Monday, August 29, 2011

Know Your Slippers

 On Sunday afternoon I took in "Hildegard Without Walls " event in Lincoln. A number of local houses of worship were open and their members turned docents shared their spiritual, architectual, and historic stories. Stained glass and Torahs, organs and wheelchairs. And what, by the way does it say about Lincoln that two local women put together this project (year long series) as simply their labor of love and that Lincolnites flock to it?

Sunday evening brought a shower to kick off wedding season for my dear friends daughter. The beauty and hope of young love.

On Saturday afternoon Paul put on his handyman hat and scraped and painted our window sashes along with mowing and a "few" other honey do's.

Caleb tackeled the bright red basement bath and more notably the wallpaper boarder.  Now I have my beautiful, or at least basic beige, bathroom that I have been longing for.

Emily and I took in the farmers market with all things good. Local produce ( corn, greens, honey and an heirloom tomato or two), strains of Mozart or Don McClain on every corner,  coffee from the Mill, old friends to greet ( and make promises to get together soon) . We cut that short to scoot off to a listing appointment.... .not ready to sell yet but a delightful aquaintance made.

 We girls threw together a lunch feast from the bounty of the market and our garden. We filled the grill with pizzas  loaded with all sorts of yummy freshed picked things, corn on the cob and sat down to savor.

During all this painting, scaping and mowing I had another agenda. My book, on the deck, dabbled sunlight, gentle breeze, 83 degrees..Yessss
Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese charachter Gosh tells a tale of a merchant who trys to no avail to dispose of his cursed slippers.
 "In order to start to get rid of your slippers, you have to admit they are yours"..

 Emily napped, Paul scraped, Caleb painted, Christian at his desk in D.C., Anna and JohnMarshall doing their Saturday in Dallas, Kate making last minute preperations before todays start of school, and I read.

My family, my own muddled self, my friends, my town, my aquaintances old and new, all quite imperfect ( to say the least...but that's for another day). But we work, we love, we share, we seek, we create, we savor and we share the joys and the pains. These are my slippers. I know them well. And they fit me quite well.

"The key to your happiness is to own your own slippers, own who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have, and own the ones you don't."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The river of joy

The kiddos are going back to school today. Facebook is full of pictures of backback laden kids with smiling faces and posts from tearful mothers. The first day of kindergarten, junior high, senior year or freshman in college.

At Target last night searching for some hanging folders ( none found) I found instead the "back to school aisle". Ah, the pencils ( and their cases), looseleaf notebook paper( limited quanitity please), the binders,  the dividers and the pocket folders. I want to buy my supply. Instead I listen. The harried mommies saying things like "you only get..", or "I'm not buying", or "You don't need"...Moments missed.

But it's not really about need. Or at least that kind of need. At the gym yesterday I overheard another mommy confess that she was just not up to the chaos (mutliple children)  so she went "school supply shopping" on her own. Isn't that an oxymoron?  A loss of sorts for all. A moment missed.

But then there are the gentle ones. An immigrant ( or so it appeared due to her broken English and her kids mastery of it) mommy listening to her school bound youngsters in all their enthusiam, mirroring back their joy, rolling with the idea for a moment,then gently steering them back toward needs more than want. These children were happy. Their mother was too. A gentle joy. Somehow she seemed to know that secret. That this was it. Right here, right now. These are the moments that make the life.

"How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of humans is to resist it"  E. Lesser. We gray haired mommies who now start our days with a cup of coffee, alone, know something. We remember these moments with a tear ( or two ) And we know there are many more to come. To quote someone, not sure who " to say good-bye it to die a little".  And, " to become a mother is to wear your heart on the outside of your body for the rest of your life".  It all boils down to pain. The pain of letting go. The pain of love.

That, of course it not the end of the story. "Weeping may last the night, but joy comes in the morning" Psalms 30. For me this is why:

"When you do something from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy" Rumi

My grand adventure, my river of joy, is the raising of my kiddos. I have savored every step of the way. I know that the letting go is my gift to them. I know that school shopping chaos, or college drop offs, or kindergarten send offs are all part, all little streams, that flow into my river of joy. Bring on the tears....they fill my river.