Thursday, September 12, 2013

Summer...gone before I've even said hello...

Can it be September already?  Can the nights really be cooling, the leaves beginning to colour, the buses scooping up groggy children in the morning and plopping them out onto their driveways in the afternoon?  Is it really time for sweaters and scarfs, hot comfort stews and homemade baked goodies, fresh apples and tomatoes and basil from the garden?  Is it time to curl up on the couch with a blanket, a book, tea and scented candles as the sun sets earlier and the cats curl up close for warmth? Has summer really passed on?

This summer, I spent a week at Burke camp, a non-denominational family church camp in Burke, N.Y.  I spent special time with family and friends and God, house-sat with Grace at a goat farm where Grace fell in love with goats and I fell in love with the Jacuzzi.  I enjoyed some freedom from my usual IC pain, as I flared significantly less that usual, and had almost no angina, even in the hottest, most humid days. On the other hand, I had a painful heel spur on my right foot that started in July and lasted until now, when it is finally starting to get better. So I limped, and ached and fussed a bit, and was reminded once more how possible it is to feel old in body while being irrepressibly young in spirit.

I sat on a barn floor covered with goat manure, cradling the head of a dying goat in my lap, keeping the flies off of her face so she could sleep, because it was all I could do, and I had to do something.  I watched my daughter face her deepest fears, behave in unimaginably brave ways and, holding onto God's hand tightly, begin her journey into freedom from crippling anxiety. And I ached with pride. I enjoyed the company of my sisters and their families, ate wonderful food, drank lovely drinks and fell in love with homemade grappa and maple syrup, because maple syrup makes everything lovely.

I read books, went to the Almanzo Wilder Farm in N.Y state and met Dean Butler, who played Almanzo in the Little House on the Prairie television series.  I shook the world of my kitties, Jean-Luc and Schmitty, by going away and I settled their unsteady feelings by coming home, and offering treats and love and catnip and new toy mice.  And lots of snuggles.

I laughed a lot, and cried a bit. I sang and danced and prayed and worshiped, and bowed and frowned and complained and apologized and picked wildflowers and cuddled babies and conversed with toddlers and got to know new friends and old friends in new ways.

And I fell in love.  Wildly, wonderfully in love.  I thanked God for email and Skype, for phone calls and letters in the mail. The real mail.  I realized that I needed someone who was willing to love me when I am not at my best, when I am weak and frail and miserable and struggling, even when I am bad.  I realized that I have always needed that. And I have always had that, in God.  I relaxed in God's unconditional love, and then saw that love reaching out to me through a wonderful man who took my breath away, along with my fears and my loneliness and my sadness.

I went to visit him last week-end, for a long week-end. I met his family and friends including the lovely girl at the coffee shop whose eyes lit up when she saw me beside him at the drive-thru window because she had heard all about me. She bounced up on her toes and waved cheerfully and chirped, "It's so good to finally MEET you!"  I felt welcomed and warm and happy.  And when it was time to go home, I thought I'd be sad, I thought it would be so hard, but while it wasn't exactly pleasant, I knew that it was just the beginning, and our relationship had been built on talking and sharing through emails, texts and Skyping, and that was what we were going back to.  God is in charge of the timing and the plan and the path. We just get to enjoy knowing each other more and more each day.  And so it is all lovely.

I haven't written a lot, mostly because I wanted to live these days without distraction. It is kind of like wanting to sit back to enjoy my child in a school play without having the distraction of taking pictures of her on-stage.  I can write about it later...I guess...if it wants to be written about.

I am just really, really grateful to have had the chance to live it.  I am a blessed woman.

Just a thought.


Opus T. Penguin said...

You really are blessed.

Kelly said...

I know, eh?


Oh, btw, I'm also Canadian. Eh.

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