Sharon Darlene Walling

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I'm a writer of short stories, and have won several poetry contests, and will have been published in a book on how to write a memoir.. My work in progress is a fiction-based-on-fact suspense novel. Even in fiction I prefer real stories about real people who live and breathe on the page, then make the transition to the soul. I enjoyed being the editor of the American Embassy Newsletter in Kampala, Uganda, which gave me a taste of one-on-one interviewing and reporting from the African community.

April Showers

 

A shadow of her former self…

 

Like a cat leaving a room

What dlo you do when home is far away

 

Music for leaving

 

Not sure why, but I was thinking of my mother-in-law today.  We shared so many interests.  I discovered even more after her death. Going through her things, she collected fans and vintage hankies, like I did.

We purchased our home with the idea of Jeanne living with us. The house had a lovely guest apartment at the end of the hall, full kitchen, walk-in closet, huge living/bedroom, private entrance, with a wee garden outside the door…though we gave her the entire yard. When we moved her in, we just assumed she’d be with us another five or ten years.  But little more than a year later, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her surgeon told her she had about eighteen months to live.  When I told my sister, she said, “Oh Sharon, she may last about two months.”  She was right.

Jeanne and I used to go to concerts all the time.  In fact, before she moved in with us, she would often call from California, tell my husband to take care of Daniel, she was going to fly me up so we could go to the Sacramento Music Circus…a series of Broadway musicals.  We made at least two, and then dinner, and laughing, and storytelling, and laughing, and breakfast and laughing.

One night, when she was still alert, I went into her room (hospice turned it into a hospital room) with a small cassette player.  I told her we couldn’t go to a concert so we would have a concert right here.  I climbed in bed with her and played John Michael Talbot’s, “Come to the Quiet.”  I held her like a mom holds a baby and began to realize that death at that point – was really a birth.   She looked up at me, and we didn’t have to share words.  We just knew. There was great peace.

Three days later she passed, without fanfare, quietly, like a cat leaving a room.

 

 

 

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Sharon, you are blessed with the gift of both giving and receiving generously and that is the best grace of all. Thank you for tou... Read More
Sunday, 07 April 2019 14:20
Katherine Gregor
It's such a blessing when a woman gets on with her mother-in-law. I still have a close friendship with my first husband's mother,... Read More
Sunday, 14 April 2019 16:32
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2 Comments

WHO KNEW THIS WOULD BE PROPHETIC.

If I pick up some bits and pieces of life in Africa – stones, a leaf, a seedpod – and string them on a thread of hope, perhaps I can loop it around my soul to hold it up – strengthen it.

There is beauty among the rubble, laughter amidst the sadness. Bare-bottomed children playing in their plastic basins filled with water do not know they are living in poverty. They only know the water is cool, and splashing is fun. Mums cooking something – anything - in tiny pots positioned over charcoal, still offer thanks with bowed heads and folded hands.

Faces worn hard by the whips and lashes of life appear mean, filled with anger, until the salve of smiles smooths out the scars and lights the eyes.

How do they accept the hand dealt and not curse the dealer? Gratitude – for a meal, shoes, clean water, although many must walk miles to get it. Thankful that their children will live to see another sunrise.

Life is after all a circle that holds small gifts: sunsets, births, thanksgiving, – like a cord strung with hope, ideas, leaves and stones. I must strengthen the knot, lest I lose it all and by necessity must begin again.

 

Recent Comments
Virginia M Macasaet
Beautiful. I feel the depth in your writing.... beginning again is a wonderful self-affirmation of strength and determination. ... Read More
Sunday, 11 October 2015 00:10
Rosy Cole
It's strange how prescient the mind and spirit are in gathering these shiny objects, like a magpie, for future reference. I string... Read More
Sunday, 11 October 2015 16:57
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2 Comments

SPICES IN THE STREET

SPICES IN THE STREET

 

 

I have cooked for fifty-one years.  In that time my cooking ranged from down-home, and southern comforting to international, and French cuisine, as well as American trending, and California cool.

 

Since I came back from Africa in 2013 I think I have ventured into the kitchen three times. And now, I live in a studio with a two-burner stove and a microwave…no oven.

 

A prized possession was thrown away…my spices. Some common, some hard to get. But the hurriedness of the move, and the necessity of “getting out” preceded the dumping of the spices, many of them in unique containers or grinders.

 

For a brief moment the air was laced with cinnamon, and Jamaican all spice, and nutmeg, and curry, and red pepper and a host of other scents.  

 

For a brief moment fragrances became memories.

 

My favorite chili powder often tossed by a cupped hand into a pot of chili on a winter night. Marjoram and thyme rubbed together with warm hands – and sprinkled on the Chicken Marsala for a more formal dish, perhaps prepared for a Valentine’s dinner, Jamaican allspice used to brighten the tiny green beans sautéed in butter.

 

Oohs and aahs coming from friends and family, laughter and clinking of wine glasses, and recalling of other times and other places and everyone waiting for dessert, and wanting not to leave the wonderful smells and tastes and tears and smiles and nods and acceptance and appreciation and just plain love.

 

For just a moment – spices and memories – carried by Nevada winds…gone…no direction.

 

Recent Comments
Katherine Gregor
As someone who, over the past few years, has discovered the exquisite pleasure of cooking, and of eating good food as a profoundly... Read More
Sunday, 04 October 2015 09:18
Sharon Darlene Walling
Hello Katherine. It is sad. I returned from Africa in 2013, after trying to salvage my marriage (his idea after infidelity.) I ... Read More
Sunday, 04 October 2015 16:10
Katherine Gregor
Oh, goodness – you HAVE been through the wars! I am so sorry. You sound all broken up and needing slowly to mend, heal, find your... Read More
Sunday, 04 October 2015 17:08
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4 Comments

A ROSH HASHANAH POST

This was posted on September 24 before candle lighting.

 

Todays surprise is a rose. The last rose of summer. The last rose of the Jewish calendar year. It somehow seems appropriate. It was new this morning, but shows some tears in the petals, and a bit of bruising. Yet still, there is a beauty - and the rose is pushing through - showing life and determination to bloom.

“'Tis the last rose of summer left blooming alone
All her lovely companions are faded and gone.”

...

As the desert welcomes the cool air. And Rosh Hashanah brings the new year. Forgetting and letting go of wrong doings of the last year. Making amends for sins intentional and unintentional… and trusting for a better year… a sweet year.

This is particularly significant for me. My father named me Sharon - because of the Rose of Sharon. The rose has always been my favorite flower, since I was a tiny child.

To see this small token of the Creator in the month that is the birthday of the world - this morning is miraculous. The roses stopped blooming over a month ago. But this morning. . .one lovely reminder that life goes on. That this year is over. That the new year can be better...sweeter.
"L'shana tovah tikatev v'etahetem,"

And so it begins..

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Lovely post and great to see you! The Irish poet, Thomas Moore, who wrote that song, figures in two of my historical novels. Las... Read More
Sunday, 28 September 2014 17:57
Sharon Darlene Walling
Rosy - I can't believe I have just seen this today. a year later. I haven't been writing regularly...or posting anything regularl... Read More
Saturday, 03 October 2015 17:50
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2 Comments

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