poetry

Some sunsets feel too good to see alone | Prose for Thought

I took a walk, alone, on a Friday evening,
after a week of being with my three children, every hour of every day.

Alone, by the sea, I walked along the beach,
past couples entwined and groups of friends sharing drinks,
past people walking their dogs and jogging on the sand.

Sunset Miramar Beach 1

There wasn’t anyone else alone, completely alone. Just me.
The only company I had was my small pocket camera.
The one thing that everyone on that beach did share that evening,
was a mutual appreciation, for the incredible glow of the sky,
as the sun dropped over the Pacific Ocean.

It didn’t seem right to hold all my feelings and thoughts inside my head.
The beauty of the sky and the colours projected on the ocean,
and break waves rolling gently on the sand,
created too intense a feeling to contain within my one body.

Sunset Miramar Beach 2

It was one of those sunsets that makes a person feel very small.
A sunset that’s better shared.

I leant back, against a sea wall, behind which stood a prestigious property.
It wasn’t like the beaches I’m used to in New Zealand.
It was beautiful, all the same, but there were properties bordering upon its beauty,
encroaching on the natural beauty with their man-made finery.

I didn’t feel like I belonged.

Sunset, sea wall, Miramar Beach

The setting sun seemed to be pulling me out,
with a longing, to beaches thousands of miles away.

I was glad of the wall against my back.
It’s firmness gave me comfort,
though I’d sooner have had the touch of a lovers hand
pressed on the small of my back.

I’d sooner have been the couple out on the water,
sat on their paddle boards, limbs touching,
watching the sunset from their serene vantage point.

There were no others out on the water but them
and a yacht, silently anchored.

Couple on boards enjoying the setting sun

My silence was overbearing.
I needed to let out a sigh, a gasp,
some sort of vocal appreciation for what my eyes could see.

I needed the warmth of my lovers hand to hold.
My children’s silhouettes to watch,
dancing against the backdrop of the red sky,
as they dodged the waves.

This was a sunset to share with the people you love.
A sunset that with all its beauty held a tinge of sadness too.

© Sarah Lee, October, 2013

Prose for Thought

Prose for Thought | Gliding in with the fall

Autumn in Santa Barbara is not like any autumn I’ve ever experienced. It feels like summer, minus the long, light evenings. But there is still a change in the air, however slight it may seem to this British born lass, used to living in windy Wellington, New Zealand, for well over a decade!

There are warm winds blowing in and shorter days. The friendly lizards aren’t so visible, when the sun hides its light. The blue sky still stays, with little variation, during the day. Clouds are something to be excited about – but rarely offer the same magnificence of the type we are used to – and rain is still something we’ve not seen in the past two months we’ve been living here.

But the season of ‘Fall’ is evident, in the plentiful pumpkins to be found everywhere, the harvest festivals and pumpkin patches (complete with bouncy castles and elaborate scare-crows) and, most mesmerising of all, there are Monarch Butterflies; drifting in from the western Rockies, over 2,500 miles away, to rest for the winter.

Monarch Butterfly

These incredible butterflies have always held me captivated – from when my children were young and we planted our own butterfly garden in New Zealand to encourage them to linger and repopulate on the Swan Plants we planted next to colourful flowers to attract them.

Now, as I experience my first autumn here in Santa Barbara, California, I am delighted to see them in the garden of the beautiful property we are currently staying.

I have had a tough time recently, on the mental health front, which I shan’t go into (though rest assured I shall soon be on the mend, thanks to wonderful friends, a great husband, caring neighbours and a kind doctor) and having a moment to appreciate these beautiful creatures really helped me this week.

I hope you enjoy reading this, as much as I enjoyed writing it xxx

Flying in with the Fall
Prose for Thought

Prose for Thought – Over the rooftops of San Francisco in Fall

Inspiration for this poem is from a week staying in San Francisco. A beautiful, sunshine week in early Fall, but the beauty marred by the number of people sleeping rough on the streets; and the answers I sometimes struggle to give to the questions my children ask.

A poem of San Francisco in the Fall

Linking up with others that like to write and read poetry here…

Prose for Thought

Prose for Thought | The anxiety of separation

Her face was just like all the rest,
on pick up time at three.
The adrenaline that had twisted thick,
buried for a spell.

The anguish of the morning,
the torment of the night.
The constant torture of anxiety,
that steals family time.

It even creeps upon us at weekends,
when we’re trying to forget.
She tosses and turns every bedtime,
needing a parent’s close presence.

Her body sending messages,
of chemical potency.
Turning her stomach into iron knots,
her mind into a throbbing ball of pain.

There is no magic book of answers,
even the professionals are surprised.
The magnitude of her anguish,
the irrationality of her mind.

Her body in full fight or flight,
yet the predator is not what it seems.
There is no need to do either,
but her mind is plagued with doubt.

© Sarah Lee, 8 September, 2013

Goleta coast, Santa Barbara

Anxiety BC | Separation Anxiety Disorder

Prose for Thought

Exploring new ground: Labyrinth

Running a new trail, no preconceptions

Following the track, as long as it runs.

Uphill legs are taken without knowing

Desire to explore overriding exertion.

Unexpected surprises of nature –

Cross the path ahead, & sour in the sky.

A labyrinth of trails, for mind and soul –

Prick the senses, revive the body.

© Sarah Lee, August 2013

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Discovered this labyrinth by chance on a new trail today. It reminded me of how uplifting it feels to explore new ground, be surprised by new nature and to run without knowing where the path will lead. I’m going to enjoy discovering Santa Barbara and its surrounding country.

More information on the location of my run today can be read about on ‘UCSB Campus, Lagoon, and Beach‘ and ‘Lagoon Island Labyrinth | Earth Research Institute‘.

The Photo Gallery | Play

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They play so easily, these two friends.
Ideas roll, with fluid simplicity.
They talk in a language of their own.
Perfectly balanced, like a well crafted bridge.

Let’s hope the ocean, that now divides them –
Is to them but a stream, to step over.
In their imaginations, they can be –
Free to fly, to jump, to stay connected.

Young friendships like this are such a gift –
When play comes, with such cooperative ease.

They will carry memories of their play,
deep in their hearts and minds –
Until they are united, some other day.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Stepping out the door for the last time

There was the smell of spring in the air,
when I stepped out the door to feed the cat,
even though it’s the last month of winter.

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Birds were singing with the vigour of mating,
my bare feet didn’t curl back on themselves,
wishing for shoes before stepping out.

I consciously inhaled the fresh air,
in my green oasis of Punga ferns,
tinged with sea salt from the Cook Strait.

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There is nothing like an imminent
departure to heighten the senses.

One more sleep.

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