We just celebrated the 80th birthday of my Mother. This day is considered by the world to be an important milestone in a person’s life. There are several of my Mothers’ contemporaries, who are also having this birthday celebration. It is this season, when you realize that it is you who are in your fifties, and not your parents..you wonder … how on God’s mostly green earth did this happen? I always pictured my parents frozen in time at this age. Apparently, we are all aging. I know this, because my knees ache after a night of dancing, my lower right side of my back gets a pain, like someone is stabbing me with a butcher knife, and when I stand on one leg, my balance sucks, and I fall over…. And no I was not attempting this pink flamingo stance after a glass or two of Sauvignon blanc.
I have no idea if the losing my balance has anything to do with age, or the fact that my core, ie, my stomach is not strong, but I am working on it. Apparently, beneath the icing, or the muffin, there may be stomach muscles, that are wanting to be rediscovered. I’ve known they were hidden, like flowers beneath the cold snow, but the reawakening process is proving to be a significant challenge. Thank you to my sister in law Rhonda, for helping me in the “personal trainer” department.. she has been helpful, encouraging, and motivating.. I am most grateful.
Our family decided to come together in my Mother’s’ home, and share a “potluck” dinner, to honor my Mother on her special day. She has lived in this house for 50 years… Her stuff is here. There are memories stored on the shelves, closets, and all around on the walls. Photographs of precious loved ones, are held in frames, like arms embracing , in a generous hug. There are family members who will not be present today. Some have passed on, and we miss them in such a sacred, and deep rooted way. They are never forgotten… never…
This is where we are from. This Mother gave my three brothers, and I, life. That is significant. That is an accomplishment.
The other day we went to the hair salon, and had my Morher’s hair done especially for her birthday to make her feel special, and at her best. She seemed pleased with her “ Do.”
She may likely want to tell me off for posting this photo, but I thought it was a cute shot! Curls always seem to me a lot like giggling. They are carefree, and a welcome sound, and lightheartedness is delivered to the listener. They look soft, and welcoming, and denote an easiness about them.. ok.. enough about the curls…
I was thinking about how a person presents themself to the world, , and of course I thought back on the nasty attitude of Debbie Bitchington, who is my sons’ neighbor from back in Oregon.
I did not have any face to face encounters with her while I was there. She kind of seemed to retreat back into the sanctuary of her abode, when she saw a woman of her same age staying next door. I wondered if her pre-conceived image of these young people being up to dastardly deeds next door, took a mind altering turn?
Hold that thought…
Late one night, at around 1:45 am, I could hear the distinct low grumbling sound, of my son, in his truck coming around the bend, and then he would have parked directly in front of the house as he normally does. The motor went quiet, and the night was still…
He must have then headed into the house, because there were muffled voices from down below in the lower level of the house. Apparently there were still some up watching tv, or maybe reading?
It was shortly thereafter, mere minutes later, that I heard a woman’s voice saying several lines of profanity. I won’t bore you with the exact wording, but it was colorful! My..My …but someone liked four letter descriptive adjectives.. On a side note, I’m always been so amazed at how people can use the “ F” word as a vowel, noun, adjective, and more, at any given time, to suit their vocabulary needs. My window was open, as I enjoy the cool, fresh air coming in on my face as I sleep, … so, I was partially awake when I heard this woman’s voice breaking into the quiet night.
I was startled, but then I thought.. oh my.. that’s our dear neighbor Deb. What has gotten her panties in a twist this early in the morning?
I was curious, so a few hours after I had fallen back asleep, my phone alarm went off, I peeled my covers back, and got up, showered, and got ready to depart for the airport. Even though I had not had my eye opening cup of coffee yet, I felt quite conscious and alert.
Natalie, ( my son Logan’s girlfriend,) and I decided to grab an Uber ride together to the airport, so we gathered our luggage, and decided to wait out onto the front porch. It’s a wonderful, welcoming space.
I looked to my right, and noticed that dear Debbie had ever so nicely placed her garbage can rather passive aggressively leaning against the back side of Zach’s red pick up.
There was no misconstruing that this had been done intentionally to send the distinct message, that she thought the public road was indeed, her turf. “ Turf Wars,” for real…
To be honest.. I was just plain exasperated by this gesture. I wandered down to the road, and moved the garbage bin away from the truck, and set it behind my son’s vehicle. Then I turned around, hands on my hips, and just looked towards her house for about 20 seconds. The front upstairs blind was open a just a little bit on her house, and I had the hair raising sensation that she was staring me down from inside her dwelling place.
This may sound goofy, but I was taking a stand, at least in my own mind.
I’m not sure how things have been, since I was visiting there, so I’ll have to check in with the kids. Hopefully… it’s been incident free. Maybe… Debbie will just decide to be friendly… maybe…
I contemplated going up to her front door with flowers, or a bottle of wine.. or cookies… but… I didn’t… I probably should have done the “ Christian thing,” …. I’m a work in progress people..
It seems to be so hard to do the kind, and right thing a great deal of the time. We get presented with choices, constantly throughout our day, but when it involves interacting with humanity, who can’t stand you.. hates you even…Well…I don’t want to do it.. I don’t want to engage, and get verbally abused.. I don’t want to confront…I would much rather just hide inside behind my own blinds, wearing blinders to somebody elese’s need.
I remarked to my son when we were out walking the trail, that when we stopped, and looked down over this bridge, I was struck by the natural dam that had formed in the river. One side still flowed freely, but the other side of the river looked nasty, with an ozzing creamy white foam, that was reminiscent of puss on an angry infection.
There were sticks, and debree, and it was all matted together, like a head of hair with not enough conditioner, that is impossible to untangle. I wondered how long it would be before the dam effectively took over the still moving part of the stream.
It reminded me of life. When I don’t forgive, sit in fear, and resentment, and anger, I effectively damn up my own life. If I’m not aware, these injustices, that I’ve strapped to my person, will foam up, and stagnate, leaving debris, and hurt, and infection wherever it settles. Sometimes it lands on my children, and family members that I would never desire to cause pain.
Letting go of the debris, lets the water flow freely again. It reminds me that there was joy there all along, but I allowed it to get mucked up, by holding a grudge, saying mean words, and taking my love and care away, from those who have cared for me, and loved. I cocooned myself into a safe space, where no hurt could enter, but I sat… in solitude…
Nature shows us so much, if I am willing to walk in it, and allow its lessons to be displayed right in front of my gaze. I can learn, I can change… there is healing.
Powerful stuff to be reminded of. There is green lush foliage surrounding, but things will not grow, if there is drowning of the roots, and too much junk surrounding the plant. It will perish… it will rot.. it will stink…
Thinking especially on Easter, and on Jesus’s Sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. He forgave us. The biggest sacrifice he could give, he gave…..freely… for me… for all . He gave this gift to us humans so we would be healed from rotting, from decay, and we would find new life, through his life, and we could bloom anew like the flower that springs up from the dank soil in the Spring thaw.
It will be resurrection Sunday, a day of rebirth, and hope. The Easter lilies are blooming, the birds have begun singing their joyful choruses once more, the trees are budding, and plants are waking up. Bears are coming out of hibernation, and there is a inexplicable knowing that begins from deep in the earth.. it’s time to let go.. and take hold of this new joyous season..It’s time for giving away of the old self, and leaning into the new… the fresh growth.