Shimmer.

They are too rowdy to be inside. They slam the door despite my repeated scoldings against it. They are full of facts and attitudes, laughter and groans, restlessness and energy. And even though I cannot help but roll my eyes and shake my head sometimes, my heart fairly explodes with love when they share a secret to keep from me, a boyish rough-and-tumble, a silly made-up game.

It’s the beginning of summer — when my oldest allows her younger sister to become her closest confident and chosen playmate for a time. The oldest will be eleven at the end of summer. These summers of play are limited, I know. And they are so beautiful in the backyard, screeching, laughing, filling up their clothes with grass stains. Their hair streaks in the sunlight and I am reminded of one of my favorite lines from Walt Witman:

“You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light, and of every moment of your life.” 

One more summer of careless childhood abandon for the older, and full on glorious golden-day summer for the younger who is finally a “big kid” at seven years old. I want to be greedy. I want these days to never end, even though both will be in here soon bickering about nothing and claiming they can’t find anything to eat in a fully stocked fridge.

And now I am filled with an urgency to get outside. To leave the laundry and the dishes and the overflowing-with-Tupperware cupboard. Because my daughters, they are in the backyard. And they are shimmering. They are shining.

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Rain.

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It had been at least 42 days since it had rained. I don’t know if that was a record, because I’m kind of a take-the-weather-as-it-comes kind of girl. But I can tell you that in the past six-week draught, my yard not only yielded its green, but took on the smell of stale straw–a marked absence of sweetness and softness. And while I don’t really think much about the weather, my soul and body are another matter completely.

It had been overcast all day. Driving home, my husband complained that every place north, south, east, and west has had rain, but not us. Today would be no different, he said. His pessimism annoyed me. The clouds were soupy and nothing was casting shadows. I had only just begun to hope.  I gently suggested that we should be thankful that our livlihoods are not directly dependent upon the rain.

And so, a few hours later, when I glanced out our front door to see a few spots dotting the front porch, it seemed reasonable to feel just a little bit delighted. Finally. The rain made it to us. Of course, I knew it eventually would, but the wait was long. And my body and my soul and my yard are just so thirsty. And hot. And I’ve been waiting without realizing I was waiting. And maybe, just maybe, the waiting is worse than the thirst and the heat.

***

There is suspended emotion for which there is a weight in my heart, but no person, place, time, or memory upon which to attach it. In the rain, that suspended emotion is no longer homeless. In the rain, the ambiguity makes sense. Everyday, we pour our lives into the universe. Our life forces evaporate into the atmosphere, but we never disappear. They collect in the streams of our lifetimes, which are but tributaries to the rivers of family histories, and eventually lead to oceans of human experience.

But sometimes we return to ourselves. Sometimes as condensation on a glass, when an old memory captures the light and changes how we see the here and now.  Sometimes as a deluge, when past decisions and circumstances force us from our comfortable places. And sometimes, as rain. Rain returns to us that which is least explainable yet most fundamental in ourselves. Neither an incidental residue nor a major reckoning of the past, rain is what we give to the universe that returns and beckons us to consider what is mysterious and eternal within us. Yet so often, we try to shelter ourselves from it.

I had been waiting upon this rain without realizing how much I had been yearning for it. And so, when it arrived with its perfume and song, something in my primal soul rejoiced, and rejoices still. I stepped into it, letting it soak me utterly as my skin tingled, and my muscles relaxed, and my hair soaked, and my eyes closed, and my lungs breathed, and my heart beat, and my lips smiled. The sweetness and softness of my little world returned.

In the rain, our misty vapors rise again. Ever ambiguous. Ever etheral. Always returning. Always rejoicing.

When the ship becomes the anchor.

Last weekend I read through some of these archives, particularly posts from the winter months, and after doing so it seems this conclusion has been an inevitability for so very long.

I do not know what is around the bend. I cannot tell if the clouds are scattering or if they’re gathering. But now that I’ve let go, I can see the blue skies so much more clearly despite the hazy horizon. Every morning I rise feeling a little lighter than the day before.

My heart has always floated on the wind. My spirit yearns to follow the river, to see what’s around that next bend. When I walk in the woods, I’m never ready to turn back and go home. So I guess I shouldn’t be suprised that the more I drift, the more centered I am in my spirit…the closer I am to God.

Maybe anywhere the wind blows is all worth waiting for.

Uncool.

I am terminally uncool. I know this. Consider the evidence.

Exhibit A: My kids’ initials spell G.E.E.K.  That was totally unintentionally done, but now that it is so, I have a necklace that proclaims it. I’ll post a pic and a link someday when I’ve showered and don’t look like what I am–a summer SAHM mom who doesn’t give a rat’s patootie what I look like when I’m blogging in my basement.

Exhibit B: Little Miss G is ever so slowly giving up her Nickelodeon crap for this: <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/uvwCLGCozIk“>The best science-fiction-fantasy series going right now. And it’s British! YAY! I really have to thank my brother for this. If he didn’t come and commandeer our television at least once a week, none of us would have taken the time to watch. I’m ashamed of this, because staying up late with my dad on Sunday nights to watch this Doctor <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/PwkYhLiY_fM“> is one of my fondest childhood rituals.

Exhibit C: I went to this guy’s concert last Friday, and loved every single minute. Every time I hear a Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, or Katy Perry song, I want to stab myself in the ear, but this? This is good stuff. I’ve been humming this song all weekend.

Guilty as charged.

Wha-huh?

So, how does a delinquent blogger make up for six weeks of silence? Mostly nothing much has happened, but a few big things have happened… so how about a pictoral retrospective of the past six weeks with a promise to fill in the gaps eventually?

We celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary.

Which made us feel pretty much like this.

Scoff if you wish, but I totally saw zombies hitching a ride on a trailer on the way home from work one Friday afternoon. Behold, zombie legs:

Despite the fact that it rained a lot, the sun and clouds played quite nicely together for a few days.

We had a nice, low-key Easter Sunday.

We found a new home for Tula. Long story. Details later.

Which brings us up to Mother’s Day. Grandma Wanda is the coolest. Don’t let her age fool you one bit.

I’ll try not to be gone so long this time.

I can’t figure out if this was a compliment or an insult.

Yesterday was Matt’s birthday. (Happy birthday, little bro!) The girls and I were in the car and this happened.

Super L: How old is Uncle Matt today?

Me: 29. (HA HA, btw. I didn’t make any old man jokes at your expense yesterday, but the blog is fair game.)

Little Miss G: You’re older than him.

Me. Yep.

Super L: Why is Uncle Matt bigger than you if you’re older?

Little Miss G: Because he’s a man!

Me (thoughtfully): Well, honey, I don’t think Uncle Matt really is all that much bigger than me. We’re almost exactly the same height. (Sorry, Matt, but it’s true.)

Super L considers this for a moment, and then says:

“Yeah, but he’s flatter.”

Umm… Thanks??? or Ouch???

 

                         

                                        Flatter than me. → 

December Views-Day 27: Who wouldn’t wanna?

Well, it is T-minus 1 hour and 46 minutes until 2011, and my kids are running around here like wild banshees, complete with blood-curdling screaming and inexplicable behavior. I, on the other hand, am trying like mad to finish up loose ends and unfinished business for 2010 and I’m not even gonna lie: It SU-UUU-UCKS. Remind me not to do this again next year, okay?

What I definitely do plan to do next year is December Views. I hope y’all enjoyed my little photo catalogue this month.

Sorry I’m not ending on a more cheerful note… but I’m just being honest. Historically, December through February has been a rough time for me, and this year is shaping up to be no exception. My goal this year is to make some much needed changes so that I can enjoy these people more…

…because honestly? I don’t wanna be the kind of mom that sits at my desk and sighs in frustration anymore. I don’t wanna put myself in a situation where I can’t enjoy this to the absolute fullest.

Here is hoping that 2011 brings you fulfillment beyond measure, peace that passes all understanding, and love that overflows your cup. That’s what I’m praying for. Happy New Year, my friends.

 

December Views-Day 26: Playing Santa



Tomorrow the tree will come down and Santa will be packed away in a box along with all the other ornaments. At 32 years old, I’m pretty sure that this is the oldest ornament we own. I’ve found myself dwelling on this Santa ornament today. We had a good holiday, and I know my girls are going to grow up a lot in 2011. I can’t help but wonder if this if this is the last year that both of my girls fully believe in the magic of Santa.

I’m more than a little nostalgic for their little girl days, and I am sad. It’s cliche, I know, but they grow so fast. In my heart, I feel like I am not making the most of these years. I need to make some really important changes in the way I do life.  Time to get a handle on  the way I choose to spend my time rather than letting the inertia of those habits carry me through my days.