Friday, May 1, 2015


It's Friday and everything is done for this week. I've finished some art projects, I've worked on calligraphy practice, my blog is posted.  I also have been feeling overwhelmed by the news this week: Nepal, the drownings off Italy, Baltimore, and more. I needed to take some time to myself. I found a good place out on our back porch.

As I work on a piece of cross-stitching that has taken me 20 years to complete, I listen to what is going on around me. First, I hear the twittering song of one of the canary finches that live around us. What a voice from such a small bird.

The wind picks up. The weather is changing with the possibility of rain. In drought-parched California any change in weather or chance of rain is good news. I listen as the breeze collects in the trees, soughing through the leaves. Out of the corner of my eye, I keep seeing something small and dark dash across the patio stones. I concentrate on the stones and realize that it isn't lizards or voles running through, just the  leaves left over from last year that skitter across the patio.

I take more stitches. I hear the doves coo, the squirrels chatter, the chirp of the hummingbird, and the whistle of a quail. I even  think I hear the sounds of the mole digging tunnels industriously in our front yard.

Not all the sounds are natural.
I listen again and hear our neighbor clunking one rock or brick against another as he moves his garden around again. I hear the chunk of a golf club striking a ball. A plane rumbles over. A car passes by on the street.

And then I hear the finch once more. I look down at the progress I have made on my project. I am almost finished. The piece is a complicated design. I began the work when we used to take summer trips to a Minnesota lake. I only worked on it as I was relaxing by the lake. When our son was in high school and we stopped our trips, I put the work away and forgot about it until recently. Making each cross-stitch gives me time for a moment of sounds in our backyard.

What do you do to take quiet time for yourself?

Other surprises:  I've been selected as a Star Blogger on Story Circle Network, an online writing community for women that offers writing classes and groups to encourage writing your stories.  Find them at:


  1. I love the phrase "time for a moment of sounds"

  2. Thank you, Elizabeth. Your blog is an inspiration to me. The poetry of words makes the difference between something bland and something lyrical. I try!

  3. I had to laugh out loud about your snail problem. You are so funny! Why do they always choose our specimen plants to munch on?? Time to declare war on these slimy pests!

  4. Hi Marcia,
    Those pesky snails and other gardening trials! Another friend gardens with a glass of wine in hand. Good way to relax among the roses and other specimen plants.


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