Her Last Hurrah

No one knew for sure, but she did. This would be her last hurrah. Bold and bright and full of expectations she didn’t mean to hold onto. But how could she not? This was her purpose: to grow, to blossom, to bloom…big. If not that, then what?

Photo + Musings ©2019, Jen Payne. For similar reflections, please purchase a copy of my new book WAITING OUT THE STORM. Click here for details.

Behold!

Behold! The sun rises on a new season as creatures great and small look to the east. Under consideration: what can we leave behind and what will rise up from the debris? What must we tear down, and what — oh what — can we build straight up to heaven?

Photo + Musings ©2019, Jen Payne. American toad (Anaxyrus americanus) watches the sun rise from a lichen perch.

Darn It

To darn means to mend, and I wonder if that’s what this Darner dragonfly was doing. Waylaid in the middle of the road, neither here nor there, perhaps it was simply mending things for itself; sewing up pieces of the inexplicable so they made sense again…or just for now. To be honest, I thought it was dead until I nudged it gently, asked “Are you OK?” out loud while I considered my own repair needs — what to fix, what to patch, and what to release.

Photo + Musings ©2019, Jen Payne.

The People

There was a certain simple order to The People. They had a system and a routine, and all of their expectations were so neatly contained within the walls of The House, The School, and The City that I never once wondered what happened behind the scenes or why The Lady never let her hair down. Seeing them all together again — The Lady, The Dog, The Grandma, the Boy with the Pot on His Head — evoked an odd combination of nostalgia and utter despair.

Photo + Musings ©2019, Jen Payne. People collection from Mound Museum, Mind of the Mound exhibit by Trenton Doyle Hancock, MASS MoCA, July 2019.

Thicket

It used to be I could see through the thicket, almost to the edge where this small stream meets the horizon. The promise of the day ahead reflected in the water, and I was always sure I’d see some kind of magic. But the way is almost hidden now, overtaken by shadow and those things that grow when we’re not paying attention.

Photo + Musings ©2019, Jen Payne.

Just Sit for a While

She’ll sit in this sweet green chair for a while, safe in the knowing that she’s constructed good, strong boundaries. That doors sometimes shut for a reason, and windows stay closed on purpose. There’s plenty of space for more chairs, of course, a sturdy table on which to set the glass of wine, and room to dance, dance, dance, so don’t be too sad. It’s not an empty room, more like a blank slate ready for whatever comes next.

Photo + Musings ©2019, Jen Payne. Photo from MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA.

Patience

They listen you know, butterflies. Just talk in whispers, tell them your secrets – they’ll come around…dance a dance of curiosity, flirt a little with your patience, tease your hope until you almost give up, then alight near-enough for a moment. One, sweet moment. There!

Words + Photo ©2019, Jen Payne