Shadows and Sunlight

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When I step out of the shower my favorite thing to do is to dig my face into my towel and breath in through my nose. I smell my home, my life, clean, comfort. When I was near the shore I smelled beach, moisture, vacation, humidity. Life is wonderful and heartbreaking, amazing and fleeting.

I’m sitting in a room surrounded by treasured belongings that were once my husband’s aunt’s. The wooden trinkets and books make me feel she is actually here with me. The photo albums I made for her are now here. I can’t read the lines I wrote to her inside of those albums without fighting the sadness away. Holding her antique books makes me want to sit and read every page, touch each leather binding.

All of the special things we accumulate in life; one day they will be left behind. Special and treasured as the keep sakes are, they symbolize our defeated impermanence and the victorious passing of time. I know the glass is half full, none of it escapes me, not the blessings nor the heartaches. Still we are all going to be gone one day and the beautifully bound leather books will be here with the ivory candle sticks and the small wooden horse.

I once visited a friend who was moving into a house that came with all of the belongings of the deceased woman who lived in it prior to my friend purchasing it. The woman who had passed away had no one to claim her belongings, not one living family member or dear friend. My daughter asked if she could keep a few things she liked that day and when I see those things I am reminded of that woman who died alone. That woman’s white and blue painted cookie tin is in our kitchen and when it catches my eye it speaks to me.

“Loss and Possession, Death and Life are one,
There falls no shadow where there shines no sun.”
-Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

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Love Rocks

Daily Prompt: Viral | The Daily Post
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/daily-prompt-first/

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This daily prompt challenge is to write a piece for the New York Post that will be the first many will know of me. When my son is prompted to write something about himself he sarcastically writes “I like cheese” and it annoys teachers and family alike. But as I sit here to write something from my heart one of the first things that comes to mind is “I love rocks.” Maybe that is because I have been on our family vacation collecting rocks for days but when I’m not on vacation I also pick up rocks from beside the river, on a nature trail or just outside my front door. My husband gave me a pendant years ago that says “love rocks” referring to our love or a shared love but it also applies to me in the way that I do love rocks. The thought of these natural objects having been here for hundreds,
thousands or millions of years before us fascinates me to no end. All of the passing thoughts, plans or concerns that the average person keeps in their head seem to shrink when I reflect on the many years and circumstances it has taken any one of these rocks to become the size, shape or texture that it is today. As we live our lives and think that the things in them are so critical, countless facets of nature are just being and many of them will continue doing so long after we are gone, much like some of them were doing long before we arrived. How many families has the hearty tree behind the time-shared lake cabin seen? That sturdy, majestic tree sits behind the cabin’s kitchen door, right where every family loads their food in and out of the cabin and like the smooth sea rocks on the shore, it will be there weathering winters and summers after many families are no longer vacationing at the lake cabin, or are even alive. Feeling the bark on that tree makes me nostalgic and I think of the people who were here before me and also ponder on those who have yet to start their journey here. Like the tree at the cabin, the rounded rocks I pick up in different places remind me of the passing of time and our place in it as people. I rub the smooth surfaces of the rocks and in my heart I feel like a little girl who wonders what it is all about. And I love rocks. -smilingbug

Carefree

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree | The Daily Post
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/photo-challenge-carefree/#more-34146

This week’s photo challenge: carefree.
Those moments free of hassle don’t come around all often. When they do I treasure them and I feel a bitter sweet sting knowing that, like everything in life, they too will pass.

The place where this photo was taken is a lake where my husband’s family goes to be together and be carefree. This year his aunt is not with us and unfortunately, nothing is the same. Still we are appreciating these carefree times with the kids playing in the lake, on paddle boards or canoes. What is your carefree time or place? -smilingbug

Golden Years

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I saw some dear lady friends on the beach yesterday. One had her hair styled, short and a sharp blonde color. The other was gray and had bright orange lipstick. One of them had brought a small plastic side table to the beach that they placed between their beach chairs. It held a classic paisley purse and a drink with a straw. One of their beach chairs had the special convertible top that flipped over her head for shade when needed. I could tell from their relaxed posture and mannerism that this was a routine they had been doing for quite some time. I instantly wished that I would have girlfriend days on the beach one day. Maybe my hair would be all gray or maybe I would wear bright orange lipstick. They looked so happy and fabulous. That night I celebrated my parent in-laws’ 60th wedding anniversary and many of the friends who were at their wedding attended. I listened to stories about childhood crushes and summer cocktail parties. I couldn’t sleep at night thinking of a lifetime of 60 years, how that must feel and all of the relationships and happenings that filled those years. My husband and I joked that we won’t have a 60th wedding anniversary because of the ages we were when we were married. Sometimes getting old seems like a dreaded slow demise and other times I gaze on it as a golden era. Probably both views are unrealistic but like a little kid in awe of being a big kid I observe elderly years with curiosity and caution. I hope they will be happy and healthy years and I wonder how long this life will last for each of us. “It’s not the length of life, but depth of life” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
What are your thoughts on the “golden years?”
-smilingbug

Love and Tears of Joy

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/daily-prompt-beauty/

When I saw the Daily Post’s topic about being moved to tears my first thought was about my children (which I wrote about) and my second thought was the time I sat crying from joy while looking at people in love, vowing their love to one another. It was a two days after the Defense of Marriage Act was declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court and I came across this link to photos of couples getting married in San Francisco.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/justinesharrock/the-first-san-francisco-weddings-after-the-fall-of-propositi

I was not a kid who wanted to grow up and get married or be a wife. I did not clip out photos of wedding dresses or dream of being a bride. Yet if I watch “Say Yes to the Dress” on TLC I will shed a tear at the end of every single episode, no matter how annoying the bride’s sister was nor how endless the premise of the dress search dragged on. Even after all of the typical reality TV ups and downs in the episode, TLC shows that bride coming down the aisle and her father grinning, her mother crying, her partner glowing, it’s all over for me: water works. If you click on the link and see the faces filled with love and devoting their lives to each other are you moved to tears? -smilingbug

(photo above is from the BuzzFeed article referred to in this post, link provided above)

Moved To Tears

Imagehttp://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/daily-prompt-beauty/

The last time I was moved to tears was a few nights ago when my son said “I love you,” to my husband.  These unsolicited “I love you’s” are maybe one of the best sounds on earth.  I got one about a week ago while in the living room with my son and I gave him a bear hug, feeling like my heart would burst from joy.  The “I love you’s” come out of nowhere and when you least expect it.  When my son did it to my husband, they were watching late night TV together.  My husband was using the opportunity to relax after a long day of work and dinner time chores.  My son was thrilled to be hanging out with his Dad.  I was sitting at the kitchen bar, tending to something on my laptop.  The only noise in our home was the sound of Tree Fu Tom (a Sprouts show for kids) and then from down the hall I heard my son’s little, happy voice say “I love you Dad,” followed by a pause.  Then I heard my husband’s moved voice say “Aw thank you son, I love you, too.”  I know my husband had a lump in his throat as he responded and I instantly got a lump in my throat, too.  My eyes welled up with tears and I felt the full force of the beautiful love shared by parents and children.  Having older children I am fully aware of how this love goes through different phases, evolving differently with each child.  When was the last time you were moved to tears? -smilingbug