Posts tagged ‘life’

Taking steps

Our foster son is nearly eleven months old, and today he walked for the first time.  He has taken a few steps now and again in the past couple of weeks, but today I saw him walk to get somewhere he wanted to go.

He’s a very solid little person, both in his body and his heart, and his first steps reflected that–not the stuttery, tripping, baby steps I might expect, but five solid steps.  One foot after another.

The rest of the day, I watched as he practiced his new skill.  At the end of the day–already wearing his pj’s and waiting for my husband to get home to read books and tuck him into bed–he took a couple of steps towards me, then stopped to get his balance.  I backed away.  He walked a few more steps, paused, and I backed up again.  He walked across the room towards me in this way, only touching my legs when I was backed up against the far wall.

Parenting is of course a bucket of work, but it’s also an amazing privilege to watch another person learn how to do things.  He had such a look of awe and joy on his face as he walked towards me, exploring the outer limit of his abilities on his sturdy little legs.

At some point, we settle into walking, every step no longer cause for awe, and celebration.  But watching him inspires me to think about what I am taking steps towards right now in my life–in what ways am I exploring the outer limit of my abilities?  What brings joy to my face, and awe to my heart?

I don’t have an answer to this right now–it’s late, I’m tired, and I still need to pick up the playroom–but I know that asking the question is taking steps in the right direction.

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October 23, 2011 at 9:32 pm 2 comments

Finding North

The recent celebration of Valentine’s Day put me in mind of some of the sweeties of my past.

In high school, I had a friend who became my boyfriend for a few months in our junior year.  He broke it off after a brief but wonderfully sweet time dating.

His reason he thought we should no longer date was that he felt “like a compass going by another compass” when we were around each other.   At the time, as a sixteen-year old girl, my reaction was–and this is a problem?  I thought it was true love.

He however, even at sixteen or so, had the wisdom to know that you always have to know where north is.  Whatever is happening around us, whatever life brings our way, we have to know where north is, stay with our own center, not be blown off course by the winds of life.

Now, I understand that when you throw a mortgage payment and a child or two and having a career and continuing to learn and grow in life into the mix, two compasses next to each other doesn’t make for a good match.  A spinning compass has a hard time getting the credit card bill paid and putting dinner on the table, much less living life with grace.  Though I love my husband deeply, our lives are complicated enough without that spinning compass feeling that I thought was so great as a teenager.

That I remember Andrew’s words indicates not the depths of my broken heart, as I liked to think at the time, but that some part of me recognized the wisdom they contained.  It took me years–and a few more heartbreaks–to understand them, however.

So, I remembered them again on Valentine’s Day, as I cleaned our bathroom floor, grateful for the all the kinds of love in my life that I give and receive that help to keep me on course, steady, aware–in most moments, if not every one–of where North is.

February 21, 2011 at 6:54 am Leave a comment

Keeping it simple

One day earlier this week, for no obvious reason, our power was out when we woke up.  No water for a shower, no way to heat the water for tea.  No checking email, no flicking on the radio.

It was lovely, I must say.

I straightened up the house, unloaded the dishwasher, and then wondered where my husband was.

“What are you doing back here?”  I found him in the back yard, with the dog.

“Just looking at things.”

We sat outside, the three of us, watching the men in the basket at the end of the long arm of the power company truck, fixing whatever was keeping our appliances from humming.  We watched the birds at the feeder, and we watched the dog, watching the red squirrels.

Half an hour later, the power back on, I was checking my email and drinking my tea.

The dog, who is onto something, stayed in the backyard, squirrel watching.

On Saturday, I took a lovely class (offered by Leslie at Upper Valley Yoga) and noticed the simple language she used to get us into some complex poses (or near them, at least).  Without the clutter of a lot of description (but plenty of clear direction), I was able to follow her instructions and still have my own experience of the yoga practice.

I realized that the space she left allowed me to connect to myself.  And that connection to myself allows me to connect to another.

These connections may happen in the most simple ways–the simple kindness of meeting another’s eye when we say hello in the grocery store.  The simple act of listening to our loved ones at the end of a long day.

This is a good reminder for me.  Simple isn’t my first nature, and everyday life doesn’t generally encourage me in that direction.

Thank goodness for the occasional power outage, and red squirrel watching with the dog.

July 19, 2010 at 10:19 pm Leave a comment

Grace.

The dog and I are resting on the porch.  She has her nose in the sun and the rest of herself in shade.  I’ve got my legs in the sun.  The rest of me—and this computer screen—are in the shade.

We’ve had four days of my ideal weather.  Hot sun, cool breeze, and nights chilly enough to need a thin wool blanket.  It’s easy for me, on days like this, to feel that life is a blessing, that life is full of grace.  That I am full of grace.  And certainly, of course, the dog is full of grace.

I imagine grace is a quality within our hearts.  It describes the times in life when we feel afraid and do the thing we’re afraid of.  It describes the times in life when we say the perfect thing in a difficult situation, or when we say the wrong thing and forgive ourselves for it.  It describes those days when we feel the sadness in our hearts, and the beauty of the day, and the two can rest there, side by side.

Grace may look like the face of a baby, a well-tended garden, a beautiful loaf of bread.

I taught to the theme of Grace in my yoga classes this week.  One class is a group of friends who meet once a week in the summer to practice.  Some of them are new to yoga, some of them have a steady practice year-round, some come to their mats only when we meet for this class.  They watch, learn from, and help each other with a sense of fun, and kindness, and ease that is a joy to watch.  This is Grace.

Now, can I bring Grace along for the ride when it gets up into the 90’s again, as the weather tells us it will by the end of this weekend?  Blech.  We’ll see.

At least weather in the 90’s is perfect for wearing an uppup tank.  Check them out at http://shop.uppupyoga.com/.  They make a great gift if you know any yogis with a summertime birthday!

Have a grace-filled week.  Thanks for visiting.

Sometimes Grace looks like Luna, resting on the porch.

July 2, 2010 at 5:32 pm 4 comments


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