From the Real Red Lotus Room

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Nothing brings me more pleasure then writing from the real Red Lotus Room in my house. A room, all French Red, red velvet pillows, candles, a couch that is big enough to be a bed, surrounded by art and music. My violin and piano are only a couple of feet away. It’s a room of ever growing artistic complexity, comfort and dimension. I’m finally adding a chaise lounge…cranberry red, with some sort of fantastic sumptuous pillows I haven’t picked out yet. Somehow I feel complete with a chaise…I shall recline all odalisque, in silks, with a volume of Keats…or Faulkner, listening to some Shostakovich Beethoven or Bartok…terribly romantic don’t you think? The irony of it all…I have actually made my dreamy romantic sentimentality become reality.

And here is what I want to say…

Anything you can think of and dream, anything at all…if you can dream it/think it…you can make it happen. I don’t think anything is really all that impossible with elbow grease, patience, time, faith…and a dogged stubborn belief in your heart’s desires. Don’t get me wrong, it won’t be easy and it won’t come all at once, or maybe not in the time frame you think, but if you work at it and keep perserving, you can make your visions real tangible things. The Red Lotus Room on Wallace Ave is living proof…and it’s just the start.

I guess I just can’t settle for anything less than my heart’s desire.

So…once upon a time I decided to do the things that I loved, be with people that set my soul on fire, and be a stubborn ass about holding on to my dreams…and eliminate “can’t” from my lexicon. And slowly, step by step…day by day, I am weaving my own “life imagined”.

Stubborn Trees need help sometimes Letting Go of Leaves

I almost felt sick on the drive, anxiety writhing in my stomach like a a snake. Driving back to Oxford was like driving back into a black whole of a time where I was me…but not me.

The House was in a state of disrepair…the renters had left it a mess. As I looked at the home I spent 10 years in I realized…it was time to let this go. It was time two years ago when I left, but as DL loves to chide me, “Cynthia…you hold on to things you shouldn’t and let go of things you should, and figure things out way past the point of obvious. You’re a late bloomer if ever I saw one…but at least now you are blooming.”

Today I Knew, this last remnant of my former life, needed to be dropped…my new leaves had finally began to push out. Like an immmature oak tree I was holding on to dead leaves.

Step 1. Call your lender
Step 2. Call a real estate agent
Step 3. Don’t procrastinate
Step 4. Call me

Suddenly something as overwhelming as selling a house by myself was t so scary…”Cynthia get out of the fetal position,get up, and get it done. This is totally manageable.

Tears…

“Thanks for not abandoning me.”
“Did you ever think I would, after 10 years?”
“Have your hissy for, cry, clutch your blanket, but get up and get moving when you’re done. You can’t fall apart right now. Now I’ve held up my end of the bargain, you go hold up yours.”
“Yes, I call you tomorrow when it’s done.”
“Yes, maam.”

There are people in your life who will love you through your worst moments and your best …when you show them everything that you are ashamed of they don’t run. When you fall apart when you shouldn’t. These are the people that see all of you, good bad, irresponsible, responsible, talents and epic failures, these people are the ones who are soulmates. Soulmates know when it’s time for you to grow , they know how to help you reach your highest potential…even if that means they have to do it from 1000 miles away. They know how to comfort you in your broken times then remind you to put yourself back together and how to do it. Which you already knew how to, it’s just when you’re overwhelmed you can’t see the forest among the trees.

But most importantly, you know they will be there through the storms of life. Because they have deep roots and they care and the remember that once they were a young tree too.

They don’t shelter you from the storm, they teach you how to grow more leaves and branches so you can do a better job of sheltering yourself.

The Wisdom of the Magnolia Tree


I have a love for Southern Magnolia trees.

During my travels in the south I have been impressed by their beauty, strength, grace, and resilience. Last year when I purchased my house, I was fortunate to stumble across one on sale at Pipkins. I planted it in the back yard.

It made it through the winter, but this spring the leaves began to yellow and look blighted. It dropped almost all its leaves and I feared it was dying.

I went back to Pipkins and asked the Gardner what she thought. She smiled and shook her head, “No, no…don’t worry. It’s establishing itself. That’s what Magnolias do.”
“But it looks like it’s dying!” I responded a bit frustrated.
“It’s establishing itself…they shed their leaves when they are establishing a good root system. It’s how they get strong. Don’t do a thing.”

So…I’ve been keeping an eye on it day by day. After it lost a leaf, I noticed new growth. And week by week, more leaves again. And this evening I checked it, and to my great happiness the most beautiful blooms.

So…the wisdom of the magnolia..

People are very much like southern magnolias.

Sometimes when growing and establishing a good root system, a firm foundation for life, grounding themselves, they may loose leaves.

Sometimes in dark times, challenging times, when things are dying, or falling away, when we feel like we are loosing our leaves, it’s really just a time where we are growing stronger, wiser. Sometimes in order to grow wise and strong…to get rooted, we have to let those leaves fall away.

But…

This is just a time of establishment…

It’s okay…new stronger leaves will take its place, and in time…with patience and faith, they will blossom. 🙂

With our friends, family, and children it is helpful to remember… this lesson of the magnolia.

Love People Where They Are At

Me: “Happy Father’s Day. I love you.”
Dad: “Thanks”

Nothing more…nothing less than thanks.

I believe in love, wherever it shows up, how it shows up, and it doesn’t get a label. Sometimes, it shows up in ways that don’t make sense, or the way that we would like. Some people we love, don’t know how to show love, and it’s not because they are bad people, it’s because they were not taught, or maybe they feel uncomfortable, or they don’t know how…I don’t think it matters anymore.

When I was younger it did. It mattered greatly to me. Now…it just is, and sometimes, thanks is all someone can give, maybe there is a lot of love in thanks…thank you for loving me, thanks for the text, thank you…thank you is a form of love.

As a grown up woman who didn’t get to hear I love you much at all as a child, I have had to learn to give it to myself. To learn to love in ways I was not taught, and because of that, I am able to love people where they are at.

I can’t say I’ve always been this way, it’s taken a lot of patching up a cracked heart to get here, a lot of reflection and contemplation to know, that we are children of something bigger then are parents, and so are our parents.

Driving out to the barn today, I imagined love a lot like the way sunshine shines through your eyelashes, like long clouds stretching through the sky, beams of energy flowing through the air, like a web. We get to choose, do we want to grab that beam of light? Do we want to reach out and say…I choose love rather then fear, or hate, or disappointment?

There is no harm ever in choosing to love…without fear, without expectation…that place is peace.

I choose love…and that’s why I texted my ex husband to say Happy Fathers Day. And that’s why I said I love you to my Dad even though I know he can’t say it back, and that’s why I sent a message out into the Universe that I knew he could not read just to say…Thank you for being a Dad.

Love people where they are at…this is what I have learned.

And say …thanks.

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Summer Rain

The windows are flung wide to let the night and the rain in. Summer rain, that sates the magnolia and the hydrangea. Rain that taps on the pavement outside and makes the air fresh with scent of clean.

The cat sleeps peacefully, my eyelids are beginning to droop with sleep, the candle burns, and rain …beautiful rain falls. These are the moments that take my breath away in it’s goodness.