It’s finally Saturday morning and the rain is here. There is something happening that I think has never happened in the history of this nearly 30 year old house; I am alone on a Saturday morning. It is a new sensation for me. I am in this “place” of semi solitude that I have not experienced in quite some time. I am here with just my thoughts and they are somewhat soothing. These moments are the best moments because they are not moments of display – they are moments of reflection and a look inward instead of outward. The stuff on the outside, “ego”, is what distracts and causes apprehension and stress, the stuff on the inside, “spirit”, soothes.
Anyway, I choose to write with these few minutes of solitude but before I sat down to type this, I walked around in the quietness of my house and each room became a prop for some scene that had occurred and it was wonderful and difficult all at once – those memories, those moments, this stage that was, and still is, my life. These walls are external things but they prompt the memories and make it easier for me to recall. I walked past my studio and realized this tiny room, the smallest of all, has had the most impact – it was the playroom for the boys, filled with Legos and lunch and neighborhood friends, filled with a magical childhood and it was Elizabeth’s Barney room – he came on twice a day and twice she would watch and dance and sing. It is where she colored and played Candy land and it is where I rocked her to sleep. Now it is where I go to paint – there is so much soul there for me, those memories those pieces of life that linger there – they fill me up.
But I also know that this prop, this house, may one day not be here and I address that and I hope I can draw from within exclusively. It is these moments, these moments of solitude where you develop those strengths, those ways to be alone and to internalize, those places of spirit where ego is forbidden – this is where I become strong – ego wears us down, tears us up – it brings us up and then slams us down – spirit just soothes and heals. I am posting a grainy iPhone picture of my “studio” – it is a bit of a tumbled mess but it’s colorful and alive – some of the paintings are for Elizabeth – coloring and creating never stopped for her. I struggle with posting, I don’t want to exhibit “ego” – I just wanted to give you a visual – I love stories with pictures. I figured a room in this kind of disarray can’t possibly be thought of as egotistical – embarrassing perhaps – LOL.
Anyway, just a rainy morning post to say to you that I hope you find those places where you are just you – in spirit and away from the distractions of an ego driven society. It is becoming more and more challenging but, I think, it is essential to be “there”.
I walked after the rain today and the earth seemed fresh scrubbed and clean. The birds were flapping in the water, the frogs were croaking alongside of the ditches and the sky was brilliant and animated – all of these sights and sounds were amazing but what really stirred me were the puddles – the small puddles the dips in the road made. I don’t really know why but each one reminded me of a little boy with bare feet making sure he stepped in every one, not stepped, splashed, and each time there would be a laugh, a genuine laugh that only children have, one that makes you feel so happy. Those moments of childhood are just snapshots now, little flashes of memory that something, like the rain, takes me to unexpectedly. I can see the little feet and hear the small voices – pure happiness on a summer day long ago. I know time removes the murky stuff and leaves us with just the happy memories but somehow walking in puddles after a summer rain with a little boy can only be joyous.
I wonder what I am doing now that I will remember later with tenderness. I suppose it could be these last bit of high school days with Elizabeth, days when I wait for her to come home from school and hear about her day and speak of friends that will, sadly, go away, friends and classmates that are such a big part of her life right now. Life doesn’t stop, it moves on and when we look back, it seems to have gone so quickly.
I may have written this before but it’s worth another posting. It is a story about me as a young mother with four little boys standing in line at Eckerd Drugs – the older two, Jon and Will, standing alongside of me and the twins, Matt and Drew, sitting in the buggy. It was an effort to go anywhere then with four young children but I must have needed something really badly that day. In the line behind me was an old man. I could tell he was watching us fidgeting, moving, and anxious. After a while he said to me, “I have twins too, girls. They are grown now. “ I suppose I must have been too weary to even respond to what seemed to be his small talk because then, he got my attention when he said, ” Enjoy them because the years will go so fast.” And then he smiled and said, ” It’s those days that are so long.” I will never forget that wisdom.
“This-this was what made life: a moment of quiet, the water falling in the fountain, the girl’s voice … a moment of captured beauty. He who is truly wise will never permit such moments to escape.”
It was an eerie dream – pieces of my past all tumbled together ending with me standing in the rain trying to get my daughter where she needed to be.
The symbolism here is uncanny – me, spending much of my life holding “umbrellas” over my children, stepping in puddles and trying to avoid downpours all the while trying to point them towards the light, to a place where they belong and are flooded in sunshine. I, and all of the moms I know, do this, we “stand out in the rain” and are relentless warriors when our kids are involved. We never stop, no matter how many tears are spilled, disappointments are dealt, frustrations and discouragements converge and sometimes slow us down, but never stop us, only our last breath can do that – my mother told me this when my first child was born: “From the time he takes his first breath until you take your last, he will never leave your mind”.
The moment in the dream was so intense – just a feeling more than a situation. I’m not sure what God was revealing to me – I don’t think it was anything specific but I think it was more of a flash of sustenance and support – telling me that I needed to keep the umbrella handy and that it was my purpose to protect them , to guide them, no matter how big the storm or how powerful the resistance – I knew best, I have the “umbrella” and tired as I might be or doubtful as I must feel, I open it each day because I know each day a little rain will fall somewhere. There will be a voice within me, sometimes whispering ever so faintly, but if I am still and am in spirit, I will hear it – this I am sure of. Well, that is the essence of my dream and this is the manifestation of its message. Thankfully, the sun is shining as I write this but my umbrella is there by the back door.
These summer days are rolling on and I am loving nearly every moment. It rained, hard, the other day and I had to stay inside, so I painted the entire day – taking breaks only to mess around on the computer and gaze out of the window. For me, this was a proverbial “heaven on earth” situation. I’ve said this before, it’s not the “big” things in life that bring happiness – those things can sometimes be spawned by ego and laced with vanity – it’s the little things – the things that all of us have. It’s you appreciating the rainy summer day and the sunshine that illuminated the earth when the rain stops, it’s seeing the good in people and doing good, it’s the self-satisfaction you feel when you have completed a difficult task or created a piece of art or it’s the cup of coffee and an early June morning when the house is still and it’s just you and the universe – anyway, I had that kind of day. Awesome stuff.