The sky outside my window is gray, but the sun is stubbornly trying to break through. From the blue stripes, it looks like the sun will win.
The sun needs to lose. At least for a few days. Because what we need right now isn’t more sun. We need rain. We desperately need a week of gentle but steady rain because my corner of the world is on fire.
Here in the northwest, fire is not an uncommon thing. Fire season technically starts in September, but this year September came early and all those beautiful trees are very, very dry. And so are the grasses and sage brush and all the other growing things that makes the northwest such a very beautiful and cherished place in this world.
And so very much of it is on fire right now.
So I’m praying for rain. Lots and lots of gentle, steady rain that can slowly make its way into the earth and not only quench the flames, but help make things right.
I’m praying that Mother Nature can make things right. Because it seems like no one else can. The voices of the people who are supposed to fix things, supposed to be in charge, supposed to keep us safe…well, they are largely quiet. They say there aren’t enough resources, there isn’t any rain. They say things that make it seem like a foregone conclusion that this summer of fire and destruction will run its course, regardless of what we do. They say things that make it seem like this is just what is supposed to happen. That might not be what they actually are saying, but that’s how it feels at least.
That we have boarded a train there’s no getting off, to give a nod to Plath.
And today, looking out my window at the dead grasses waving in the wind, I want to shout into the wind “STOP! LET ME CATCH MY BREATH! JUST GIVE ME ANOTHER MOMENT!” But, of course, that won’t do a thing but make me a middle-aged woman shouting out my window into the wind.
But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to shout.
Because like the beautiful northwest I call home, I’m also just waiting and praying for a rain that I know won’t come, can’t come. It’s a different fire I’m facing and while it won’t leave destruction in its wake, it will change everything. This fire of sorts will pass and leave an emptiness that over time will grow new grasses but will not stop me from missing the trees that once stood in the fields of my heart.
Biggest will be a sophomore next week.
The sophomore year is an interesting one. It is the teen year that, as far as I can tell, most demonstrates what vexes teens and their parents most. With one foot standing in both hoods of child and adult, sophomores have the stance of a runner transferring weight from one foot to the other, getting ready to take off. It is inevitable. It is what is expected. And if the truth be told, it is a gift to have my first born be at this place in life.
But I am still praying for rain, even if I don’t really mean it.
I don’t want to not have this young man stand here, poised to take flight into the rest of his life, as surely as driver’s education is about to come into our lives. But, oh my god, do I miss his younger self.
That younger version of Biggest is gone, gone as surely as the old forests on the sides of the Cascades. That younger self exists only in one place now…in my heart’s memories. I know this makes no sense. But that is my mother’s heart speaking…trying to find the words to explain the sword’s slice as I love meeting this new young man while mourning the “loss” of my first baby. Because it is coming, as surely as the fire licking its way across the forest and the rain that will eventually fall.
I guess I pray for two types of rain: one for the land and one for my heart. The rain needs to come and help the fire jumpers put these fires out.
And I need a gentle rain to soften the pain in my heart so I can embrace more fully the opportunity to know this version of Biggest.
Oh Great One, please hear me.
The circle of time turns; the child turns into a man.
Help my heart see the glory of this turning
More than it feels the pang of missing the small
Hand in my own. Once that hand grabbed at mine
More than I reached for it. Now I reach for a hand
That has grown large and more able than my own.
Today the roles have changed. I need to find peace in the
Gift of that. May I find peace and joy in today.
And may yesterday’s memories
Bring a deep peace like a gentle rainstorm.
Things have been hard lately. I won’t pretend that a bunch of that hardness hasn’t been manufactured solely in my own head. But it still is real, regardless.
It’s the end of the school year, schedules are exploding, high stakes tests are everywhere, some friendships/relationships seem to be fading, and I am so tired of packing school lunches I actually told Biggest that “I am tired of feeding you people lunch.” To which he replied, “We’re tired of eating, too. It’s so boring.”
If I had Bailey’s in the house, I’d be spiking my morning coffee. Read more…
Do you have a favorite idiom? I have many, and if I can’t think of one, I am very comfortable making one up. Of course, this skill is more often due to my inability to remember real idioms during my time of need, but whatever. I think my new favorite was the time I was irritated while driving. (As an aside, the older I get, the crankier I get while driving. Oldest wagers that by the time I’m 80, I’ll get out at traffic lights and harangue other drivers and then whack their cars with my cane. He may be on to something.) I was trying to clean up my notoriously potty-mouth and instead of shouting to the imbecile with car keys the error of his ways, I instead hollered “crap on a cracker!” (I grew up hearing ‘Christ on a cross’ often…so I suppose the alliteration stayed with me?) Read more…
Today, they are pouring concrete at my house. After living here for nearly five months, I am finally getting the rest of my driveway poured. No, the builder didn’t forget me. This is what happens when you own a “flag” lot – you have to wait for the house next to you to finally get finished before the rest of the driveway is poured. When you see all the heavy equipment that is brought on site to build a house, this makes complete sense. It’s also a pain in the butt.
I am so excited by the thought of a no more gravel being tracked in the house. I realize this might be a fantasy and that the gravel will simply turn to bark dust or dirt or plain ole dust bunnies, but I do like to think that the future will be a bit easier, even if only in how much upkeep is required. Read more…
Yesterday was Mother’s Day here in the United States. It marked my 15th Mother’s Day and I have to say, that is a weird thing to type. Well, the 15th part is weird. Fifteen times I’ve “celebrated” Mother’s Day as a mother? No way. And, yet, it is true.
I have a few crystalline Mother’s Day memories. The first was when Mister Soandso was my handsome boyfriend and showed me a book he was mailing home to his mom for Mother’s Day. It was Robert Munsch’s I’ll Love You Forever. If you are wondering how many pages I got through before I was crying, I think the number was something close to none. If you don’t know the story behind the book, please read here.
The beauty of that book, besides all the freaking beautiful parts of it, is that every person who has ever read the book makes up their own song to sing while reading it and that’s exactly how Mr. Munsch thinks it should be. That’s a universal story, right there folks. Read more…
I rarely remember my dreams, but the other day I woke up remembering my dream – that I had gone to the hospital to deliver a surprise baby and then was running for safety with said infant from a bear chasing us. Now, those of you who know me may know that I am terrified of bears. Like I have an irrational fear of bears. So me waking from a dream about bear danger is not that surprising to me. But the mysterious baby? One that needed protection from a rampaging bear? Now, that was a new one.
The thing is, I know that dreaming about bears can be interpreted as a personal struggle with a personal challenge. And most women who dream about babies may be wishing for a baby in their lives. I certainly did back before Mister Soandso and I had kids. But these days, I very much do not want any more babies. Also, I most certainly have some more challenging “challenges” going on in my life these days. Read more…
I moved into my new house on December 23rd. Today, a mere two weeks and three days later, I stood in my brand new shower and scrubbed at the spots already setting up house on my glass shower doors.
Two weeks and I already have soap scum/water spots? WTH universe. I thought I had a little more time before the evidence of use took hold.
That’s what I get for thinking. Read more…