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I decided to participate in yesterday’s prosery for dVerse in which Lillian asks us to use one of two lines in Carl Sandburg’s Jazz Fantasia. My text has absolutely nothing to do with his fabulous poem. I chose “Moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome treetops”. I did write it last night, then decided to wait until today to post, feeling it needed more fine-tuning.  Needless to say, I played with it so much, I fear I buggered it up completely. Or maybe not.  I’m putting it out there anyway!

I hike, breathing in the clean, crisp mountain air, revelling in my sense of being, as they say, one with nature.  I wonder why I don’t allow myself to do this more often.  To just be.  To occasionally let go of all the musts, shoulds and needs that seem to take over everyday life.  Why do we do that?  Why don’t we take the time for ourselves?  I know I was not taught to put myself last.  Our family did not do this type of teaching, despite many hours of discussing pretty much everything.

I often read of people saying their parent taught them this lesson or that. I don’t. I sometimes wonder if I was simply not paying attention.  Before I know it, I moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome treetops, then howl, releasing restrictions I now know were self-imposed.


121 thoughts on “Revelation

  1. A wonderful and thoughtful reflection that plays right into the prompt sentence. I’m so glad you posted. Many of the posts simply use the sentence as a jumping off point and go somewhere entirely different than a musical etude. I really like these questions…this self-reflection….this reckoning.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, NICE use of the prompt, Dale! And … yes, even those who were not taught to put themselves last (though too many of us were taught that – verbally or otherwise, explicitly or implicitly) may have internalized the ‘indoctrination’ of society to confuse taking care of oneself with being selfish. Especially for women, who are supposed to put everyone first … (which kind’a makes one be last, eh?). In fact, it is okay to know what YOU need, and to do what YOU need. Granted, some will use self-care to exclude the care of others (not you, my dear, you’re WAY too empathetic for that!) but most include the wellbeing of others in what matters to them … and so can find the balance of self-care and being there for others. Here’s to howling and speaking and singing and moving and drumming to your own beat!
    Your NYNF

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  3. Dear Dale,

    I once told a friend that I never got my boys into sports activities because I was too selfish. (thank goodness, they really weren’t athletes.) Nor can I recall what my parents actually taught me…well my mother taught me how to shade objects in a picture…dad taught me how to be a smart ass.
    At any rate, stellar use of the prompt. You are listening, climbing and growing as a writer every day. Thanks for taking me along. 😀

    Shalom and lotsa learning hugs,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,

      Honestly, there is nothing wrong with that (unless they were athletic and you prohibited them!) And it’s funny. You see interview of people saying my father taught me to make my money grow or my mother taught me the value of the perfect gift or blah blah blah… I didn’t have any of that per se either.
      Thank you so very much. Wow. Seriously chuffed by this comment.

      Shalom and lotsa non-selfish love,


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dale, you wove your way beautifully towards the Sandburg lines which continue the flow without hesitation. Ah. Maybe you weren’t listening. Maybe you were. Maybe you heard something different. Honest and enchanting writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh Jilly… what a great comment from you. I think I wasn’t necessarily listening consciously but that some slipped in anyway 😉 Thank you, lovely lady.


  5. If we were as forgiving of ourselves as we are of others, life would be simpler. A solitary walk and time to accept that we did the best we knew at the time sooth the weary soul. Thanks for reminding us!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Luv the idea of taking responsibility within the framework of nature’s challanges

    Thanks for dropping by to read mine Dale

    Be Safe


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Q

    How beautiful this is, Ms Writer. And yes, you did have a wonderful intro to the topic, but still, you carried it in your own unique voice and you did one helluva job at that. Because I felt that feeling that overcomes you when you commune with nature. I remember it well, and when the right (write) piece of literature taps me on the shoulder and begs me to reminisce? I’m there.

    Be proud of this. Very.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey, Dale.
    Again, I find myself on a quest. I go from your blog, then to dVerse and all of that, to Sandburg’s poems, then I read your piece. I read all the comments to you,
    Then I read over your prose again. Of course, your writing is excellent and I enjoyed it.
    But you get me to thinking about being there, feeling that way, being a searcher for something inside me and also out there. About me being a human in a world I am constantly trying to understand (but not), and trying to be one with nature or at least feeling so.
    Those brief interludes when we let go, however briefly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Bill,
      I cannot tell you how I love to read the journey you take following one of my writes. This gives me such joy and a sense of gratification, for lack of a better word. I really need to stop doubting myself.
      I love that you just went on the same journey I did as I wrote this. I think it is what makes us more interesting people. That we constantly are searching and striving to understand and learning along the way… And I think it gives us a better understanding our sense of self. Ever-evolving, as it is.
      Such a great comment. You are welcome here any time, Bill!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Im glad you posted this Dale, its ace. I didn’t pay attention to my folks but somehow I seem to be turning into them like a naturalised Kafka novel, it’s natural selection. i met my Bio-Dad a few years ago, and find that when we talk we stand in the same position, makes me feel odd.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. nature is healing and as this is deeply personal I can see why you fretted about it … but you told it well! Now you have found your outlet thru hiking and photography, stunning shot, go for it .. make up for lost time.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful.

    I kind of feel the same way about whether or not my parents taught me any lessons. If they did, they were all the wrong kind — be on time, be responsible, be on time, eat your veggies, be on time. When we youngsters went off to college, my dad told us that we had two choices, we could major in something we enjoyed or we could major in something that would get us a good job.

    I’ve always struggled with why we couldn’t have both.

    But the things I wish my parents had taught me are the types of things you imply here — to breathe, to relax, to experience life.

    Did I mention though that they taught me to be on time?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mark.

      I’m thinking they did. Somewhere. Nothing wrong with teaching to be on time 😉 And that’s something to do with their generation, I think – at least yours encouraged to go to college. Mine didn’t. Neither of them went past Grade 8 so just graduating from high school was good enough. A nudge would have been good.

      And yeah, why can’t we have a job that we love and that provides?

      Honestly, my father sure knew how to live life; I’m thinking he did impart some of that.

      And? Are you always on time?


      • College was just the logical thing for us. We weren’t raised to be handy or to fix things in t make things. We read and went to school. So college was it.

        Am I on time? I’m pathologically early for everything. As I tell people repeatedly, I was raised to believe that being on time was being late. I drive people crazy with this.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I wish it had been for me. I started it, was working at the same time, ended up working full-time and liking having money so I quit college. I ended up going back to finish it at night but a degree in social sciences as they put all my credits together (I started off in business admin, changed to languages). Am contemplating taking more University courses towards at least a certificate. I’m tired of where I am right now.

          Early is better than always late.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I wish my boys had learned that lesson. Both went off to college, both failed miserably, both trying now to figure out how to make a go of it in a world that is far more challenging than when we were their age.

            I don’t believe college is for everybody, but every young adult needs a plan for taking care of themselves, being productive, and being happy. You can’t do that without a marketable talent or skill. My older son in particular simply does not have a viable path towards those goals.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, I hear you. My eldest is not a scholar by any means. He finished high school, worked for a few years and for the past two years went back to school full-time (while working full-time) to get his electrician’s – what do we call it? degree? papers? Anyway, he’s in Banff for ten days and upon his return, will start working. He’s got his shit together.

            The other one is working full time testing games – a dream job – though he has informed me that he intends to return to school. I’m floored (but it’s not done, yet)

            I’ve been working since I’m 16. Changed jobs every 3-4 years (really, exchanging four quarters for a dollar, when you think about it) thinking I’m bettering myself but really, stuck in the same fucking circle. Then five seven years ago, I got out of that one and started the catering and then the service industry just to do something else. Now? Back on the search. Trying not to call myself all sorts of names and chugging forward somehow.

            Liked by 1 person

          • My older student was a straight A student, took AP classes, played sports, did all sorts of things. And at college he preferred partying and staying up all night over going to class. It’s a long story, but he needs to be the big fish and he became a smaller fish throughout high school and then in college, where there are 25,000 students, he was barely a fish at all. And now he struggles.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I get it. I was a straight A student without making an effort. College came and I had to make one. Was way more fun to hang out in the Band Ring, listening to music and smoking cigarettes. Got kicked out, worked, went to another college for two semesters, lost interest, continued working, took night classes in Hotel Management, got fed up because of the seven courses I took, two teachers were good; the others worked in the hotel field but were not teachers. Kept working; took a few uni classes in Marketing, realised I was totally bored. And here I am.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I have several friends who went back to college late in life, getting degrees and advanced degrees in their early 50s. It’s a real difficult way to do it, but it is possible.

            Liked by 1 person

  12. This is the thing about getting out of town and walking, just walking. It becomes you and the environment, especially if that environment is challenging. Workaday concerns fade away. It is so good for the soul. The best possible form of meditation. And that’s why today I’m again heading out

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That ‘I hike’ – first person singular in fast movement – then ‘clean, crisp mountain air’ pacing along at the same speed. I can hear your footsteps falling all the way along the thought path of this self examination narrative.
    The way you use the prompt feels like those bad autumn winds from the west that carry the last heat and dust of summer fire threats here. Sure enough an inferno follows. The intense cathartic ‘howl’ shows me why we may choose not get ‘one with nature’ too often. i really like the way that answers the question that you start with about introspection.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I like where the prompt took you and the way you worked it into this piece. I think most parental lessons are very subtle – taught more by example than by edict. As one commenter wrote, we tend not to treat ourselves as well as we treat others (at times). Good to reflect on your own needs.

    Liked by 1 person

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