timid and growing

"Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these." 

~ Susan B. Anthony 

In just six days I turn 61. That is 22279.8 days. Holy smokes, that is a lot of days. When I think back, there are oodles of them which stand out; days which pop into my mind with such clarity that if I stop for a moment and allow myself to do so, I can be right back there for a brief instant.

These impressionable days are made up of stellar and rotten moments and circumstances; all of them deeply influencing who I am and how I handle things. The older I get, the more I can see this and the more I can work my way through it. I am slowly learning to understand these triggers (if you will) which can set in motion great joy but also pull the rug right out from underneath me.  I am learning to slow down some, so I don't trip and fall over that rug, but also learning how important it is for me to take time to really savor the goodness around me. 

Lately I have been reflecting a bit on the tiny particulars of my life; the brief, the mundane, the matter of fact moments, which bring me to who I am today. I have come to understand that even though they are often fleeting and dwarfed when compared to those very paramount occasions, they are often what add the most flavor to my life. 

And while I am not particularly fussy or elaborate in my clothing or the decorating of my home, I am very attune to the wonderworking in nature. This is a direct result of my childhood and the fact that there was not much in nature my folks did not teach me to notice, appreciate and respect. Consequently, I am often left breathless and humble and a bit timid. 

Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors
which it passes to a row of ancient trees.
You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you
one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth.

leaving you, not really belonging to either,
not so hopelessly dark as that house that is silent,
not so unswervingly given to the eternal as that thing
that turns to a star each night and climbs—

leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads)
your own life, timid and standing high and growing,
so that, sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching out,
one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star. “ 

~ Mary Oliver 
 

We leave in a few days for a week at the lake. A week unplugged, a week among nature. I will practice my forward and backward summersaults in the clear, cold water of Northern Idaho and sit on the dock and try to read (but the beauty which surrounds me often causes me to pause and take note and my book is left on my lap). We will kayak in the heat of midday, eat too much and drink a few gin and tonics as the sun goes down over the lake.  I will celebrate 61 years there, quietly with him and the dog. I will celebrate all those days and be thankful for every single one of them; for they are what make me who I am today. I will stop for a a few seconds and give pause to what the next 365 days might hold, but also remind myself to be open to the possibilities with a full heart and not dwell too much on the days ahead, understanding that each day is an opportunity for growth, and an opportunity to stand breathless and amazed with gratitude. 

thank you for stopping by today, 
i will see you in a couple of weeks. . . 
xooox