I had been working as a field hand picking cherries.
From inside a building there, I heard someone playing my dad's arrangement of
"God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again," and went inside to hear
it. It's one of his arrangements that isn't recorded.
I think it was my mother playing and she was piecing some things
together, kind of a variation of the hymn and then playing a verse of dad's that we had.
My sister Susan was standing there, too.
As Mom started to play it again, I was washed in emotion as I thought about my dad
and felt, again, that deep pang of missing.
Susan came and stood by me, we hugged each other,
and in a moment, we were both sobbing.
And I woke up.
Kind of funny, because I spent Friday night cleaning my house.
It was driving me crazy.
Folded all the laundry.
Vacuumed the entire house.
Mopped all the floors.
Soaped out my kitchen sink.
And as I stood there at the sink in the late-night quiet, I was thinking about him.
Sometimes I think about my grandparents, and how it wasn't that long ago that they were in the busy stages of life that I'm in.
They were raising kids and pursuing careers.
They were chatting with neighbors and laughing in kitchens.
They were involved and vibrant in their communities.
All but one of them has gone on--in almost just a moment, really.
Reminds me of another dream I had years ago that left an impression on me. I had just died, and my spirit literally went up through the ceiling of the room where my body was laying. And as I went through the ceiling, I went into a room of people and immediately found my father and aunt. They were laughing and happy and talking.
It was just as real there as life here and I was struck by how familiar it felt, as though nothing had changed.
But I remember feeling distressed because I was thinking of my little sister, still here. I knew she was crying because I'd died and I wanted to comfort her.
The older I get, the more I realize that our time here is short,
what we do here matters, and we will go on sooner than we think.
And I realize that the things my ancestors gave me--
their strength, their convictions, their examples, and their love--
are just as active through the veil that separates us as they were when they were here in the flesh.
I can feel those things, even though I can't see them,
"We need the tonic of wilderness. We can never have enough of nature."
(Henry David Thoreau)
Today we drove almost an hour south of our home to hike in a canyon we'd never spent time in before.
It makes me happy that the boys are in their element there, exploring in the woods.
I loved watching Bruce pick up huge sticks and admiring how handsome he is when you call his name and he looks at you and his ears rotate forward and he looks, all at once, noble and majestic and friendly with those kind eyes of his.
I don't know what it is but Claire has theeeeee cutest little bum and legs right now, and watching her in her new little hiking kicks made me happy. She's getting so big. And she'll tell you: "I'm the baby of the family, but I'm not a baby. That means I'm the youngest."
I loved watching my sister and Claire and Bella and Bruce up ahead on the trail.
I loved cold river water on my feet.
I loved the beauty of the canyon, the sideways slabs of stone, the mix of trees, the rushing water, the fact that it felt as though we were all alone in it.
That moment with my sister under the falls.
It was cold, we were laughing, and I love that we grabbed each other's hands.
I loved a few quiet minutes with Mia,
talking as we strolled along together.
I loved talking with Christa about the wonder of life--from the incredible detail in a single cell, to how amazing bees are and the intricate order and precision of all natural things--and the witness these things are, to both of us, over and over, of the existence of God.
And no matter where we go, I swear we always come home with more sticks. Cuz...Benji.
Yesterday morning I went outside and unwound the hose in the front to water the hydrangea, geraniums, the hanging basket and pots by the door, my daisies (remember You've Got Mail: "Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?"), and our bed of happy petunias.
Then to the backyard, watering pots of geraniums, a hanging basket with purple flowers, and the herb planter with basil, rosemary, and lemon thyme.
I went to put the sprinkler in the garden, and pretty soon all four kids were out there with me. We were talking about this and that as we pulled some weeds.
There were bell peppers,
baby jalapeños (we talked about making salsa!),
zucchini (we picked a big one!),
cucumbers (this is one that was picked last week),
tomatoes (turn red!),
beans and beets and carrots,
corn as tall as me,
and bees in the squash flowers.
Those minutes made my whole morning.
I love time with my people,
and this green space is going to give us lots of yummy food.
A few weeks ago the kids and I were sitting out on the deck around noon.
Isaiah asked me a really. good. question. It had to do with eternal purpose and growth---a deep thinking question. His query was something I've never thought about, and I didn't have an answer. I still find myself thinking about it. We ended up in a discussion about difficulty, opposition, and growth. We were also talking about the possibility of upcoming changes and voicing how we are feeling about them. We were all on the fence, a mixture of emotions. Definitely some sadness, a little bit of anxiety, and a lot bit of uncertainty.
I began a sentence by saying, "We just have to accept..."--- and was going to continue by saying something about how living means experiencing the ups and the downs. But then Mia interjected one word and said it all.
"I guess we just have to accept..."
And she said,
Her response was so simple and profound, and I've thought about it ever since.
That IS life, right?
It's the paradox of constant change, and it's full of things happy and sad, beautiful and hard, part sorrow and grief and part joy.
It's the whole gamut, the complete experience.
The scope of that---its depth and meaning, its sharp pain and fierce joy---takes my breath away.
Stay-at-home mom of two boisterous, clever boys and two adorable, funny gals. They light my life. I'm a homeschool enthusiast, foodie, homebody, music, book, faith and food lover. (Did I already mention food?) I'm the lucky daughter of two, sister to four, and friend to the old and new. I love to post snippets of my beautiful and busy life. Welcome.