listening

there are times when the words come easily
and flow quickly,
faster than my fingers can fly across the keyboard

other times I sit and ponder and read
and try to find the words

and perhaps, it has just occurred to me,
that instead of searching for the words
that seem to elude me

those moments could best be spent
embracing the quiet
the stillness

and
just
listening…..

 

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By Sini191 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

The Countdown is ON

Around here we have some countdowns going on.  Several actually.  It didn’t occur to me today which one might be foremost in my mind, in my subconscious even, until I saw this on the road while Miss Sophie and I were taking our morning constitutional earlier today.

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The first thing that came to my mind was, “Huh.  That looks like a TIE fighter.”  And right after I typed that just now I had to look up to see if I even had the right thing or not–I am right about which one, but of course it really does NOT look like a TIE fighter in actuality, but still, you can see where my mind was going.

STAR WARS, y’all.

December 18.

Unlike the other countdowns going on in our home, this one we’ve had on the horizon for over a year.  Ever since the movie was announced and “December 2015” was a far away nebulous thing.

Not anymore.  We are closing in on SW Day.  It’s real.  And we are so close to it that we can all but taste the popcorn.

One week before Christmas.  Another of our many countdowns going on right now.

The anticipation is so palpable, it’s a real thing.  Anticipating all of the good things to come.  One, two, three, four.  All right there together in a row.

Having good things to look forward to is the best, isn’t it?  With all the hard things and the sad things and the downright dark things in our days and weeks and months…..hanging on to the good that is coming…..that is what keeps us going.

Hoping you all have something fun and wonderful to have a countdown for in your neck of the woods.

Love to all.

 

In the Waiting and Uncertainty

Yesterday I was at the Getting Place getting some “stuff,” and this gave me pause.

Black jelly beans.  They were Daddy's favorites.

Black jelly beans. They were Daddy’s favorites.

And made me a little sad.

The Easter Bunny brought us jelly beans every year, tucked in our green plastic grass that was put away in a bread bag every year for safekeeping until the next Easter.  And every year, I would dig through and pull out the black ones first thing.  And pass them to my right.  Where my Daddy sat at the end of the table.  They were his favorites, and little on Easter morning brought me as much joy as giving him these favorites of his.

This was in the day before they bagged the black ones separately all by themselves. Once they started doing that, I usually picked a bag up for him–sometimes for Easter, sometimes just because.

He’d keep the bag with a twist tie on it, and it would be stored in the little wooden box that sat by his recliner in the living room.  Daddy would pull out the bag, untwist it, pour a few in his palm, and eat the licorice flavored sweets.  Then he’d twist the bag back up, and tuck it away until his sweet tooth called out for them again.

I read something years ago about Holy Saturday, which is upon us now.  That first Saturday–the day after Good Friday.  It was described as a day of waiting, of uncertainty, of in-between.  A day of not knowing.

I think back to the time after Daddy was diagnosed with Lymphoma, his Giant to fight, in 2009.  So much of that time felt just like that–waiting, being uncertain, weeping for what we were most afraid of, feeling in-between, longing for resurrection in the form of good news–remission, a cure, a misdiagnosis, a miracle, something, anything.

What I didn’t know or see at the time is that in those moments of waiting, there were many small moments of redemption and life-affirming joy.  In the midst of the fear, there was faith.  In the grasping for answers, there was hope.  In the moments of worry and sadness, there was laughter and light in his eyes, his voice, his stories, and his words.  In those moments of being in-between, the who we were with conquered where we were.

And that’s as it should be, isn’t it?  Even in the hardest of situations, because of who I was with, I was able to get through the where and the what, and move beyond with a tad bit of hope and a whole lot of love.

Daddy’s jelly beans.  A precious memory.  But what makes it so special is the memory of his hand held out to accept what I offered from mine.  The smile on his face, acting like he was surprised that I didn’t want them myself.  The way his eyes lit up when he bit into the first one every year.  Daddy loved black jelly beans–he loved us even more.  And in the waiting, in the uncertainty, it was that love that conquered all.

May your waiting find you surrounded by those who love you, and may you find the joy and peace of Easter waiting for you on the other side.

Love to all.

 

In the Quiet of the Waiting

Have you ever been to a sporting event? High school football game? Little League baseball game?  It’s a bit rowdy and full of excitement and noise, right?

Even when sitting in a theater and waiting for a play to start or waiting in your pew for a church service to start, there’s a rustling and conversation and at least some noise.

Today, however, our waiting has been quiet.

Okay.  Those of you who know the Zoo Crew (my littles and Miss Sophie) know that there’s no way that could be completely true.  Not for ten hours straight.  And you’d be right.

But with the exception of the running off their energy in circles through the kitchen for about five to ten minutes this afternoon, it has been an amazingly quiet day.

There’s something about anticipation and waiting that fills us with awe and wonder.

We live in middle Georgia.  We get snow on average every three years or so.  The only significant snow I can recall in my lifetime was in 1973.  “The Snow of ’73” is what it’s called.  And folks who were around then know what you’re talking about.  It snowed long and hard and was deep.  I was four and a half or five.  I wore my little cowgirl boots out to play in the snow, because why would any of us have such things as snow boots?  I played with the little girl next door in the yard between our two houses.  I remember either her Daddy or mine letting the car run so we could sit in it and warm up while we were playing.  My feet were like ice, and when all the cold took over the fun, I remember going up on our backporch and shedding myself of all my wet things.  It was a beautiful sunny day, the sky was so blue.  And the snow.  There’s no white as white as the snow that day.  So vibrant.

We have been waiting for the snow today.  Folks started talking about it a few days ago.  The local schools made the call yesterday to close today.  Forecasters predicted the precipitation would start around 11 a.m., with it shifting to freezing precipitation by 2 or 3 p.m. and snow would follow shortly.

My littles woke up expecting it to be snowing.  They don’t understand things like weather forecasts and cold fronts and humidity.  They just heard the word “snow” and visions of snowflakes and snowball fights and snowmen and sledding began dancing in their heads.  Seriously.  We have never needed a sled in all of their lives, but yesterday they had the Fella go get his sled out of the attic.  I’m telling y’all that thing will get used even if there’s only .10 inch of snow on the ground.  They won’t settle for any less.

As happens the forecast was a little off, but let’s stop a minute and think.  How amazing was it that they could even pinpoint today as the SNOW day?  I’m in awe of weather forecasting.  Really I am.  It’s kind of like magic to me.  However, my littles are not as forgiving.  When we checked the noon news to see what they were saying, the prediction of snow was pushed out until tonight between 7 and 10 p.m.  If that man had been standing in the living room with us, I would have ushered him out quickly, fearful for his safety.

The littles were mad.  Especially Cooter.  We talked a bit about kindness and forgiveness.

Other than that, though, a day of awe-filled quiet and waiting and learning about patience.

My littles sang “Snow” from “White Christmas” together most of the morning.  Love.  That.

The cowl I've been working on whenever I had a few minutes for the past few weeks.

The cowl I’ve been working on whenever I had a few minutes for the past few weeks.

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I finished this project.  It’s not a hard one, but in the stillness of the day, I carved out some time and finished it.  (Do you get that finish is the important thing here?)

It snowed at Wesleyan, and I’ve gotten to see the joy on my oldest’s face as she walks around in the beautiful white, cold, fluffy stuff in the pictures she and her friends are taking.  It brings back memories of the snow day we had when I was in college there.  Is there a greater joy for a Mama than to see joy and peace and happiness in her child’s face? So thankful.

I’m one of the lucky ones, I know.  There are folks still trying to get home all over Atlanta and in Alabama.  There are schoolchildren sleeping in school gyms with no way to get home, and people sitting in their cold cars almost out of gas on the interstates.  I give thanks for being in my home with my little people and the Fella, knowing that the people I love are all okay.  I don’t take it for granted.  I even heard from Mac today.  “If nobody’s told you today, Mac Carter loves you.”  Thank you, Mac.  For the phone call and for the love.  He’s staying with friends tonight who have a room out of the cold.  I am very thankful for that.

Tonight I give thanks for singing littles, for children and puppies chasing each other around the house, for little people quietly playing with Legos and Playmobil people, taking little breaks to press their faces to the glass and sigh longingly.  I am grateful for my oldest and her good friends, who work hard and play hard and love each other fiercely, as only Wesleyannes can.  Most of all I am thankful for the warmth.

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Warmth in my heart.  Seeing the enchantment in my children’s eyes and hearing the excitement in their voices warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes…..

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Warmth in my home.

Miss Sophie, best foot warmer ever!

Miss Sophie, best foot warmer ever!

And warmth on my cold feet.

So thankful for home.  In the words of Edith Sitwell:

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home.

Y’all be safe.  Please keep the children and families and people in Atlanta and Alabama who are not home in your thoughts and prayers.  Love to all.