If Only…

As the old woman sat on her porch rocking in slow motion, she contemplated her life.

She didn’t do it often, because it brought her much sadness and at the same time, happiness, so deep, it caused her heart to ache.

Aching for the sadness, and aching to feel happiness once again.

It was a warm afternoon.  She could hear the pine trees whispering to themselves as they swayed in the gentle breeze.

Silence.  Staring up at the huge, white, fluffy clouds with their backdrop of sky blue, being reminded how lucky she truly was.

If only…

What had been done, was done.  Nothing could be changed.  How poetic.

If only…

Remembering what it was like to be a young mother, she wasn’t ready.  And though she wasn’t ready, she did the best she knew how.  Love and trust. Growing up too soon. 

Like baby birds growing up and leaving the nest, never to come back home again.

She wondered if mama birds ever missed their babies. No one will ever know, because she still sings her song deep in the forest.

If only…

Her children would remember some of the happy times, rather than the negative.  But experience comes with age.  Knowing that now doesn’t help with her younger self.

Beaches in the summer, BBQ’s with friends, game nights, zoo visits, movie night, pizza, monster rallies, bedtime stories.

If only…

A calm comes over the old woman as the warm sun hits her face.  She smiles. Shifting in her chair, she reaches for her glass of wine and takes a sip.  The sweet, tart flavor fills her mouth and she slowly swallows it. 

No one will ever know it isn’t 5 o’clock.  She’s alone.  No point hanging onto the negative. 

Regrets? Of course, but one must move past it or they will never be happy in life.  Forgiveness.  Forgiving herself.

She sighs a heavy sigh.

If only…

As the sun sets slowly over the horizon, disappearing into the trees, she realizes, she’s been traveling.

Where did she go?  Feeling the loss in her soul but the joy in her heart, she picked up her now empty wine glass.

She knew where she went.

Lifting her weary bones from her rocker, she shuffles into her cabin. Tomorrow would be another day of memories and “if only’s…”

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