Wednesday, August 22, 2018

In the Heart of Summer


There is a moment when time and space stand still and we are transfixed by beauty, by an event, even by some exceptional moment in time.

Sometimes the moments are magical. Sometimes they are tragically sad.  But we know in our hearts that that magic, even the sad and the tragic times are a marker or a turning point that can impact us forever.

A truly unique, even magical moment or event like the solar eclipse of 2017, or the horrifying moment when the Twin Towers came tumbling down, or the assassination of JFK.

Moments of the heart that stay with us.


Today/yesterday/tomorrow  on the anniversary of the 2017 eclipse I watched and listened to Bonnie Tyler's epic 1983 song of her Total Eclipse of the Heart video on YouTube. I wanted to remember how an eclipse feels, how a gathering of so many doing the same thing all over the world at once feels.

Suddenly, time stood still. Sure I noticed her hairdo,  the 80s shoulder pads, the heavy eye makeup we wore then.

But i wasn't just transported to the 80s. The song, the music transcended time. Moved through space. I was in the magical in between that is a plane and place between and beyond time.

A time when our dearest family friends and neighbors were still alive. When the 12 year old daughter, not yet born, still had 14 years ahead of her. 14 years before my second daughter and 3rd child...her future lifelong best friend and neighbor forever was born.

A time when I still had my parents, my aunts and uncles, all of my sister in laws and friends alive and in my life.  I could see them,hear them, feel them and remember them in the strangest tiny of details.

Now, back in my present time in 2018, when today marks the 33rd birthday of my not yet born youngest child of that yesteryear,  I think of yesterday, today,  and tomorrow.

Yesterday which was once today and before that was even tomorrow...backwards and forwards in the fluidity of time. 

We went outside into the searing heat of summer, the sky once again filled with the dull haze of skies filled with the pervasive smoke of more wildfires again this year in Oregon to take a photo with our sunflowers.

Once more looking next door at the house our dear friends from college days had built just as we built ours right next door in 1978. The 1st houses either of us had ever designed or built, both families eventually going into new home construction during our journeys in time. All so different now.

Deep breathing in spite of the fires everywhere. Deep knowing that the sad is balanced by the beauty of all that's good in the world, in our lives.

I know that inspite of the seeming barriers I can still find our garden behind the wall of self seeding sunflowers. Finding my way between the thorny weeds, the tangled roots, the hidden tornadoes of giant cucumbers and Godzillian zucchini ready to trip me in the overgrowth.


There are more weeds than berries, more weeds than fruits, or even vegetables. But the good nourishes and even the weeds mean growth and survival of the strongest and most stubborn!

I am reminded that we too are strong. The amazing and often unbelievable challenges of my life have shown me this, just as yours have for you. Challenges and obstacles prepare us, teach us, harden us through grace and faith.

In the heart and the heat of summer, I think of my journeys from there to here. Even now, typing on a cellphone , no more desktop computer, no wifi. Old, not working, limited signal strength in my energy filled house of healing. I too am older, have less energy.

 No matter your age, so are you. But we are strong, capable women warriors. And we can sew, we can quilt, we run with scissors and brandish rotary cutters.  When we take to the mat in full fighting form it's a rotary cutting mat or paper crafting mat,  or a kitchen cutting board or maybe even a business boardroom.

Whoever we are, whatever we do, we are women warriors and a force to be reckoned with. We dance to our own music, we use walls to climb over, walk through as well as around. So what if we walked with a cane or cry through our pain. We are here and we make our presence known.


I think, i write and I remember it all. The past,  the present and why I am here and what I  am meant to be and to do.

Now, where did I leave my coffee cup and who moved my car keys??

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.

6 comments:

  1. I do not have the stunning sun flowers in my yard....however, I do have the metaphor..xo

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  2. Beautiful heartfelt post Michele. I went and listened to that song and Bonnie Tyler. It took me back in time, to when I had my one son and was soon to be pregnant with my 2nd son. What memories it brought up! So many memories come to surface when I listen to certain songs... the eclipse last summer really upset me for some reason.. did something to my psyche and I don't really want to be in that situation again... really got to me somehow. Yes you are right.. we women are STRONG. There is so much we must endure and go through and live through, etc. Strong men would be flattened by what most women go through. We are so smokey here that I hate even going outside. My poor plants and "garden" have been mightily neglected but I relish in each and every bloom that is surviving the heat and smoke! Hugs.. Marilyn

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  3. I used to see massive fields of sunflowers and thought how awesome they would be. When we tried, over and over, planting them they came is small and didn't self sow. Then one year they suddenly did and went crazy wild! Now,they almost take over and show up in strange places all on their own! But yes, you know, understand and have lived so much of the rest of the metaphors!

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  4. All three of us commenting here. you (Marilyn) Mrs.O'Quilts (Diane) and myself (Michele) have faced unbearable grief. So many times, so many other challenges.

    But we've done and been and are doing and being far more than most and yes, waay more than a man could have. Its that whoke giving birth thing ;-)

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  5. Wonderful post Michelle. Yes we are strong and the tragedies we struggle through wondering how we'll ever manage somehow make us stronger.
    Thanks for the reminder Michelle.

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  6. You are so welcome, dear Winifred. In my heart,always.

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.