Saturday, May 30, 2009

Anchored Again

Oh dear . . . it has been such a flurry of activity around here and I truly lost my blogging anchor for a while. I simply drifted from day to day without mind of a word to share or a picture to snap and save. Floods of memories loosened the weight that held me here, but more so I found far too many delights and distractions in the gardens or among my family and I simply floated from meeting one need to the next.

Your precious comments comforted me where I needed comforting and brought smiles where smiles lacked . . .

You have blessed me beyond what you could know. My words do not adequately convey what spills over from my heart.

Thank you . . .

* * * * *

A quick recap never does justice to a leisurely chat, but alas, with a graduation party to attend later this day I have not the privilege to wax away as I did while laid up with my twisted ankle. For starters, my ankle has healed and I once again scamper about chasing bugs or marveling over butterflies -- like this one that Lydia raised in her room from a “kit.”

Country kids find it odd when they receive gifts like this, as we see the birth of nature in all forms at all times in our midst. But Grandma saw this fascinating opportunity and shared it with us. After painstaking attention, one butterfly managed to emerge and spread his wings and found the joy of the outdoors her reward. The others sadly lacked the strength to fully extend their wings. Life is harsh . . . and this little “experiment” just reinforced that.

In another arena of life, we saw wings expand and take flight as David, the young man courting Elizabeth, graduated Summa Cum Laude (with honorary tassels dripping from his gown) from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego with a degree in Political Science.

David has moved up to Sacramento to begin working as a personal aide to the new California Assembly Minority Leader, Sam Blakeslee. David drove on up to celebrate all this good news with us over a Mexican dinner here at our home (I used the instant refried beans and they tasted FABULOUS!), but the stresses and strains of so much adrenaline and “push” to graduate, drive hundreds of miles away from the only home he has ever known in an aged but beloved pickup, interview for a job with one of the most powerful men in Sacramento – well, let’s just say young man and vehicle collapsed once they arrived here. David ended up in the emergency room and the pickup at a proper repair shop. Our guest house provided lodging and our busy little farm in the dell gave him opportunity to work on chicken coop building,

garden tending, and frantic garage cleaning (when we received a flash storm warning involving deadly lightening and hailstones designed to destroy cars). Thankfully the storm passed us by without a drop of rain or hint of hail and David recovered well, as did his truck, and he has returned to Sacramento to begin a new job, thankful for a bit of a vacation with home-cooked meals and garden strolls with his intended, amongst all the changes.

As for the rest of the family . . . well, we take each day as it comes and try to squeeze out every drop of joy to share amongst us. There have been many tears and bouts of laughter as we celebrate the time we spent with Andrew, as the 5th anniversary of his death snuck up on us. His lifelong battle with cerebral palsy ended on a quiet night of respiratory failure five years ago, but the song of all the days he spend living and loving and learning still sing sweetly in our hearts.

Likewise, May 25th (just the day before Andrew’s Homegoing anniversary) marked the one year anniversary of the Homegoing of my beloved mentor Rachel (my Rachel’s namesake). Many tears flowed as I continued the long goodbye to her. But . . . whenever the tears would well up the memories would flow and our family would end up laughing and celebrating two of the finest people the Lord has ever placed among us.

As the chicks become chickens (homely little critters right now and so scrappy as they all vie to be queen of the roost in that makeshift brooder that requires cleaning OFTEN), and the children grow to maturity, and the parents loosen the reins when necessary (opening the gates for more to join our ranks) I find such solace in remembering:

“For I know the plans that I have for you,”
Declares the LORD,
“Plans for welfare and not for calamity
To give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB)

I walk my gardens in the evening and marvel over all the changes in just one day –

Some sheer beauty in blossom, others annoying damage from pests, and still other places celebrate new life or showcase the recent death in the flowers and grasses and weeds of my little Eden. Nothing remains the same from one walk to the next. A stunted area of growth brings sorrow not joy, as in the stymied butterflies that failed to fly and died. Pruning and deadheading of the roses consumes so much of my time these cool evenings, yet I know these labors and farewells will produce greater growth and future abundance of blooms to enjoy and then bid farewell. The cycle continues.

Life rolls along in a rose garden emitting beautiful fragrance and velvety soft beauty before a handful of petals cascade like confetti in celebration of life as it passes away. The fragrant memories of my rose garden in summer sustain me throughout the year as I tend and prune and coddle and nurture these plants who dance each year with a new cast.

Life has been a series of celebrations for me . . . some evoke applause some call for tears, but all have made me a richer woman for the celebrating.

Today will be no different.


Linda said...

It was good to read about your remembering.

Spring is the time for rebirth and growth, and a time for remembering. I remember my precious step-mom who died 17 years ago on Mother's Day, and my mom 7 years ago June 2.

Thank you for sharing some of your thoughts. My prayers go with you.

I'm glad your ankle is healed. Your garden is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I was so glad to see a post from you today...
Gladder still to hear that your ankle has healed and that you are scampering about in your beautiful garden...

In August it will be 19 years since my Jordan went home to be with Jesus...
And although I don't know completely
your pain I do understand the pain of the anniversary date!
I have been thinking of you and praying for you!
Wishing you a most blessed day! ♥

Karen Deborah said...

I've missed you, this is a beautiful post. Beautiful. Loved the pictures, Elizabeth looks so happy.

Your ankle is better and mine may have another fracture. I had an easy day today and am praying the same for tomorrow!

Tell all the "littles" who are now big that Nannie wants them to hug YOU for me.

jojo said...

'nothing remains the same...' beautiful post my sweet friend. Thank you for sharing your memories, your sorrow, your joys. May God be with you and give you strength and courage always...jj