Monday, April 30, 2012

A Happy Birthday

When are 55 caramel creams in a box, not thousands of calories?
When they are 55 snippets that say I love you mom, here, is one of your favorite things.
When is make-up and a new sweater, not wrinkle camouflage and clothes at all?
When they mean, you are beautiful mom, adorn it, acknowledge it, walk in beauty.
When is a yellow purse, not a handbag at all? When it is your favorite color and comes with a wish for lighter, brighter days.
When are pots of lemon balm and rosemary more than dirt, clay and leaves? When they are the garden someone knows you are pining for. 

I recently had a birthday. One of the twin digit variety. My kids were there and surrounded me with more love than I deserve.  The next day, I ate 27 caramel creams, wore a soft new sweater, and carried a yellow handbag. Later, I lay on the floor of the balcony, and curled up around a pot of rosemary, breathing in gratitude.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

On the Bright Side

I have been a slip of an oldie, a ghost of me, wondering around looking for myself. Frantic almost, like looking for lost car keys and running late. Now where did I last see me? Under the rubble on the old chest, under the couch next to the stray flip-flop? It is a strange feeling to misplace yourself, but that is kind of what has been happening. I knew of course it was from being too busy. I am not the sort of person that can go for long stretches attending to this and that without time to sit and ponder it all. I get lonely, oh so lonely, for the company of my own contemplation.

So the other night, I bundled up in my daddy's old sweatshirt, and dragged my old self out to the balcony. I wrapped up in a soft, shaggy pinkish red blanket, pulled up my hood (April evenings are still pretty chilly in Jersey) lit a lemon candle and sat still...

I swear I felt a subtle thump as my soul settled back into its rightful spot. I have no delusions about who I am. But I still wanted me back. So what that I am and may always be in an arrested state of development? So - I am immature for my age and under-accomplished; whatever. I know for sure that my grandest gift has been my ability to love and I do that fiercely, finely, most commendably. If I die tomorrow I will know at least that I was able to do that.

Having my soul back in alignment helps me view all of humanity more tenderly.  When a certain someone is being greedy, I am able to see his selfishness as fear.  When someone is loud and obnoxious, I am able to see it as a cry for attention, a plea to be appreciated. I love this fleeting state.  If it were permanent, I would be a saint. But I know all too well that it will fade and soon I will once again be cursing the certain someone, and rolling my eyes at the loudmouth on the train. But today, just for now - I  get  it.  It is a great state to be in.

And it colors everything. The trees are so green, it is startling. The laundry is a rainbow of thongs and socks. Yesterday, I went grocery shopping and instead of grumbling at prices or the thought of dragging all the heavy bags across the courtyard and up the full flight of stairs, I was happy to be bringing home cute little grapes and coffee creamer to my family. 

As I was driving home from the store parking lot, my car and I waited obediently for a woman,  who looked about my age, to cross at the walkway. She didn't look up and thank me for sitting patiently for her to waddle on.  On another day I would have been annoyed that she didn't smile or nod or at least lift her grocery bag in acknowledgement. But today, I just watched her cross in her too- tight, stretch pants that might have been better reserved for the privacy of her home.  Her cheeks jiggled independently as she flip-flopped on by.   " Awww, her butt..." I felt, rather than thought, in much the same way someone would feel about a baby duck toddling by.   Her rear was so apparent, not hidden away but right there - human? A butt, different, but still basically the same as mine, two cheeks, wiggle-wiggle, the same as each and every other human being's.

 I drove home enlightened, in love with humanity and all of it's failings, frailty and splendor. And to think that all it took was a glimpse at another fifty- year- old tush in motion. It is great to be "home" again.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

a little birdie told me


Good Morning, my friends. I've been absent for awhile, but I am still wrinkling daily. Hope today finds you peaceful, and maybe even a little rested. Did you wake up to the chattering of birds, like I did? Did you remember to smile at the the thought of their soft bellies and curling toes? How good it is to remember.