West Virginia Morning: Scattered Thoughts

This morning the light illuminates new places inside of me and I can feel autumn making her slow arrival. The sky is the same kind of blue I squeeze from my paint tube and when I look out the window to see the breeze stirring maple leaves, the beauty of it leaves me in tears. Lately I am reminded how small I am. I have been feeling lonely and wanting to be left alone all at the same time. I feel sorry for the men I live with when I get this way—longing to be held but pulling away when they try. I am grateful they keep trying.

The chickens are back. I don’t mind the noisy things so much except for the messes they leave behind. Miss Bonnie likes to eat anything that smells interesting (to her), so they do create a problem. There is also now a pony that resides with the goats and chickens in the meadow behind our house. I have named him Prince. I have taken to feeding Prince Teddy’s leftover apple core each day. I love the way his whiskered lips tickle the palm of my hand when he takes it gently. And the sound his teeth make when biting into it.

When I was a girl, our neighbors had horses and ponies. They would sometimes let us ride them—my sister being more interested than I. I liked to pet their long manes and whisper into their twitching ears but riding never held much appeal for me. I didn’t mind the riding; I just never got excited about it like my sister. When I was in second grade I was consumed with the Black Stallion books and so perhaps I wanted more a companion than a source of transportation. Who knows?

All week long I have been painting my dining room white. It has taken a long time, as I’ve painted over the walnut-stained woodwork too. The woodwork around the bay window nearly killed me. That’s where most of the white paint in my hair came from, possibly. It’s taken three coats of primer-in pure white to cover all that darkness. That’s what I’ve been trying to do, I think. Cover the darkness. I told a friend that I just want something clean and pure in my life right now. There is some satisfaction to be gained from the extreme change of it. But mostly I’m running from stuff—procrastinating. I’m a messy painter—I tend to get more on me than the walls at times. So I’ve been grateful for Mr. Clean’s Magic Erasers. They take the extra paint splatters off the floor easily but they don’t seem to work on the soles of my feet.

Bonnie is recovering from her spay, which she underwent Wednesday. So we are having a slow morning. I continue to read through the book of Matthew with Mr. Barclay. This morning was the story of Jesus walking on the water. Sometimes Mr. Barclay annoys me with the way he tries to explain away the miracles. He always leaves room for the reader to choose but it still makes me mad. Regardless, that story is always a kind companion. I need reminded of how Jesus reaches out for me in the storms of life.

I suppose I should get moving. These are a few things occupying my mind this morning. How is your morning going?


  1. Sharon O says

    your day and your new changes sound wonderful. I love the slow. I love the clean. Can’t even imagine painting our cherry wood but I do love the white it is a fresh look. take care.

  2. Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk says

    Thank you for this, Laura, for admitting the longing to cover the darkness, the need to find solace and joy in simple things as we walk our way through it. I’m longing to paint today too, to make a drastic change, but the mower’s calling my name and the sky here is beautiful and blue with a cool breeze, so I’m off to drive in large and tidy squares. Peace to you, friend.

  3. lindalouise says

    If you lived close by, I would come help you paint. I confess, I’m a messy painter too. We wouldn’t even have to talk. It would just be nice to work together. I understand the lonely and the need to be alone. Maybe it is just soul-rest.
    I hit “send” on the query letter today Laura. So my day has been scary and exciting and, at times, a bit confusing. Sending love.

  4. says

    Lonely and wanting to be left alone. I can relate to that. I think of you daily, miss you the same amount. I happen to think you are lovely, paint splattered hair and all.

  5. pastordt says

    I love this – and I get this. And I think maybe I’ll do a scattered thoughts post soon. It’s a relief from all the heavy-on-program stuff I’ve been reading of late. Though I love it all, I feel ill-prepared to join in. But this? This I could try. Thank you, Laura, for being you and for being real. LOVE the white dining room. Love.


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