Sunday, September 1, 2013

Angelic Spirits

  Angelic Spirits

I am of Native American descent.
I believe that we are one clay, all of us.
That we have a creator, many call God.

I revere nature and all its lessons.

I meditate and in the silence, I hear many things.

The animals teach me many lessons, and I listen.

The sun's warmth keeps me, and the wind caresses me.

I love all people.

I accept all for who they are.

I do not try to change anyone.

I am all love.

I believe in walking in the light.

Being a ripple of goodness to all.

The world changes, one person at a time.

I love the night sounds,
 The Stars, The Moon, and often am in it.
We miss so much in our haste.

I am a turtle and like that about me.

I get to see and hear things that others may miss.

I know how to tear up, it doesn't bother me.

A man can see far away with a telescope,
But through tears, can see God.

I have never been afraid to cry.

You never know what is behind the tears.

Good for them and me.

We bottle so much inside,
Thinking we have to act one way.

Sometimes needing to spill forth.

So that we can heal.

Let go of the past where it belongs,
so that we can walk forward into our now,
and the infinite possibilities, that exist for us.

Poetry by Yvlihv Kamama/Orange Butterfly

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Memories Of My Childhood

The country home where I grew up was comprised of 130 acres; 10 of them where the house stood, and the other 120 down the road a piece, by the river. My Daddy built this home in 1949 and my sister still lives there today. (This photo is of my Mother and oldest sister taken sometime in the mid 50's.)

 It was fun having lots of room to run , trees to climb, and the outdoors to explore and plunder. We had tree houses all over and nothing was more fun than playing in each one, while eating freshly picked berries or something fresh out of the garden. One of my favorites was to get a fresh tomato and a  bottle of salt, and just eat and eat.

I helped plant the garden that fed us, as all the children did. We had  corn, peas, butter beans, okra, tomatoes, pumpkin, squash, and  watermelon. We always had a big garden to freeze and feed us throughout the year. My daddy used to rent a mule that would pull the plow when we could afford it, but more often than not, the reins were around his own neck, after he had already worked a day. Such was our life, struggle and turmoil to get to the next day, the next week, the next month, and then if by some miracle we have survived the year, we earned the right to start all over again. 

There were weekends spent swimming at Munson and Morris Creek, named after a relative of mine. One day, my cousin Vivian and I  were swimming in the Escambia River while our family was fishing. A Moccasin swam toward us so we got out of the water and let it swim past, then we got back in. I know now that was not very bright. but we did not have a fear of anything.

From the time I awoke at 4 am to get breakfast for Daddy, to the time I went to school and back I was thinking about my straw tree houses. I built them out of the many pine needles that fell and I had a large "castle " wall with many divided rooms and treasures. A pretty pine comb, a feather or two, a rock that glowed golden in the sun, and of course my salvaged magazines.

 I hid them from Daddy because I started reading "True Detective" when I was real young and they had risque stuff on the cover. LOL. Today it would pale in comparison but this was the  late 50's. I scoured every garbage pile I could to find them. My favorite place to "shop" was down a bit on Daddy's land. It was near the pear orchard and  I would find my reading material for the day and shimmy up a tree to stuff myself silly full of pears, fresh plucked from the tree. That first bite into a home grown pear with juice running all down your chin still makes my mouth water, when I think about it.

On the way to the old place, ( Grandpa's and Grandma's old house that was gone) I skipped along the clay dirt road barefoot feeling that clay between my toes. I would stop at a little trickle stream and grab handfuls of the coolest, sweetest tasting water you could ever imagine. At times I would stop a bit and look over at the Clay mounds, that I was told were Indian Burial places. I always felt I had to be quiet and I was, as I sat on the bank near them. I don't remember anyone telling me to be quiet, but  it was something I felt I should do. My sister, brother and I picked up arrow heads from the area and clay marbles. We did not know any better and my sister still has the ones we picked up in our home. She gave me a marble when I was home and I treasure it.

When I finished doing that, I would lollygag my way back home and if no one was around start walking toward the back of the house. Daddy had cows, chickens and the smoke house and our outhouse was back there.  I walked past the barn way on back til I came to crawdad hole and the gully. The Gully always terrified me as much as it challenged my bravery, so I would roam the gullies and even go inside the small cave there. It was said it belonged to a bobcat, but they were never there when I was which was probably lucky for me. I could smell his musty coat so I think it must have been true. My young mind never entertained the thought that maybe one day the cat would be there. It could have happened but God had his hand on my life from my first breath so I never feared things like that.

On the little trail through the woods I would see poke salad along the way. Mama came home sometimes and when she did, there would be an adventure into the woods to find things to eat. Poke Salad, roots, berries were taken home to make into delicious cracker pies and meals, Some inedible plants that were used for salves were gathered and placed in her apron to take home and make into a salve to rub on our chest when we were sick. 

I watched Mama prepare the poisonous Poke Salad so that I would know when it was safe to eat. We cleaned it like we did our turnips and collards and then placed it in a large pot to boil. When the water turned green, we poured it out and started again. It usually took about 3 or 4 times before the water was clear and that is when we could eat them. Mama would drain the salad, pat it dry, make a bunch of scrambled eggs from our chickens and then when the eggs were almost done, throw in the poke salad. Talk about deliciousness!!

Our life was hard but it was genuine. It had highs and lows. It had tears and laughter. It was a dichotomy of emotions that somehow prepared me to be who I am today.

The memories gently ripple past
I pray to Father, make them last
Let them trickle the worries away
and Keep us safe for one more day

I pray all have a blessed day.. Yvlihv Kamama.. Kimmee

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Two Aunts

Good Morning dear friends,
 The Chopra Center is focusing on creating abundance in our own lives this month and I started thinking about what that means for me. It really has nothing to do with possessions or the gaining of them or wanting them in my life. It has to do with reprogramming my brain to understand that I live in abundance everyday.

When I was little, abundance meant that I had another book to read. As I grew older it meant that I had a home, clothes and food for my family. Now at this time in my life, it means that I have another day to live. Another day to learn something new about me and life. When one has faced death, it changes the way you think of life. I thought I would die 8 years ago. And even though that did not happen physically, all that I had at that time has died. My marriage, my home, the contents of that home, my health and career as a Nurse, and my relationships with my children. I have been stripped down to having nothing, yet I feel that I have everything.

 Why and how can I feel this way?
 Because I have life.

Life is an opportunity for abundance everyday. I have made a clear choice to focus on what I have in my life each day. Some may say that is denial and some may say that is reality. It is life; fluid, and every changing and I can change with it or be swallowed up by it. I have noticed in my life when I have lost something, I also gain something and it is usually something I need.

The losses are incredibly heartbreaking. As a parent we hope that our children will be here for us when we need them, but sometimes that dynamic changes. When it does we are forced at that time to examine our lives and our choices that impacted them, and ask forgiveness. They may not forgive you and that is so hard, but you will have done what you have control over. Anything beyond that is out of your control.

We are not perfect and should not hope to be. We are human. We try and we succeed. We try and we fail. Hopefully we learn the lesson we are supposed too and keep trying.

 I have spoken a lot about forgiveness before so won't dwell on that aspect of my life, but I will end with saying that if you have life, you have abundance.

Take a moment to examine how blessed you are each day. Pick one thing and say thank you.

Today I send out a thank you to the two friends that helped me eat this month and last. Eating is on the hierarchy of needs, and when the basic needs are met, we can focus on loving and giving back some of that wonderful abundance that has been sent our way.. I love you all. I wish an abundant life for you, what ever that may mean to you. (((((Friends and family)))))) Love, Kimmee

 PS. This is a picture of two of my Aunts. They lived an abundant life. You can tell by the smiles on their faces. They both passed away this year. The one on the left is Thelma Irene Peacock King. She lived to be 102 years and 10 months. She taught me all about abundance. She smiled every day even though she faced such hardships. She lost a husband, she lost children, she lived through the Great Depression of 29. Yet look at that smile on her face. The one on the right was the Aunt that I loved most. Her name is Mary Elma Peacock Morris. She died this year right after her 90th birthday. Look at that smile on her face. She lost her husband, and one of her children and was sick at the end, but her face lit up last year when I came home, and my sister and I sang for her! These two were gems in my life, and I want to go out of mine, smiling, being thankful for my abundance......

Written by: Gloria Ann Peacock Kimmel on Nov. 10, 2012 Photo courtesy of Donna, My sister

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Cypress Tree

August 12, 2008
Hi my friends,  
All I could think about yesterday, was that I wish that all of you could have been with me, and then it dawned on me that you can, if I take you there, so get ready we are going tubing. You first have to get to the river, and that is an hour and a half drive.

 My grandson, proud owner of his first car drove us there, and it would have been perfect except for the family of ducks that walked out into the road. My grandson could do nothing but hit them as there were cars on the right, a divider median on the left and a car behind him that would have hit him had he braked suddenly. It was an ominous way to start our day and all our hearts were sad.

We arrived at the place where we rented out tubes for the day; tied them onto the car, and made our way to the river. While we were walking down carrying our tubes, my youngest who has a way with dark humor said," what if today was the day I drowned in the river? " I knew that he can not swim and it is a reasonable fear for him. It is the reason we always get a boat, but last time we got a tube and he enjoyed that. Today for some reason he was fearful, and when he said it, it struck fear in my heart. I asked him to not release that kind of thought into the world as it could set us up for some negative karma that day. I was trying to reassure him and he was laughing at his humor.

As we got into the water, I fell into my tube and was ready and it was his turn. When he went to get into his tube he miscalculated, fell into the water upside down with the tube on top of him and went sputtering under water. I was away from him in the current and could not get to him, but I shouted for someone to get him, as he can not swim. Luckily my daughter got in and helped him stand in the 3 feet of water that he was in. He had panicked and would surely have drowned. He was so disoriented and frightened that he had forgotten he could stand.  We helped him up, calmed his fears, got him on his tube, and after the panic cleared and he could think again, he said, "I will never release a dark thought like that into the universe again." Valuable lesson learned, but at what cost. I am so thankful that he was safe...

We started our lazy float down the river which is nestled amongst 500+ yr old Cypress trees that are as huge as the redwoods of California. Reaching so high into the sky, with their gnarled roots that look like stalagmites in a cavern.

They have Spanish Moss hanging from them doing a lulling dance for you as it sways in the breeze. I got sleepy watching but you have to stay alert in the river lest you float into the banks of the river where you will see water moccasins sitting on roots. If you are not careful, you may put your hand on one as you push away from the bank. This is the reason I stay on a tube or a boat to float down the river. They do cross the lake at times and are so used to human noise that they do not bother you unless you were to touch them.

I remember swimming as a kid in the Escambia River near my home. We would see a snake and get out of the water; let it swim past and get back in. We did the same with the alligator that lived at Munson, but for some reason I am not near as brave now, nor near as immortal as I was then. 

We continued our float and saw many egrets and cranes, stretching their magnificent necks tall into an "S" Shape as they reached for the sky. They stared at us, as we viewed the amazing place where they lived. I saw some kids ahead of me splashing water on them as we passed and thought to myself, "was I ever that stupid, that I could not just enjoy the beauty without trying to change it in some way?" And the answer was yes. I remember shooing birds away as a kid. The cardinal, blue jays, and even the buzzards that would come to eat, but now as my minds eyes have grown, I sit mesmerized by every subtle movement they make and see the wonder of all that is around me.

We saw turtles of every size, tiny, middle, and large ones, sunning themselves on the magnificent roots, and marveled at the colors underneath them of orange, red, and yellow. Truly an artist palate for all to see and take in. The wild white orchids were breathtaking to see. So delicate, and so beautiful. They dot the banks of the river growing wild, making me sigh with pleasure each time I saw one.

My sons tube was tied to mine and after his initial shock , he settled down and enjoyed the gifts around us also. He is my youngest but an old soul. I asked him a question  once  asked of me, of what 5 things would we make law to change the world and make it a better place to live and he replied, "to never harm anothers spirit. If you do this one thing, you need no other." I could see the wisdom in that. He has also told me that I birth "old people" and I also see the truth in that , as I watch the wisdom in my daughters that is only gained through time lived and lessons learned..

I spent the day where Mammoths , Mastodon's, and The Giant sloth roamed years before, and felt transported to an earlier day, feeling like an Indian settler seeing all these things for the first time, and humbled at being given another day to view the beauty that surrounds me and to fill my heart up with it.

I am blessed and so are all of you..

Love, Kimmee

The Pictures used are from the web site. I had many but unfortunately they were lost on my last computer. I hope that you enjoy these..

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fish In The Mirror

Hi all. I wrote this about 7 years ago when my fish in the mirror moment happened. I hope that it will help you find yours.
I want to keep sharing my life with you in the hopes that in getting to know me, you will feel comfortable sharing your life with me. I hope we will walk this journey together, as that is one of the things that helps keep me moving forward. It just helps to feel that someone understands; that someone has walked a similar path. That this person does not judge my path but walks with me until I learn to walk around the holes I have been choosing for my life.

When the split first happened, I felt less than nothing. A lot of that was from being treated with disrespect so long, for being made to feel that everything I thought was either stupid or wrong. It took a very long time for me to learn to love and care for myself. I had to learn self compassion. I had plenty of compassion to go around for others. I had spent my whole life "fixing" others when the person I really needed to fix was me. I did not realize how much my broken childhood influenced my now and in order to put that to rest, I had to recognize it, face it, and heal it.

This is the beginning of how I started the journey to loving myself. You can follow along with me and together we will be able to look in the mirror and smile, instead of making remarks about how inadequate we are.

The Fish In The Mirror
So many people have asked me how I got to feel the way I do about myself. I have shared this with a few people and I am going to share it today in hopes that everyone will realize that we deserve to feel good about ourselves, as much anyone does.
When I was involved in the beginning of the divorce, I had no self esteem. I felt less than worthless in life, ugly, stupid, no future, no dreams but something changed all that one day, when I went over to visit my daughter.
She had just installed a 55 gallon fish tank in her home. I sat down in the chair to gaze at the fish and several of them were preening to and fro in front of the mirror on the back of the tank. They acted like the "hawtest" fish they had ever seen was on the other side, not realizing that it was them, that they were looking at.
In that moment I said, I want to be the "fish in the mirror". I devised a plan that I would look in the mirror everyday and say something good about myself.
It was sooooo hard because I felt so useless and so ugly but I made myself look the first day. I had to say something about my face but I could find nothing, so silent tears rolled down my face. I looked again the next day and the next. On the third day I said " well, I guess my hair is alright".
I kept looking each morning determined to find something good to say about myself, and finally on the tenth day, I saw these incredible Native American deep set beautiful brown eyes. For the first time in my life I knew that my eyes were beautiful.
By the time two weeks had passed, I knew that I was beautiful and that my ex was so cruel to make me think otherwise. When I got sick in 2004, I had to take medicine to live. I gained a lot of weight from the medicine and because of my illness was unable to work. As I was sole support, this made my ex angry. I was so lost and hurt that he would not get a job to help support us when I could not. It finally made me realize that he would never be there for me, ever. I could hold on to something that was so bad for me or I could let him go. Getting sick and understanding finally that I was alone even though I was married, was the best thing that ever happened to me and when he came to me for the 5th time and said "I need to feel the wind in my hair" I replied, "then , go do so". It has taken me years to see that I am beautiful inside and out, and if others can not, they are not allowed in my life.
What was this thing that made me change my way of thinking? It was called compassion. I had such compassion and love for everyone else. How could I now love me and be as kind to myself as I am to others? This thinking literally changed my life and it will for you too.
You are all so beautiful. Let us become the fish in the mirror together, so that no one can make us feel less than we are, ever again.
"Never make someone a priority that keeps you an option" Unknown author
"Your history is not your destiny" Alan Cohen
And my favorite from a dear friend.
"Turn your scars into stars"
I was talking to her one day about scars and she told me to turn those scars into stars. It impacted me like a thunderbolt and I set about turning my scars into stars. I have succeeded with a lot of them, and I have her to thank for the idea to start. With love, Kimmee

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Trip to Savannah

Gracie Watson welcomes visitors to the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia each day. It is sad and yet poignant that she does this still....
I have started  my memory of Savannah with this child because I was like a child as I viewed this Historical city. Savannah was inhabited by the Native American Creek Tribe called Yamacraw,
(a group of Creeks and Yamasees), whose leader was called Tomochichi, when in 1732 a Ship from Britain called " Anne" arrived  carrying 114 colonists.  They greeted the newcomers with the first "Southern Hospitality".  Among the people that came to settle the new colony was a man called General James Oglethorpe.
Because of the friendship between Tomochichi and Oglethorpe, Savannah was able to flourish unhindered by the warfare that marked the beginnings of many early American colonies. (The above information garnered from Wikipedia) Portrait of James Oglethorpe resides in the Wormlsey Plantation Home Museum. 
In 1740 George Whitefield founded the Bethesda Orphanage, which is now the oldest extant orphanage in the U S. (I wondered as I viewed this name if we were distant relatives and if they were more closely related to Joe and John Whitfield. If you find this out, please let me know.)
 There was a  letter from Benjamin Franklin that got my attention. He sent gifts to the new colony, of Rice  that he felt would grow in the almost tropical climate! The Museum at the Wormsley Plantation House is small but worth the trip. And we had the added bonus of a re-enactment while we were there. 
The Hearse Ghost Tour was fun, if hokey in parts, but still worth the price of 15 dollars. For an added bonus our hearse ran out of gas and we had to push it to the gas station. LOL. We probably could have gotten our money back but it did make the evenings entertainment memorable!
Our next stop was a midnight look at the Colonial  Park Cemetery. It was not open and we planned a trip the next day but there is something that I love about Cemeteries at night... Savannah is built upon throngs of people unidentified under the soil. That is one reason for the ghost tours and many, many stories that people tell of seeing spirits in the many establishments. In the back of the Colonial Park Cemetery  are gravestones that were placed on the wall. One of them is of Jacob R Taylor who at 18 was killed in a bar fight at "Pirates House", thought to be the oldest standing structure in Savannah. The cemetery also houses Button Gwinnett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, who was killed in a duel while Governor of Georgia.   Story after story emerges as you read the many gravestones,  6 children lost in one family, duels fought over lost honor,   Revolutionary War General Nathanael Green ( Often misspelled as Nathaniel ) whose vault is still there but he is not, and 750 other colonists that died during the Yellow Fever outbreaks of 1820-1840. 
The other Cemetery we visited was Bonaventure. This cemetery is the one that houses the poignant little girl named Gracie that started my Adventure. The sculpture of her and others in the cemetery are so real, you feel as if they are right there with you. It is creepy and interesting all at the same time. Some of the great marble statues were carved by the Italian masters of the 18th century  and one of them struck me so much, that I could not move on for a while.

I felt at any moment she was going to speak.
 The monument to Johnny Mercer, co-founder of Capital Records.

 Some of what must be my family as they are Peacocks, Gilmores, and Morris families.
There was a section honoring the many people that have died in service to our country and I took a moment to pay them homage......

There are 22 squares in Savannah and I think we visited all of them. One is where Forrest Gump sat on a park bench telling us his story while waiting to catch a bus to go see Jenny. The little diner that Jenny worked at in the movie is near by and the falling feather that we watched in the beginning and end of the movie was dropped from a church steeple nearby the Wright Square where Tom Hanks sat, in the movie. We also visited the place that you see in the movie where Jenny said to Forrest, "Run Forrest Run" and he ran down that huge driveway of trees. It was magnificent to see  a part of our movie history in front of you. (Tom Hanks is one of only three actors to win an Academy Award Back to Back in our history). 
There were so many things that I would love to share with you and tell you, but what I took away from Savannah is that it is a beginning part of our American history. From the amazing African American Troops that fought for our Independence.

To the wonderful people that  started writing about it to make it come alive for us.

To the great food at Vic's On The River, which displays in part an amazing map, hand drawn by Union Soldiers detailing Shermans March from Tennessee to Georgia, and found hidden in a wall while renovating the building...

To the flagship "PeaceMaker" that is docked in the harbor for tours...

I think I could be comfortable in this! LOL..
 Savannah oozes history and I am so thankful that I had a chance to visit and see it with my family.  I could go on for hours and hours about all the things I saw, felt, or touched. The city impacted me. I felt like I was home amongst the ruins, the people gone on before, the Natives and the Colonials.
I learned a lesson about me  a long  time ago; Home is where I am..... Love to you all, Kimmee

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Finding My Element

Hi all, I am going to be away over the weekend for my birthday. I don't have a clue where I am going as it is a surprise from my oldest daughter and daughter in law. I wanted to share where she took me the last time she surprised me! I am so excited to see what awaits me and will be back to tell you all about it on Sunday:-)
My Lesson From the Gentle Giants
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I have not shared this with all of you, as I have been basking in the afterglow, but I shared this with someone this morning, and felt that I want all to hear what I was taught two weeks ago, by an unlikely source. I went to snorkel with the Manatee, a gift from my daughter for my 56th birthday, and it turned out to be the most significant gift, that I can recall, in some time. These magnificent sea creatures, weighing 1-2,000 lbs, and ability to do great harm to one if they wanted too, were as gentle as puppies! You immediately become one of them, feeling their peace, feeling their contentment with life as it is. They bump into you and surround you in a cocoon of peace. It permeates your being, as you touch them, knowing that they could kill you if they wanted too, but have no need too.
They are at one with their world, and allow us to be a small part of how much they care for one another. They talk to each other, and you can hear it underwater. I wondered what they were saying the whole time and felt that it was one of joy, at sharing themselves with us the barbaric humans, in the hopes, that we would get it. The it being, that we must love all and show all that love. That we all have potential to hurt others within us, but have no need too, if we are one with ourselves....
They have found their element , and within that show complete and utter peace. Their element is one of weightlessness, for the great bulk they carry. In the water, it is as if they weigh nothing, and are light and free. We must find our own element during this time. A place where we feel free of the weights that would drag us down and drown us.
I found my "weight lifter" in my life. It resides in my walks and my meditation at the lake. When I see the sun burst forth through the pines and feel the slight breeze rock me, I am at complete peace!
Find your element!
It may reside in a dusty old shelf of books, that will fly you back to childhood excitement, as Ali Baba finds the cave and treasure. It may be a song that you get up and sway to and fro, feeling your lovers arms around you, as you did when we were young.
When I think of this, I always remember a friend, who was saying goodbye to her lover. He was going to Vietnam and I was a waitress in the little place they came to eat. I was privy to their goodbye. I cried with her knowing that this may be the last time they saw each other. They danced one last song together, holding each other tight. It was so poignant! Young love, lost.. He did not return and that was the good bye she will remember. She told me that she had such peace in the way they said til next time, and I believe her, because I was there.
It may be putting your feet up in a bubble bath and saying good bye to the world for a half hour.
Or it may be, to come experience these magnificent sea creatures for yourself! What ever the case may be, find your element of peace, and wallow in it, as I do:-)
Love to all, Kimmee)