Favorites adapted from kimberlycarol For Writers Life Lessons

    Coloring life soft, but still a warrior.

    July 20, 2019
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    It would be hard to describe much of my life or the things I like without soft words. As a grand-mom, homemaker,  and writer, I  color my entire life soft. 

    With steady purpose, I removed as much outside noise, chaos, stress, and life’s awful hardness from my home and life as possible. Like any great change, it takes a watchful eye to replace the clamor with a softer safe haven for our family. 

    The many sides of soft round out life’s edges and make it less exhausting, less hard. In contrast to the world’s angry complaints, I imagine my home and hear its hush. Ideally, we cultivate an air of gentleness and ease punctuated by conversation, laughter, or music.

    Home should be a place where your children and family members feel secure, loved, and cared for, a place like a good grandmother’s lap. 

    My own grandmothers’ homes were so removed from the world’s chaos that they seemed to be an alternate universe. Chores, books, paper to draw on, and gathering eggs or working in the garden occupied our hours. Bedtime was early with the windows open, a slight breeze blowing through. Their lives were not easy, but they were colored softer and quiet.

    My childhood is where soft began with whispered stories, flannel shirts, and downy kittens. With their tiny mew sounds and bouncy steps, life was simpler.

    Soft was noticing a silken web, the pleasant dewy morning and feeling the pliant grass underfoot. Barefoot. It was innocence.

    What were the favorite parts of your childhood? Was it the joy, the simplicity? Was it your family or the outdoors? Was it a dirt road, great music, or a bicycle? Maybe it was hours in your driveway with a basketball or swimming at the lake.

    Now, decades later when my own grandchildren are near, there is the same innocent exuberance, comforting hugs and a forgiving atmosphere. The lightness of their laughter bounces down the stairs, but never lands. It lingers and fades instead. We allow them to be children.

    Soft is protective. Like the warrior who brings home gifts to his or her family and will fight anyone for their safety, soft is also steely eyed and powerful.

    We pray for peace. We ask God for life and protection. He gives us his refuge.

    But, before the world has any chance to body slam our family with anymore chaos, we stand up and pray against the onslaught, demand its retreat. We are warriors. 

    With our grandchildren, we bake the dainty in the form of a miniature cupcake, and create froth with thick cream. In the mornings, we admire our feathered friends outside with binoculars whose fragile bone structure is small and precious. 

    Simple, celebrating life, we live softer. 

    In our soft world, we relish the occasional silence, and snuggle in layers of smooth cotton sheets, fluffy and warm from the dryer.

    There is a Sunday morning ease in this list of soft words. There is a lifetime of reality and resilience.

    For example, I hear a singer’s silken voice and have to describe its allure, how it mesmerizes. The honeyed softness sends me emotionally sliding right onto the floor into a soft mound.

    When I get up, I am recharged for the fight, full of beauty and appreciation for life. 

    Like the elements of air, sunlight, green, and water, Soft and all of its kin are interwoven, wafting through my home with purpose.

    I am a safety girl.

    In a world where death is splattered all over the media, it is clear we must intentionally create the break from the onslaught of death and destruction.

    In contrast to the unrest outside our walls, our days must lean rosy. We celebrate bashful or confident. We are assuring, genial, and temperate.

    Those games where children kill animated enemies for fun are not allowed here. The talking heads of the negative news media are not allowed here either. They make us weak with anger and bickering.

    Was your childhood full of the hardness of life? I hope not. Shouldn’t we stop the madness in our own homes as best we can? 

    Don’t your kids and grandkids deserve a healthy life? Don’t they deserve a place they feel safe and strong?

    Maybe your house is the house where all the kids go for safety and laughter. Maybe the home of your childhood was that place.

    As you can imagine, we don’t always speak softly with tenderness to those we love, low, dulcet, and kind, but attempts at softness draw people close and are assuring.

    When I am rested, I feel the soft, like a handmade quilt or a gossamer wing, a tranquil lake with a light breeze…

    a lazy river, subdued, and meandering.

    Soft is tranquil, lyrical, mirthful, serene, and lucent, relaxed, ethereal. It is so hushed, I can taste it. Like a meringue or a snowflake.

    Soft gives comfort, transfixes us and lulls us into its plushness and consoling wrap.

    To write soft and speak the language of  soft requires sincerity and transparency,  vulnerability. We apologize more, own our mistakes.

    Living my life in a softer way brings out the romantic in me too, makes me feel more female. I feel less scattered, calmer, a better mom and grand-mom. 

    To focus on making home a safe haven eliminates so many questions as to whether we should do A or B. Does A or B foster health, safety, life, joy, and a positive outcome? Will it make better adults of our children?

    Soft has so many synonyms and relatives that I can get lost in its fleecy pillowed bed. When I write about the outdoors, it is  hazy, misty, or velvet. When I  record our lovely day, it is bright blue and halcyon, balmy and breezy. Clement.

    We feel soft in repose, in stillness. Our voices have a lilt, we move in serenity, harmony, and are sometimes casual, 

    dreamy, floating on a zephyr…

    intimate, airy, shy,

    diaphanous…

    Clearly, my life as a writer, home curator, and a grand-mom is most defined by soft and I find comfort there, but we are a family of warriors.

    Try a softer simpler life. You might find comfort there too.

    Barefoot and coloring, 

    Kim

     

     
    for the poet or wordsmith: 

    sibilance: the s or sh sound in a word or sentence such as the “hush of a new fallen snow”

    assonance: a poetic term describing the use of the similarity of the vowel sound in a set of non rhyming words enough to be discernable such as occurs in the words leap, bean, feet 

    alliteration: the similarity of sound at the beginning of words in a sentence such as in the words sweet similar soft

    consonance: the similarity or repetition of the same consonant in the same place in a word. In these words heat, plant, and don’t, the t at the end creates consonance.

    Intriguing definitions:

    clement: inclined to be merciful

    diaphanous: characterized by extreme delicacy of form, ethereal

    dulcet: pleasant to the ear, sweet to the taste

    ethereal: seeming to belong to another world, heavenly, delicate

    halcyon: of or related to the halcyon bird bringing calm and associated with sunny weather, affluence, peace

    lily: as an adjective, resembling a lily in fairness, purity, or fragility,  such as “my lady’s lily hand” — John Keats

    lucent: glowing with light, luminous, marked by clarity

    mellifluous: having a smooth flowing sound

    sibilant: having, containing, producing the sound of the s or sh as in the word sash

    tiffany: sheer silk gauze

    translucent: not completely transparent, but clear enough for light to pass through, free from disguise

    vesper: evening prayer, evening bell

    zephyr: soft gentle or western breeze

     


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