Break Time

I’m starting to believe we live our lives in chapters.  We are growing up in the early chapters.  We’re getting educated in others.  We are focused on relationships in others.  We’re having children and building careers in others.  Many of those things can occur at the same time, but at various times in our lives the focus is usually on one or two.  Some of the chapters can be quite boring, where we’re just coasting along, living each day as it comes, stuck in our routines, sometimes very happily so, and then a change comes to jostle you a bit or knock you completely off your feet: job changes, broken relationships, health issues, moves from one place to another.  They can feel like little deaths in a sense or maybe even actually so.

“All change, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves, we must die to one life before we can enter another.”

Anatole France.

 I like change, or so I tell myself. One day I have grape jelly, the next, strawberry.  Okay, that’s not really dramatic, and I really don’t have jelly that often anyway, so…  What I mean is that we get thrown for a loop sometimes.  There’s an earthquake under your feet but not under anybody else’s.   Your tectonic plates are shifting but when you look across the street, everything seems to be just as it was.  What happened?  You may be even screaming in your head.  WHAT HAPPENED?  No answers come, not yet anyway.    Maybe never.  I am constantly amazed at how life continues even when I decide to take a break from it, let’s say by having a relaxing weekend indoors(staycation anybody?), a spa day, a week away, or a year…

Everybody’s journey is different. Vive la difference!  Some travel fast through life, now is the only option, and others take a much slower pace, tortoise and hare, hare and tortoise.  There’s a middle road for a lot of people too. Life ebbs and flows.  Your timing is your timing.  Everyone has to travel at their own pace. How about you? What’s your speed? What chapter are you on?

What does it mean to be a woman?

This is not a question I would have asked of myself, but someone asked it of me and I was intrigued, so I answered.  What does it mean to be a woman?  

Eve.  Cleopatra.  Jezebel.  Mary of Magdalene.  A mother.  Iconic Women.  It seems like such a big question to answer.  Does she have kids?  If she wants to have them.  Is she married?  If she chooses to be, or not.  Is she loved?  Let’s hope so.  It’s not just about biology.  XY chromosomes.  Check.  Is that what makes a woman?  A certain age?  You decide.  Hint: It’s not fifteen.  The question I think was meant as “woman” as opposed to “man,” but I also thought of it as “woman” as opposed to “child.” 

I’ve finally reached that age in life where I can’t think of myself any other way, whether I like it or not.  Woman, not child, certainly not man.  Experienced, someone whose seen ups and downs in life and has faced both.  I’d love to say, fearless, but that wouldn’t be true.  Afraid sometimes, but a woman walks forward anyway.  Perhaps a sense of confidence that whatever she faces can be looked at, confronted, examined, and taken care of.

A woman has fallen but she gets up.  She cares for herself and others.  There are times when both are necessary, and maybe not at the same time.  A woman has a tribe, a tribe of other woman, and men, and children who adore her, who respect her, who honor her, and who want to see her succeed.  A tribe who will stand with her when she falls, and reaches out a hand to help her up, a tribe who will hold her up when need be. 

A woman has been hurt, has been broken, has been happy, and angry.  A woman walks her own path to success, even though sometimes the path is lonely, maybe especially when the path is lonely.  Yes, she knows how to ask for help. If you say, “I am a woman.” You have to own that power.  It’s not for the faint of heart.  That’s warrior talk.  A warrior, a woman isn’t always loud.  Sometimes the strongest ones are the quietest.  Shhh.  Listen.  She’s there.  

A woman loves.  She is loved.

What does it mean to you?

Blueberries

Blueberries.  Blue.  Berries.  

Can you see them?

I know.  Me too!

Makes you want to snack on some, right now, doesn’t it?

That color…blueberry.

It’s safe.

It’s rich. 

It hugs me.

It’s home.

Feeling loved with my blueberry pie.

Can you smell it?

I know.  Me too.

Welcome home.

Blueberries.  Boysenberries. Strawberries.  Raspberries.

What’s a boysenberry to my tastebuds anyway?

Home baked goodness.

Feeling loved with my strawberry pie.

Mmmm.

Delicious.

Welcome home.

Raspberry fingers.  Stains all over my white shirt.

It happens every summer.

Feels like home.

Light breezes blowing red and white tablecloths on the picnic tables.

Summer sun.

Picnics

Sticky fingers.

Naps.

Oh, yes.  Naps.

Feels  like home.

 Lazy summer afternoons.

Welcome home.

My First Ramadan…lite.

My First Ramadan:
Okay,  sort of but not really.   So, I see my neighbors putting boxes and boxes of dates in their cars, and I’m like, “what’s up?” and she’s all, “it’s for Ramadan,” and I’m all “oh, okay,” and then I’m like “okay bye.” and she’s all “bye.”  The hubs doesn’t do a whole lot of talking.
  So, that was like two or three days ago right.  So, today I have to go up and tell her not to use her kitchen sink until the plumber comes, and before I leave she like hands me some dates and she’s all,  “they’re for Ramadan.”
And I’m all “okay,  thanks.” (Squishy face) because I still don’t know what they signify.
Hmm. Google and Siri here I come. Now I know, so I’m sharing.
  “Dates are a staple fruit of the Middle East having been in cultivation for thousands of years. Traditionally, dates are known as the food Muhammad ate when he broke from his fast.”   That’s according to About.com.
That’s cool right? !  I know!  Anywho.  The medical reason for it is because dates contain many nutrients the body can absorb really quickly after fasting from sunrise to sunset.  You’ve just spent the whole day not eating so you don’t want to get sick by eating something too fatty and lacking in vital nutrients.  So not only are you emulating Mohammad but you’re protecting your health as well.  Nice.
  Technically , I broke my four hour fast, fast-lite, with some Indian food today.   That’s how we socalians do it:-) but it didn’t stop me from appreciating my new shared experience with my neighbor.
  Goodness knows after Sunday’s hatred in Orlando, we need to spread inclusion and togetherness as much as we can.  We, after all, are all one.