universal truth

Westminster Bridge
Image Credit: Kayode Okeyode – Click on the image to see a bigger, better version.

He saw it all: the buses, taxis and other traffic roaming far and wide across the bridge, the young couple seeking shelter and a quick embrace below their umbrella, the family out for evening stroll despite the downpour.  He watched and witnessed and let it go.  Life went on as always.  Time never stopped.

There had been times, sure, when it seemed like time must stop.  With the world in turmoil, sirens blaring and the streets deserted as people sought shelter wherever they could, he had thought on more than one occasion that the planes would come and time would stop.  The death they brought with them almost certainly would carry over to time.  It seemed inevitable, and, yet, it never had.

The seconds had continued to roll to minutes, and the minutes to hours, and then the hands would swing around to herald a new days, as they always had since he had first been given life.

Yes, Big Ben, saw everything go on around him.  He watched seasons turn.  He watched the world war and love.  And through it all he tracked the passing of time.

Perhaps that was the only true inevitability of the universe – another second will follow.

He was honored to be one of the prestigious markers of that universal truth.

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A bit of silliness, really, for this week’s Once More With Feeling.

What do you do feel when you look at the provided picture?  Write it, link it, publish it.

ticking clock

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Image Credit: Garry

The constant roar and crash of the surf, the breakers rolling in and the  ocean’s depths sucking them back out, faded to their lowest volume.  It was low tide and wide swaths of pristine sand were left exposed to the setting sun, making the beach seem larger and more elegant than normal.  But there was only one there to notice the beauty as the water moved out and night settled in and he wasn’t interested in the aesthetics at all.

His body felt the final drop in vibrations as the water reached the furthest point from him it would, and his ears registered the the diminished sound.  His internal clock started ticking, counting down the hours he had to find food and shelter before low tide turned back into high tide.

He did not give any thought or consideration to the orange horizon, the long stretches of white sand, the gradual rolling transition of colors across the heavens, or the majestic puffs of clouds adding their  perspective and focus to the occasion.  No, Mr. Crab had room in his mind for nothing but the basic survival instincts that had seen him outlast every friend and lover he had every known.

Poking his head out of his grand shell, he let his setae taste the gentle on-shore breeze and get a feel for his surroundings.  Then, when he was certain he was alone, he scurried towards the water all the while letting the clock in his mind run its course.  He knew he could move faster if he dropped the shell, but he would only leave his shelter behind if he had no other option, if his time was running out and he hadn’t eaten enough or wouldn’t make it back out of reach of the crushing waves.

The sun set and the world awaited the arrival of the moon.  In the interim, Mr. Crab feasted well and retreated beyond the reach of high tide to recover from his exertions and prepare to do it all again when the cycle of the tides repeated.

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I don’t know…  I feel like I’ve written so many things about sunsets and sunrises and beautiful landscapes recently that I wanted to do something a bit different.  So, I saw the shell and decided it should be a crab story.  And what you just read is a result of where that thought took me.  Slightly funny?  Less dark than a lot of my posts have been recently?

What did you think?

And, what do you see when you look at the picture?  Why don’t you play along with this week’s Once More With Feeling picture prompt!  Write it, link it, post it!

answer willingly

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It was one of those perfect days, the kind that etch themselves permanently in your memory, constantly reminisced, often sought, and never duplicated.  The high clouds hinted at a storm, but that just lent a sense of urgency to eke out every last moment of enjoyment from the day that we could.  And when the storm finally came, we would welcome it as a relief from the hot days and as a soothing aide for our tired muscles.  In the meantime, the cool waters were inviting as the day passed into the afternoon, and we pushed our canoe into the stillness to see what adventures we could find in the remaining hours of light.

We explored the far edges, the dark corners, the hidden coves, of the lake.  We fished.  We chatted.  We tested our strength and drove the canoe up river as far as we could muster.  We drank in the beauty of our environs.  The water, trees, and rocks danced across our vision.  The world whispered its secrets to us and we listened raptly.  There was nothing but us and our yearning to answer the call of the wild.  We were powerless to resist.

As the light began to fade, the sun slipping beyond the western canyon wall, the whispering of the earth faded away, and we made our way back to our camp.  We were sad to have to leave the magic of the day behind, but we knew that the following day the call would come forth again, and we would answer it again.  We would answer willingly.

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Gearing up for summer.  I can’t wait to go camping and backpacking again.  If you’ve been hanging around the kingdom for awhile you know that I’m partial to those two activities, and how else could I respond to this Once More with Feeling picture prompt but to dream that I was already there, paddling around the lake, exploring the unknown, testing my limits and resolve, …?

And you?  What do you see when you look at the picture?  Write it, link it, post it!

horizon

pier

I want to run to the end, spread my arms, and fly.  I don’t think about the impossibility of that.  The call to do so is strong enough to keep all doubts at bay.  I know, when I leap, I will soar over the smooth surface of the water.

The closing words of the first Pirates movie come to me as my feet start to move, “Now, bring me that horizon.”  Yes.  Yes, that is what I want.  Freedom.  Adventure.  The kisses of sea and sun on my skin.  The air rushing passed my face.  I will reach the end.  I will jump.  I will fly.

The boards creak under my feet, which are moving faster with each step, and like springs the planks propel me forward.  Each step becomes a leap of its own.  The end of the pier draws close.  The beginning of my freedom is just beyond.  I’m almost there.  My arms raise at my sides, the wind tugging at them, preparing to hold me aloft.

In the last instant I coil my feet under me, pressing into the pier with all my weight, all my force, and then I unleash the straining muscles to jump as high and far as I can.  I clear the railing easily.  While I feel gravity pushing on me, it doesn’t concern me, my will keeps me airborne.  The breakers slapping at the pylons fades into the background behind the sound of the air as I speed away.

I am flying.

I am free.

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When I first saw the picture for the current Once More With Feeling, I immediately thought about running to the end to jump off.  Everything else followed that one thought.

And you?  What do you see or feel when you look at the picture?  Write it, link it, post it!

one last look

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Photo Credit: David Saunders

The family had been vacationing at the lake house for years.  Visiting in the winter had it’s challenges, of course, but to get to enjoy the beauty of the lake undisturbed by the summer masses made them all worthwhile.  When they had to shovel out the driveway to park their car in the garage they knew that meant they would have the roads to themselves.  When they had to bring in their own food because the store was closed for the season they knew they would have quiet mornings undisturbed by screaming children racing to jump into the cool waters.  When they had to make the freezing runs from house to outhouse in the middle of the night they knew they wouldn’t have to worry about it already being occupied by a neighbor.

They would wake and enjoy a leisurely morning by a crackling fire, a cup of coffee wrapped in their hands, the steam rolling over the lip and swirling around carelessly in their buffets of air.  Then they would pile on the layers and venture out into the snow covered world to explore the boundaries of the lake, or dare a rowboat to try their luck at fishing, or just to sit on the deck and watch the red morning turn into a beautiful blue day.

The sunrises and sunsets blurred together until, all too soon, it was time to pack up and head home, back to the real world, to their jobs and responsibilities and obligations.  They always stopped just before the lake house disappeared from view, to take one last look at the serenity they were leaving behind.

It hurt.  The quaint house, the lake, the snow, the quiet, the calm, called to them.  Urged them to stay.  Their heads knew they needed to head home, but their hearts argued they were already there.  With a shake of their heads and a set of sad smiles they continued down the road, knowing they would be back next winter.

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Just a bit of fiction for this week’s Once More With Feeling.  I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a lake house in the winter, but it sure looks romantic from this picture.  It’s certainly tempting….

What do you see when you look at the picture?  What do you feel?  Write it, link it, post it!