Apron Strings

I lay resting next to you–
Your heavy eyelids drifting
in and out of dreams
Your fingers wrapped around my
apron strings.
I gently unweave myself from you
tiny bone of my bone
flesh of my flesh
And move the strings out of your grasp
–but I like the way they look
Enclosed in little hands
new skin
fresh from Heaven
I want you to hang onto me forever

How will I know when to let you go?

-Karin Salisbury


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Architecture

Who hired me
as architect for your early life?
My experiences with Legos are hardly
Sufficient credentials, I think….

Still, I labor
Planning the experiences that will build
You.
Modifying blueprints as my
on-the-job training requires
Will you love soccer, ballet,
the trombone?
More importantly, will you love
Yourself?
Your fellow beings?
Your God?

With experiences as cinderblocks and
Love as mortar
We work together building the edifice of

You.

–Karin Salisbury

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Young Again

When I die, will you paint me
Young again…?

Eyes set forward, without tears for Ethan’s cancer at age six (he was here oh-so-briefly)
Brow long and high, not with wrinkles borne of worry for
Kaitlin’s solo, Jonathan’s baseball championship, and later
Kaitlin’s failing marriage, Jonathan’s lost job, and even later
Burying Jim after thirty-six years of happily and not-so-happily
Married life?

Will you paint me innocent? Free from fear?

Yet I look in the mirror at my
aged face,
tired eyes,
wrinkled hands…
Hands once delicately fingering a piano, rolling a cookie, painting a homecoming poster
And I wonder
If each mark of age represents an
unspoken experience,
valuable wisdom,
immeasurable compassion,
Would I trade it all back for a young face, thick hair, and soft hands?

-Karin Salisbury


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Music Within

The notes don’t come as easily as they once did
And yet, in some ways, they are easier

Maybe her fingers are more nimble from the hours of
Hand-holding
Bread-kneading
Math-problem-solving…?

Hours at her disposal are no longer available
For practice
And yet,
When she sits to play, as she once did
Several lifetimes ago
She feels the same.

–Karin Salisbury


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Can You Feel the Love Tonight?

I was driving in my car down a long stretch of road pasted between lights and buildings, parks and restaurants. My destination was sure, though I was a few minutes behind schedule. I turned on the radio for company, listening to favorites and switching stations often.

When I heard the first few beats of Elton John’s music, I immediately recognized it as his song from Disney’s The Lion King, and I reached to change the station.

Sorry Elton John fans. I recognize his talent as one of the music greats of all time…but his songs just don’t usually speak to my soul.

The closest I’ve come to being moved by his music was his ballad to the late Marilyn Monroe, “Candle In the Wind.” That is, at least until this recent drive.

As I touched the button to change stations, I had a thought to listen to the song.

(I’ve come to recognize that little thoughts like that one are often valuable.)

I settled into the seat, cautious of my speed, as my breathing slowed in time with the music. I began to sing of “kings” and “vagabonds” along with Elton’s smooth vocals.

But, what meant more to me was the way I felt.

I felt love. I felt assurance. I felt that the many pressures, responsibilities, and decisions that rest upon my shoulders were known and recognized by a Higher Power. I also somehow felt that all would be fine.

I wonder if Elton John could have ever known that his song would mean so much to a thirty-something mother and writer while driving her car down an almost-too-familiar road. I could honestly answer yes to his musical query. I did, indeed, feel love that night…and I have tried to carry that feeling of love with me and share it along this road I’m still traveling. ❤

When do you feel love? How do you share it? And what have you created and shared, like Elton John's song, that has become meaningful to others you may not ever know?

Just Because We Do It…

Life gets crazy sometimes. Some things we can control; other things we cannot. Like, I couldn’t control my little guy waking up early last Saturday morning. He came in my room, full of morning exuberance as I groggily rolled over to check the time on my phone. The glaring white numbers read 5:47.

5:47 a.m.


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On a Saturday.

WHY?

Well, with a packed schedule for the day, I knew that going back to sleep wasn’t an option. (Now, I’m a believer in early morning productivity…just not that early…on a Saturday.) We cuddled in the warmth of the covers and discussed dreams and the lack of school for the day. Eventually, I rolled out of bed to get dressed.

And, I happened to wear heels–these great heels from my friend–with my brown pants and pink tshirt/sweater combo. I was happy with the outfit as a whole and was prepared for a busy day.

(Did I mention I was wearing these great heels?)

So, we were off to two appointments that went well, then to an activity involving doughnuts at church (how could you go wrong with doughnuts?), and out to visit some neighbors. Of course, we also had to drop kiddos off at parties, hit the library and a couple of other errands, and pick up some milk. (Yes, we were on our last gallon…how did that happen?)

As my handsome husband pulled into a parking space at the local grocery store, my feet were throbbing. Screaming. Aching.

UGH.

I asked him if I could just sit in the car. He asked me why I would choose the shoes I wore that day. I told him the reasons (they go with my outfit, I was trying to look professional, I didn’t think I’d be on my feet so much, etc.). I got out of the car and started walking in to the store. He said, “I think you just don’t like going to the grocery store.”

I thought about his statement. (Can I call it an accusation?) I didn’t want to go to the store in that moment. He was accurate about that. But, on “normal” days–whatever those are–do I really hate going to the grocery store?

I followed that train of thought through shopping. Do I hate to shop? No. What about cooking? Do I hate to cook? No. I actually enjoy cooking. Do I hate walking around the store and greeting fellow shoppers? Nope. I like to chat through the store. Hmmmmmm…. What is it, then?

Actually, I hate planning meals. If someone would provide a menu that worked for my schedule each week, then I would happily follow it, buy ingredients, and cook. I do my best with planning, but I don’t enjoy it. I don’t even like it. In fact, I kind of hate it. But I do it anyway.

As part of our conversation, I had this thought: just because we do it doesn’t mean we like it.

Do you like having little people wake up at 5:47 (A.M.!) on a Saturday? Do you like having to form cognitive thoughts that early? Most days I don’t. But I do it. I do it because that’s what I signed up to do when I decided to have children–whether I knew it then or not.

Why?

The bottom line for me is love. I do what I do because I love my family and I want them to feel loved.

Red Love Heart Full HD Wallpaper Wallpaper
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Last night, we had a beautiful meal together. My oldest and I spent the morning in the kitchen preparing a crock pot with roast, potatoes, and carrots (which I picked up, incidentally, at the grocery store on Saturday). We also made a baked dish of macaroni and cheese along with rice. After church, we made gravy from the drippings in the crock pot and also threw together some delicious rolls. We had family dinner together which filled our tummies and our spirits. My kiddos even went back for seconds (which is rare), and the evening which followed went smoothly because our hearts were happy.


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As I put myself out there by planning and preparing a meal that I didn’t really want to plan (I would’ve been okay with having something like frozen pizza), I was blessed with a wonderful evening…and part of me began to like the planning aspect of cooking. (Shhhh…don’t tell anyone!)

What do you do that you don’t like to do? What would have to change for you to like it more?

A Poem: “Slumbering”

Lying awake in the contrast of warm covers combatting cool air
Listening to the rustle of
Sleep and the uneasy breathing of
Children

Wondering how they slumber without watch care, and yet
Wake each morning, perfectly embracing their imperfections

Arresting the Dawn.

(imperfectly perfect)

They were born to build kingdoms, to slay dragons, to learn love.

And we each have our own miles to go today before sleep comes again
With all the worry and wonderment of dreams

Maybe the
Angels really do
Watch over their
Slumbering?