My Mom
Sudden Light


There is a small spiral bound notebook on my desk.  The cover is a beautiful photograph of an ocean sunset with disappearing footprints in the sand.  Each page is lined and 3 inches by 6 inches.  It has 20 blank pages left.  The rest is full of password after password, some old, some new, some 9 characters, some 12, each containing at least one number and one capital letter along with one character that is neither.   Is it any wonder that as we get older and technology gets  younger and faster and more demanding that we get a little overwhelmed and muddled?

Once upon a time my brain was able to catalog and retain pertinent information that was easily accessed.   Those days seem to be gone...along with 20/20 eyesight, muscle tone, smooth skin, perky breasts, stamina and patience.

When I can remember the passwords to the long long list of accounts and services, I can manage the nuts and bolts of daily life.   When I can't, I have this tiny little notebook that supports my efforts.  Perhaps we need a tiny little notebook for emotions.

This morning I was trying to understand why we allow the clutter of days past, to accumulate on today and ultimately tomorrow and eventually we are sifting through thoughts the same way we sift through the stacks of paper snippets and unfolded laundry and five years worth of unread magazines and clipped recipes.  It is exhausting.

As I have gotten older and memories have become more important, they have also become more elusive.  I want to remember every moment of Shannon's 23 years.  I want to remember conversations with my Mom and brother.  I want to hold on to the wisdom of four year olds and images of their innocent laughter and incredible wonder.  

That was easier before my mind got cluttered with opinions, others' not necessarily mine, Covid 19, politics, lives that matter, semantics, insanity, violence and chaos.   I want my thoughts to move easily from the breeze on my face at 5 a.m. to the hummer enjoying the first sip of nectar to the cat in my lap and my husband sleeping peacefully.  I want to admire the wildflowers without cursing the weeds, I want to appreciate every moment that fills me and gently but firmly release the ones that don't.

It has been so long since I slept well or relaxed completely.  I find that I am forever waiting for the "other shoe to drop" and I must be ready.   I know that is ridiculous.  I know that life is going to happen.  Some things will bring me to my knees, others will lift and comfort, life must include both and it will be okay.   

I also know that I make choices with every breath.  Will I allow the unrest of a world that I cannot control steal the joy from a life continuing to unfold.   Will I allow the chaos of another's creation to undermine a life that is trying so desperately to evolve with grace?  It is a never ending exercise in being human but I have fewer years left than I have lived and I cannot take one moment for granted or waste it on things that in the overall scheme of things, don't really matter.

Flowers have appeared this year that I don't remember planting.   Perhaps a seed fell to the ground when it was dry or cold.  Perhaps that tiny seed slept until a warm winter and wet spring awakened her and she slowly but deliberately began reaching for the sunlight. 

I don't think that I have slept for 65 years, but I do think that I might have landed a time or two on cold dry soil and been ill prepared to really grow.


Uncluttered and lighter, Maybe today, once again, I could be ready to slowly but deliberately reach for the light.