It’s been over five weeks since I decided to step back from my twice-weekly blog posting to just let life happen without an agenda. I’ve been surprised to find that with only one exception (my post about Grandmother Spider) I haven’t missed writing. Until today. Why now? Lots of things I guess: a note from a friend who’s missing my regular updates and musings; a lull in the activity going on around here (my three grandsons have left to visit their other grandparents for a week and my daughter’s family is off zip-lining today). And also, perhaps, because I think best by writing and I have much to think about.
Apparently my new freedom from stressing over self-imposed writing deadlines has snuck into other areas of my personality. The other day my husband and one of our grandsons spent a lot of time setting out cushions and hauling wood and laying a fire in our new globe fire pit in the terrace garden by the creek. Out-of-town friends were dropping by for a glass of wine and we were going to sit out there.
Just before they arrived the skies darkened and thunder rolled and a few fat droplets splashed on the deck. I casually said to my daughter, “Let it rain. The wood will dry, the cushions won’t be ruined, and they’ll see it another time.” With a deadpan look she said, “Well that was very un-compulsive of you!” I’m still chuckling. I loved it that my stress switch didn’t automatically flip on and highjack my equanimity as it has done so often in the past! I don’t know if it’s increasing age or increasing consciousness, but either way, it’s real progress!
Last week my five grandchildren were here for some much anticipated fun at Camp MaBoppa with, you guessed it, Ma and Boppa. After several days of spending most of our time indoors because of non-stop rain, one night around midnight I was in their bunk room trying for the zillionth time to settle them down and get them to go to sleep. The first few nights of this it hadn’t been an issue. The excitement of being with each other was catching and I figured it wouldn’t do any harm to let them enjoy the novelty for the few days they’d all be together.
But by this night my HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) personality trait had been pushed to the max by not enough sleep, too little solitude, and too much intense stimulation. Tired, frustrated, and cranky, I was preparing to leave when one child started laughing and another started crying and I felt a crack in my normally patient, composed persona, and then it exploded into a million pieces. I felt it coming like you do when someone lights the fuse of a giant mamajama Roman Candle on the 4th of July, and then I let it fly with a few angry, totally appropriate, well-chosen words!
Absolute silence! In bed a moment later, a twinge of guilt and a bit of fear that they’d stop loving me were soon swept away by a wave of joy and “You go, girl!” pride. I did it! I was proud of myself! It was the right thing to do and I knew it! For someone who hates conflict so much that sometimes she doesn’t set clear boundaries, this was an important achievement.
That night I dreamed I was looking at a map of the Western Hemisphere and tracing a route that started in North America, passed through Central America, and ended at a special village in the center of South America. Part of the route was a watery passage dotted with islands. I imagined I’d need a canoe for that. I’d been asked by a regal-looking woman wearing a long, neutral colored dress to accompany her and her photographer on this trip. I was to help him articulate the essence and meanings of the images he’d be making of our grand adventure. The dream ended with someone giving me a packet of folded up paper. When I opened it, precious gems tumbled out and I searched for the diamond I knew was in there for me.
The next day we were having lunch when one of my grandsons said, “Do you remember what you said last night?”
“Yup,” I said. “I sure do. And there’s more where that came from if I need it.”
“I’ve never seen you that way,” he said with a touch of awe. “Me neither,” said the little one, equally solemn and wide-eyed. Then we all smiled at each other and ate our sandwiches.
This summer is turning out to be a grand adventure.