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June 2011

Just Float

Learning to Float

It's hard to believe that it's been over a month since I found that's not true... MADE the time to sit and think, to find my quiet and embrace what most resembles clarity in the never ending flow of my life.

Jules turned 59. My brother was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, an illness that has a genetic component and serious familial implications. Jules and I both came down with a summer flu. A freak hailstorm decimated Mom's newly coiffed country acre, we made it to Alabama to spend time with our precious, and much missed, southern family, my dear friend from California arrived, the balancing act between home and work that I had mastered (almost) pre retirement, eludes me post retirement and I seem to be tired all the time !


But in the midst of all the craziness there are moments that touch me and lift me and reassure me that even though it all feels off kilter, and I do battle with the resulting vertigo of living, everything really is okay. I just have to learn to float and stop trying to swim against the current.

I got an email from a lovely woman just writing to say that Shannon had touched her heart when she was feeling at her lowest, and I felt a wave of relevance. My Mom and Brother are sharing the experience of ICD ~ Implantable Cardio Difibrillators and I am extremely grateful for advancements in modern medicine.

Yesterday my friend and I walked a mountain creek just before sunset. She discovered quite by accident that water snakes like the warmth and relative safety of the large smooth rocks that form the craggy banks of mountain streams. With respect we moved quietly in the opposite direction only to discover the newly shed skin of our soft copper friend. It felt like a message, and you know how I love those subtle messages.... that in order to move forward in life, to grow and expand and embrace what is yet to come, we sometimes have to leave something behind...some semblance of our former selves. This often leaves us vulnerable, searching for a quiet place to harden just a bit and get familiar with the new.

I think I may be ready to shed this old skin. I've joined Weight Watchers again... and it's okay, go ahead and laugh, I'm sure Shannon and all of Heaven is getting a chuckle but I feel that I have to narrow the focus just a bit. This penchant I have for trying to move in twenty directions at once simply isn't working and like so many before me... I'm convinced that losing weight is the key to all of my personal issues. That and the fact that I miss my sister.  No she's not missing, we just lost track somewhere and I'm not sure how to fix it... hence this mornings purchase of "My Sister, My Self: Understanding the Sibling Relationship That Shapes Our Lives, Our Loves, and Ourselves". 

I don't always realize when I've gone off track. Only when I find myself spinning in circles, going nowhere in particular, wondering what I was doing before I forgot, do I imagine the quiet serenity of not thinking anything at all... gazing lazily into the trees that are passing overhead as I gently float through life.

But floating requires trust.  Trusting that you won't wind up in an ocean with no oars and no land in sight.  Trusting that there are no thousand foot waterfalls just around the bend.  Trusting that while you float, someone else is mowing the grass, doing the laundry, paying the bills, feeding the cats, balancing the check book and updating the calendar.  Or maybe... it's just finding a way to trust that none of that really matters. 

Because in the over all scheme of things, I'd rather wrap my arms around my husband than mow the grass, hear my Mother's voice on the phone than do the laundry, have lunch with my brother and sister instead of pay the bills and sit on the porch with the incredible women in my life watching humming birds play than worry about the dust bunnies reproducing under the sofa. 

I'm not there yet but I have my boat in the water and that is without a doubt, a start !