Happy Birthday Brant & A Lesson from a Willow


The last few days have flown by like a “whirlwind”.  When “the dust settled”. children had graduated and a closing ceremony, concluded the school year.  I headed straight away to Elizabeth City, for  Jenny has a lot more on her plate than usual.   . .besides, I never turn down a chance, to see my children and grandchildren and will traipse headlong , at the drop of a hat. But, Jenny has two appointments this week and has to pack for a week at the beach.  She must bring linens, towels, kitchen necessities and toys, besides clothes and toiletries, for their week by the sea.

The weather feels like September!  The humidity is so low, that a neighbor informed us the records have been broken.  This allows the “laughing river” to turn that beautiful shade of indigo.  With the lawns being an emerald green just now, the village, is a lovely sight altogether.  One day, I took Lyla and Brynn on a long stroll in a double stroller.  Brynn sat up and took note of everything.  It was a windy day, and we all loved it.  Everything is blooming.  We stopped under a magnolia tree, just to drink in the scent of the saucer size blossoms.  Not long after we stopped again, in our tracks, on the sidewalk, for the wind was filled with the smell of the Cape Jasmine .  We stood there and let the wind blow around us, til we had the notion to move on. Lyla learned about hydrangeas, this day, for most every yard has one.  A kind lady was working in her yard and gave us several for a bouquet.   What a lovely day! 


Baby Brynn had a doctors’ appointment one day.  While she and Jenny attended that, Lyla and I went to “The Recycled Reader”  which was just a few shoppes down.  Book stores  are one place I like to shop.  Now, regular readers know, that I am on a mission, to live with less . . .still I bought THIRTEEN books, this day.  Most were for others.  I found a “Black Beauty” book, for young children actually using Sewells’ original words and illustrated beautifully.   I am quite a snob when it comes to books for my grandchildren.   I just will not tolerate poor quality in books, and most especially for children. I shutter at the watered down version of the classics and the cartoonish quality of many.   I also found two for my future grandson-also well written .    I found a book for Jenny and one for Will and several for me from the “Covington Series”.  What a jackpot for meas these books are hard to find.  Lyla enjoyed herself as much as I did.  I have a feeling, we will go again, shortly. . .and carry a bigger bag!


Friday was Brants’ birthday.  Brant is my oldest child and he is the one expecting his own first child. . .my first grandson.  He and Sydney are in the mountains, on vacation, so we had to make due with a phone call.  Brant is a beautiful human inside and out.  He is far from shallow and is as compassionate a soul as I know of. If this sounds like bragging . . it is because I am.  He has never lived anywhere, that his  neighbors (especially the seniors), did not love him.  Children too – and dogs.  There is  just something about Brant.  Of course, I adore my children, but I have valid reasons to do so.  . .and Brant is one of them.


Friday was the day of packing.  The car was cleaned out and strollers were scrubbed down.  It was a full days’ work.   Lyla and I did manage to get in a visit with Miss Thelma.  We carried flowers and cookies and Lyla recited her poems.  Miss Thelma just lost her husband, last week, whom she refers to, “as her best friend for eighty years”.  Her only son passed  a few years back, so how tragic.  I hope to spend many hours with her this summer, for I have come to love Miss Thelma, and am quite distressed about her situation. 

 Lately, it seems a lot of sadness has plagued  our family.  I can scarce recover from one thing, til it seems another has sprang up.  What a toll it takes.   Sometimes, I feel like I have been in a perpetual state of mourning, for quite a spell.   My grandmama used to say, “There is ALWAYS something to worry you . .if you let it .”   (My elders used the word “worry” when they meant “bother”.) She was right.   

One of the truest test, life offers, is what to do with “bother”.  It is a skill that will be required by all of us and I am convinced, may be one of our most significant factors, in our overall happiness . . .and our health.  I sat on the porch swing, Friday night and wondered about all of it. I admit, that life had been going smoothly, for me for a long stretch and I grew accustomed to that.  The next thing I know, is that one thing after another unfolded, resulting in loss of loved ones, doors slamming on hopes and threatening circumstances, for several of my dearest ones.  I am not at liberty to “tell all” just now, but rest assured, I am not exaggerating.  I am in the proverbial “rough patch” and “things could always get worse” does not comfort me one iota, for yes, I believe  it!   . . .and meanwhile, the eyes of my children are upon me- and I realise, that I am still “teaching them” – about what to do with “bother”. 

I sat on the swing, when the village was quiet, and there was no sign “of man”, for a while, sorting out each care – as if I would come up with solutions.  I found myself to be quite dull, at such a task and decided to just “Be still” -as it is written. This is much easier, said, than done.  

Saturday morning dawned cool and bright. The very first thought, that I had was “to just love everybody”.  How odd, I thought, for such a thing to pop in your head upon awakening!  I could not recall a single dream, but somehow, the idea rang true and I felt it deeply stirring within my heart.  I had no explanation for it, for I doubted any conditions had changed over night, but I could not deny feeling more peaceful, than I had in a fortnight. . .that had changed.  My concerns were still intact, but I felt more able to bear them.  Love seemed especially powerful -and enough. 

I  gently got out of bed, so as not to wake Lyla.  I sat on the front porch again – and listened to the robins chattering, as they fed their young.  Somewhere a mimosa bloomed, for it made its’ presence known in the morning breeze.  The willow swayed gracefully, giving in to the desire of the wind.  It was like watching poetry.   . . a natural choreography . . as is so often found in nature.   

When I grow up, I want to be like that willow.

Vector illustration of tree with falling leaves

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32 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Brant & A Lesson from a Willow

  1. Ma’am,
    What a beautiful ending to that wonderful post. I am sorry for your losses but with you on your resolve to “Be still” and let the Master Physician heal.
    I am at that stage myself- I seem to want to put my nose into everything when all that results is my nose getting disjointed and my heart feeling weighed down by worries. I should like your grandmother decide to ” not let worry bother me”.
    Happy Birthday Brent !
    Glad you got a lot of books for everyone and also some for you too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Michele: I know exactly what you mean when people shrug their shoulders and say, “Could be worse.” It’s pretty facetious and sure doesn’t help. What can I say but that I’m sorry there’s so much ‘bother’ on your plate right now – and that I feel for you, because I’ve been there lately, too. I’m so glad that you can at least take moments like breathing the perfumed air and taking heart from the bending willow. Sometimes that’s the only thing that gets me through, too. I know that, as much as we’d like to be able to bend with the hard winds, it’s okay to break once in a while, too. Love, Valere

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy birthday, Brent!!
    I too have been in a “bother” place, Michele, and there are times my shoulders droop from the weight of it all. How to remain tranquil amongst the storm is a test, that is for sure. When you are hit over and over again, from all kinds of directions, your hold on life loosens and breathing comes labored. Perhaps my way will help you to maintain Calm ….. be out in Nature as much as possible and talk out loud to All That Is. Ask questions. Ask for guidance. Ask to be shown what you are supposed to be learning so that you can move forward. Not easy, not by a long shot, when your Heart is up in your throat and your thoughts go round and round. I’ll be praying for you.
    Humidity here too has been very low as with temps. Too much rain as well. As a result I’ve had the extra special Gift of having my Lilacs and Peonies around longer then usual. I plan on cutting a good bunch of lilac flowers tomorrow to dry slowly with the HOPE that somehow I can preserve that Heavenly scent. And my Peonies as well. I’ve sat outside for hours on end just to enjoy the perfume scenting the very air.
    Thank you for another wonderful journal post. I so enjoy reading what you write whenever I can get here. Bless you, dear one. You are truly very special!! (((HUGS)))!! 🦋🦋🦋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a lovely comment-How dear you are to me. I know you have had your own share of bother-and I agree that natures heals and can cure, too. Good wishes for your flowers, and thank you for praying-It is our BEST line of defense. Please know your words touch me deeply. love Michele

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If only everyone had the patience and wisdom to stop and look and see…like you do. We all need lessons from a willow. Michele, I often think of Lyla and how lucky she is to grow up with you. And, I am elated to read that you won’t compromise on children’s books. Thank you! I posted my yea-end writing to parents on chapter reading in my classroom a few days ago. Tomorrow I will post the top favorite picture books the children voted on this year. You will recognize a few. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I so miss you when things are silent. Your simple life is so full right now but that is what makes your writing so interesting….even if we don’t get the full story.
    Things here are rocking along. I did have to send my motherr to the hospital a week ago. Thankfully nothing too serious. She stayed a couple of days and thankfully nothing too serious. and again thankfully my sister was free to be there with her. Baptist Jackson is 60 some odd miles away and I needed to be here for my dad …who you will remember is kinda hard to deal with. I did manage to get him shaped up some what while she was gone but sadly he has fallen back into ‘don’t tread on me’ space now that she is back. Fathers Day was a joke…on me. Some day I will be able to look back on these caregiving day with thanksgiving..if there is anything left of me to look back. At least that is what ‘they’ say but you know about ‘they’. Love you dear Rabbit…we will hang in there together.
    ps. Do you know our friend Anne was going to meet up with Chicken Grandma on her trip. Isn’t thank neat?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beverly, hearing from you made my day! How kind you are-how caring-and compassionate.I am glad your mother is better-you are one busy lady. How I admire you. So sweet that Anne and Faye will meet! I can not wait to hear about that. I love you too Beverly. thank you for being with me through everything. and I so miss our Cobs. love Michele

      Liked by 1 person

  6. First of all, I love Black Beauty and it was one of my very favorite books as a child. I’m glad you got the original version, as it is wonderful and has a great moral: to treat animals with compassion.

    But I’m so sorry you are in a rough patch right now. Sometimes life does seem to give us more trouble than we can possibly cope with, and it’s especially hard to watch loved ones suffer. I hope that relief comes soon, and meanwhile that you will find the peace and strength to get through it all!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy birthday to your wonderful son! As for rough patches…Sigh, life is like that. I’m with you about disliking the advice that “things could be worse.” Of course they could. What the heck! But this advice,if you want to call it that, does nothing to deal with the troubles at hand. Good luck getting through the rough times. Our little boats sometimes are thrown about. Sometimes we think they will sink. May yours ride the waves!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Aaaahhh Michele….that being still thing is just so hard. I have a sneaking suspicion that you are somewhat like me in the need to “fix” things. That need makes it harder yet to be still and wait for God’s timing.
    I do not know the details of the hard patches you are facing but I am so thankful that God does and He will never let you go through those places alone. It is my biggest comfort in my own life.
    I am so glad you can be with family as that is the best medicine for a mom’s heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well-meaning folks often have words of advice and encouragement.

    My dear late friend Chuy gave me this:

    “All my life people have told me ‘Thunder can’t hurt you’, but that never stopped me from being terrified by it. Spare people such senseless jabber. Hold them and tell them “I’m right here.”. It is truly the only solace you can offer.”

    There is a universal truth that applies to all rough patches:

    “This, too, shall pass.”

    Keep your eye on the sparrow, Rabbit.

    All my best,


    Liked by 1 person

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