Of Caterpillars and Hope…

Tiny Teddy-bear Caterpillar

Our first “teddy-bear caterpillar” sighting of the year. He was crossing our gravel road when my sister and I stopped to pet him, and he curled up into himself — protecting his softness from the harsh unknowns of the world. He was gently carried to a place of green far off the road, and we continued our evening walk.

Today, I found myself envying this tiny one’s ability to freeze and bring himself a sense of safety — in his little world everything stopped — there was time to just be still. I, too, feel like curling up for a period of rest — I find myself unable to think, unable to function well, unable to ponder this journey. I am tired…

It’s a night to yearn for peace rather than marvel at it… My eyes burn with the build up of fatigue and emotion from this past summer. A couple days ago we had to evacuate since the state park I grew up hiking to from home became the site of a wildfire… Thankfully the winds pushed it the opposite direction from my childhood home, and we had firefighters from districts all over the state as well as civilian volunteers from the area, come to conquer the flames. They won. We survived our evacuation adventure – five of us at my other sister’s place, with five cats (and two fish!) – no one really slept. It was so wonderful to return home safely — and we’re all so grateful! Not everyone was able to return to their home safe and sound…

Tonight I am weighing the balance of my losses this summer alongside all the ways Light shines in my world — all the Goodness that simply is… Life is hard… but it is good. There is Hope. Tonight I will sleep — and tomorrow I will hope again.

Veni, Vidi, Amavi.

It’s all Grace.


Breathe…

St. Mary’s after Mass and my front porch this evening

The tide was out this morning after Mass — I stood briefly on the bluff in front of St. Mary’s to close my eyes and feel its rhythm…  the breeze on my face heavy with the scent of the sea. Then it was time to get home and bring Eucharist to my boys — a bit of Thanksgiving and Peace for the week ahead.

The day has been spent in Quiet – my Shakespeare paper finished yesterday meant today was free to simply straighten our home a little and just rest…

This evening I am sitting here on the porch — the sun gentle on my shoulders and face now as it heads towards meeting with the sea — together they will paint the sky and the far horizon with the coming sunset. It was harsh at midday today — even with the breeze — but now there is a softness in its warmth as the day draws to a close.  Sitting here, the sound of the sea is a comforting roar in my chest — the tide was at its height not long ago and it still sounds like it. The breeze off the sea is stronger tonight than it was this morning – dancing with the leaves in the trees, making the shadows shimmer – every once in awhile a gust whips my hair around my face and fills my lungs with the fullness of the seaside in the summer… sun-warmed grasses and sand, the lake and creeks nearby, the heat of the roads in the area, the wet-earth and bracken of the woods… and of course — the sea.

Breathe.
Can you feel its rhythm — can you hear its echo inside as the tide of your own breath fills your lungs with life?

We all breathe the same air.  We’re all rocked to the rhythm of our heartbeats — all the same… all living and loving on land that eventually meets the sea. Love is the only appropriate response to the beauty of our shared humanity – our shared rhythm of life.

Breathe.
There’s still hope for us.

#searhythm
#hopeforus
#breathetogether
#onehumanity

Remembering Love in the Chaos…

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Consider the Lilies…

Here I am again at the end of another day.

It was a good a day — full of family — and this evening has been cozy and quiet. My hubby and I made a double batch of the Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie that we made a little while ago so that we would have leftovers for tomorrow. It took a little bit longer, but it was worth it, and dinner was a yummy success. Tomorrow both my little nephews are coming over to play for a bit, which will be fun, and I have a couple pieces to write by the end of the day — so I’ll be busy again. I’m feeling a bit behind in the housework, but such is the day in and day out of life — the little things that keep a family running have to be done, as well as the big things…

When I stopped by my sister’s while our meal was in the oven, Little One actually walked out of the play room and all the way into their living room! He’s getting so big — it won’t be much longer until he’s running all over the house. In some ways it feels like he has been a part of our little world forever, and then in other ways it’s like I blinked and he’s already only two months away from his first birthday. Time is such a strange thing… I was telling my sister the other day the story of the first time I remember being left home alone with her for a few minutes when she was a baby (I’m *cough* quite a bit older than her *cough, cough*), and it’s so strange how that doesn’t seem very long ago when I feel it inside my mind… but it’s really been almost 30 years. How is that possible?! How can something feel so recent when I allow a memory to wash over me, and yet be so far away in terms of measurable time? There is really something magic about our mind’s perception of our moments…

I’ve been spending a lot of time in my mind with those memories while missing loved ones lately. Again, the passage of time plays tricks on me. It seems like just the other day I was getting a hug from my grandma, smelling her scent from the top of her head… The holidays bring to mind so many wonderful memories (there’s a reason I’m such a holiday junkie — give me my Christmas Music and I know everything will be okay). All of my grandmothers have gone on ahead of me now… they have walked the trail I’m walking, each of us living it differently but still so much the same. These women were all vastly different from each other — I mean, their lives had nothing in common — other than us. They lived differently, they loved differently… but they loved equally in their own ways —  their own abilities. Life is not easy for anyone – not even grandmothers – and they all left me a unique understanding of how a woman can choose to live. I learned from them all…

I am a unique blend of all my ancestors — but especially all the women who passed their genes on to me. And I have also grown from the many women who have invested their love in me — even if they only shared connections of circumstance rather than genetics. My women have all been strong — in one way or another they have all conquered  many obstacles in their lives. To sit and write what I learned from them all isn’t even possible — but I have studied my lessons well, and I know my place in this world. I know the woman I am, and where I am going…

… even if little else in this world actually makes sense.

As tragedies unfold in the world around me — it seems like almost every day some new horror comes to light — I have to stop and remember to get my bearings — to remember who I am and where I’m going… otherwise I’ll be swept away in the chaos of this spinning orb. There is so little to stand on… Faith, Family, Love, Loss… these remain a firm foundation — and it is enough.  Even when it seems like I can’t handle anymore… I have hope… It is enough.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

I am grateful…

  1. sharing lentils with Little One – watching his eyes smile at me…
  2. Little Boy racing cars all afternoon on Papa’s racetrack…
  3. the family young people playing with Uncle Clay all afternoon… (I have the best brother-in-law)
  4. Brother-in-law birthday parties!
  5. kittens becoming cats…
  6. chats with my mama… so thankful for my mama…
  7. cooking with my hubby…
  8. planning Thanksgiving dinner with Mama and my sister!
  9. The Philosopher off of one of his meds!!
  10. The Professor practicing piano at his grandparent’s house…

It’s all Grace…

 

Sharing Stories…

map_princess_bride

It’s been a full day. Lately it’s been a bit complicated balancing everyone’s doctor appointments and then the rest of life as well. I finally went to an appointment for myself today, which ended up taking significantly longer than planned, but hopefully the bloodwork will give us some good information when the results get in — I made it home just in time for us all to go out for the big family evening we’ve had planned for quite awhile.

We had a meal together and then went to see The Princess Bride in the theater. Such a great experience! Not just to see one of the best movies ever on the big screen, but also to be in a theater full of people enjoying it just as much as we were! So much fun! All of us were quoting it and laughing together at all the same points… it was one of those evenings where all seems right with the world, and you feel like everything is going to be okay.

An entire room full of strangers laughing together is just a magical thing… it is a unique way to get a glimpse of the unity of our humanity. Sharing stories together in any form reveals just how much common ground we all have — the magic of Story is something we can all relate to at a very basic level — and I found myself leaving the theater with a renewed sense of hope, not just because the movie has such a happy ending, but because I had been wrapped in that atmosphere for so long.

I had planned to write a bit more this evening, but time has run short, so I need to end earlier than I normally would… but I’m thankful I found a few minutes to pop in here and share my day.

So grateful for it all…

  1. getting back in to see Laura Bartko NMNP…
  2. a phlebotomist named Charms…
  3. 4 tubes 1 stick — no problem…
  4. an unexpected interview on Friday…
  5. gluten free pizza…
  6. sunflower seeds…
  7. my mom helping set up my writing office…
  8. my baby nephew cruising along furniture…
  9. laughing with a theater full of people…
  10. The brilliance of The Princess Bride and William Goldman…

It’s all Grace…

 

 

Of EEGs and Employment…

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It’s been a long day.

Does it count as another actual day in your personal life if you haven’t really slept yet? I suppose it does, but it feels like one long day. The Philosopher had an EEG today (after another doc appointment yesterday), and I had basically convinced myself we were just going to do it to be “on the safe side” — just to make sure there wasn’t anything to worry about in that department. The baclofen keeps his involuntary muscle movements under control most of the time, so while it seemed prudent to dot all our “i’s” and cross all our “t’s” – I was sure we didn’t really have anything to worry about. Well, after the EEG — even without hearing back from the neurologist yet (which I know won’t happen for awhile – this one he currently has is awful, if I thought we were going to need one regularly I would have already fired her and moved on – she literally treated him terribly the one time we saw her – he collapsed in front of her and she just looked at him – didn’t offer to help him up, and told him that he was fine, it was all in his head – then put that in his chart! Thankfully we went to his physiatrist right after that and he upped the med dose that fixed the problem.), even without being a professional, everyone in that room knew the EEG wasn’t going “well”. The Philosopher was a trooper, and I’m so proud of him — but I wish we would have had more of a warning to expect weird stuff to happen. We were both totally blindsided, and that made it a lot harder. But it’s over now…

I’m grateful…

It’s funny how life can catch you by surprise in so many different ways. I easily landed that job teaching coding to kids, and they were really excited to get me started.  But then I realized that it wasn’t going to be a good fit right now with so many other things going on in our family life. It wasn’t realistic… Then, I thought to ask my old boss if she was in need of any SEO Content Writers, and all of a sudden I had work — on my own time that I can fit into our crazy medical schedule. (I suppose this means I really should make that cardiology appointment I was supposed to have had by now this year.)  Yesterday I contacted the coding teaching company and told them I couldn’t take the position — today, after the EEG, I’m so glad that I did. This is not the time for me to be away from home on a regular basis… life here is not going to get any less complicated any time soon.

Still, I am so grateful…

My boys have their struggles right now – physically life is really hard – but they are amazing. They are kind, generous, thoughtful — they are creative, brilliant, and artistic — this world is a better place just because they exist in it. And I’m blessed to be their mama… always and forever. It is challenging, even at 16 and 19 (the Professor will be 20 in a matter of months!) there are so many hurdles, but our hurdles are very different than the ones other families with teenagers face. Everyone has obstacles and difficulties of one kind or another – ours are unique to us – yours are unique to you — suffering and sorrow are part of the human experience. It’s okay to be bone-tired (I know I am).

You can’t get away from Struggle in some shape or form as long as you’re riding this spinning orb through space. It’s part and parcel of our time here. Yet, at the bottom of Pandora’s Box lies the sweet, pulsing glimmer of hope — set free to conquer the world through us. There is always hope… We never know what each day will bring, but the world turns, the sun rises, and our eyes open to face the morning. As long as we have hope… as long as we have faith… as long as we have love… we keep going.

We have so much to be grateful for…

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love…” (1 Cor. 13:13)

Time for a brief Gratitude count — my first on this new blog:

  1. red leaves in the parking lot…
  2. Lyft drivers…
  3. my parents…
  4. sister love…
  5. EEG techs with a sense of humor…
  6. The Philosopher’s writing
  7. a new gluten free bakery down the street…
  8. my nephews and their smiles…
  9. hot cocoa and woodstoves…
  10. Christmas music when life is hard…

It’s all Grace…