Thanksgiving Rain Makes Me Freshly Thankful

When we got the tree yesterday, Thanksgiving Eve, the sky was so blue with marbled clouds and the sun was happy, warming the skin .

The girls were funny discerning shades of green, texture of branches, the shape. I smiled as Part One of this year’s book – A Christmas Tree Story – is about how Christmas Trees are chosen and at one point my oldest daughter yelled out to my youngest, “Didn’t you read mom’s book? No Christmas Tree is more perfect than another!” hahaha even now… the prose… making its way into my reality.

In my previous post, I mentioned how life has changed and for sure I thought that my reveal of how it changed was going to come in a poetic musing about taking the dogs out in the morning with both hands on my cup of coffee and being able to take in the morning sky because… drumroll… we have a new beautiful gorgeous life changing fence.

For two years, taking them out for relief in the morning has required putting them on leashes, dressing for the weather, and – most days – spinning around while they chase each other on the leashes while I try not to spill my coffee in my opposite hand.

The fence brings this ridiculous amount of freedom and nourishing relief. And though I did go out with them yesterday to take in the morning and though it certainly was life changing – here I am now on Thanksgiving, bringing my online diary to present alongside candlelight and rain.

Steady heavyish rain.

The poetic musing noting heavy themes of freedom when going outside is actually more deeply acknowledging the freedom and relief of staying inside, the knowing they can run out in the rain and I don’t have to… is as genuinely relieving as its opposite. I didn’t love the forecast of rain but here it is now, showing me a new part of my reality. My ability to stay in, reminding me of how life unfolds to teach us…

Smiling now. I think it is important to remember that not only does all hard and all work have its opposite if easy and relief, but that said opposites have opposites within (which then have opposites within, which then have opposites within).

This ongoing understanding life changes and unfolds both as we shift gears or make decisions but then also as those decisions and shifts change what is going on opens us up to mystery.

Who will ever sit and really – truly – figure out all the which ways something will turn and surprise us.

And if they do, is that present moment living?

The Little Red Hen in me feels charmed by her morning task becoming lighter here on Thanksgiving in a way different than I anticipated experiencing…

Now on to set out the turkey, turn the kitchen on and start the day…

The joy of finding the tree mixed with the work and not so much joy of it giving us hives

When the girls were learning to walk, I cannot remember a single time they fell on their bottoms or turned a corner too short where I shamed them. I don’t recall ever scorning “you weren’t paying attention” or expecting balance. Rather, I buffered and bumped and directed and encouraged.

I watched them learn to walk.

As I sit here with my morning coffee, I am fully aware of the butterflies in my stomach related to the parenting ahead of me today.

David has office space in our little downtown now, so today is my first day with all five kids under my jurisdiction without the protection of David working so be cool or his live and in color reinforcement for my plans.

A big butterfly is related to the inconvenience of teenage freeloading and entitlement.

Another butterfly is related to the task of waking the household in hopes for some sort of order for the day.

Another butterfly is related to the fact I need to address a late night door dash that was done without permission and whose evidence was hidden in an heirloom toybox.

Sigh.

There are other butterflies too… related to dog training and in laws coming in town, to wanting to carve out my writing time in my new main floor creative space and some other things. The butterflies aren’t helping me at all.

As I walked the dogs towards home just a minute ago, I really was permeating this idea – reminding myself over and over – that how I handle all of this is a choice. My desire for some structure is a choice. My handling of the door dash annoyance is a choice. My joy or lack there if is a choice.

Any choice that feels anxious and tense is not going to allow me to find that inner hum that consistently swings at the proverbial balls thrown to me today with some sort of grace and love.

If I don’t want my day to be ruined, I can’t ruin it.

And that’s when the relaxed but ready stance of the batters from Friday nights Cardinals game came to my mind. The game that kept me up too late and had me a tired mess all weekend had also given me a lovely 40th birthday gift reminder via two really joyful home runs: keep a good eye, a ready posture, beware of distractions and knock it out of the park.

It’s easy to think your teenager should know a lot more than they do. They are a rat in a maze looking for cheese and their shitheadness is being discovered…. though you really really really want to think they know better, they don’t until they do.

But just like I didn’t label every learning to walk tumble as unfortunate or imbalanced; I really don’t want to label every learning to live tumble as lazy or shameful.

I want to encourage and direct them to better choices, more fun and therefore have a fun and more open day myself.

Swing batter batter swing…

Wish me luck 🙃

Why Five? @ Basement Study, doing the thing

Yesterday, I wrote a little post about my morning and in it I referenced Paul writing to the Corinthians and suggesting this idea of “wonder if Paul knew I would be reading it on the first of March…” When I wrote it, it felt a little trite. Like something I would have written in a grade school autobiography.

(PS – I thought that because it is quite literally something I would have written in a grade school auto biography)

But I kept it in the post bc not only am I doing VERY little editing but it felt right. And, today, I am further convinced of something as to why it feels write. I mean right.

So, I did the same thing as yesterday – “got to work by 9” (this time with a little spare time to make an egg and toast for me and the man vs. yesterday’s plate of fruit. go me.) I did my brain dump, made my daily goals and lit some incense, thanked the divine for what felt like a massive spike of patience and kindness in my heart (I did not forcefully put a single dish in the dishwasher! Which is my petty little outlet for fatigue and self pity!) and anyway I did talk out loud to the supernatural world about some things on my heart.

Though I didn’t forcefully put a dish in the dishwasher, I was *really* tired and I got quiet. I would like to ultimately level up to like singing maybe? That might be buddha level, but we shall see. I just want to be softer and more gradual. Feels like, smells like, more patience.

Anyway. I sat with my whiteboard and blue marker and wrote the words that came to me. “fill my cup”… “patience”… “warmth sun forgiveness”… “Titus” (weird, I thought) and then the numbers 3… 6… 9… 15… 12… 13… 14… 67 (quite a jump) and then F I V E with an underline.

So why five like that. (and just like that… the Google timer for 5 minutes – the time I took to write thus far – goes off.)

Surely that was not why. I am mid thought… Plus I was feeling rushed. Not really an enjoyable writing experience although I do think I have done quite nice work on my punctuation and grammar.

<sighs>

<slows down>

I traced “fill my cup” to scripture and found this passage where Jesus basically says to a bunch of guys “you stupid idiots, you gotta wash the inside of your cup first. obvi.> The idiots had washed the outside of their cup but, missed the “greed and self indulgence” that was crusted nasty on the inside of the cup.

Convicted.

So I went on… traced “patience” to scripture.. Ah, good old Proverbs. “listen to advice and accept instruction and you will gain wisdom” + “from wisdom comes patience” = listen to advice, Erin and you’ll gain patience.

If the advice I got was to clean the inside of my cup and the promise was that in doing so, I’ll receive more patience, then how do I clean the inside of my cup?

“Warmth… Sun… Forgiveness”

I sat with it. I searched my photos for “sun” and got these wonderful pictures:

the sun beyond dolphins at Bonita Beach, FL…. the sun behind Lucy playing cornhole in Lake Tahoe… the sun breaking through trees on a Christmas Day hike, on a hike in Oregon, on a walk in my neighborhood… then there was the sun up between buildings in Washington DC, out in the country where I was walking my dog (RIP Ranger) off leash, ohhhhhh the sun aligned perfectly on Cannon Beach, above mountains in North Carolina… and then, my favorite sun of all – in the gardens in Ojai (pictured below).

I sat in my basement study feeling the warmth of the sun in a space with no window. I remembered that scripture about the faithfulness of the rising sun. You can bet it will happen… time and time again. And with that, came a wash of forgiveness that comes when you are acutely self aware of where you want just a little knick of support; a little tweak in the mental game.

And though I still don’t know “why five”, I do feel certain that I am headed into the rest of my day with my head screwed on mostly straight.

Going back to Ojai will be for sure one of the first three post pandemic trips I make. I absolutely cannot wait to show David.