The Season We Are In

“I can’t do this.”

These four words have been rattling around in my head quite a bit lately. As the drops have fallen from the showerhead and my eyes, I have even whispered them aloud. “I. Can’t. Do. This.”

I’m okay. Things are okay. There are people who have more struggles every single day than I do. I don’t take my blessings lightly. And I don’t mean to make light of the very real hard things people around me and around the world are going through.

Still, if I’m keeping it real–and am transparent, I’ve had moments, especially in the past year, month, week, where I feel so blame overwhelmed, I just don’t know how to keep on keepin’ on. To be honest, I keep looking around for the grownup in charge.

Yesterday I decided to go outside and sit on my front steps. My front steps got me through a lot of the days at the beginning of this pandemic. We live on a culdesac, and my porch is surrounded by flora–a loropetalum on one side and a loquat tree on the other–so there is no shortage of sounds, smells, and sights to take in and just sit and be with. During loquat season, I watched one of my feathered friends come over and drink from the fruit and then hop over to another branch and clean his beak on a leaf before flying off. I’m just thankful my tree produces enough fruit for us to enjoy and to share with the squirrels and birds who reside with us in our little corner of our world.

I was taking in the afternoon, breathing in the fresh air and thankful that I could. Suddenly one of our resident bird friends hopped over to the walkway between lorapetalum and loquat. I said hello, and then saw this happen.

This amazing creature who defies logic by taking to the air and FLYING brought her snack over in front of me and proceeded to partake.

Y’all.

She ate a wasp.

A wasp.

And then she turned and looked me straight in the eye before she flew off to continue tending to her business.

I heard you, my winged wonder. I heard you as clearly as I heard the wind gently whispering through the leaves.

“You’ve got this, girl. I promise you this. If I can eat a flippin’ wasp, you’ve got this. It’s okay to be sad or feel overwhelmed, but when it comes down to it, take what you can find in this season and make it work–YOU’VE GOT THIS.”

And then she hopped off.

Because, I mean, she’d had her snack and she had lots more to do before the sun went down. After all, she has the wisdom to get things done while the sun shines and then rest when it doesn’t. Another thing I could learn from her.

It is not lost on me, this message that I so desperately needed to hear. This encouragement that my soul was crying out for. But the messenger is also not lost on me. My Daddy used to sit in his recliner by the window in our living room and watch the birds live out their stories in the arbor vitae along our dirt and gravel driveway. I wonder what lessons and messages he got from them over the years, especially his last one where that window was literally his window to the world as the hospice bed replaced the recliner. I can’t help but wonder if my bird friend was sent by my Daddy, as I have so wished he were here to ask for answers that would guide me and bring me some peace.

Take courage, my friends. As numbers and words and thoughts and opinions tend to divide and separate and cause doubt or pain or uncertainty or loss, know that you’ve got this. There are things out there that might seek to harm us, to sting us and take us down. But it’s important to remember, as the tears threaten to take over or emotions come wave after wave, that sting can be taken down. Literally and figuratively.

If you’re feeling like you can’t do this, know you are not alone. Take heart and remember our feathered friend. It was going to be cold that night. There’s no fruit on the loquat tree for her to munch on–that was a different season. The season we are in right now provided no sweetness for her; instead it offered her a wasp. And instead of giving up, she kept at it until she conquered it and made it work for her.

In this season we are in, let’s do that, y’all. Maybe together it will be easier. The season of sweetness will surely return, but for now, instead let’s take what we can find and make it work. Even that which would harm or divide us can serve a purpose, if only we stand together.

You are not alone. Love to all.

Living Art and the Day We Had

Today was a day of all the things.

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It actually started last night.  As I sat on the bleachers watching my oldest swim for the last night before the bubble goes up over the pool for the winter, I got a notification on my phone.  The Auvi-Q, our epinephrine auto-injector that could potentially save the life of my child with food allergies, was recalled.  At first only certain lot numbers, and then the word came down–ALL.

For a few moments, I could not breathe.  The leftovers from her meal that she’d barely touched at the restaurant before swim practice were waiting for her after practice.  Everything there was supposedly safe, but now–without our safety net–I was suddenly ill at the thought of letting her eat it.

I called the pharmacy and found out they were not even aware yet.  But the pharmacist was compassionate and took time to look it up on-line and even offered to call our allergist for a prescription for the Epi-pen first thing this morning.

It was the best we could do.

And so it had to be.

Last night was filled with anxiety, fearing all the what ifs, without that safety net.  All of the food in my house–and I am a very careful shopper–suddenly seemed risky.

But we finally got everyone settled and in the bed, and this morning was a new day.  I called the allergist myself and was assured they were on it.  I started to breathe a little easier.

Then our Princess said she didn’t feel very good.  Sure enough, she has run a low-grade fever most of the day.  She just had some sort of weird allergy-related weekend virus two weeks ago.  And here it is, it would seem, back for another visit.

By midday, Cooter was also down for the count with a bad headache that caused stomach problems or vice versa.  In the middle of it, it hardly mattered.  I can get debilitating headaches from time to time, and it broke my heart to see my baby hurting like that.  He spent most of the hours between 3 and 8 sleeping it off, bless him.

In the midst of all of this, our Princess’ best bud, a sweet girl who moved into the neighborhood over the summer, came over with her big blue ball (they all love throwing it around in the cul-de-sac) to see if her friend could play.  When I told her they were both sick, sympathy and compassion was evident in her eyes.  When Miss Sophie heard her voice, she came running to the front door.  Our Princess’ friend J is the pet whisperer.  She promptly sat down on the front porch and started loving on Sophie, who ate it up.  I guess she and her needs had taken a backseat to my sick babies today, bless her.  As J told me about her day and about her favorite dogs of years past, I took a moment and sat down on the floor just inside my front door and listened.  As I sat there looking at her sweet face, this child whom I prayed for–a good friend for our Princess, I felt as though it was a sacred moment.  This young girl was sharing her heart with me.  The joy of having a pet who understood her and the pain of losing her in recent years.  Sweet and funny stories.

I wanted to sit there forever.  That she found me worthy to hear her stories–that put a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.  She is such a love.  She is a beautiful soul, and I’m thankful for her in our lives.

Not long after she left, Cooter’s buddy came by with the oyster crackers his sweet Mama had offered to pick up at the store for us.  They are the one thing Cooter will eat after having a stomach bug, and we were all out.  As I took the bag from him, telling him thank you, I felt something cold.  I looked up, puzzled.  “Oh, there’s chicken salad from Shane’s in there,” he said.  He shrugged and smiled that precious smile of his.  BLESS.  Being thought of and cared for like that–well, it took my breath away, and when it returned, I breathed out much of the weight of the day.  Chicken salad.  Being thought of.  Thank you.

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Later this evening, I was closing up the house.  I had opened up the windows, hoping that the fresh air would help get rid of whatever this “mess” is that keeps getting ahold of my young’uns.  Enough is enough.  It was a lovely day to have the windows open too.  As I went to close the window in my bedroom, I looked out.  The sky was the most delicate blend of pink and yellow and the trees in the back were just gorgeous.  I stopped and actually breathed in and out and gave thanks for the painting before my eyes.  Living art–our Creator is good at that.

Tonight I am thankful for replacement epi-pens and the ability to get them quickly. Not all of the allergy Mamas are so fortunate, and I hold them in my heart and in the Light tonight as I am able to rest a little easier than I did last night.  I give thanks for the most wonderful neighbors that anyone could ask for–surprise visits on the front porch in the quiet of the afternoon and surprise gifts of chicken salad, never mind the text messages checking on us and grocery store acquisitions that make our life easier–so lucky to be doing life with these good folks.  Most of all I give thanks for living art–the trees at the beginning of fall, a sunset through the woods, the look of compassion in a young girl’s eyes, and the shrug and grin of a gift offering young fella.  All beautiful, all life-giving.  I am thankful.  And humbled.  So much more than I deserve.

Grace.  I’m thankful for grace.

Love and grace to all.

The Weight of Worries and Woes

Some days life is hard.

Not because of what has happened, but because of what could happen.

All the coulds and mights and maybes and what ifs.

Those can pile up on a soul and wear her slap out.

This soul anyway.

I’m tired, y’all.  Between a headache for days and those doggone what ifs and might could happens, I could use a break.

Or I might need a nap.

Yesterday evening I saw this quote shared on Facebook–

“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions:  “When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing?  When did you stop being enchanted by stories?  When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence? ” –Gabrielle Roth

This gave me pause.  A long pause.  And a good cry.

Suffice to say–it’s been a while.

On most of it.

I need to let go of the fear, as best as I can, and move forward, dancing and singing and listening to great stories again.  I want to find the place where all that can happen.  And perhaps most important of all, I need to find comfort and not feel trepidation in the moments of silence.  I need to seek silence and embrace it and all that it can teach me.

It’s worth a try to attempt to find a relief from the weight of all the worries and woes of the world.

May you find a moment to dance or sing or find delight in a story and may silence find you and give you peace.

 

Love to all.

 

 

 

In The Now

My little guy has gotten up the past few mornings saying he had some strange dreams the night before. Then be proceeds to tell us about them.
He’s right. He has some pretty off the wall dreams.
And last night, so did I.
I was awakened early at the end of the second one and the clarity of what had happened and how real it all felt was very unsettling.
In the first part I was at Bare Bulb Coffee where we go to church. I was sitting with our friends and my friend’s son was reading aloud for all of us. While listening I started flipping ahead in my copy of the book to mark where I was assigned to read. I thought I was being quiet and unobtrusive but I guess not. My friend leaned over and said, pointing a finger, “I think you need to be listening, Missy!”
Wow. In my dream I was ashamed and embarrassed. I knew she was right. I wasn’t focused on the here and now because I was too busy looking ahead.
*sigh*
I get it.
And if that wasn’t enough of a wake up call, the dream morphed into another different dream entirely, like they do.
I was in a crowd. Shopping. An open air market kind of thing I guess, because we were outside. I had a cart and my wallet was in the front child’s seat. I walked away from my cart for a moment. I can’t remember why now–maybe to look at something for sale or for a bathroom. As I turned back, I saw someone grab my wallet and run.

Y’all.

For whatever reason, this is a great fear of mine. When I say great, I mean HUGE.
In my dream I screamed my head off, and someone actually stopped the guy. I think I was going to get my wallet back when I was awakened suddenly.

But before I woke up, in the moment when I saw the person running away with my belongings, I thought, “Yeah I figured this would happen eventually.”
And I heard my own voice echoing in my head–“You got distracted, not paying attention in the now, and look at how that worked out for you.”

Oh my. I think I may be trying to tell myself something. I’m overwhelmed right now and have been crazy busy. For months I’ve been planning and organizing and focusing on a future event.
And it breaks my heart to think about what all I have lost or missed because I wasn’t listening, wasn’t focused or invested. In. That. Moment.

Tonight I will rest my head, and I hope to have sweet dreams. I have turned over a new leaf today. I hope a sudden storm doesn’t flip it back over, but today I vowed to start focusing more on the now and less on six days, six weeks, six months down the road. Now.
I am thankful for friends, whether from my “real life” or from within, who will tell it like it is. Point a finger, call me Missy, and expect me to do better.
I mean, now that I know better and see what the distractions and being focused on the future steal from my now, how can I do anything less?
Love to all.

Uncle

Today’s post is brought to you by a puppy who wasn’t feeling 100 percent last night but has bounced back quite well today, a little guy who hasn’t been himself the past two days and this evening we figured out why–man down (with fever)–and a day full of errands. Add to it a computer whose wifi connection lately has been tenuous at best and is non-existent tonight, a sink full of dirty dishes and a dishwasher full of clean ones, and clean clothes piled up from here to next week (which is ironic because that’s when it looks like I will finally get around to folding them all)–all that adds up to one word.
Uncle.
I’m calling it.
Remember when you were ready to give up in arm wrestling or thumb war? Uncle was code for “I’m done, I give up.”
Uncle.
Uncle uncle uncle.
From here to town and back.

Here’s to those days that start off less than ideal and never raise the bar. (I mean when your day gets started cleaning up “puppysick” you’d think it could only get better, right? Ahh, but no.) Here’s to friends who get it and let you vent. To daughters who encourage and suggest maybe it’s time for a wordless Thursday post, and to smartphones that have the WordPress app. And here’s to little fellas who want to cuddle when they don’t feel so good.

Here’s to you, who keep on keeping on, who keep on handling it, when all you want most to do is pack up your marbles and jacks and head home. Away from all of this. Hang in there, we all have those days. Or so I tell myself.
As for a wordless post, ha. My girl knows better. It is rare that I am speechless. However I think that tonight I will take my lead from Miss Sophie and call it a night.
After all, tomorrow can only get better, right?
Here’s hoping.
And in the words of my friend, Baddest Mother Ever, “This is no spaghetti.”
Talk about keeping it all in perspective. Wishing you all sunshine and healthy pets and littles. Love to all.

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This pretty much says it all…..