Sunday, January 14, 2018

For Later

Hello, again. I am a writer, which serves as both an adjective and verb. I write. I fill journal pages, write messages, little poems and stories. I write here in this space, although for the first time since this blog's inception, I took a break these last weeks. I kept writing. I am a writer, adjective. I am described as one who writes to make sense of her surroundings and inner workings. A writer type of person.

I took in the Christmas holidays and their ensuing celebrations these last few weeks as a writer sometimes does: I observed. I became hungry and greedily lapped up stories like a hungry retriever chomps up a strip of roast beef left in its dish. I read and absorbed language. I lived. I became surprised, thrilled and moved. I collected, story hoarder that I am.

I like this space because it serves as a very useful time capsule. I commit to pictures and words the things I don't want to forget but don't trust myself to fully remember later on. I want to remember this season for the way it washed over me and, for the first time, I let it. I didn't fight the current, if you'll permit the metaphor. I didn't try to direct the flow, conquer the inevitable or stand stubbornly in the way of what was bound to happen with or without me. Christmas was peaceful, shared with family visiting from all over, happily seated around long, opened up tables adorned with warm holidays meals.

This winter, I am remembering that these children are not my children, as Khalil Gibran wrote. They are with me, but they belong not to me. "Their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams." There is a powerful force field that surrounds four growing sisters and I dare not interrupt such power. I am learning to bow to it. Abby asked to walk to the library unaccompanied, to check out books she chooses on her own, and so now she does this. She beams with pride when she returns. Hailey has very clear ideas about what she wants to do, wear and draw and so I happily hand her a box of coloured pencils and step back. I know better than to mistake Robin's quiet nature for acquiescence or disinterest. She sees in colours to which my own eyes are not attuned. Summer's fire burns so bright, I am weary of dampening her flames with guidance and boundaries. The myths of parenting a youngest child are often true, it seems.

The learning never stops. Nothing stays the same. Just when I begin to feel steady on my feet, the ship changes course again and I learn to navigate under a new set of conditions. That's not wholly true: I am not navigating the whole ship, alone (although the whiny voice in my head laments that I always do). I am learning in what ways I am on my own, one drop in a bucket, answerable only to myself. Other times call for me to push my sleeves up and insert myself into the chaotic fracas of life, helping those who need it, guiding those too young to fully understand, asking for what I desire, too, and remembering to stop before I sacrifice too much of myself.

Roasted root vegetables, a la Abby

This winter I am trying to remember what I already know. This involves removing several distractions so I can hear the still, small voice. That voice knows enough, at least enough of what the day requires. I am taking on a bit more work, still getting out to run in the bitter cold, doing quiet yoga because it feels like medicine (and not just doing it because I know I should), eating more plants, making travel plans, reading books in bed, inviting daughters to help me in the kitchen, trying not to strategize my next day's agenda while I'm cuddling with Rich, and remembering to listen more, talk less. 

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