Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Posts tagged ‘survival’

Thank You, Everyone!

Ohio Report: January 26, 2022

It was 7 degrees Fahrenheit this morning at 7:20 a.m.  No wind to speak of, clear skies, and no ice on the roads, so it could be a lot worse.  No snow today, except little piles left over from January 17th.

I’m sure people from Siberia, Alaska, Canada, the northernmost states of the U.S., and other places will be laughing at me for thinking 7 degrees is unusual, but it is for this coastal California girl!  Maybe a few times at Lake Tahoe, I’ve experienced 7 degrees.

If you have cold weather, never take for granted (if you have them) a home, a furnace, electricity, warm clothes, and food to sustain you.  I once watched a documentary in which they did an experiment with three couples or families, perhaps around the 1990s or later.  The challenge was to see if they could survive a winter without all the modern conveniences.  I think they had a cabin already; not sure.  At any rate, they had to grow and preserve enough food, and collect enough firewood to survive winter.  All three families failed.  They didn’t preserve enough food nor collect enough firewood.  They had to go back to their regular life before finishing the challenge.

The goats at my son’s in-laws are doing well in their indoor winter pen. They have a milk house heater for when it’s freezing or below.  These are African pygmy goats, so they aren’t as hardy as, say, Scottish goats.  They eat grain, leaves, and hay, and seem to really enjoy having people visit and pet them, not to mention the food provided.

We are fine here because of hundreds, if not thousands, of people:  those who made our warm clothes; those who grow, deliver, and sell food; those who make and sell and maintain furnaces and refrigerators; those who build facilities for and maintain and deliver gas and electricity; those who collect our garbage once a week; those who deliver mail and packages to us; those who sustain us spiritually and/or in friendship and love, those who helped us have health and the ability to work to pay for bills – the list could go on and on.  Thank you, everyone!

The Stealth of Survival

The deer are seldom seen by day on our street.
They stay in the nearby woods
Until all (or most) neighbors
Are safely in bed.
Dim darkness will be their cloak of safety.

Like ghosts, they silently emerge
From the nearby woods,
Grazing on cold lawns and shrubs
And leaving behind
Only their telltale tracks in the snow
To surprise us in the morning.

Still Breathing

The cough that kept me up all night,
The speeding car that gave me fright,
The baby crying in the night –
But, somehow, I’m still breathing.

The wrenching pain I thought would kill me,
The choking air that tried to still me,
The people shouting words that sting me –
Yet, somehow, I’m still breathing.

The hurts I thought I couldn’t survive,
The illnesses, the loves I tried,
The wretched times that drove me wild –
Yet, somehow, I’m still breathing.

I’m thinking, now, whatever happens,
I’ll still exist, I still will matter.
My dreams and schemes, although they shatter –
My soul will still be breathing.

The Rat

***WARNING***: Morbid content.
[Note: I will be dismantling my broken compost bin.  In general, they are a good thing, but should not have holes (like mine) where creatures can get in.]

———————————–

 

 

The rat appeared
In my compost bin.

So cute and furry;
It stared at me with fearful eyes.

Sadly, I knew it must go —
Rats multiply,
And sometimes spread disease.

I set the traps —
Keenly aware of my intent to kill.

Soon the trap was sprung,
But the poor creature was still alive.

I felt like a soldier.
I didn’t want to kill it,
But humans must be protected also.

The creature was just being itself,
Trying to survive.

I won’t tell how it finally died.

———————————————-

When Adam and Eve sinned,
Death entered the world.

The Humble Gardener

I love the humble gardener,
His hair unkempt,
Holes in his shirt,
So down to earth.

[I say, “How have you been?”
He answers, “Just trying to survive.”]

I had an uncle,
His teeth stained, some missing,
From smoking too much.
At least he was real —
Are we real?

The little people,
Struggling to survive,
Just to keep alive.

Do we know them?

Embrace the Unknown

 

Embrace lengthy darkness;
Embrace the unknown.
‘Til darkness is faced,
You’ll never come home.

Accept all the sadness,
Worry and fear,
As if but a step
‘Till all becomes clear.

You’ll persevere through it;
You’ll take each road’s twists.
Plod on, ever trusting,
‘Til fog fin’ly lifts.

The clouds they are lifting;
Horizons appear.
Embrace the uncertainty;
Make friends with your fear.

Discomfort won’t kill you;
Disorder won’t crush.
Life sometimes is messy –
March on; so we must.

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