I recognize that I think and write like autumn and my season has arrived. It’s a time for contemplation and long leisurely walks. It feels like long sips of hot chocolate and lingering over a cup of tea. It’s sweater and boot weather. Breathe it in. Wrap yourself in a scarf and enjoy it.
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The plant thrives.
What is lost is found.
The best thing about life is also the scariest thing. You get to decide what you want to do with yours. We always have choice.
I remember back in college. I met this kid who knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up. He was going to be a small town doctor. He was going to be a doctor in his hometown in Georgia and make house calls just like his father did, and his father before him. Boy, was I envious. Growing up I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’m not even sure I know now. I liked lots of things, and despised just as many.
The running joke when I was in college was that I changed my major every week, or at least quarterly. I only changed my major once officially, from civil engineering to rhetoric and communications(true story). I was however in constant discussion about a new class or idea I was exploring. Did I have a love for civil engineering? Nope. I was however very good at math in high school and I had a guidance counselor who was completely absent of guidance. I think I may have met with her once. She saw a kid with stellar grades in math, so engineering was the major for me, or so she decided. I got to pick the discipline. I wasn’t completely oblivious. I chose the college I wanted to go to for all of my own reasons, one being if I didn’t like civil engineering, they had other majors I was interested in.
In between civil engineering and rhetoric and communications, I went from landscape architecture to plant science to physical education to a love for marketing and chemistry to anthropology and many more I probably don’t recall. At one point I was going to design exercise wear for Paula Abdul or work for a cosmetics company like Revlon. My plan was to formulate my own lipstick colors of course. I loved chemistry.
From the first day to the last I took a wide variety of classes: anthropology, engineering basics and calculus. Every time I’d take a class pointing to a career I was interested in, only to be bored by the class. It was quite the adventure. I would never trade it. Economics, art history, a smattering of everything until I started to take rhetoric classes, then literature classes, and communications classes both interpersonal and organizational. That’s when I started to light up. Lots of writing in there, which I wasn’t so great at in the beginning, and found to be drudgery. But, I felt its importance immediately. Self-expression, the communicating of ideas, I loved it. I wanted more of it. I wanted to be better at it. I even learned how to give a speech.
What I really learned is that my ideas and opinions were valuable and it was okay for me to express myself.
I interviewed for a reporting job after I graduated and got it. Here’s the kicker, it was as a sports reporter in a city so small I don’t even remember the name of it. Oh, and there’s the fact that I didn’t know ANYTHING about sports. Apparently, I was the only one who interviewed for the job…clearly.
I love Bob Costas to this day, but I cannot do what he does. He is a sportscaster as well as a writer. He group up loving sports. I did not. I was not a sports loving kid. I can’t state the truth in that enough. I was NOT a sports loving kid. Like a lot of girls I took the occasional dance class and watched gymnastics during the Olympics. That’s the end of that sports story.
When you’re young, having to find your way in the world and discover who you are can be quite scary, actually as an adult too, but when you have some years on you, you realize that change happens all the time and it’s not as scary as you thought it would be; in your youth, not so much.
“Change is the handmaiden Nature requires to do her miracles with.”
Change is inevitable. Choices are always available. One day at a time, one choice at a time, that’s how I’ve decided(see that choice there) to live my days, me and nature creating miracles together, or at least a life of my choosing.
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.”
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?
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. Blue. Berries.
Can you see them?
I know. Me too!
Makes you want to snack on some, right now, doesn’t it?
It hugs me.
Feeling loved with my blueberry pie.
Can you smell it?
I know. Me too.
Blueberries. Boysenberries. Strawberries. Raspberries.
What’s a boysenberry to my tastebuds anyway?
Home baked goodness.
Feeling loved with my strawberry pie.
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.
Oh, yes. Naps.
Feels like home.
Lazy summer afternoons.
They walk among us.
They laugh. They cry.
Yearning to be loved.
To be touched. Noticed.
What’s that like?
Ghosts from another time.
Lives from long ago.
Can you hear me? Can you see me?
Do you know I’m here?
Caressing his back.
Loving him gently.
Two heart beats.
One calming the other.
Daddy loves you.
Mommy loves you.
Sometimes love is so quiet.
Two people sitting together in silence.
Knowing each other.
Loving each other…
Picked up. Carefully being put back together.
Crazy glue. Liquid cement. No duct tape.
Learn. Grow. Share.
The plant thrives.
What is lost…is found.