"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Glad He Is Here

We just celebrated our son’s 22nd birthday. There are lots and lots of things going on in our life right now - so much of which I wanted to write. For example, Matt's birthday trip complete with photos; things he said during the day that made me smile; the collection of baby photos I recently gathered at someone’s request. There are many events and activities that I thought would be fun to blog. Needless to say, at this time of year when our son was born, he is on my mind a lot and I have lots that I could transcribe.

Due to my busy schedule, I haven’t been able to get any blogging done. I planned to sit down this afternoon to finally write a bit. But the thoughts on my mind now, are not what I had originally planned to write. Sometimes it is like that. Sometimes, I sit down at the keyboard and I am uncertain what will end up on the monitor screen. Today, is one of those times when I will write with hesitation the thoughts that are weighing on my heart.
He had walked in the door later than expected this morning. I had been a bit worried. I was relieved when I had finally received his text, “Late call”, it read; he had sent it just before he headed home. I was happy when he finally got here.
I knew in a moment that that “late call” didn’t go well. I don’t know how I knew. I just knew. I always do. He doesn’t have to say anything; there isn’t a particular look on his face; it doesn’t have to do with his stance, or demeanor. It has nothing to do with what I see or hear. I can’t in any way describe how I know; I just know.
Pleasantries over, the conversation became deeper. He spoke softly, yet deliberately. He was animated, yet somber.
Over time, he has created a defense mechanism to camouflage all that he feels and wants no one to see. I have learned to recognize that mechanism. He is careful with his words and doesn’t say more then he should.
It wasn’t long before he excused himself with a change of subject and a slow smile. He was ready to move on.
“I know she was comforted the moment you arrived,” I stated softly as he headed down the hall. Trying to explain myself better, I continued, “You know; she knew that help had arrived; and she had to have been so relieved. It had to have been a comfort for her in those moments to know she was no longer alone. I know she was glad you were there.”
…It was the best that I could do.
Now it was time for me to move on.  I went out to mow the lawn where I could collect my thoughts and let the tears flow freely down my face with no one to see.
“I don’t want him to experience this”, I thought. At age 22, he has seen and felt more than most people feel in a life time. Tragedy has always made herself known in his life; his career choice ensures she will come calling again and again.
For me, it is times like today that I hate his job. But in the very same breath, I love it. The pride wells up within me; God’s presence comforts me. Memories are replayed in my mind and I know God has him in the right place.
As I mowed, thoughts flooded my mind and I remembered that youthful, pre-teen boy, gently and steadily calming the little goat, as he worked to free its head from the wire in which it had been caught. “I couldn’t do that”, I thought to myself. “I’m not patient enough; I am not calm enough. I don’t have the forethought that it takes to do something like that.” That soft, spring morning all those years ago, I watched his deliberate, yet tender hands work, and I remember thinking to myself, “I am so glad he is here! I would not be able to help this poor little goat.”  I knew right then that God had something special for this boy and I wondered what it would be.
Today, I remembered that scene and those thoughts as vividly as if it had just happened. Today, I know the answer to that question, and I was comforted. There is something easier about knowing one is in God’s will. The past makes the present understandable…or maybe it is the other way around. The present clarifies the past. I don’t know. That is too deep for me on a day I didn’t even know what I would be writing.
All in all, I do know that it is heartache and tragedy that allows us to understand and appreciate life. Darkness gives weight to the light. The hard things are what give us appreciation for the things that are truly important. Dare I even say, I feel sorry for those who have never experienced death? Not that I would wish it on anyone. I simply wonder how much they can truly understand and appreciate life without experiencing the sorrow of death. Can they really know how valuable life is and how much it is truly worth fighting for in every context?
I don’t know. That is too much for today. I am just glad he is here and I hope he finds comfort in home.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Remember This

How does the old saying go? "March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb." Well this year, March came in like a lamb and went out like a lamb...at least as far as the weather goes. I can't say I minded. For me, the older I get the more I like the mild winters. And a mild winter moving into a mild spring is just about perfect, in my mind.

However, that doesn't mean I got off easy in the way of labor. March was incredibly laborious for me. I was moving rocks.

We had to start over on our hay fields, last year. I think, I probably blogged about it. A pesky grass had gradually taken over our fields in the last couple of years. It wasn't a dangerous grass, but rather a nuisance grass and it eventually will take over the entire pasture and ruin the hay crop. So we killed it off, and plowed it under last fall. Because the soil where we live is extremely rocky, of course when it was plowed, an onslaught of rocks and boulders were brought to the surface. SO! Before we were able to disc plow this spring and then seed, we needed to remove the rocks. Enter - me.

I didn't keep track of how many hours I spent out in the fields lifting rocks. I probably should have. It is 7 acres; and I did it mostly alone. YES! I am complaining! Good grief! I am 60 years old and that is much too old for such nonsense.

To be honest, Matt had a couple friends come, on two different occasions for a couple hours and my neighbor came once with her tractor when ours had broken down. I greatly appreciated those efforts. It really did help. Something else that helped, were my friendly neighbors that always stopped by to visit when I was out in the field. There were at least 6 or 7 that stopped to chat, and that made me extremely grateful for the neighborhood where we live. It felt like this was the way things used to be. You know, the "good old days"? Yep, it felt like I was re-living those days with each of these pleasant calls. Sounds strange, I know, but those simple conversations made the lonely hours in the field all feel just a bit more worth it.
We finally finished the back-breaking labor of the rocks, (temporarily) this past week-end and my husband began to plow. Unfortunately, when he was only half done with the big pasture he came down with the flu. Ugh! Temporary set-back. But as I was finishing up picking up rocks in the middle field, I watched him as he worked and the plow moved through the dark soil. When I walked by the area he had completed, a warm feeling came over me. It looked beautiful; the soil turned in clean, neat "rows". There were a few more rocks that were brought to the surface, which will need to be removed, but it is mostly ready for planting. And that is such a good, good feeling to look out and see that. It made the grueling efforts all seem worth it.
Along with my efforts in the field, the other thing that took my time this March was my sick pony. Ok, well she isn't a pony, but I like to call her that. My Navajo Princess had an episode of "choke". And believe me! That is scary!  I won't go into all of that now, but it has been a bit of a process getting her back to normal. She is on the mend, though still not eating entirely normally. There were several days, I really didn't expect to see her standing when I woke up in the mornings and I went to the window to check. One thing I will write about this incident, is that this horse of all my horses, loves to be cared for. She is the best patient for which anyone could ask! She knows she is loved and she knows how to love back. She wasn't eating her food, but she was eating up the care. Somehow, I found myself thankful that I had to give her the little bit of extra care that was required. She loves me and that makes it all worth it.
Baby Girl
With a myriad of seemingly unending appointments in town; as well as chopping, stacking, and cleaning up of the wood pile, I have had a very busy month. I have yet to start on any normal "spring cleaning" or clean up in the yard that I like to begin on spring days when the soil is still soft. But, I will get there. I'm just going to be late.

What this arduous month of March has done for me this year, is force me to stop to consider what we all know. There is always a silver lining. There is always joy that comes in the morning and there are always special, thoughtful moments that softly say: "Remember this; it is all worth it."