Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rains of Change

It is raining for the first time in perhaps six months, in Southern California. The soft grey skies and pleasant rhythmic plopping of rain soothe my heartbeat, slow my pace.
I miss the rain, I think. It's happening here, now, I am in it and yet I miss it.
I miss the sudden warm Connecticut rain showers of summer...thrilling thunder storm outbursts, days of cold constant wetness in the early winter, when I curled up by the window with a book in bed and read by the soft glow of the clouded sun, the nourishing rains of the spring where green and yellow forsythia and purple crocus spring up from the rain drops.
Like two streams of rushing water after a sudden downfall, merging together, my thoughts about rain merged with my thoughts about how we can cut out housing cost in half and plan and save for extraordinary experiences, like traveling around the world and volunteering as a family....these two thoughts merged together and began to flow forward...
my husband could get a job there...we could have the dream life...

My childhood state beckons now, as the answer to many of my dreams for our family.
The spacious home with character and charm that is a fraction of the cost of the one we have now. Great schools and stellar colleges. Seasons, ponds, ocean and wilderness. The big green back yard that goes on forever, lined with leafy Maple and Sassafras trees, protected by a few tall stately evergreen. A tree house stands towards the back of the yard where our three boys play for hours, having adventures and telling stories. An organic garden in the sunny part of the yard grows fresh herbs, tomatoes, corn, broccoli, brussel sprouts, sugar snap peas and lettuce. Flowers like fuscia peony's,Day Lily's, Iris, and Queen Anne's Lace surround the yard, which I collect every few days and bring into nearly every room of the house. A garden shed or small barn houses the garden tools, maybe even a guinea hen coop or small goat I can make fresh goat cheese and have fresh eggs for breakfast.

My sister lives 25 minutes away and we see her often, her dimpled smile, clay pots she makes, her art, her funny and smart husband composing music and their adorable two year old daughter Kaia growing and playing with her cousins. My mother, father and brother are within 45 min to 1 hour...nestled deep in the lush rolling hills of green green Connecticut. My brother and his amazing Bride-to-be are artists, she is in marketing and is getting a Masters degree in Human Evolution.... how phenomenal! How fascinating! We could talk for hours with them by the campfire, and barbecue by the glassy pond to the hum of peep frogs and Katydids.
I see it all...and I see our pristinely planned California lifestyle we have now. I see it differently now.

I love what we have, I love what we do. I love our friends and family here and am so grateful for them. I don't want to move. I don't want to pack, change schools, not have this lovely weather all year round. I don't want to miss my friends, our cousins creating a thrilling chaos at Christmas or Trader Joe's. I don't want to miss the beach and the perfect parks and pools. I used to think California life was better.
But something has shifted in the way I see things. Something has shifted in what matters to me. It's been ten years, living away from my family of origin. I yearn for them and the lifestyle of the state I grew up in.
It's amazing, one day I didn't really, and then the next day, I did.

I feel a physical deep pull, like the undercurrent of a river, flowing in that direction. It may be this year or five years from now, it may be, I shall say with commitment to my lifelong partner and what matters to him, it may be never. But this compelling magnetic vision is there. It IS possible. He could get a job there ( because he is awesome he can get a great job anywhere), we could have a different kind of adventure. CT or CA is not better, just different.

In the we create our life together, I will create those things that I value here. I am committed that whatever we do is a joint choice, not just MY dreams, not to steam roll him into this direction ( I used to be so Right, things had to go My Way..I did a lot of exhausting convincing), but to listen to what matters to him, to create with him, to be as clear as the crystal stream water about our future direction and be supportive of him. I am committed to, not to make moves based on feelings, but on fulfilling my husbands dreams as well, a powerful partnership, that my husband's and my rivers of ideas merge and flow together powerfully in a unified direction.
I am excited that, no matter what, we will come to a place where we choose newly to live here or there. That together we talk, share, create, that we can do anything and live anywhere. THAT is exciting, no matter what we choose.

I can do that, and when it rains, you may see me standing in it, soaking it up, savoring it...

Zen Honeycutt

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thank you Thank you Thank you

Today is a day of Great Gratitude. In the core of my being, the warm center of my chest, in the silent soul of my soul...I am grateful.

Today is the day my third son, Bronson was born two years the warm water of a kiddie pool in our living room while our elder sons slept. My husband holding my hand, my Doula's and Midwife's inner strength and silence supporting every surge. After only 3 hours of labor...walking around barefoot under the stars and Jacaranda trees barefoot in our neighborhood...we three and the the flickering candles and Adrea Bocelli music greeted Bronson at 3:21 in the morning.
When he emerged, he was perfect, pink, and serene. He looked at me right in the eyes and held up his hand. I kissed his hand and when I expressed that I wished he would make a noise, he let out a soft, brief cry. He gave me the gift of his voice and peace, and there hasn't been a day since that I have not been present to the immense gift his life is.
So today is a day of Great Gratitude.

I create this morning with my dear friend that today I am being Present and Grateful.
And immediately I become present to the great gratitude in life...everywhere.
I call my father and he practically hollers "THANK YOU! I just got your card and I'll be doggoned if the quote on the card isn't one that I am practicing memorizing right now! "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."- Ralph Waldo Emerson
He continues to express his gratitude for what I have written, which is a true expression of my feelings, and I feel complete with past conversations, full with gratitude for our communication, for his life and for the contribution he is to our family. This conversation is not something that was just going to happen anyway, it is a creation of gratitude.

Then I walk into the bank and the song being played is Natalie Merchant singing "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you" over and over again.

I hold my 5 year old's soft, warm hand as I pick him up from school and I nearly tear up being present to how grateful I am that I can be there, listen to him talk about his day and hear him thank me for being a good Mom...out of nowhere.

As I look into my toddler's eyes on his second birthday I am present to the many miracles that I can SEE now, from getting out of my "box" or "point of view" that I used to have that I am "not a good enough Mom to handle three" or " I am too temperamental to have three,you will have to haul me off to a Betty Ford clinic."
I am clear that by having this huge breakthrough of seeing myself newly, a good Mom, albeit perfectly human and imperfect...a Mom who does yell now and then, who does forget picture day, who does slack off on taking care of myself through showers and writing, and puts off laundry for days, who has rotten fruit smells in the house somewhere, and just does not want to make lunches most days...and THAT'S OK!

By seeing myself with some grace and humanity, by being present and grateful for my own human being-ness...I am able to not only give birth to a miracle of life, I am able to have a fun, harmonious ( most of the time) and miraculous adventure with my family.
The rest of Ralph Waldo Emerson's quotation is below:

"And when we bring what is within us out into the world, miracles happen."

Zen Honeycutt