Haiku Sunday #2

Welcome all. Are you ready to get your haiku on?  Here’s our photo for the week and I’ll start the thread. 5-7-5 – I like to count on my fingers.

Cephalopod's Domicile by Cathy Ulrich

Cephalopod’s Domicile by Cathy Ulrich

Hiding Octopus
in coral habitation
keeping eye on me

Now you! I’ll reply in haiku…

Weekly Photo Challenge – Forward

It's Not Over...

It’s Not Over…

I live in Fort Collins, Colorado. The home of New Belgium Brewery and the Tour de Fat. This annual event is now repeated in other cities throughout the U.S., but it is thoroughly embraced in the city of its origin. Ten thousand cyclists dress in their favorite costumes, dress up their bikes, or make crazy adaptations to their bikes. Many create themes and show up in groups as in this shot.  They parade through the streets of Downtown Fort Collins before ending their ride and enjoying live music and New Belgium Beer. Ours is a cycling town with bike paths and bike lanes throughout the city. So Forward it is and as they say: “It’s not over until what?!”

For more info about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Still Water

Batfish in Roatan

Batfish in Roatan

“If, amidst the turmoil, you can find just one moment of peace in each day, then your whole life will become more joyful. Like the water in a lake, when your mind is calm, you can see the depths below.”
—  Ed and Deb Shapiro

A New Haiku Sunday

I woke up this morning thinking: I could use a little Haiku community today. I miss it. Then, I thought: Well, then do something about it!

As a fan of A Clown on Fire, I participated in a weekly poetry-fest for several months. I even hosted a Haiku Sunday on Le Clown’s site. It was fun and crazy and I loved every minute of it, but sadly, it ended. My friend, The Cheeky Diva also hosts a great Haiku-fest on Thursdays, but it’s hard for me to participate since I’m in the office all day, but do check out her site…

I’d like to start a Sunday Haiku – kind-of an easy, relaxing place to spark creativity and community. No pressure to be clever, just write what comes to mind first. I like to count on my fingers – 5, 7, 5.

So, are you interested in giving it a try?

Here’s a photo to get us started:

Jiminy's Cactus

Jiminy’s Cactus

Hello Jiminy!
Whatcha doin this mornin’?
Prickly pear platform.

Now you go!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Kiss

Nokhu Crags Wind Kiss

Nokhu Crags Snow Kiss

This shot requires an explanation. This morning, Peter and I did the 3 1/2 hour drive back home from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It snowed a LOT while were were there for our annual ski fest in the mountains and it was a great  adventure. We both felt like we skied better than we ever have in deep powder, bumps, steeps and low visibility conditions. Our drive today coincided with the reappearance of the sun. This was our view of the mountains as we neared Cameron Pass at 10,276 feet. You’re seeing the effect of the wind as it blows a snow-kiss!

Did I stray too far for this challenge? Or was it just wacky enough to make you smile?

For more info on the weekly photo challenge click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Home

Sunrise From My Backyard

Sunrise From My Backyard

Home – a place, a feeling, a sanctuary where I can be myself. A place that feeds my soul and supports me in my life, my loves, my creative pursuits and my work. Colorado is that place for me. While it is not the place of my birth, it is the place where I feel all of these things and more. Here is a view of the Winter sunrise from my back yard. In seeing this view almost every morning, I breathe it in. These magnificent sunrises humble me and help me realize how blessed I am to live in such a place.

What does home mean to you?

To find out more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Vanessa’s Gift

Orange Lily

Orange Lily

I got a call on Monday from a former client – and I guess you could also call her a friend – although not an intimate one.  “Hi Cathy, it’s Vanessa (not her real name). I know we haven’t talked in a long time. I have something I need to tell you, but I’d rather tell you in person rather than leave a message on your voice mail.”

I’ve known Vanessa for at least fifteen years. I met her when I was providing physical therapy services for her employer. Vanessa was my client’s caregiver and after she left that job, she sought me out to do some Rolfing. We did a series of sessions to treat her back pain and during that process, I got to know more about her.  A pretty woman with red hair and blue eyes, Vanessa was married to a farmer. She had three daughters in their teens, she worked cleaning houses and caregiving and she was a victim of severe childhood abuse. Vanessa spoke of her history matter-of-factly, but I always wondered about the impact her childhood had produced on her current life.

After we finished her Rolfing series, Vanessa would call from time-to-time. She might come in for a maintenance session, we might meet for lunch, and most years she would bring me a fifty pound bag of onions – produce from her husband’s farm. During our infrequent visits, Vanessa talked about her life – various challenges including estrangements with her family. One daughter had moved away and wasn’t speaking to her, another was in school in a different state and rarely called. Vanessa would share her stories, but not in great detail. She seemed philosophical about her lot and accepting of the situation. But, again, I often wondered about the dynamics that produced a family so distant and troubled.

When we finally connected this week, Vanessa said: “Cathy, I’ve been diagnosed with Stage IV lymphoma. The doctors have given me two months. I have elected not to do any treatment. I just wanted you to know that I think the world of you and I so appreciate your kindness to me over the years.” She went on to say that her daughters had all come to see her when they learned the news. Everyone showed their love and support, and she planned to travel over the next month to see siblings, cousins, and aunts that she hadn’t seen in years. She seemed happy, content, at ease with her fate – looking forward spending time with family and friends.

As I hung up the phone, somehow I felt uplifted by our conversation. My sense is that Vanessa has finally let go of whatever was keeping her from connecting with her loved ones and they with her. She’s content to pass from this life knowing that they rallied around her in her final days.

Vanessa, thank you for this gift… All the things that have been bothering me recently seem trite. I vow to spend more time playing, less time worrying, and to tell those I love how I feel at every opportunity. And most of all, I hope that when the time comes, I will accept my own mortality with the same courage and grace that I now see in you.

With love,

Cathy