Sunday, July 16, 2006















This
photograph comes from the garden of MB, a dear friend...

It is as lovely as anything I have ever come across in the countless magazines I've pored over throughout my decades...

When I saw this photograph, I immediately thought to myself, "I want that spot in my garden"...not a spot like that one, but that exact slice of gardening bliss...


Of course, who wouldn't want such a beautiful vignette to pass by on the way to the compost pile or to the shed?

But, rather than straight to the junk shop for an old basketed bicycle in a fabulous faded color to stage a pale imitation of MB's wonderful bit of artistic gardening, this photograph led to me an area within my heart here I have spent many futile hours wrestling with feelings of unfulfillment and envy over what others have in their lives...

For the past couple of years, probably owing to many things~my son's move from teenager to young adult, the loss of grandparents for whom I cared not just emotionally, but physically as well, and the realization of my fading youth (if you've ever stood in front of your bathroom mirror and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d the skin of your face upwards or outwards from your nose, you know the feeling I'm talkin' about...)~a sometimes vague and sometimes decidedly not vague sense of unease has colored many of the waking moments of my life...honestly, I prefer the more vague sensations as opposed to the out-and-out dismay...at least you can drown those vague feelings with a bowl of rich chocolate ice cream or a Thin Man movie or a chat with a good friend...all three together, of course, can provide hours of relief from that insistent and irritating nagging voice in one's head...

Far too many precious minutes have ticked away while I wondered "what next?"...

God has had his ear chewed off while I moaned and whined, carryin' on about finding meaning in my life, making all sorts of bargains and half-assed promises...of course, being raised here in the South and knowing full well what a hissy fit is and how to pitch one...well, after I got tired of all that without having any discernible results, I'd have myself a nice little hissy fit...

"Fine...you know what? I don't care any more...don't tell me what I'm supposed to do with the rest of my life...I don't care...I'm just tired of askin' and getting no reply...fine...fine, fine, fine, fine...did you hear me? I. don't. care...so there...fine..."

After one of those episodes, several days might roll by before I'd go crawlin' back...

"Okay...tell ya what...how about just one little sign? something simple...no need for drama...well, okay...a booming voice with a bright ray of light would simplify matters...little room for getting that message scrambled, right? heh heh..."

Silence...well, except for all the other personalities who live upstairs in My World...amazing how we can pressure ourselves without any help from any one else...

So the cycle would go...Endless whining, pretending patience and openness to what would come, getting a little irate, taking a "tone" with God, apologizing and settlin' down for a while...then the hissy fit, followed closely by sulking and ignoring God other than a cursory "Hi, howyadoin'" in the a.m. (I might have been showin' my behind, but I wasn't completely stupid)

Then, I read a book titled Second Calling...most of the book failed to elicit much of a response from me, but I kept reading...and, near the end, my patience was finally rewarded...the book's author writes of a concept evolved out of the biblical story of manna...

Taking that concept, wrapping my brain around it and running with it has been a godsend for me...

I've entered a place did I didn't know existed within my soul...

Each day, I begin my prayers by thanking God for all the wonderful things within my life (I try to be thankful for all that is within my life, but I'll be frank...I haven't reached the stage where I can do that and mean it...) and I know now that what I have is ample for my day...and for my life...

If I am blessed in the future by doors opening into new areas, then I hope I will be able to bravely step across those thresholds...I know that doors of choice open all day long for every one...and each choice leads to another choice...and another...the image I keep in my mind's eye of this belief is of a rain chain...

It is the new areas that I have craved admittance to since the old areas where I was needed and valued have changed or vanished altogether...

And, therein, I believe resides the heart of the matter...most of my anguish came from not being "needed" as I was before my son began his transformation to adulthood and my grandparents died...so when I began to daydream about what was to follow, it became an exercise in vanity...being all about Me and feeling valued and powerful and a Take Charge Kind of Woman...and, of course, since it was a daydream, I was about 50 pounds lighter, had great Big Hair, immaculate make-up and a smokin' car...

But, while daydreams are all well and good, for me, those particular daydreams demeaned the reality of my life...they undercut all that I hold closely and dearly and worked so hard all those years to create...

Sometimes, my hard head can make learning what should be an easy lesson so very difficult...

and if you should happen across a shabbily fabulous old bike with a basket for holding big blooms that at this point exist only in my gardening fantasies...








1 comment:

Yankee Doodle said...

I guess I shouldn't be shocked by the results as I came up with the same as you Mrs. G!

Does this come under the heading of two peas in a pod?

it's all about the journey...