Rena Flannigan was born in Scotland and many years ago moved to fill her childhood dream to live in Canada. Her biggest success was becoming the speed skating champion of Scotland and Great Britain. She became the Canadian Champion at Kempenfeldt Bay, Barrie in 1964. Always athletic, she was a good tennis player and skier. Later, she found her niche on the dance floor winning trophies for Latin and Ballroom dancing. Rena was a tailoress, a teacher of Fashion and Design, and she became the Vice-Principal of a private designing school. These were followed by a career as a Tour Guide and Manager, her all-time favourite occupation. Now she is learning how to use a computer and wants to be a writer of various genres.
SPRING, WHERE ARE YOU?
Their bell heads waving in the breeze
There is no sound of ringing
Are they sad because
The April showers are not here
To give them a drink?
Instead of April showers
Bringing the flowers
There are snowflakes
Dancing in the wind
Enough to cover the snowdrops
Holding back other colourful buds
The trees once again have branches of white
There should be green all around
Snow is for winter
It is now Spring, but it is hard to tell
A white carpet covers everything
It is all over the grass and flower beds
Are the buds on the trees also confused?
Are they hiding, waiting for the sun
To warm them and welcome them
To please the souls
Of the winter’s weary people?
Will it end soon is a question we all ask
To see a blue sky during the day
Lifts the spirits and hopes high
The night falls
So does the snow – again
This is not supposed to happen
It is April not bitter winter
Mother Nature fooled us
No snow when it should have been here
Summer in January. Some days
Shirt sleeve weather,
The climate is so confused
Upside down and back to front
Even the sun is hiding
Above the grey clouds
No warmth can we feel in the air
To lift our spirits out of the doldrums
We must think positive
Spring will come . . . it must.
WHAT IS THERE TO BE THANKFUL FOR ?
The time has come . . .
For the leaves of brown
To come tumbling down
The trees of gold are ablaze in the sun
Telling us that summer is nearly done
The colours of Autumn are always so special
Beauty surrounds us at every turn
We mortals will die and never return
But nature sleeps until there’s warmth in the sun
In the meantime the crisp air of winter will come
To nip our noses
To kill the roses
To transform the scene with a blanket of snow
All is not lost as time changes colours
In spring buds will reappear
The flowers will grow in a multitude of blossoms
And, once again, all is right with the world.
All they have to do is say first thing in the morning, I am alive, I will make the best of today. I can get up and move around which is more than millions of people in this world can do. For this, I am thankful.
Go to the bathroom for morning ablutions and be glad they have a toilet, and they do not need to go to the bushes like millions of people who will never know what a flush toilet is, or have running water from a tap so they can take a shower or make their morning coffee.
Even if they don’t have a lot of money they can go to the grocery store to buy food and eat while millions don’t know if they will ever eat again – and often don’t. To have a roof over their head and a stove to cook on, when others are still using outdoor fires with antiquated utensils to cook with, if they do manage to get food, much of what has been found in rubbish dumps. Not to have to huddle in doorways on the street for shelter, or beg for handouts from passers by. For this, they should be thankful.
Hard as life can be for many among us if they think about these things then maybe they will start to look around and realise how fortunate they are. Maybe they will see the marvellous colours of the trees in autumn, the beauty of spring and the smell of fragrant flowers as they emerge from the buds. Even if they find winter chills them to the bone, will they not look at the beautiful trees covered in snow and wonder at Natures handiwork in creating such beauty with ice crystals? There is so much to be grateful and thankful for it is hard to define it all.
Good health, good friends and family, people who care for them and encourage them to live each day and who look forward to being with them. Finding pleasure being with such friends. If a person hibernates at home, alone, it is a sure thing they will only be morose and no fun for others to be around. They might even stagnate by being so much alone. Do they not understand that having friends gives them something to look forward to and that they can be glad and thankful to have such people in their lives? So many people in this world have no one so to have good friends and family is a big bonus to be happy about.
To grow up in a warm family home, to study and find a good job with a reasonable income. Maybe eventually marry and have their own family, even to lose a spouse which is one if the hardest things to do. To reflect and be thankful for the happiness shared knowing that their departed spouse does not want them to be alone or unhappy.
Truly, there is so much to be happy about, just to be able to do anything, no matter how trivial it might be, to share it with friends is a blessing in itself. To bring a smile to a stranger, hoping it makes their day, and that they in turn will share a smile with someone else. Because they gave away a smile -just about the cheapest thing a person can give and share. It costs nothing but can do so much to lift a person’s moral and spirit to set them on a happier path for the rest of the day. Even a pat on the back or a handshake can be stimulating to someone else. Someone who maybe needs that warm touch to make them feel better just when they need it most.
So once again, I pose the question, what is there to be thankful for? If you don’t know by now then sadly, you never will! Life is such a short span to enjoy, be thankful that you had the opportunity.
Rena Flannigan Words 848 October 11, 2012
STORMS AND GALES
Outside the window the wind blows fiercely
The trees bend to the whim of the gale
On the quayside ropes are straining
Against the metal bollards
Holding the old wooden boats secure
They will not sail on this wild night
Maybe not even on the ‘morrow
Creaking and straining at the ropes that bind them
They will heave and pull but find no release
The sails are furled ‘till morning light
No one will climb the mast or stand in the Crow’s Nest
There is nothing to see far off in the dark
When the boats came to the dock what did they carry.
Cargos of gold and silver from far away lands
Bartered jewels for a foreign Queen’s crown
Did slaves row the boats – men tied deep in their bowels?
Were they captured and their life stolen away
To be sold in a foreign land from a public square?
Where people would stare as future owners poked and prodded
Checking their teeth as if they were horses
Shackled ankles, chains on their wrists
With iron collars around their necks
Chains tying them to the next man
Taken to plantations for the rest of their lives
While the drunks became the King’s Men
Men dying of thirst to drink a tankard of beer
Being mindful to watch for the King’s shilling
Deep in the bottom of the glass
Not seen until the beer was done
Too late Mate, we’ve got you now
The wiser men checked the tankards bottom
They had no intention of sailing as crew
Knowing the terrible life on board those boats
Seeing a shilling through the glass the navy grabbed them
Destiny set them to sail the Seven Seas
Even in wild winter gales, but not this night.
Rena Flannigan Words 302 December 12, 2018