Wow, May 28th. Almost feels like a lifetime ago. I'm impressed at just how fast time flies past me and how thin a grasp I have on the time that does slow down. What is also impressive is my inability to commit to even the most trivial things. It's not that they are not important. I like this blog. I've had things that I've wanted to express but frankly, just not enough to commit to them. Not enough to parade them in front of my small readership. Perhaps some of those thoughts were too personal. Yes, there are some things that I keep just for me.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had received this great gift from a dear friend. A Starbucks mug that you write your very own statement on it with this porcelain pen then you bake it for a few minutes and voilà a custom made mug. Now if you know anything about me, you know how much I adore my coffee and the mug is just as important for the experience as the brew itself. That mug was given to me two Christmas's ago. I have yet to write anything on that mug! I drink from that mug every day. I literally use that mug for hours each and every day. It truly is my favourite. It is the perfect weight. Holds the ideal volume that I can comfortably consume before it gets cold. The handle fits my hand like a glove. Yet it's blank. Each day I ask myself what I should write on it. At this point I joke that it should say "I can't commit".
Days and months pass and I don't write the millions of things that I ruminate on, here in this blog. My Facebook statuses have largely dried up. I never really cared one wit for Twitter. My brain is busting with all that I have to say and yet...it's like I'm a font miser. I just can't make myself commit to a written word.
Doesn't bode well for the women who once had the ambition to write a novel. Likely the same reason why this trained artist can't commit to paint. Blank Page. Gaping up at me. Taunting me. Pinching me and proclaiming that no one would be interested in that thought. That thought is too provincial. That thought is too pregnant.
I've been meaning to drop a line to the cosmic void for some time now but with life dragging me off in every direction, very little energy gets spent in creative pursuits. Then today, after an entire day of having but a few moments to myself and after another squabble with my youngest boy I realized something. My life with L is like a cute movie plot.
How so you ask? Well what's the basic premise to most romantic comedies? Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl back. It turns out that this exactly what happens on a daily basis between me and L. We start the day all dreamy and cuddly. I go into his room and open the drapes and then go tickle his toes and nibble on a cheek. Then as the day wears on and we brush against each other too often, patience wears on either side and...Bam! Hot tempers. "I hate you" and a "I don't love you", stomp, stomp, stomp.
After a while of cooling off and collecting our senses he usually comes sneaking back up on me with apologies or a nice request and lots of compliments. Wooing me back into being completely smitten with him. He's lucky his 5 year-old charm works on my no-nonsense mommy heart. In a few minutes, I'm as much in love with him as I ever was and the day ends on an incandescent note. Cuddles, stories and sleepy compliments. I go to bed missing him.
It often happens that when I have a lot on my mind I don't write any of it down. That's why the blog as been so quiet. Just too much going on! Where has my head been? Well, pull up a chair and I'll tell you!
There were a bunch of changes that happened in the last few months. I've been doing a lot of house cleaning. Personal habits, unwelcome people, unwelcome thoughts. Change can be a good thing. Embracing it rather than fighting against it, is like tucking and rolling. If you're headed for a fall you might as well fall right and not get injured. That's exactly what I am doing. Pulling away from the things that have been eroding my happiness and productivity and rededicating myself to bigger, brighter things. Things that make me happy. Things that keep me busy and in service to my family, friends and community.
Today, as I was sitting at my desk waiting for inspiration. My desk really being my kitchen table with my laptop, coffee cup and planner. From my seat I can see out the big patio door into the yard. The yard looks pretty horrible. I neglected to put my garden away for the winter and I can see some patches of weeds that were dispatched last year in the frost but were never tended too. There are pool toys scattered about. I also see that I'll need to get another yard of sand to level the ground before I can put the pool up this season. Lately, whenever I look out this window all I see is the huge amount of work it's going to take to spruce up the yard. The deck that needs to be refinished. The ever so long list of regret for my procrastination. Today, I looked beyond it and saw something else.
Perched on the privacy wall, on the edge of part of my herb garden, a Robin. He was beautiful. He was grooming himself and singing. Taking a sip of water from an overflowing flower pot that wasn't put away a long with the rest of my straggly looking containers. I watched him for the better part of an hour. When I realized how much time had passed while I sat in wonder of this bird I realized that it didn't matter. I felt peaceful. As if it were no less important that I sit and watch the life that teams outside my window than the tasks I laid out in front of me. What I did in that moment was the nicest thing I did for myself all day.
For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. - Martin Luther
I have only a few more days in my Lenten Journey for this year. What I have discovered so far is that nothing I gave up, that has been in practice for years, was easy-peasy to do so. I had found myself stymied a few times by links that I could not click. Then it was things I could not google. The pings of my Blackberry and the conversation notifications I couldn't entertain. I know that along the way I lapsed but instead of calling it a day, I started over. I considered it a process. One that taught me a few things. I might reveal those a little later but not just yet.
It's no secret that I'm pretty anti-technology. I still remember, all too well, the "2003 Blackout" Suddenly, my world, the center of the Canadian universe (Toronto) was stopped cold in its normally hectic tracks. The power went out and so did all the technology. A person couldn't even cross the street without scrambling to get out of the way of errant traffic. Wow! Talk about an eye opener. Sure it only lasted for a few days but having to reinvent an urban life without aid of any modern convenience was enough for me to vow to never get caught unprepared.
Earth Hour happened tonight. I'm still a little skeptical about its purpose but my children are at that fantastic age where they believe changes can really be made. It's infectious and couldn't resist coming up with a fun way to celebrate it. A huge bowl of popcorn and board games by candle light. Though I've been struck down with another school house cootie and couldn't sit at the table to play with the guys. I enjoyed them and an article on the Obama's Health Care reforms, the erosion of religious freedoms and the undermining of the constitution of the United States. The article had a lot of legal-ease and required me to re-read some paragraphs. Squinting in the dim light and watching the silhouettes of my boys. A pause in the play brought on a round of shadow puppets. Giggles and silly jokes. I loved it!
In the last few minutes before technically we were allowed to turn the lights and gizmos back on we snuggled on the couch and chatted. Talked about what we liked best about the last hour. What we thought it meant. What we'd like to do next time. We liked our time in the dark so much that the rest of the bedtime routine was done by candle light. A definite success.
Now the rest of my night is spent in a quiet peace. Matching the kids socks and sipping tea. Sometimes the best things in life are just right under a person's nose. Sometimes you have to give up the things that tie you down so that you can soar.
She's no longer an earthbound angel. Today she flew away. Blessed were the winds that touched her wings. Gentle were the heavenly trade winds that carried her up. Fly, fly away. I heard the birds were envious of her span. Sweet angel who touched the hearts of everyone who knew of her.
It's Sunday. I love Sundays. Nuzzling my face deep into the luscious smell of my son's still baby-scented hair during church. Sure I was supposed to be listening but sometimes God has his own way of speaking to a mother's heart. My youngest son is squirmy and silly. Keeping him reined in during mass means he sits for the most part, in my lap, wrapped tightly in my arms while I get to hug on him. I am not sure if he thinks of this as "me" time or if he thinks of it as punishment but I think of it often as a little slice of heaven.
Our traditional late day breakfast of pancakes and coffee served up to the most ferocious of appetites. Each Sunday I mutter at myself in wonder that I haven't put most of it together the day before. Why am I always starting from scratch when I know we're starving and impatient? My usual denial of the best laid plans. Artful procrastination.
Sometimes K, takes the kids off for an afternoon activity or for a visit with their Nana giving me an opportunity for some peace and quiet. I usually spend that time planning or implementing meal preparations or baking treats for the kids lunches for the week ahead. Today is no different.
I'm getting an extra special treat today. The windows are all open and I'm enjoying picking at the oatmeal cookie dough while also enjoying a nice cold beer. My birds are carrying on a cheerful dialogue. Robbins are bobbing about in the back yard. This morning I spotted some herbs poking their sleepy tendrils up through the spring-time debris. The wafts of BBQ on the breeze and dogs giving each other the what-for from behind their perspective fences. The world is waking up all around me and it's a fabulous thing to witness.
I am so grateful for my time alone to cherish it outside of my normal chaotic rush. I get the chance to take a deep breath and linger. I get to imagine the smiles on my boys faces as they race up the drive to greet me with news of their happenings. I look forward to kissing my husband a welcome back and folding my family back into their home, under my wing.
But for the next hour, I'll just enjoy watching the sunlight stream across the room and fall into a big puddle of warmth on the hallway floor with that old wiener dog sprawled top side down, in the middle. He's dreaming lazy dog dreams of greatness. On a day like today, anything is possible.
This time of year always makes me so much more aware of what is around me and coming from within me. The weight of my relationships. The weight of my service to my family and the world. There is a line from my favourite movie that says "I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn't know this either, but love don't make things nice- it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren't here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and 'die'. The storybooks are bullshit!"
That quote doesn't mean that I am disenchanted with my life. Just the opposite. It is because I am so grateful that I am drawn to examine that life. This time of year calls me to ask myself, how can I live this life better? What more I can contribute? How best can I serve someone other than myself? How to better understand my world and my role in it and ultimately, who I am because of it. Love is messy. How can I embrace that? What can I do with these jagged pieces of the world, to put them in order? How do I fit into that puzzle without becoming pierced by the sharp edges? How do I stay passionate and connected? How do I stay invested?
What would you do for love? How has it touched your heart?