Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Life is happening now, right this minute. Don't miss it.

Life is wasted on the young, I often hear and I believe it. 
As a teen growing  up in south Georgia feeling unfulfilled in so many ways, I longed to be grown up, to be free and on my own. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do when I was an adult, but I dreamed of being a writer like many other young people and  seeing my name on a book on a shelf in the library. I imagined what it would be like to have readers lose themselves in my books as I did in the wonderful books I pulled from the shelves of the Book Mobile that came to our house every two weeks in summer.  I gave little thought to what was happening in my world every day. I seldom thought of what I had, instead of what  I wanted. I journaled and wrote my stories that no one ever saw. That part was not a waste.

Years later, on a vacation in the West Virginia mountains, we stayed in a cabin with horse pastures surrounding us. I was inspired to write this poem.
 You can purchase a framed print of this poem on   

While I Waited, Life Happened
By Glenda Council Beall

In the waning days of fall vacation, leaves fly
like goldfinches, poplars’ jeweled showers
rain upon the mountains of West Virginia.

Temperatures plummet to freezing after dark,
but mornings crisp as caramel apples draw us
outside where cows seek sustenance burrowing beneath
tall weeds bronzed by season’s cold.

Three horses clip remaining blades from pasture overgrazed
in the drought. Smoke plumes from burning brush cut to make
the raw road, drifts across the pond’s mosaic surface.

I find myself nostalgic for my own country roots;
Soft sounds of mourning doves and lost calves calling
for their mothers; riding horseback in the woods, quail
flush and scare my pony; crows caw from stands of willows.

Boundless days stretched before me; days of wasted youth;
Hours of restless yearning, wanting always what I did not have,
waiting to learn what I would become, waiting to live,
oblivious to the riches I already possessed.

Given a second chance, I’d hold that gift of time cupped
tightly in my hands. I’d breathe, taste and savor every second
I have squandered — not fritter it away, but hoard each precious
minute, clutched firmly against my breast.

From Now Might As Well Be Then (Finishing Line Press. 2009)


Abbie Taylor said...

Glenda, what a sweet poem. Thank you for sharing.

Glenda Council Beall said...

Hi Abbie,
Thanks for your comment. Just a reflexion on my youth.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

This is a beautiful poem, Glenda. Thanks for sharing memories of your childhood. I enjoyed this posting.

Glenda Beall said...

Thank you, Brenda, for leaving your comment. Hope to see you soon at Coffee with the Poets.