Twilight and Evening Song…

Twilit sky and evening cricket chorus…

Darkness is falling earlier and earlier in my corner of the globe.

My sister and I are now consistently sharing our evening walks with the songs of the crickets and the erratic flight of bats. Tonight, the evening breeze was gentle…. playing with our clothes and brushing our cheeks — it still carries the scent of summer’s-end blended with the river — even as it’s now bearing the first falling leaves, brown and crisp… Autumn is arriving soon, and already the trees are preparing to prepare for the coming winter. 

There is something healing in these evening walks — and yet, they are just natural occurrences — just two “bookend” sisters , the oldest and the youngest 13-years apart — walking a road they’ve know their entire lives. We visit a neighbor’s goats — feeding them if we have anything to share, even if that means laughing like schoolgirls as we try to reach apples on a nearby tree, or picking the giant blackberries in the bushes along the road. I am in my 40s but might as well be in my early teens on these evenings. :) The goats think we are there just to bring them treats, and object loudly if we happen to pass by with empty arms…
We point out rabbits and  instinctively duck if the bats swoop too close…The chorus of crickets waxes and wanes as we walk along, passing one group and moving on to the next — the river a constant presence just behind their tall-grass homes under the stand of old trees that border its cliffside-banks. The air is heavy with the fragrance of home…

My childhood and youth are everywhere here. After what seems like decades of chaos — my soul feels like it is standing on solid ground… I remember myself — my voice, my heart — pieces of me that only made their presence known when working in hospice, or stolen moments with written words in this little corner. Words here can bring ridicule from others, but they carry my voice in all its fullness… they are a window into who I am and where I’ve been. Perhaps they will weave for me their own healing spell to remind me of my soul-self after all this…

And perhaps these evening twilit walks are my peace-potion.


#twiliteveningsongwalks
#comingautumn
#peacewalk

Grief, Grandmas, and Love-Lessons…

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The Philosopher and his Great-Grandma…

The day before yesterday would have been my grandma’s 83rd birthday.

I’ve been missing her a lot lately. Probably partly because I knew her birthday was coming, but it’s also because of the time of year — the holidays are such a family-oriented time. I’ve actually begun this post multiple times over the past couple of days… I just don’t seem to have the words I need…

Grief is such a huge part of the human experience and it’s so unpredictable. I’ve been doing a lot of cooking lately — I’m not sure if it’s coincidental that I’ve been spending so much time in the kitchen, or if it’s related to missing my grandma (Grandma was a great cook when I was a young girl)… but being in any kitchen makes me think of her, while also making me feel a little closer to her… So many of my memories with the women in my family center around time in the kitchen, even when I was too little to help much I would sit in there and listen to them talk and laugh as meals were prepared. I’ve never had a lot of interest in food — but sitting around a table, laughing and sharing food in the warmth of the family — that I love…

Mama came over this afternoon and helped me make bone broth for the first time in my instant pot. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it’s always easier to have someone experienced around when you’re trying something new… :) And it was a good excuse to get to spend time with Mama in my kitchen. We talked and vented about life’s challenges while I learned how to work the instant pot without being so nervous around it (I have no idea why the thing makes me so anxious!), and I shared recipes from my new cookbook with her as we talked about a good way to modify one so I could use it at dinner without having to run to the store.  It was homey and just so nice to be in the kitchen together — even if my kitchen sink was already piled high with dishes and my useable counter-space was at a minimum. When does a good meal ever come without dirty dishes? Sometimes you have to make a mess to create something beautiful.

Isn’t that true about so much of life?

I’ve found that the older I get, the more I appreciate the women in my family — the heritage they’ve left me, and all I’ve learned from them. Since my grandma’s passing, as I edge ever closer to 40, I’ve learned that what matters the most to me is family… and I no longer feel like that’s somehow not okay, or not “good enough” — these lives I’ve been blessed to be surrounded with are more than enough. I love spending time with them — I love laughing together and making memories. I love the simple day in and day out of walking the journey of life together. I wish I hadn’t spent so much of my life feeling like this was somehow “wrong”… I’ve become so much more comfortable in my own skin — so much more sure of who I am — now that I have spent so much time spinning around this sun. I wish there was some way to have all this internal knowledge of myself sooner — it would have saved me a lot of pointless heartache.

Tonight, now that my kitchen is clean and the house is quiet as everyone is spending their last hours before bed relaxing before another Monday, I’m feeling especially thankful — thankful and a little bit teary-eyed. It’s so hard to miss those we love. Grief is just the continuation of loving the ones we can no longer touch… it’s that missing-ache… like homesickness, but for a loved one instead of a loved place… so it’s much harder to handle. And we never know when waves of this “missing-ache” will hit us…

I am so blessed to have so many of those I love around me… and I am trying to never take my time with them for granted — it’s just so short…

“God sets the lonely in families…” (Psalm 68:6)

I am grateful…

  1. chicken dinners with all the trimmings…
  2. leftovers hand pie pastries (gluten and dairy free of course!)
  3. cooking with Mama…
  4. Arnica…
  5. my boys visiting with grandparents today…
  6. laughing with Papa Jeff…
  7. listening to Little Boy tell the names of his Hot Wheels…
  8. The Philosopher and Brother-in-law talking video game design…
  9. The Professor playing with Little Boy…
  10. fighting with the hubby’s new computer setup…

It’s all Grace…