As the leaves begin turning their multiple glorious shades of yellow, burnt orange, and intense crimsons, and the wind turns cool, there is change hinting in the breeze.
My eyes behold the wonder of nature surrounding me, and a walk down a quiet road with family, and our four legged friends, brings much conversation, and enjoyment.
Time spent together with those that I love, is always rewarding, and much to be sought after.
It was Canadian Thanksgiving last weekend, and I had not been here to participate in this holiday for many years.
It was thought that cooking a turkey up north in cottage country, complete with mashed potatoes, thick gravy, and of course a green bean casserole, was just the thing. A crisp, and luscious salad with poppie seed dressing , homemade rolls, and scrumptious apple crisp completed our table.
There was much to be thankful for. There always is… even when change, and questionable future decisions plague my mind, I understand, that fretting over what comes next, does nothing but ruin the present.
I have heard it expressesed that today, right now, is the gift, “the present.” This is as it should be I reckon, and so I focus not on what is front of me, the hurdles, and hoops I may have to jump through, but the now, and savoring the absolute bliss of being surrounded by loved ones, in this space, this dwelling.
The surprising warm temperatures of this holiday weekend are delightful. I could not remember diving into this cool lake, this late into the year.
When my wet head emerges through the still surface of the blue, I am surrounded by the color of fall. It is fantastic… just breathtaking. The scent is different than that of summertime, it’s drier, and the crunch of musty dried out leaves, and the persistence swirl of wasps, let me know that things are falling into the next season.
What of thanks, and giving? Two words together that conjure up hopefully family times, and having enough food to fill our bellies, of precious times shared, games played, movies watched, and naps… yes… glorious rest.
My brother, and Mum are gathered around the dishwasher that has mistakenly thought that this weekend would be a good opportunity to cease functioning. “Bad idea dishwasher!” “ we don’t want to wash all these pots and pans by hand now do we?”
As I observe the going’s on taking place in the kitchen, I surmise that my brother is a fixer, a gentle observer of the challenge in front of him, and seeking to rectify the issue presented, persists, until he solves the issue. My Mother hovers beside him, as she too, is a fixer.
Some people are just made this way. It’s fascinating to see how we are similar, and how in our differences, we compliment one another. I have learned much from observing my Mother working to solve problems that are presented to her. She is persistent, and dogmatic in her search for a solution. Her ingenuity has taught me many things, and I’m grateful for this.
My brother and I really enjoy preparing food, but my sister in law, Rhonda, has put in a great effort this weekend in the gathering, planning, and preparing of our fabulous dinner, and dessert. We need this dishwasher to work!
Of course they figure it out.. the two of them, Mum and son, together… it’s a combined meeting if the minds.
The kids are hanging out, playing cards, reading, watching tv, hanging on the dock, and we buzz about one another sharing what’s happening in our lives, and connecting. It is so good.
It feels impossible to me that two years have passed by, and my Bianca is not here with us. These last two years have been brutal, and I ain’t lying. So much change and upside downness, that it still feels as if my head is spinning, and I often am not sure where the solid earth is.
One thing is certain, unequivocally, and that is, the love of family, is paramount. Even if I don’t spend every waking moment with them, I know that they care, we care for one another.. we love.
It overwhelms me that my primary family is spread apart, and stretched through multiple states, and miles, and it feels as if just yesterday morning, we were all living in the same family home, and under the same roof.
There it is again.. the fall… the change, the falling away of what once was, and finding the courage to gather up the crispy leaves, and rake up the remnants of what I thought I knew, and reassembling what tommorrow could be.
There are possibilities, there always are, even if they seem elusive, and ill sorted, they are there, under the surface waiting for me to grab hold of them again.
It is hope…always… believing in something bigger than myself, and willing for a future…. a promise of what is to come. Not at all sure of what it looks like, but believing that there is still life to be lived, and songs to be sung, and love to be cherished.
Stepping outside my comfort zone again feels daunting, but exhilarating too. These young nieces, and a nephew that are working on their futures is inspiring to me. Getting to chat, and know them each individually is one of my richest blessings. I love being the “crazy aunt.” Ha… shocker right?
These kids, our futures…. are resilient, committed, and each of them, creative, intense, intelligent, exquisitely beautiful, broken and complicated. They are priceless.. each and every one of them. I anticipate what each will do, who they will love, how they will change our world…. I smile, and it’s deep, all the way into my heart, and I hope they will be filled up with family, with Jesus, with their lives.
What will they build together, separately?… My hope is that through the bond of their families they will hold tight, that they will know how surrounded by love that they are…
I remember with deep gratitude, how they all travelled out from Canada, and the US, to join my family in the saying good-bye to our dear Bianca Jillian, and I am staggered by all of their support and love. I am richly blessed.
Those who stand with you, and beside you when your world falls start, are those you can count on…
As time ebbs forward, new challenges arise, and it would seem more pain cuts through like a jagged knife wounding the flesh. Much as I wish things could just stay put, and not slip through my fingers, they do…
The more tightly I would try to grip onto what I no longer can hold onto, the more elusive that thing becomes.
It is just today… what will it be?… oh the possibilities… how to love well, regardless of circumstances, or disgruntled moods… love believing that it is transformative, that it can envelop a person, and restore joy to a ragged soul.
Just like the plant that stretches it’s determined head through the firm foundation of the slab of stone, so it is necessary to push through the grief, the hurt, the challenges, and believe that there will be another side. The only way to “get through it,” is to “ go through it.” It turns out that there really are no short cuts….
There is a choice, even in this. You can carry your grief and heartache with you wherever you go, and wear it like a heavy winter coat, or you can lighten your load, and let others in to carry it with you. This has been an unexpected surprise to realize that there are folks who are more than willing to do this thing… again… I offer my gratitude and Thanksgiving..
It is a humbling lesson in life to not do it yourself. Emotional pain and grieving is lessoned greatly when a person can share, and unburden themselves, by laying it all down, being exposed, and not feel ashamed. This is friendship and kinship at its finest…