on for what seemed like hours.

Yes, my mother loved people, truly, genuinely loved to interact with them. Cared about what they had to say, enjoyed hearing of their adventures, hurt when they hurt, rejoiced in their happiness’s, triumphed in their successes.

She was my idol as I would sit on her lap at the kitchen table and she rubbed my back while discussing what flowers to plant and and how to put up garden vegetables with the neighbor lady. She was my idol even when I would take my little hand to turn her face to me, vying for her attention.

I loved her voice and her absent hands on me as she gave herself to her visitors. I loved her laughter and the way her words wove and bound those around her and held them close and made them feel important.

I love the legacies she has left my family. I love the movements she started in the seventies. I love the stories of all the strangers she brought into our home, giving  them food and drink and support, listening  to their sorrows and bolstering  them up. I love the person she was and the person she wanted to be. I love that she was my mother and I was her daughter. I love that she gave herself whenever she could.sara's family

I love the memories I hold in my heart of her.

A Lovely State of Somewhere In Between

 

Thirteen was a lovely state of somewhere in between. Lean and brown and nimble, on the edge of something unknown, precariously teetering between my childhood and my womanhood. I had nowhere to feel comfortable. No place seemed to totally claim me, not my past and certainly not my future. That familiar little, knocked kneed girl with the dirty face and tangled hair,too quickly, it seemed, was slipping from me. That summer I had noticed my cutoffs were beginning to hug in a new way. My tan legs showed curious new curves, forgetting the gangliness that ten and twelve had brought. Long dark hair had taken on a thick healthy glow and flowed as soft as silk whenever I tossed my head.

The neighbor boys had begun to snicker and elbow one another, speaking when they thought I couldn’t here. “Ha, you see our little tomboy lately? I think she’s wearing a bra!” They had started to call now in a different way, requesting long walks or slow bike rides on warm spring nights. Gone were evenings of ramping bikes or running races. Each one showed at my door, shyly and awkwardly, at different times to sit on my porch and chat.

Bewildered and incensed, I wanted to shout at them, to grab their necks and shake them awake.  Please, see me! I’m here, still just the girl next door, the same one who grew up beside you, who knows every little annoying thing about you. Don’t try to tease me or grab me or hold my hand. Leave me alone. I don’t want to grow up. But that certain power that turned my face to red also crept within my body, spreading its warmth.

Body emerging with softened angles and mysterious allure, I pedaled my bike on that old paper route and contemplated this certain power I dared not use. Men, grown and with hair all over their bodies were straining necks, whistling out their car windows and honking horns. In my girlishness, my face burned as I pedaled faster. I didn’t know this attention and yet it gave me a secret warm glow.

I broke a window that year, on my birthday. A mixture of feelings, I always seemed to be fighting lately, swirled through my mind and body. I was sad and lonely and I didn’t know why.  I wanted to run and play with my brother and his friends but I wanted too, to be grown up and experience a first real boyfriend. I didn’t want men to look and honk but it did feel nice. I threw that last newspaper a little too hard and slam! It broke the glass on that door. I burst into tears, how could this happen to me on my birthday? Mortified, I rubbed away those tears and stomped up to the door to apologize and offer to pay.

In my dark mood, I jumped from my bike and ran into my house. There in that bright warm kitchen, my favorite meal of spaghetti and chocolate cake and colorful, papered presents awaited. There too, my big sis, Amy and her little babe, Laura, who I often babysat. I opened my presents and found things a thirteen year old would appreciate; perfume, cool colored undies with the days of the week printed on them, a pair of jeans with a sweet design on the pocket. My family had gathered around the table and my sister had come home just for me. My mood shifted. I felt okay again, comfortable again, there with my  family’s love showering around me.

I hung there, in that lovely state of somewhere in between, for at least another year. I learned things, secret things that you just come to know. Things that I now know happen naturally and sweetly. The real power of a woman, the true heart of men, all of those things were far ahead. But that year, that year I got a little glimpse of what was to be. And so it was, as easy as a baby’s sigh, with my family’s love there to steady me, I set aside my little girl ways. I began to move gently and gratefully into my own womanhood.

When I Was 12

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks (Photo credit: Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer)

Sitting at my laptop on a snowy day off work. Delicious words whirl and twirl through my head but how to put them on paper for you all to enjoy? Jamming to Pandora gets my memories stirring. How creative was Fleetwood Mac and heck, all of the entertainers of the 70’s! Maybe it’s just my age showing, maybe I”m getting old and think that everything from my era is the best. Maybe but maybe it’s just the truth.

Rhiannon by Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac now pours from my laptop speakers. On it’s lyrics floats a starry summer night of mine,  sitting around the campfire in our backyard. I had a friend spending the night and we were camping out. The transistor was our companion and the fire was begging for some serious staring and contemplating life.

But alas, where was this so called friend. She informed me that she preferred to be in the house with my big sister, Peggy. All of twelve years old, I was  learning some hard life lessons this night. Some people really didn’t want to spend time with wonderful little old me! They just wanted  to get closer to one of my cool older siblings. Later I would find this especially true in the case of my older brother, Jeff,  but this first time it was my sister, Peg, 4 years my senior, that was the intent of my friend, Jess.

Jess was a couple years older then me, a tall, beautiful blondie with a carefree personality. Flattered by her attention to me I had quickly agreed to have her come for a camp out. I should have seen that coming I reprimanded myself as I turned up the radio and poked at the fire.

The fire sparked as I gave it some good hard jabs and I turned my face upwards towards the sky. The sparks floated up with a fierceness and died out with a small wisp of smoke.

“Rhiannon rings like a bell through the night
And wouldn’t you love to love her?
Takes through the sky like a bird in flight
And who will be her lover?” (Nicks).

Stevi Nicks rang out as the words  filled my mind and I kept my head up, shifting my gaze to the millions of stars twinkling above.

“All your life you’ve never seen a woman
Taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you Heaven?
Will you ever win?”(Nicks).

With the crackling of the fire,  sensual rhythm and mystical words filling my little girl senses, I felt something begin to stir inside me.

“She is like a cat in the dark
And then she is the darkness
She rules her life like a fine skylark
And when the sky is starless.”(Nicks).

I felt my sadness seeping out and something new began to dawn within me…a feeling I didn’t recognize. There was a mixture of wonderment, hope,  freedom. These words were speaking right to me. Some kind of a promise for my future was in her words, as if someone somewhere was calling to me and telling me good things were to come. Someone, someday would be mine and stay with me and be my forever.

While my sister, Peg and her boyfriend had clandestine meetings at Lake Siemer, I spent that summer laying in his car playing his 8 track player.  Fleetwood Mac, Blue Oyster Cult, Rod Stewart and whatever 8 track was available to me, I lay there with my eyes closed and drank them in. I believed them. I held on to the hope of them. I learned the lessons they taught.

Well, people, girlfriends, men, coworkers have come and gone and sometimes its my fault and some times not. Sometimes it’s mutual. But thirty some years later, I realize I’m still learning life’s hard lessons. Still, whenever I hear this song, I am slammed right back to that long ago summer night and the smell of fire and the huge huge sky full of millions of sparkling things that was my future.

When I was twelve, the word’s of the 70’s became my life.

 

 

 

Nicks,Stevie.  “Rhiannon” Music by Fleetwood Mac. (Rhiannon). Reprise. 1975.

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