Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
Rain and rain and rain,
weeping to earth tirelessly,
feeding grass and trees.
I got my new driver’s license picture this week, required every eight years in the state of Oregon. Photographs of me always surprise me because the picture of myself I see in my brain is probably the 20ish self I carry within me. I don’t spend much time looking in the mirror these days – a quick brush of the hair and teeth and we’re off. When I was younger there were eyebrows to be plucked, blackheads to be masqued, cosmetics to be applied, and hair to be styled. And though I still get zits at this ripened age, my allergies prevent the use of cosmetics, blackheads are freed with the twice weekly exfoliant, the eyebrows are wild and wooly, and the hair is the same long brown braid it’s been for 35 years.
What struck me with this picture is the softness. My belly fell to my hips after the son was born many years ago. No amount of exercise or food changes or restrictions have reduced it and it is now a force to be reckoned with. The boobalas, a massive forefront issue since the age of 13, are now a part of my waist line and require steel belted foundation garments to look like they are where they should be. My body doesn’t show in this photograph of my face.
My chin slid into my neck at the last picture, clearly a hanging waddle of skin under the neck, and drooping, wrinkly chinskin above it. But this photo shows a roundness of the cheeks and sagging of the eyelids not there before. The firm skin and bright, wide open eyes of my younger years are gone, merely a memory in other photographs. The hair that never held a curl on the driest days of my youth is frizzy with nearly as much white as brown. The photograph looks like Monet spilled water on a half finished watercolor painting, an impressionist image of a woman’s face softened by years of tired brushstrokes.
And. Yet. I have earned this face. It shows my work, my experiences, my heart. It shows my distresses, my joy, and my opinions. It carries the past days of my youth buried inside it. It is the face I own to show the world what I hide on the inside, where you cannot see.
Flower Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhoods this week –asters; chrysanthemums; a few hardy roses; surprise pockets of purply autumn crocus. This time of year the colors shift to trees changing color as they lose sugar and chlorophyl, and I am less familiar with trees. It is, then, time to learn. Here is one of my favorites, a neighborhood catalpa. I love the bright green leaves and the long “green bean” seeds. Color also comes from the sedums and succulents as they change with the cooling earth temperatures.
Currently Reading – The Secrets of Mary Bowser (historical fiction, last of the summer reading, and yes, I got a slow start on summer reading this year, and this book is proving a perfect segue into autumn) by Lois Leveen; Genetic Roulette (public health science) by Jeffrey M Smith; Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown (global economics) by David Wiedemer and Robert A Wiedemer; How to See Yourself as You Really Are (enlightenment) by the Dalai Lama; The Little House Cookbook (cookbook) by Barbara M Walker. Yes, concurrently.
This week I have been grateful for:
- Tiny brown speckled birds playing and bathing in the puddles in my yard instead of hiding in the leaves away from the rain.
- A murder of crows taking advantage of available resources and cleaning the sidewalk of windfall walnuts.
- The little window of clear weather last week for the sidewalk chalk art festival and the photos I was able to get. It has rained ever since.
- The rain. The puddles. Rain gutters.
- The stormy weeping weather as it matches my mood.
- Autumn arriving according to the calendar this year.
- Every painful step as it reminds me I am still alive and of this world.
- Enjoying the film documentary A Midwife’s Tale made from the historical work of the same name about Martha Ballard, by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, also read.
- The fun of digital photography and the ability to take thousands of pictures without the dual expenses of film and processing of same.
- Finishing another Gratitude Sunday. Other essays are taking longer to complete these day as my brain moves slowly with grief.
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.