Bridge #writephoto

beneath-the-bridge

I wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers, which is why I never told my mum about the man below the bridge. She wouldn’t have tolerated him with his frayed coat and dirty fingers. His eyes had a little shine in them, even in the shadows, as if he’d left a light on inside his head.

After my chores, I’d ask mum for jam sandwiches, biscuits, and a sliced apple for a tea party with my friend under the bridge. She thought the old fellow was a fairy child, flitting in my imagination like a moth, and she liked me out from under her feet.

My doll, Miss Penny, and I would tote our basket down the hill and tiptoe across the stepping-stones. My friend waited in our castle’s cool darkness while I propped Miss Penny up against the wall and brewed pretend tea. We’d share our feast and sip from invisible cups as proper as the queen. Miss Penny always smiled, enjoying the party as much as we. Then he’d tell us stories of his travels to India and Africa, of riding elephants, and diving for pearls, and climbing mountains in the snow. One day, Miss Penny decided to stay in the castle under the bridge to keep my friend company.

Then, my mum packed us up, and we moved to America.

That was forty years ago.

My husband is golfing with colleagues, and I have a precious morning to wander through the old haunts of my tender years. I rent a car for a drive into the country. The old home is still there, smaller and empty. The roof sags and ivy consumes the sunny walls. But it isn’t the home I’ve come to visit. I tote my basket, my jam sandwich, biscuits, and apple down the hillside and tiptoe across the stones through the stream.

I know my friend isn’t there, but the eight-year-old child inside me hopes anyway. I hear his stories whisper from the castle beneath the bridge, in the brook and trees, in summer’s heated air, and I find his bones, Miss Penny still smiling in his arms.

**

Thanks once again to Sue Vincent for her wonderful Thursday photo prompt. Visit her at The Daily Echo and join the fun.

A Clueless Blogger gets a Clue

image from kelseyempfield.wordpress.com

image from kelseyempfield.wordpress.com

About 6 months ago, I was admittedly clueless about blogging and about social media in general. How clueless? Here’s that old post Confessions of a Clueless Blogger in which I fess up.

I won’t characterize myself as clueful now, though I’ve become much clueier. I’ve passed my 100th post, gathered over 300 followers, and will hit 10,000 views in the near future. I know this is probably a drop in the bucket for many bloggers, but for this writer it’s a freaking marvel!

Just to give you a peek at my past…(don’t laugh)…here are some old stats:

In 2012, my first FULL YEAR of blogging, I posted 11 times, had a total of 7 visitors, 1 like, 1 follower, and 0 comments.

Yep, a real success story! The stats for 2013 and 2014 improved, but at a pace only a slug’s mother could love.

The hilarious part is that I didn’t know this was bad. Even if I’d discovered there was a stats page, I wouldn’t have understood the significance. Ignorance is bliss, right? You don’t know what you don’t know, and I was truly clueless.

WordPress was new-fangled technology. After my daughter set it up, I was afraid to touch it. All the buttons looked dangerous. Any change threatened to blow the thing up and destroy my pitiful, pain-staking progress.

I didn’t know I was supposed to add images to posts, reply to comments, read other blogs, follow other blogs. I didn’t know social media etiquette and didn’t know anyone who did. I was a writer, a myopic hermit, Smeagol in his cave obsessing over his golden laptop. Honestly, I was that clueless.

mastercoachescom

image by mastercoaches.com

Then in late December 2014, the light bulb in my brain flicked on. The confused electrical synapses in my skull connected. It seems this is how I do life – skip happily along, whack my head on a branch, and then notice the trees. I patted my bruised head, forgave my failings and sucked in a brave breath, ready to tackle the learning curve.

Six months later, I’m still learning, still intimidated by technology, still afraid to click a few of the buttons, still writing and blogging, searching for time and balance. Still clueless now and then.

But, there’s one thing I’m not confused about…I’ve met wonderful people in this spirited journey. Talented, generous, fun people all around the world; souls full of wisdom and heart: writers, bloggers, artists, photographers, doodlers, teachers, poets, young, old, parents, travelers, wanderers, seekers, some who’ve led me to laughter, others to shared tears.

About the joy that comes from connecting with you, I’m not clueless at all. Thank you, my friends, for sharing yourselves and this blogging adventure with me. ❤

image by clipartpanda.com

image by clipartpanda.com