Today is a new moon and a new year, time to let go of the old and bring in the new. My tradition in recent years has been to look back and see what I have learned. This has been more productive than spending the day making too many resolutions, which I am finding more and more, I have very little control over. I think often of Herman Hesse’s classic novel Siddhartha. Siddhartha finally found peace at a river, where he realized we are carried through this life as the current carries water to the ocean. This past year, I feel like I have been moving a little further downstream, intermingling my voice and story with so many around me.
Ironically, it is about looking to the future not the past, that has been my greatest lesson this year. In “bearing another’s burden,” I have watched my son-in-law deal with a life changing event. We have joked that he has no other choice now, but to look forward. In that light-hearted kidding is a powerful truth. Life changes in an instant and when it does you do not have the luxury of asking, “what if” or saying “if only.” You simply deal with the new reality, look forward, not backwards (or up or down) and adjust. Dave has been an example to everyone he has come in contact with and has changed all of us—I learned that no matter how excruciating the pain or how dark the night—we can still dig deep enough to be gracious and gentle to those around us. And Heather, like a gently winding river, has taught us to “go with the flow.”
Through this and other challenges, I have felt the love and concern of friends and family and have realized that when someone sends their prayers, thoughts and love, it has been as if they are adding twigs to my nest, to hold and sustain me and my family while we are in a fragile place.
And speaking of nests… many of my friends are dealing with the “empty nest.” I am also finding that mine has more space these days, but it certainly is not empty and my motherhood days are still demanding. At times, like when I am going to my umpteenth Parent -Teacher conference or helping Andy with his laundry, I feel like Mazie, the lazy bird in Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hatches and Egg!
I’m tired and I’m bored,
And I’ve kinks in my leg,
From sitting just sitting here day after day.
It’s work how I hate it, I’d much rather play,
I’d take a vacation, fly off for a rest,
If I could find someone to stay on my nest!
But, then I remember–I am not done yet and neither are my child-rearing days and like Horton, I remind myself, I meant what I said, and I said what I meant and I will keep at it 100%!
On a lighter note, I discovered Lemy Shine and Quantum Finish this year. Keeping the nest eggs clean and spot free has been so much easier lately!!
I also tried on several of those cute SouthWestern motifed sweaters that are so popular this year and learned that I look like a wall hanging in my Mom’s living room!
I rediscovered my love of Art! A love that was dormant for so long has been reawakened and has fed my soul many times this year. One day while making a mosaic table for my patio, Steve asked me, “Why are you doing this?” My mind quickly thought of all the academic reasons given by Ellen Dissananyake in a textbook I read in grad school, “What Is Art For?” and our ensuing discussions. But then, I quickly answered, “Because, there is not going to be another one like it in the entire world.” I love expressing myself. I find joy creating instead of duplicating. And, art helps me to look at people, at nature, at the beauty that surrounds me with a whole new set of eyes.
While I am on the topic of “one of a kinds”—Katy Perry, cured my fear of spiders, among other things, in her music video Roar! Katy joined Helen Reddy in reminding me that I am a Leo—and you are going to hear me roar.
I experienced “Poetry in a bottle” during a wine tasting tour in Sonoma and tasted the Food of the Gods at Kendall/Jackson. It is quality not quantity that enlivens the soul…and it must be done with dear friends.
I went back to my high school reunion—and learned that in 35 years—life imparts wisdom to everyone—all those voices in the same river—(Everyone really needs to read Siddhartha again!!)
I attended the TED-x conference in Salt Lake City—and partook of a huge dose of Hope for the future.
I have learned about floor coverings, window covering, paint colors, fabrics, wallpaper, mirrors, lighting design and how they all work together to create “sacred space” for living, working, socializing and eating!!
I have marveled at the passion of designers, gardeners, architects, teachers, chefs….and one amazing neurosurgeon who share their talents and gifts and devote so many, many years of their lives to studying and learning so they can bless lives!
I learned that sometimes we must stop seeking God and let God find us. In the words of Meister Eckhart “the ultimate leave taking is the leaving of God for God.” And God has found me, in a sunset, in a frosty morning, in a grand child’s hand, in a flower and in an empty nest—who knew when I bought my Nikkon it would be my window to heaven!