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.
displays bright bold peonies,
purple locust chains.
May is such a busy month starting right off with my brother’s birthday, the hubster’s birthday, the birthdays of a past love, friends from the past, and new friends as well. Then there’s Mother’s Day, and the anniversary of my father’s and my grandmother’s demise, and the wedding anniversary of a co-worker who surprised us all by eloping. Throw graduations into the mix; because of volunteering with scouts and being able to stay in one community long enough to raise the son, seems like I always know someone who’s graduating from something.
As it should be. Births, deaths, anniversaries, commencements mark the passing of time in a delightful way. Perhaps this is what separates us from the animals, the celebrations of the passing of time.
The young man I loved died at the age of 24; his birthday this May 13 he would have been 65. For many years I was sure I would die at the age of 24, but then I didn’t. Obviously. His mother corresponded with me for many years until she died, and her husband saw fit to send me a copy of her funeral notice from the mortuary. Funny things I save, like all her letters and the notice. All of my love’s letters too.
Dad died at the age of 75, now he’d be 89. I have a hard time imagining him any older. As masculine as he was, loving fishing and hunting and guns, he had this air of fragility about him. He was allergic to bees, for example, but I don’t know he ever carried whatever was available back then to prevent anaphylactic shock. He tried not to show it but he was a sensitive lonely soul, and I struggle to understand why, though I am perhaps the same. He died in my arms, a sacred experience we all should have in this lifetime, but few do anymore. We are so distanced from death we have become afraid of a life passage.
That was a tough year as my mom’s mother passed away a few days later. Several of us traveled together to the funeral in Idaho. The joy of funerals is connecting with those of us who are still here, who can share the stories and memories and love of a family.
A week later we traveled to La Pine, Oregon to disperse the ashes of my father on property he loved. For the first time in 10 years my siblings were together for the same event: to say goodbye to our dad. His grandchildren were small then but they remember him with love. And now they have children of their own. It’s the cycle of life and as Mom said, “Dying is a part of life.”
My first great-nephew is 11 this month. A magical age, 11, the first same digit birthday, the birthday that means you are undoubtedly growing into a young adult. The birthday that says you are no longer a little child, but able finally to start stepping up toward adulthood. I have no doubts for this young man because he is blessed with loving supportive parents.
My pool pal is having a 29 again birthday. She recently had an incident in which she briefly questioned her driving and I offer this video as balm. Every woman needs to own one piece of good bling and a classic car. Notice at the end of the video this spry 100 year old woman steps onto a cloth on the running board and then bends all the way down to pick it up. Looks like keeping a car like that in good shape might keep a person in good shape as well.
My first cousin’s daughter, who is my first cousin once removed, commenced from her graduate program a few days ago. While I don’t have the pleasure of knowing the young woman personally, nonetheless, I am grateful for her achievements as the future of our world is only as good as our youth. Her father, my cousin, spent many days in my childhood home, was like another brother, and his love and support for children is one of the finest things he owns. He wanted sons, got smart, beautiful daughters, and now is blessed with grandsons. His daughter has a brilliant future in front of her.
Yes, one of my quirks is knowing how to count cousins. I can tell first from second from third cousins and how many times removed. I looked up several kinship charts, but they confuse me more than the simple lineage method I learned. So, if you ever want to know the real number of your cousin, I’m your gal. I’ll even show you my method so you can easily count cousins yourself. It’s a party skill you’ll never regret knowing.
Deaths, births, weddings, anniversaries, maturities, commencements, and celebrations marking achievements are the rites of spring. These events anchor the progression of time. Whether one remembers the correct year properly or not one can always say, “remember when” and reminisce and celebrate the passing of time.
Color Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhoods this week – health kept me indisposed this week and I terribly miss my photo-journeys. I desire my own pictures of the clematises, and irises, and all the colors of rhododendrons, and roses starting to come on. I borrowed a few pieces of eye candy from other sites. One of my favorite goddesses, local Portland author Lidia Yuknavitch, photograph likely by her hubby, surrounded by roses and irises from her garden. When I was still a small girl my beloved uncle taught me the names of my two favorite colors of rhododendron, Sappho, a deep purple throat in a pure white blossom,
and Blue Peter, the darkest bluest purple with a deeper purple throat. As I grew years later the names of the colors took on a different significance; they are still my favorite colors.
All the locust trees on my street blossomed one night; one day they were green, the next they were chained with leis of purple flowers.
Currently Reading – The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, and The Science of Suffering (2010, science) by Melanie Thernstrom; Burial Rites (2014, fiction) by Hannah Kent; Fear of Food: A History of Why We Worry About What We Eat (2012, nutrition) by Harvey Levenstein. Yes, concurrently. Check out my From Me 2 U Book Review page.
This week I have been grateful for:
- A recent placid evening; doors wide open, weather mild and soft, blue sky and sunbright clouds, moderate comfortable temperature; birds’ evening songs coming through both open doors, east and west; the whole neighborhood lethargic after an afternoon of lawn mowers, weed eaters, and busy people; the laughter and cries of neighborhood children in the twitter-light.
- The first anniversary for a special young woman in my life. I love to see her so happy with her young man as they begin their family life together. This sweet woman shares the same birth date this month with the hubster and she introduces him as her “birthday twin” though they are 30 years apart.
- The hubster picking and cooking a nice steak. And fixing the rest of the supper to go with it.
- Getting a small corner of clutter under control, with more than half going into the recycle bin.
- Remembering again change is the only constant. Each day is new, none like the other.
- The healing factors of my skin.
- Appreciating movement after forced immobility.
- Watching Cloud Atlas with the son and enjoying hearing his analytical perspective afterward.
- Hearing commencement ceremonies at the university nearly a mile away because the wind is right. Knowing a young man I have watched grow up these last 14 years is walking in the ceremony.
- Very early in the season, white Saturn peaches from back east, sweetly scenting the air in my house, telling my nose they want to be eaten soon.
- Evening clover scented air.
- The smell of dew accumulating on the grass at night.
- The nearly tropical rain that comes again after a dry mild week.
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.
Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch