Hope – Chasing Stars

Hope – Chasing Stars

When I was younger, my Dad would take my hand to show me the Orion star, the most prominent and brightest of the winter constellation.  He wanted me to share in his awe of the universe, yet I was a preteen. It didn’t seem pertinent at the time.  

And yet, today the stars hold hope in my mind.  I look up at the sky and feel the strength that anything is possible with hope.

Hope destroys the weakened spirit, elevates the burdened soul, and promises a future.

So, I smile at the memory.  Have I memorized the constellations at my Dad’s wishes?  No. But I have adopted appreciation for the spectacular light show and the power of the universe to drown out the darkness.

AND, I still feel his hand holding mine coaxing me to look above for astronomical support.

This is a short post, to let you know I am still chasing stars.

© Erika K Rothwell

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Stolen Beauty – Pain Exposed

Stolen Beauty – Pain Exposed

Many of us lost a dear young person today in a tragic accident. Dedicated to her…she was beautiful inside and out.

Hope shriveled and distraught

Staring  

 Gaping hole devouring a sunny day  

Helpless surrender to a cruel joke

 Heart of beauty stolen to fuel the sun above

Infectious grief seeks to be expelled

Cascading waters from sadness flow 

Wash away confusion of tragedy

In death’s revolt

Left only with a memory of her sunshine

Her smile lights the darkness of hollow despair

No fight to win  

Understanding with faith  

Love gathers beneath the clouds

Praise the entrance through heavenly gates

With tears of years 

Her hand no longer to hold

Forced to accept a plan not our own

Make peace my friends

With a thief

Unfairness cannot be explained

©Erika K Rothwell

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Stolen Beauty – Pain Exposed

Stolen Beauty – Pain Exposed

Many of us lost a dear young person today. Dedicated to her…beautiful inside and out.

Hope shriveled and distraught

Staring  

Gaping hole devouring a sunny day

Helpless surrender to a cruel joke

 Heart of beauty stolen to fuel the sun above

Infectious grief seeks to be expelled

Cascading waters from sadness flow 

Wash away confusion of tragedy

In death’s revolt

Left only with a memory of her sunshine

Her smile lights the darkness of hollow despair

No fight to win  

Understanding with faith  

Love gathers beneath the clouds

Praise the entrance through heavenly gates

With tears of years 

Her hand no longer to hold

Forced to accept a plan not our own

Make peace my friends

With a thief

Unfairness cannot be explained

©Erika K Rothwell

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Sea of Hope

Sea of Hope

As the waves crashed against the shore, the sea reminded me to focus on recovery as I listened to a melodious tune of “just be”.  I breathed in the rhythm of the tide as I was lulled into a slumberous state, embracing the unusual space between me and an incessant drive to accomplish a myriad of things within the time constraint of one indeterminate life span.

A week of revival in an exotic location and absence from the work of writing restored my soul.  Focusing on the movement of my thoughts, rather than the thoughts themselves, reignited my desire to bring life to a blank page.

I learned we cannot always dictate the unexpected twists and turns along the path of life but we can learn to appreciate the tempo of life’s waves.  As the rhythm of the tides nourishes life below the surface in its repetitive cycle of cleansing, hope energizes us with a promise of restoration, urging us to never give up no matter how hopeless the situation seems.  

My tale of love restored in the pain of loss follows.

A gift was once given to a young girl who dreamed of a knight to fight her battles. He came to save her from a plight brought upon her by a self-righteous love-sucking empire. With his worldly weapons, he disintegrated the threat against her. She loved him with all her heart. And then…

The day came when she no longer remembered what he had done for her. She complained incessantly and took each day with him for granted. When he left that morning to explore the underworld of the sea, she never imagined that he would not return.

In the search for him, futility took over as powerful waves of wrenching pain squeezed her heart. Her tears turned to torrents as she cried out for him. Her life would never be the same without his love. And she knew in that moment that her gift could be mercilessly taken away.

As the search team reminded her to retain hope, she panicked thinking only the worst. Every man remotely resembling her knight from a distance materialized into someone else as she came closer, launching her further into a sea of devastation.

She beseeched God, feeling responsible for his disappearance as she had neglected her love for him.

Eventually, she was led to the place on the shore where he had last been seen before he entered the water. She looked upon the site wanting to believe the mirage that appeared before her with the little hope she had left.

Magically, in that instant, her gift was returned as he turned to her with a smile and outstretched arms and said, “There you are, I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”

Dedicated to My Knight – I will always love you.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Hope – An Embrace – The Full Story

Hope – An Embrace – The Full Story

An embrace, a symbol of love and support. A sign of acceptance and adoption. Learning to embrace the many facets of my being encourages me to embrace others and each day with enthusiasm and hope.

As clothes hang listlessly in a closet waiting to be worn as self-expression, words sit on a page craving a connection by the hearts that read them.

Look in the mirror. What do you see? A reflection of your heart and a journey well-lived? Or do you see only an outward appearance, a physical being disappointed in what is and what could be? Finding ourselves in a one size fits all universe sends a message that something is wrong with us because we don’t fit a perceived mold. Squeezing ourselves into a template that was created for everyone else only bruises our enthusiasm and desire to be who we truly are.

Walking a path of disillusion for many years of my life, as the ingredients of dissatisfaction poured into an insatiate lifestyle, I finally found hope in self-acceptance as I focused on sharing a unique contribution to this life and world. And along the way, I learned something of value that I ask you to consider with me now.

Why do we spend so much time beating ourselves up and working against ourselves by focusing on our weaknesses? If only we knew early on that those weaknesses were strengths when viewed from another angle.

Why hold on to an image of what could have been, what isn’t, or what should be? We are given time to grow and flourish. Regret only devours that time and skews the view of our potential.

Self-acceptance doesn’t come easy. Do you, like me, often overlook compliments, rather than graciously accept the embrace? Recognition of our worth comes from other’s caresses of support combined with accepting ourselves.

Embrace the opportunity to share your unique contribution. Look at your reflection, share your colors, embrace who you are.

Invite the harsh critic that lives inside you to leave, and imagine a room filled with loving, supportive and involved hearts. Writing brings these people into your room. They nod appreciatively, and say, “Yes. I like that”. And if not, let them pass by unnoticed.

Value self-expression.

Accept that creations brought forth from deep inside are not always consistent. Days bring melancholy, elation, sadness, joy, and vulnerability. Writing follows whims and moods. There are days when my heart speaks effortlessly. Other days the seriousness of writing loses its connections. Today I free write about the simple act of embracing. Embracing life, love, others and myself.

How encouraging if we continue to embrace ourselves and others through it all? Love is not conditional and our embraces should not be either.

©Erika K Rothwell

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