The Comfort of The Known

I sit here, listening to rain patter down –

It’s April, in Colorado, and while every cell in my body tells me I’m risking the investment of $ spent on 7 gallon fruit trees, by foolishly leaving them in protected. albeit outdoor, area… overnight – well….I’m leaving them.

I did check the weather forecast and hope they are getting ever better at such forecasts – 🙂

You are free to laugh at my simple trust in Mother Nature and her kindness, patience and tolerance with me and my ways, especially if I post pics tomorrow, of yet another spring blizzard that killed living things I signed up to take care of….

But for now, in this moment of time and space – I’m carried back to my youth –

Of visiting my grandparents in their home east of the Mississippi –

A retirement trailer, with a back bedroom, with a metal roof – and the coziness of hearing the patter, patter of raindrops, without leaving my snug and warm nest.

The security of a child who can sleep in, on this rainy, drizzly day –

The soft murmur of voices known, even when words aren’t clear or understandable as they drift from the kitchen at one end of a single-wide to the bedroom located at the other end.

For the heart knows the timber and depth of Dad & Grandpa talking over morning tea and coffee – even if the ears and mind cannot make out the details.

The lighter tones and different melodies of Mom, Grandma, sisters and aunts, join in as they catch up as best they can in the time they have together, all while breakfast is cooked and placed on the set table –

The smell of bacon or ham eventually alerts the adult me to the fact the soft patter of raindrops falling and the soft crackle of morning meal frying in a skillet blended together until the two sounds melded to create a multi-leveled symphony that still speaks of home, loved ones and safety.

For some, the peaceful day means burrowing and snuggling deep into the nest of warm quilts and soft bed – drifting back off to dreamworld,

Trusting completely in the nest guarded by so many who love and the knowledge there are so many things to love here & now.

For others, the tummy awakens and insists the soul and mind withdraw from dreamland, the body be galvanized into departing the nest to stumble forth and for all pieces to make their way to the kitchen and take part in the symphony the household is creating, in real time –

Without rehearsal – without previous plans – nothing but the practice of each instrument, daily, going about greeting the new day.

*************

Sigh – if weather forecast is correct, I’m truly, tonight, wishing heartily I could travel back in time to when I was 9 years old, go to sleep, and magically….

overnight….

awaken to tomorrow -once more in the time place of this memory.

At the very, least, I wish I wasn’t on duty tomorrow –

I’d really like to awaken, hear the gentle & slow delivery of moisture, snuggle under the covers, and drift back off into dreamland…

Sleeping in is, I believe, my only option – unless scientists and my bones are mistaken and I awaken to massive snow dumps that relieve me from needing to be elsewhere – cuz I signed up to do so – but result in shoveling, tunneling moisture from areas I haven’t yet figured out, yet, to naturally water other areas, given slope, grade, improvements, without me ever moving it, meself –

I’m pretty certain I won’t awaken to the smell of cooking bacon…unless I’ve learned to cook while sleeping.

However, Oakley, the wonderdawg, might just surprise me – 🙂

The world of Easter Miracles

Not to downgrade or try to limit the miracle of 2,000+ years ago, that Christians celebrate, and remember each Easter – but, in the last few hours of my time/space – I’ve seen so many blessings and miracles abound – in the here and now, for so many –

I’ve been accused of muddying the waters over what is deemed a miracle and what is not – sometimes, I refer to Miracles as the Magic or Synchronicity of the Universe –

No matter what I call choose to call such things, on any given day, (that sometimes rubs folks the wrong way) – it all goes back the promise I still believe in –

You’ll get exactly what you need, when you need it the most.

Or, as dryland farmers, say,

It always rains about 2 seconds before it’s too late.

After braving the publication, yet again, of a post written and published when I wasn’t at my best – in fact, some might say I was stark, raving mad – and they might have a point….

(and, apparently, I confused cyber operations, cuz some how, I got a comment referring to lines from another draft post that still sits, awaiting a tad more thinking/editing before I delete or publish – how did that happen?)

But I woke up mere hours later to the sun coming up and  realized, maybe not the best perspective to have shared, on a celebration day –

As I read comments, read your posts, see the Miracle, Magic, Synchronicity of the Universe chugging right along, even though I awoke figuring I might have thrown a monkey wrench into the whole operation-

 

Your kind comments AND the stories you shared, made such a huge difference to me –

Here, I found stories shared of folks who didn’t say, “What’s in it for me?” but rather, “What can I do to make this right?”

Stories of heartbreak and loss, that somehow, turned out to be a blessing, to someone else –

And always, the back drop of,

Perhaps we can’t truly appreciate the up-times when everything is going according to our lil plan, unless we have wrestled here and there with the pain and sorrow.

Which I and everyone else seems to know, yet sometimes are surprised over, all the same –

All in all, much as I would really prefer NOT to do a re-run of recent history – I’ve come to the conclusion

(after walking my space here on earth, and just appreciating what showed up – I didn’t even pull any bindweed in the problem areas, today )and staging stuff to put in place yet another grand, crazy, let’s-see-if-it-works experiment, after the morrow’s paid work is done –

I realized I had once again traversed over to my dark side of questioning whether, truly, humanity was worth saving? – myself included –

So often, with the best of intentions, we still manage to bang up and trigger hurt points in each other, even when we didn’t mean to –

Or, sometimes do it on purpose, in hopes of clearing the air for some new dynamic to have space to unfold in – – 🙂

**********

After some connection, joy over green things – bonding with Oakley girl and a swap of Easter week stories with those that never fail to lift my spirits – well –

The Miracle, Magic, Synchronicity of the Universe pulled me back from the despair over it all – ANNDDD!

For the first time in weeks, there was good phone connection for my mom in her neck of the woods AND she laughed as I took a chance on calling, instead of emailing, to say Happy Easter, listened and then shared what was going on in my neck of the woods –

Which is miracle #1 –

No good, clear phone service for weeks, now –

Miracle #2 –

She didn’t even scold me, when, (GASP!) on Easter Sunday, to her ladylike ears, I shared my enthusiasm over the recent permaculture class I’ve been going through and asked, in retrospect, with laughter in my voice, “Seriously mom, how smart are we, as a species?   We keep making the same f****ng mistakes – – Oops – sorry….”

Sometimes, your mama just knows that though your mouth slid, somehow, your heart ended up in the right place, afterall – at least for today – – 🙂

Two pictures of what I deem, local miracles, given our less than predictable weather/moisture patterns this past fall/winter:

Rhubarb going gang busters – the irises, not as much as this time last year
The White tulips seem to like the weather so far, and the rabbits don’t seem to like them – waiting to see if any purple ones bloom, to attract Thumper and his friends – 🙂

The Purple Draped Statue

Last week, at some point (last week is rather blurry with the long days and unexpecteds that arrived…) I awoke to a feeling of dread –

And perused the morning’s dream data bank to ask why such a thing had happened.

I dreamed of being in a white hall, with marble floor, and a statue in a foyer – but I can’t see the statue.  I’m curious, but because I’m a stranger, here, don’t feel I have the right to lift the purple cloth covering it to see what it is….

And I awake with dread, a heart gripped with fear and yet, a tiny, stubborn, determination to see it through.

***********

No kidding, it took the jarring of the computer calendar displayed date, to remind me – yesterday – where I was 10 years ago, at Easter time.  And just why the old memory had triggered such a strong response –

10 years – don’t they go by in the blink of an eye?

I spent Easter of 2007 at the St. Francis hospital keeping an eye on mom, her tests, writing down instructions from the doctor, notes, calling family.

At the home place, some 60 miles away, my brother took on sole, 24 hour care of my Dad –

But I remember the early morning (or middle of the night) journey down to find some coffee – and the statue at the end of the hallway, draped in royal purple – and, the final realization,

“It’s Easter Sunday….when did that happen?”

I had split my time between my home and my parents home for weeks – not fairly, as I was only at my home from Monday evening to Wednesday a.m.

I, Mom and my brother were doing our best – my brother making a longer commute than I, to fill in where he could  -to fulfill Dad’s wishes to be at home when the time came –

I had struggled for weeks between the desire to lay down the law with Mom to rest more and, at same time, arguing with myself I had no right to limit, in anyway, the time she chose to steal to from sleep, to spend with Dad.

We all knew we were on the final portion of the path we would walk with him –

And then Mom got sick – and transported out.

And thus, I came to be roaming the halls of St. Francis Hospital on an early Easter Sunday morning, with no clue before that Easter had arrived –

I knew, given my brother’s new business, he couldn’t possibly stay down to help, all week – business was already into ‘busy season’ – (yup, he’s a farmer…)

I questioned whether I had it within me to care properly for them both, 24/7 –

I doubted it and I was scared I would fail –

Family reinforcements from 1,300 miles away, who don’t like flying, and were called to come in earlier than they had planned, if they wished to say goodbye, and offer the support only sisters know how to give, were scrambling to change plans, but wouldn’t arrive for a week or so –

Staring at the purple shrouded statue, I felt the fear, doubt and all, race through every portion of my mind & heart, to land in my body and make it’s presence known through cold limbs and racing heart.

And somewhere, somehow, a tiny grain of determination grew – and then a feeling measure of peace –

While the foreboding of the hard path in the coming days still lingered, I realized, all I could do was what I could do – and I determined to do it –

Why was I being so silly?  It’s not like I was in land ravaged by war & conflict, without food or water or such….

Still, with my heart in my throat, I drove Mom home after she was released – I confess to being more scared silly and hoping I had the fortitude to do and be kind and live off catnaps, here and there, without getting grumpy or short.

When time is short or one is in need of healing, well, one recognizes the circle of life, but rather strives to give some quality to it, best as they can, anyhoo…

Once home, after both patients were settled in, food offered, medicine given on schedule, I stepped outside to watch as the sun descended against the western horizon – the same sun Dad had reminded me to think of for so many years.

My brother joined me outside, and, with sleep deprived eyes and sad hearts, we looked at each other –

“Are you heading back tonight or in the morning?” I asked.

“What?!?”

“I know you need to get back, I was just wondering if you were going tonight or in the morning.”

“Sis, do you seriously think I’d leave you here, alone?  I’m staying. Now, what’s the plan?”

“I’ll take night shift, since you can’t sleep well during the day, AND, Mom is relieved of any duties except spending time with Dad, no cooking, no charts, no nothing – and you’re gonna have to back me up on that – – And…”

While my mouth rattled off the options I had thought about for some long time that weekend, my heart swelled with love and also, I was ashamed of myself –

How could I have thought, ever, I had to face it alone?

And that, folks, is my Easter Miracle, I finally realized I was being reminded of, this past week.

For whether I lift my eyes to heaven or keep them earthbound, somewhere, there is always a miracle that saves me from my worst imaginings and teaches me to have just a lil more faith.

And it plays out, everlastingly, right in front of my eyes.

Happy Easter

I’m not sure just where I’m at this Easter –

I know exactly, where I was 10 Easters ago – in all it’s vivid detail – not a good place as I said my goodbyes to my dad in stages in his final walk, here –

I vowed, I would never forget the lessons learned during that journey –

I remember the Easter after my stroke – when I thought, “What if I can never once again do that which I wish to, in the way I wish to – all at once, balls to the wall?  What if?”

I remember Easters spent in church and Easters spent at home –

I remember lessons learned, re-learned and reminders –

I remember my matriarchal line’s love of Spring and the promise of Rebirth in so many forms and fashions –

I remember charges of heretic and atheist, because I feel able to celebrate Easter on my own next to nature, at Sunrise Services outdoors, or in a church community surrounded by those I rather scare – because they think I don’t take the whole thing seriously enough – and, edge upon the blasphemous, when I don’t show up anywhere but to do what needs be done, right now, to work, feed, take care and or retreat from duty for one day, to replenish my soul –

This Easter

I sit, after a week of more ‘hit me in my heart, hits’ than I could gracefully handle and walk on in civility in to0-many-to-count instances –

All while celebrating the new Life of flora, fauna and humans that have shown up in my circle of those who share the celebrations of the miracle of life that showed up, again – –

And mourning with those who saw the miracle of new life snuffed out so shortly after it appeared – and battled or continue to battle for Life, each in their own way – for themselves or a loved one –

Across this wide and varied spectrum – I shall go to bed – so ever thankful for the hard week ending – for the graciousness, patience and tolerance shown to me today, that fed my spirit and reminded me, I walk not alone  -it’s a human thingee – apparently – at least until I come up with a different story or learn better –

It’s not that I don’t know that, ultimately,

But this week, as more various items crowded onto the radar of my world – as more around me exhibited the things I KNOW we all do when dealing with grief or stress, yet, hurt, all the same and tumbled me back, in my mind, to take a defensive position – which I couldn’t quite mask by silent retreat, calm statements that became less calm as they were repeated and not heard or misinterpreted  (enough to make me seriously crawl back into hermits shell – if ya can’t keep your mouth shut and your vibes carry, no matter what you say or do – ultimately…maybe ya ought to just retreat, for the good of all…)

Well – in the end,

Spring, Easter, Mother Nature, God, whoever or however you want to label it –

The calvary arrived –

I logged in here and found words of cheering, comfort and mirth –

I shared my work-in-progress place with new to me neighbors and a young one in the group spotted and appreciated the first ladybug of the season that was held gently on a small finger, for me to ooh-and ahh over – –

“Through the eyes of a child, my faith is restored, instantly”

A customer for in progress-project emailed out of the blue…

“I’m pretty sure I can send the stuff we discussed last week tomorrow, but I DON’T expect you to Work on Easter – no worries” –

And so, when the un-expecteds of Life piled up too fast for me to adequately deal with in an enlightened manner, (my tolerance and patience has been slowly eroded over the past few weeks) and had me retreating, ever further into my beloved coping mechanism of,

“Okay, tried to do it nicely, reverting to bull in china shop mode/fighting mode cuz ya blocked me off from any other route than surrender and seriously, ya haven’t wounded me that bad, yet….” and/or

“I can’t say anything nice or fair, from your perspective, so I’m just going to disappear, without words of recrimination…”

I pulled out both of these as my self-pendulum of self-improvement swings that wildly arc between what I’d I like to be, what I used to cope for years and what I try to see if it works a tad better, in the long run…

All I know is I have a free day tomorrow to play in the dirt – to commune with the flock of robins that I’ve admired over the past weeks when time permitted – to touch the ground and say,

“Sorry – I lost sight of what is ultimately important to me while trying to navigate the world I don’t understand.”

I will once again sing in my heart, to everything is a season, even when I wonder, yet again, how it is so many things stay the same, and yet, still surprise me, all at the same time –

For me, Easter never comes easy

– but after each one, in retrospect, it was as easy as I made it given my priorities leading up to it – and sometimes, yup, I just continue to do things the hard way…

For instance, I just haven’t quite let go of the fact that one who wished to ‘save’ me from my sin of drinking wine on Sunday (um, no, I wasn’t drunk, rude, or arrested, but, it was on my breath – while standing in me own driveway and talking) I still can’t get over the ‘advice’ that if I would just pray, just 10 minutes a day, my life would be so much better –

Seriously?  Cuz I pray to God, Mother Nature, etc., about every step I take, every moment of the day –

So yes, in my stubbornness, I’ll probably drink wine in full view of neighbor, while gardening (working) on Easter Sunday – If I get up in time for Sunrise Services on me patch of land, I might even see if I can cope with drinking a lil bit instead of my usual coffee –

Just to take the bull by the horns – as it were –

See what I mean about doing things the hard way?

After 2 weeks of trying to let this petty thing go, I’m still ticked – granted, down to a low simmer, now….and no action taken…

But I also know, not yet resolved, within me, to avoid one lil more thing from that corner, and Vesuvius and Pompeii will look like a spring shower, if/when it gets triggered – yet again – before I get it resolved within myself –

So I have ‘work’ do on meself, tomorrow, too…while restoring some semblance of peace and order to my place in time/space – while not trying to interfere with Mother Nature’s Best Plan, but being respectful and caring of what I’ve ben given – sheesh – I write this and it really sounds like more than I’m equipped to take on – maybe I’ll just sleep in and walk/sit in the yard and not do a durn thing other than to watch and learn…

The thing I can’t let go of is small potatoes….

Some things, to my mind, are too important to let pass by – what if the next time, they pick on someone more vulnerable than I?  Well, if I let them get away with it, they’ll just think it’s okey-dokey –

And so, I greet and give thanks for all the beauty in my world – don my armor to fight the fights I think ought to be fought, and try to listen when the Heavens show me in spades,

“Um…yeah…not what we had in mind, try again….” –

This week, I’ve talked extensively to those who are happy they can risk getting out – they just survived a rough winter and are greeting a spring they thought they’d never live to see, even though they really wanted to –

I’ve talked to others that are milking every minute of life they can from this spring, cuz they aren’t sure whether they’ll get to see the next one –

And, though I can’t talk to them, there are those that left this spring – I have only what they told me last fall, this winter, etc. to go on –

But in my heart, I hope they have found the eternal spring sought – and trust, God and Mother Nature paved a more pain-free path for them to walk than what they left behind.

Just like I wished for my Dad, and my Mom, 10 Springs ago – neither walked an easy path – one going and one staying behind – both paths have the blessings and the pain –

I thank all who showered my Easter Eve Day with blessings that cheered and restored me, to ease the ‘hard way’ route of pain I re-visited, during my own recent path – 🙂

Music That Means Something: Day 5

I wasn’t tagged or asked, but, um, yeah, Sue Vincent, I’m jumping all over this one!   Day 5… Finale!…. 🙂

Okay, so I went through my country childhood & early adulthood – I had thought I could be more well rounded than multi-generational county music – maybe share some different genres, etc., but ya know?

If I have to pick 5, to play, this is what it looks like, as I tried to point out the macroscopic, the microscopic and everything in between – that I see – over my lifetime so far of recognizing gifts and admitting my failings – 🙂

Music is Art – It points out what’s important, what we currently love and also, what we hold onto –

I say we, when I more honestly must say, “I’ –

And so, on This final Day 5, I shall say – you could have said the 365 Day Challenge and I still wouldn’t have been able to narrow it down to a list of all the songs/music that meant something to me – I like concordant music (is concordant even a word?)

All I know is, my soul strings shrink away from discordant, minor keys, or loud, non-harmonizing sounds – Much of 90s rock passed me by, cuz I was unable to latch onto any of it – I couldn’t make out the words of the story the song was trying to tell….

That’s me own reality….and not one I’ve yet given up….)

I did 5 days worth of posts, tonight… 5 days ago for you, by time you see this –

Um…yeah…cuz it’s that important, to me own mind….to post, share, AND tell ya, “I’m still not bloggin’ everyday – “.

Is not honesty the best policy?

Point of Light by Randy Travis

Music That Means Something: Day 4

I wasn’t tagged or asked, but, um, yeah, Sue Vincent, I’m jumping all over this one!   Day 4…. 🙂

You Can’t Stop Love

I became a single mom when I was 21, in spite of the many folks who warned me of the trials ahead…

Yes, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy –

Why This Song is Important to Me

This was the song that I cried to, fell asleep to, cheered myself to, when daily reality of working 2-3 jobs, cleaning the house and spending time with the baby got me to the brink of pondering about my life choices and whether I was good enough to live up them –

I don’t regret a single moment of it – even in my less than stellar moments.  And I’ll bare-knuckle fist fight anyone who wants to diss he that made me a mother –

Cuz he was honest and said, flat out, what he was and wasn’t willing to do – he made me no promises, thus, he didn’t break any nor does he have anything to say “Sorry ’bout that, I changed my mind…” over – 🙂

He was a teacher, a mentor and a friend to me, who never betrayed me or my young heart, even though, my young heart broke when I realized what he had been trying to tell me, all along, and I was too inexperienced to hear.

When the goin’ gets rough, and my body is aching, and my heart is breaking, and I want someone who can discuss history, current events, tell me how to fix the car, or engineer properly my latest, grand, dream –

I listen to this and ask the him from so long ago & the Universe, “When are you gonna come for /us/ now/me?  I’ve waited oh, so long….”

At least in the song, it turns to happy ending in less time than real life..LOL

Music That Means Something: Day 3

I wasn’t tagged or asked, but, um, yeah, Sue Vincent, I’m jumping all over this one!   Day 3…. 🙂 (Dear Sue, I have ta do my thing, forgive me for not correctly tagging to Day 2,3, etc…. It’ll be at least a week before I once more get back here -and I’m on a roll – LOL 🙂

The Rose

Bette Midler’s version is not the first version I ever heard, or learned to love – but yes, I do so love.

Full Disclosure* This is the song I performed for Solo & Ensemble competition in 1986 – my high school choir teacher played guitar for me, cuz I wanted the acoustic background, not the full band/karoake version – and was willing to do A Capella, if need be – the simple message of the song speaks it all, to me mind/heart –

BUT, one overworked, underpaid teacher, signed up to play guitar while I sang – just one more example of how teachers in U.S. have been underpaid for a long time, for the dedication they put into their jobs…

Why is this Music Important to Me?

Besides the above storying of when another soul signed up to support me in my stubbornness – well….

I just don’t want to do injustice by explaining what ALL, it means to me – I think this is something we all share and, simultaneously, have our own version of The Story, about…:)

And so…here ya go – stay strong, hold out for spring – you walk not alone…