Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Thousand moments

Home sweet home. We got back into town Sunday night after being out of town visiting my Old Man for the last week of his job down south. I have been trying to unpack and get back into our routine all week. We are all present, finally, work being here for at least the next couple of weeks. We have a semblance of a complete home life for the moment and I am so grateful- reveling in family dinners, nights spent together, early morning lunch box makings. 

So much to catch up on! Your blogs, my thoughts and experiences, pictures, all that good stuff. But I am rushed at the moment, trying to get the spring cleaning to the Good Will and the sideyard cleaned up (housing inspector mandates) before I have to run errands and take the dog and Babou hiking. I try to give them at least one toddler/dog led outing a week, where they set the pace and decide where to go and what to stop and look at...for what seems like forever. Wanderings, I should call them. We are going to a local lake and having a little picnic and wander before nap time. 

Anyways...I have had recent interesting thoughts on diets, conservation, and time management. These will be the subjects of upcoming posts. I look forward to catching up on my reading and writing and offer you an excerpt from my journal as my entry today... 

A Thousand Moments

Thursday May 28, 2009

I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

-Saint Paul

I love the mornings here. Every day I wake up to deliciously cool air floating through the open window. The fog has rolled in faithfully, stealthfully, under the cover of the night, gently cooling our mornings and easing us into our days. The mountains here are so dramatic, the fog clinging to them, to the orange and avocado trees already, more permanently, clinging to their steep curves.

A cup of coffee, the crack of an egg, the chopping of the vegetables. I steady myself for the day. I love how it opens up to me like a gift, like a blank canvas I can paint as I chose. The structure may be there, there may be limits to the frame, but the colors are all mine. 

I found myself fighting my life yesterday, being dragged down by the paradox of being constantly busy and yet accomplishing absolutely nothing to the naked eye. Such is childcare. It's moments quiet, built upon thousands of moments, words, smells, influences coloring your child's world, slowly creating their childhood. The thousand moments that make a moment, a memory, a safety, a contentedness.

Today, I am intending to relax into my own contentedness. This is my life, the one that I have chosen and love. The life we are building, the family we are building. Motherhood is my first job, writing my second. Writing, my sanity. My mental framework when things don't make sense. A place to put my many thoughts. My paintings made of  words. 

❀✿ ❀✿ ❀✿                                             

The foggy morning turned into stacked clouds as the day wore on. Billowing from behind the rocky mountains, they looked more like softer cousins of the boulders that scatter the hillsides. 

We took our morning walk, rock hounding as we went. I am collecting rocks for a little rock garden I want to place in a worn spot of ground next to our front stairs, utilitarian yet ornamental. I am searching flat rocks, to make a flat surface. Easy to pull garbage cans over, easy to pull the hose around. 

But I am always searching for rocks, always collecting them. It seems ingrained in me somehow, probably through my grandmother Bertha, a woman after my own heart. When mom came to visit me a couple of weeks ago, she laughed when she spotted the rocks I had carefully placed, altar-istically, on top of my dresser. 

"You are so Bertha," she had laughed. Indeed, each rock was from somewhere special to me, my secret marker. One from a river bed in my Northern California hometown, one from the creek behind my parent's house, another from a Central California beach, coral from a special visit to Hawaii, a tiny abalone shell from my Old Man. All memories in stone and shell.

My daydreaming stopped abruptly as I looked up to see a diamond backed rattlesnake not three feet in front of us. Luckily I had LocoO on the leash and Babou holding my hand (we were on a road with few cars, but the cars that did travel it went fast--way too fast). I backed away slowly. The snake was not coiled, just warming itself smack dab in the center of the road. I swear to God my heart stopped for a second. I was almost shaking as I hurried us all back home as quickly as I could. To the safety of the cabin and PBS cartoons. The snakes down here are so lethal you have only approximately twenty minutes to get the antivenom before you die. It takes twenty minutes to get to the freeway.

Needless to say, I spent the afternoon running errands in town, picking up some fish for dinner, stopping by a little Mexican store that carried everything under the sun including a perfect little black dress for $12. That and a bar of avocado soap were my purchases although many of its trinkets called to me, the many Virgin of Guadalupe candles, hoop earrings, sheets, you name it. Babou also found many toys she liked, and a friend, the owners son, about three years old. Who put his head on her shoulder, leaned in for a hug, and stole a kiss! 


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Weekly wanderings--what a gift you are giving your daughter.

I will never forget the rattler in our backyard (I was inside). The quick thinking of the 10-year old saved the 3 littles.

Life As I Know It said...

Wow - not sure what I would do if I came face to face with a big snake in the road.
I often "fight my life" too...motherhood is a tough gig to wrap your head around sometimes.

Yo is Me said...

beautiful. i LOVE your words.

Katrina Hazel, Recruitment Hero said...

oh my goodness, you make me wish I could just take a week off and collect rocks with you. Sadly, that looks like that probably won't happen for another few years.

Life As I Know It said...

Hi Jo -
I can't find an email address for you so I'm leaving another comment here to say thank you for the kind words you left for me on my blog.
I'm glad to hear that we have similar things on our minds lately. Thanks so much - I love reading your words, as well. Keep writing!

Hen said...

Weekly wanderings are a gorgeous idea - but I would have to have them without the snakes!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

What a time you've been having!
I hear you about the demands of motherhood--I am starting to think that that explains why grandparents get so goofy when presented with grandchildren--they get all the joy and "in the moment" without the burden of minute by minute care.

Ophelia Rising said...

Thanks for taking me away, for awhile. I got lost in your words, and love the imagery of the trees, the colors, the fog...just lovely.
You are wonderfully introspective, and an incredible mother. Your little Babou is one lucky chickadee. :)

I love rocks and stones, too. I've got a whole lot of them strewn about the house. My children love to play with them. I've always thought of stones and rocks as little gods or goddesses, each so strikingly different and somehow spiritual and quite mystical, I think.