The Ghost of Christmas Past.

The ghost of Christmas past

Came knocking at my door,

He took me to the time

When my little girls were four.

 

We knelt before the Christmas tree

Presents crudely wrapped but there,

A plate by the fireside

With Santa’s festive fayre.

 

We walked into their bedroom

As quietly as you can,

My two small girls were sleeping there

In Ramsey, Isle of Man.

 

In the muted light they seemed peaceful

Asleep and safe and warm

In a home filled with love and family

To keep them safe from harm.

 

The stockings on the bedposts

Were filled with treats and toys

Hung there by their Daddy

To bring them hope and joy.

 

Christmas was extra special

In that one particular year

As Daddy had come home safely

From military conflict fuelled by fear.

 

I thanked the kindly ghost

For reminding me that night

That despite the hours of darkness

Christmas is about recognising the light.

 

May your Christmas time be peaceful

Filled with memories that shine,

To keep your heart warm through the cold

And lonely times.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson.

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Autumn Leaves.

It was the autumn of our lives

Russet hues and ochre through the views that held our gaze as we forged ahead unfazed by the onset of middle age.

We had a sense of calm and oakened wisdom that only comes with the passage of time.

A patience and forbearance borne of familial love and desperation for our children to rise and thrive on the highest tides and not to sink and flounder in the murky depths of the recession’s doom and gloom.

It was the autumn of our lives and we could survive with less.

It was the autumn of our lives and we could smile at more.

No longer was it critical for the opening of the door to our desires and dreams

We became content to be thankful for the pleasures we had already received,

We were able to give with genuine compassion and cherish the gifts however small of each new day.

A sunrise, the crunch of leaves underfoot, a hand held for a moment too long,

The smell of freshly baked bread, a fragrant rose as the raindrops spilled from heaven above.

©Alison Jean Hankinson

 

Sounds of silence

Footfalls through the frost

Whispers on the wind,

Stillness in the stars,

Grubby chubby little hands

Seeking out shells on the shoreline.

Moments of magic in motherhood.

Memories fall like raindrops from the skies

Teardrops in my eyes

as I cherish every second of your lives.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

Love you always wherever you may be-Mumma.

 

I think I have been silent for quite a while and now it is time to break the silence. I realise that so much of what I am and what I have done with my life and what I have become is linked to becoming a mother.

For me there was never any doubt that it was a fundamental part of what I held as important-not excelling in a sport or becoming a great leader or even the top of my career but giving and nurturing as best I could new members of the human race. I didn’t always do the job well, but I mostly did my best with the time and resources that I had at my disposal at the time.

I was always clear in my own mind that each would become their own person and make their own way in life and that in some respects all that I was doing was giving them some tools for their life basket and a safe place to grow. So it was a sprinkling of knowledge, a touch of high spiritedness, add in resilience backbone and compassion for others. I always wanted them to fly the nest and soar in the winds in their own little worlds build their own castles in the air and thrive and survive and have soul.

They have moved into their own lives now, almost effortlessly without a backwards glance and yet I know that they will always be connected. I don’t think the umbilical cord is ever truly broken and just as I will always carry my own mother in my heart even though she is long since gone I think they too will always carry a part of me in their hearts and so the story goes, the ebb and flow, mother to child.

Summer sunshine

I have had a break from writing. This is largely because I was exhausted and needed to use as much energy as possible focusing on recentring and bringing some sense and order into what had inadvertently become a very complex and draining period of my life.

From this I have learned that shutting down has some favourable benefits so long as you continue to give yourself time to reenergise and re-focus.

There is only so much that one brain and one body can handle without exhibiting signs of stress and wear. Things were going wrong at every turn. It seemed like there was no end in sight nor even a small glimmer of hope on the horizon. I had to cut back to the bare minium, doing the things that needed to be done and prioritising aspects of my life that would enhance my ability to survive and bring solutions to our immediate problems and needs.

After two months of gruelling toil we seem to have at least some solutions in hand. Yesterday I started a new job and hopefully this will provide the stability and purpose that has been needed to fulfil the desire to belong and be of value.

Returning after such an extended period of time away brought with it a huge reverse cultural shock and I discovered the qualities that were of value in NZ were not of the same value here and that times had changed and that my place in society was no longer that of respected citizen of value and worth and that to all intents and purposes I was replaceable, aged and worthless. My survival therefore depended on my ability to adapt and accept the changes and get on with it to the best of my ability- regardless of any hopes, dreams and aspirations that I had thought realistic before we returned home.

There were days that my awareness that this might be as good as it gets was the best I could muster. Days where potential tragedy loomed large around the every corner and the fine line between survival and anihilation was rendered invisible.

The sun shone, life moved on. I lived and breathed and took time to value the world before my eyes, trusting that one day there would be small opportunities for change that would help open new doors and windows to let the sun stream in and liberate the gloom.

Hopefully this is the first page in a new chapter that will bring peace, friendship, connection, love, purposefulness and place.

©Alison Jean Hankinson

 

Just one moment…

It is Mental Health Awareness week Mon 14th onwards in the UK and I wanted to take a moment to focus on the moment.

 

each moment is distinct

it may or may not relate to the preceding moment

it may or may not be followed by a moment of equal or even greater magnitude

it is what it is- a moment.

 

It will pass

It will be superseded

It will be vanquished, resurrected, redefined, it will shine redolent as the star in its own story

And then be gone….to make way for the next moment.

Always remember this.

It is a moment.

It will pass.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

 

 

 

Shades of Betty.

It was damask and silk with woven flowers,

Azure, ruby and evergreen on a backdrop of black velveteen.

Her favourite scarf.

 

She wore it like a shawl

skittered, off-centre a-kilter

slightly syncopated in the spirit of her slightly singular eccentricity.

 

Shades of sublime serendipity

Shades of anguish unfurling

Shades of Betty.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson.

The image is my own. ©Alison Jean Hankinson

 

My own song

After a long week of woe and heartache

It seemed like the world was awash with grief and misery untamed

Souls perished along the stagnant shores of servitude.

 

Peeling back the political truths and untruths

Until all that was left was my own song.

I walked barefoot, thoughts naked and became the essence of what I always was.

 

At this point in my life whilst I seek connection and meaning and desire above all else to be of value,

It is what I give that matters,

What I bring to the table, my paltry offering, and I know this so well it has become my security blanket, my safety net, my default position in life.

Do what you will, take what you want, I shall continue to sing my own song with steadfast soul and serene simplicity.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson.

In the light of mental health awareness week, I thought this was the right one, I have had a long and complex fortnight, but hope I am still standing tall.

d’Verse open link night offering.

 

 

Windchime

I hear your voice in the morning as you call me

Beckons me to follow you home.

Where your voice lingers.

 

I gather trinkets that are reminders of you,

A windchime, a plant pot, a word unspoken

A feather, a seashell, a stray thought.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for Day23 of  napowrimo18

The first line is loosely taken from Country Roads, a song I hear in my head often that makes me think of my mum and dad. It will be 10 years this summer since mum passed but I still gather things that she would have liked, and I still don’t know if I gather them for her or for me. Love my family. XXXX

This is also for d’Verse quadrille and the challenge word/thought was gather.

Thank you Jo and Ray…..If you’re stationary, you’re not moving.

I always believed in the ripple effect, it is just that sometimes we don’t get the opportunity to acknowledge the impact that things have on us, and sometimes relatively, seemingly small things have the biggest impact. This is the story of Jo, and Ray and the meaning of life. The link to Ray’s little ride is at the bottom of the page.

In 2014 I had an operation, the risks of the surgery were classed as incalculable and I made my very skilled and wonderful surgeon promise not to let me die on the table…He kept his word but had to fight a little to keep his promise. I got better but lost a few little bits of me in the process. It was just a part of my life that was fraught with struggles and relative suffering, and during this time Jo, an old family friend from my school days had sent me several messages of encouragement and support and she sent me a link to a blog article called The meaning of Life in a blog- Ray’s Little Ride. 

I read the story and the message I took on board most was the one that I used in the title- it was the message he wanted to share-If you’re stationary, you’re not moving. The truth is that when things are difficult, and life is problematic this kind of pragmatic way of being is the most useful. Sometimes there is no way of things getting better at this particular point in time and sometimes the only thing you can do is just keep moving and know that however difficult you will adjust as best you can to the new circumstances. Ray had ALS, many of you might know it as Lou Gehrigs’s disease, he went from being perfectly fit and able in 2014 to being very dependent by 2015. He completed his amazing bike challenge of cycling across America between October and November 19th 2015 and it was an amazing feat of physical, emotional and spiritual endurance and he passed away in August 2016. I read the blog and took the message on board and continued to follow the blog, and learned so much from this amazing man in the last few months of his life.

It was this blog post and this blog story that in a sense inspired me to begin my own blogging journey, I felt that if there was anything that I could say or speak or tell that might act as a ripple for someone else then it was something that was okay to do. It also gave me an insight into new things that I could do that would give me a new me. It represented new challenges, new growth and new meaning. It represented moving forwards and not being stationary.

I just wanted to say thank you to Jo and Ray for the ripples they set in motion that day that have continued to contribute to my own journey. And Jo you are right, we have friends and family, and a roof over our heads and can still live our lives well. We have much to be grateful for. XXXXXXX

© Alison Jean Hankinson

Ray’s Little Ride- The Meaning of Life.

Man in the doorway…

Deadbeat

Bereft- bile rising on a tide of crimson tears

Soul surrendered.

 

Forget the humdrum faces of the faithful

Languish in the liminality of loss that lengthens the hours of every day since.

Bury your head. Bury your heart.

 

That which hath gone and cannot be gathered

For the past is passed, and whilst not to be forgotten cannot pulse again with life

Dust beckons.

 

Hooded, labelled, lost on the fringe

Of a world that ceased to care, no compassion.

Deadbeat.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

This isn’t my usual style and it is a poem for the man in the doorway many months ago, perhaps it is his back-story. It is for Napowrimo day 13.

This is for open link night with d’Verse.

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