Thursday, June 25, 2009

Something Moved Me

I got a comment from the lovely and talented Sitara Haye nudging me to get off my blogger's arse and write something. She reminded me that I don't have to be profound or even articulate...just write something. "Something has moved you in the last couple of months," she said.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I love you, Sitara, and I still hate it when you're right and I have to get up off the proverbial comfy couch and jumpstart myself into action. Inertia, thy name is Heartsong.

On the other hand, I like moving once I get going (bodies in motion and all that)...prefer it actually, to thank you for the nudge.

Huh...I guess you moved me. Entry number one in my list of things that have moved me lately: Good friends who kick your butt in the gentlest and kindest of ways when you need it most. Thank you.

With Number One out of the way, the rest of the list follows.

Things That Moved Me (numbers 2 - 10)

2. My friend Indigo Satin (not her real name, unless you count her seems-like-forever-now internet and email name as real, which I do because it reflects her beautiful, flowing spirit and the deep, cool colors of her soul). As I type this, surgeons have just stitched her body back together after removing both breasts and a lymph node. She's in "recovery" at the hospital; the real recovery starts when her son and sister take her home to heal. She's beautiful, sensual, spiritual, sexy, smart, and soulful...and while I will miss the sweet, sexy, "baby's butt" cleavage she always seemed to have in her oh-so-lovely low-cut tops and corsetry, there is nothing that can dim the light in an around this amazing woman. I love you, Booful. (You can read her thoughts leading up to her surgery here, if you're interested; I hope she keeps writing as she recovers, though it may be a while before she feels like lifting arms to type.)

3. Our garden. Who would have thought, way back when Mom and Dad were sweating and digging and hoeing their little hearts out while I worked equally hard to avoid the sweating and digging and hoeing, that I would be such a garden nerd in my middle years? I love our growing, green babies! I love dirt! I'm even warming up to sweat, hoes, digging, and earthworms tilling the soil and pooping out nutritious goodness, goddess bless 'em. Compost is delightful. Weeding is an act of love. Yeah, I'm smitten...completely head over heels in love with it all.

4. Indigo Buntings. Beautiful, brilliant blue birds, blue all over except for charcoal gray outlines on wing and tail feathers. When one of these little fellows streaks by the window or rests for a while on the feeder or bird bath, my eyes can't drink in enough of the blue. They're like little drops of happy that sweeten whatever cup I'm handed on that day. For a moment, everything is a little more beautiful.

5. Mountains. The earthly ones, tall and strong and solid...and the people ones. People mountains are the ones you know you can go to when you're the one who needs to be heard, held, shored up. They're the ones who never listen superficially, just waiting for the chance to turn the conversation back to their own issues. They're the ones who, no matter how empty you are, they don't try to fill you up. They just accept that's where you are right now, that you'll fill up again in time, and all they have to do is love you while you work your way through it. And because they don't feel compelled to save you, they don't get mad when you don't heal on their time schedule. They wait, like mountains, timeless and unchanging.

6. Mountains. I know, I used this one already, but I'm moved by them in more than one way, and each one deserves its own number. It's my list. I can do that. When you look at the face of a mountain, the rock and dirt kind, you rarely see a surface that hasn't been shaped by events, some gentle and slow, some cataclysmic and abrupt. Volcanoes erupt, rocks slide, rivers run, fires rage...and the face of the mountain is changed forever. The mountain never tries to hide its face, no matter how ravaged or altered. The only regret ever expressed is by us, looking on, at the loss of some aspect of the mountain we were particularly fond of. We hate it when the rock slide changes the silhouette. We cry when fire turns a green mountainside into a ragged, charred expanse. Why is that? Why are we eager to hang onto things as they used to be? Seems a foolish thing to me, yet I catch myself wallowing in missing things that used to be instead of enjoying things that are. Mountains are good teachers.

7. Vulnerability. When people share less-than-favorite parts of themselves with me...fears, anxieties, feelings of inadequacy, loneliness...all the myriad of human worries and feels like such a profound honor. It's like they're laying down their shields, opening up and removing their armor, and standing naked and unprotected in front of me. That's huge, because we are all armed to the teeth. A single word, a glance, a shrug...we carry an arsenal that can wound as surely as any sword. Courage...not ignorance of danger or absence of fear, but willingness to be there amazing. Trust is a gift.

8. The tastes and scents of summer. Peaches. Sweet red peppers. Melons. Iced tea with fresh mint. Fresh, pan-fried, corn. Tomatoes. Salsa. Anything grilled outside. Ice cold beer. Salads. Fresh herbs still warm from the summer sun. The way the air tastes when you breathe through your mouth after an afternoon rain. Jasmine. Magnolia. Marigold. Heliotrope. Blackberries. Squash. Pool water (don't lie - you know exactly what it tastes like). Okra, tomatoes, and onions with cornbread. Salty kisses after a day of garden work.

9. Our daughters. The women they have become. The surprise of it all. I remember when Amybeth played softball...I watched her all the time and then one night I watched her play and she was moving so fluidly, doing the right things with skill and strength, and I found myself thinking, "When did she become so capable? When did she change from my baby girl who tackled everything with her baby hands and her innocent enthusiasm and not-yet-ripe clumsiness into this young woman, fast and strong and knowledgeable? Nowadays I see Amybear with her gardening and her spiritual path, strong from the physical effort of growing and tending plants. I marvel at Sarah and her animals, at Amybeth and her passion and unwillingness to accept anyhing less than making a positive difference in the world. It's not that I didn't expect them to succeed, to be amazing. I've always known they would. I guess I'm surprised by "...the quickslivery racehorse passage of time..." (Pat Conroy). I know they're smart, strong, capable young women. I'm just surprised that they're not babies anymore. Where does the time go?

10. The pure yes-ness of it all. I find myself moved to tears with gratitude and wonder, sitting on the front porch with Jim, hot, tired from a hard day of work in the yard, garden, house...looking out across the yard, watching fireflies, and thinking...this is all I ever wanted...someone to work alongside, to share a glass of tea at the end of the day, to love without reservation. It just doesn't get any better.

You were right, Sitara. Thanks for the nudge.


  1. Thank you so much for caring for my mother. She is doing so great! I am so glad to have her home.

  2. You are so very kind to me .. thank you.
    Isn't it wonderful the simple things in life that impress our hearts.

  3. Anonymous10:25 PM

    The most beautiful thing about your writing and your insight is that you don't write about things that are out of reach of the simplest person. Rather, you write about things that we can all touch and understand. You slow us down, still time, strip away the illusion of complexity until we stop trying so hard to find joy and just let it be. You restore God/dess to their rightful place at the heart of all things.

    Thank you for writing! :-)

  4.'re a good man, a great friend, and a beloved son. Rock on, my friend.

    IndigoSatin...I love you. :)

    Sitara...your words touched me more than you can possibly imagine. In a world where the complex things get a lot of attention, I admit that I sometimes feel a bit inadequate when I'm going on about things like the taste of pool water. ::grin:: The god/dess in everything is exactly what I see and what I hope to share. Thank you!


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