Another Random Journal Day Link-up!
I've been VERY, VERY busy here. Busy as one might be if she was playing host in this country and the next, to out-of-town-and-country family. Loving every minute of it, but also somewhat pre-occupied, so forgive me if I'm a bit behind in posting.
Read that to mean, we went to Vancouver yesterday, had a wonderful time in the sunshine, capped it off watching "Taming of the Shrew" at their famous BARD ON THE BEACH festival, which is held each summer in a pretty spectacular setting, with water and trees and mountains as the backdrop to the action on stage. It's really worth the drive (though admittedly, at 11 PM, it only takes about an hour to get from that downtown park to our home in Bellingham).
But we were SO exhausted by all that fun we had to just take it easy today. Sit by the pool and laugh, drink iced-tea and talk. Yep, I said pool. An above-ground pool right on our front patio. We're not tacky at all. Just like a pool with a view. And actually, we've a pretty secluded patio, to tell you the truth.
Anyway, that's all beside the point. My point is that we're really trying to suck the marrow of life from this summer, as Thoreau would put it. To savor every morsel.
And this leads me to the journal entry I found tonight when I quickly poked my head into the room where my journals are housed. Oddly, I pulled out the one which spans the longest period in my writing life, from May of 1987 to Valentine's Day of 1991. My family will quickly understand why my writing was so spotty during that period. Those were the years of babies for me. In fact the first page of this journal was written when my 6 week old son was in the ICU with the pneumonia that threatened his life, and our youngest child still two years from being born. So my writing took a back seat. Or maybe it wasn't even in the car.
This entry, oddly, which I opened to (I really do try to simply randomly open the journal to where it falls, but often it simply falls to the middle, as this did!), was also in July. So I wrote these words 23 years ago Saturday.
July 15, 1989
Recently I reread (a novel I read ten years ago), and was frustrated, even irritated by her forced profundities. Every uttered phrase carried weightiness, each character was highly accomplished in some art and they all drank "consumme'"...it got to be too much. Life is not profound. Trees fall, are cut in our yard, not symbols but because they dig into our sewer lines. We dress, bathe and diaper our children and consider it a privilege to shower alone. This is the REAL stuff of life, ma'am, if you don't mind me saying.
What really gets to me is that I once did feel like life was like such a novel. Or I wanted it to be and tried to create the words to match the life. And, at 23, I'd have gazed at this 32-year-old self with a bit of arrogant scorn and even be appalled that I've given in. But I was wrong. THIS is the life that counts. Whether I see it or not. That's why the cutting of a tree or the painting of a living room can even bring exquisite joy--because they're part of a real life.
When a little girl learns to pump on a swing, when a small boy thinks getting his hair cut will hurt because 'cuts hurt', when a baby rolls over for the first time and her big sister is there to watch--THESE are the weighty moments that make up a life. They are like small scents of joy in the moments, and bottled up to remember later. Someday, when they are grown and I am alone and drinking my 'consumme' and listening to a Bach fugue, I'll think back on these moments and know what has been profound.
Sometimes I tell E that I want her to stay just as she is and she says, "I can't because God made me to grow." Now that's profound. The purpose, the point, is to grow. That's why she is. And that's why I'm here--to mother them in the process. And...God made me to grow, too.