Before the leaves fall I want to drink them full with my eyes.
Like the way you try to savor the last sip of your favorite drink, the final words of a dying friend and cherished moments of right now.
I don’t want a single one to drop, to touch the ground before I get the chance to hold each individually-crafted, brilliant masterpiece.
So I just keep taking pictures. The only way to freeze the time that keeps fleeing from my hands.
“Mommy stop taking pictures!”
“Honey, really another one?”
“Oooooh wait. Do that again, let me get my camera.”
“Um, excuse me, would you mind taking our picture?”
I stumble, feeling a little tipsy and giddy from the beauty and wonder I keep getting drawn into every time I see a new tree.
Crisp,cool air refreshes my spirit deep like menthol rub has the power to seep inside and stay awhile. (I love the smell of Vick’s, like I love the smell of Autumn– it’s like aroma therapy).
On our nature walk, we struggle not to collect each freshly fallen, golden-maze, tangerine-orange, burgundy-black, solid and mixed color combinations.
Our bag is already full and we conclude we’ve selected the best.
Until we find the next, autumn drop of fire -red, mellow-yellow, lime-green, treasured deposits, lavishly blanketing the public sidewalk.
I struggle, heart-sinking- pain, spreads across my chest as I notice my daughter has no more baby fat hanging off her checks and Daddy has turned another year.
Eyes swell with pride and tears as I peak in the mirror, reflecting back the beauty that resembles me, but now stands separate in her own budding womanness.
Over Elmer’s hot pancakes, trying to comfort me, my son says…
“Mommy you still have me for six more years.”
(That’s only six more autumns.)
He now stands taller, equaling my height. The lengthening of his growning trunk promises in coming days to double my size.
Leaves now dry and brittle sit displayed on my mantle-harvesting moments of a season that is soon ready to change.
My only sister moved to California. My best friends are franticly busy, just like me, trying to nestle growing pains, nurture emotional tsunamis,while navigating our lives through heaps of piled laundry.
Like the wind, I wait patiently for our next together-moments to come my way and grab me again.
I hold my husband tighter, nights are getting colder and reality grips me as I reflect on the miracle of our love, the constant spark that keeps kindling stronger, even through passing year and changing season.
Pictures in frames collect yesterday’s firsts and lasts.
I reach for the keyboard, desperate to gather this present moment- before it too decides to wither.
Snapshots of today’s abundance of gratitude, I write and celebrate-life.
1. a thick cloud of tiny water droplets suspended in the atmosphere at, or near the earth’s surface that obscures or restricts visibility. 2. something that obscures and confuses a situation or someone’s thought processes.
What about the fog that drops down and suspends itself over our hearts, dreams, and lives?
I can’t see when I feel…
Somebody I love dearly, lied to me, straight in my face.
Do you really think you can become a author? You can’t even keep up a weekly blog.
“Sorry, your card declined ma’am.”
God, why? Why would you take my cousin so soon, he was on 26 years old?!!
Fog forces us to slow down, usually when we don’t want to.
Making our eyes search for the familiar we take for granted.
The faithful stop lights at our everyday intersections, the yellow dashed lines that keep us on the right side of the road, the car in front and behind that allows us to set, safe-spaced boundaries.
Truth is, I don’t get to decide the weather forecast. If I did, it would be set in the mid-80’s, with a slight warm breeze, and nothing but clear blue skies.
But all I have is today, and today started off really foggy.
And it force me to…
Laser in on the places I keep trying to hide.
Yes, I may have missed a blog post, but I wrote today and I’m not missing out on the God-story you keep writing in me, with others, for your glory.
-search for true contentment-
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;never will I forsake you.”
-remember that this Earth is not our real home-
“Cousin Michael, enjoy Grandmommy-
you get her all to yourself for now. You always said you were her favorite. 😉
Please tell her she is missed and loved.
PS. We already miss you too.”
So on this last day of September, I am struck by the joy and pain, seasons bring when they change-mine sure have.
To start, my two oldest (now age 12 and 13) now look at me-eye level. I don’t like it. It’s the reason, I think, I keep raising my voice at them. As if making my voice bigger, will shrink them back down in size. I miss the days, when each would hold a knee, and wait patiently for me to pick them both up.
Carefully centering my weight, in one full sweep my mother-made, strong arms would catch them both and hang them together, securely one child on each of my hips.
Hubby and I, now prefer playing “Words with Friends” on our smart phones, instead of watching our, old hot television friends on Grey’s Anatomy. We are in bed by 10:00pm and up by 5:00am. Twenty years ago, single and free, we were just hitting the streets at ten and making it back home (first stopping at Denny’s for breakfast) by five in the morning.
The close-knit, sisterhood of BFF’s and girlfriends, I once had cushioned firmly around me, have now sprung out, each quilting her own unique patterns of life, love and legacy.
Occasionally, we find sacred moments to celebrate the patches of life we once created together. Sister-girl times quench our deep need to feel special. Leaving us refreshed but now more saddened, not sure when our schedules will be clear enough or love tanks, drained low enough, to make each other a priority again.
Most recently, the winds turned and I followed. Saying good-bye to the classroom and cafeteria where I once served and lived out my passion for youth as a teacher and mentor-I changed my course. It was hard and it was painful.
No longer able to push down, dreams deferred, of becoming a stay-at-home writing Momma and published author. Afraid of becoming a hypocrite before their eyes. One student called me out and it sealed my new journey.
“Mrs. V, how you gonna tell us to reach for our dreams, when you haven’t even finished yours?” Ouch!
My mood for the past month has been just like our weather in Portland. Some days I am beaming with joy and confidence certain of brighter days of purpose and destiny headed my way. No cloud in the sky. Other days I can’t stop crying, like the downpour of September showers that refuse to break. Every memory, milestone and miracle, I had the privilege of witnessing with my students keep swelling up and flooding over my soul. It’s just too much to let go of.
Today I am home with a sick Nya. We are eating lunch at the table-centered between the living room and dining room.
“Mommy, Look it’s raining on one side of the house and sunny on the other!”
I look first, at the window in the living room, the dark clouds hovering over the front yard are gray and heavy. The rain pouring out from them, is pounding hard. But the scene is beautiful, because it is passionate and strong, each raindrop is speaking every time it hits the pavement. Saying, don’t forget me, I was here.
Out the dining room window, the sun is glistening on, wet,changing from green to burgundy leaves. A thin backdrop of blue sky is waiting behind cottony, white and light gray clouds. The scene is lighter and it gives me a, peace. And I hear whispers about my tomorrow. Saying, stay with me, I AM is here.
So in this place, of both sunshine and rain I am grateful for both windows. Each framed the picture of my heart this September, the changing of my seasons, the pain and possibility every new and old cloud and the beauty that is only seem when it is both raining and shining at the same time.
Aside Posted on Updated on
I am both EXCITED and NERVOUS that you decided to stop by.
Excited because I just want to share my heart and my life journey as I’m experiencing it. Raw, real, and risky.
Nervous-because just like the first time I went white-water rafting, I have no idea what I’m doing-but it’s not worth missing out on the adventure!
(Yeah-that’s me the scared woman under the blue arrow. Thank you Brendah Hansen for saving our lives that day and my Elevate students for making Mrs. V practice what she preaches. LOL! You were right. You can’t live life in fear, standing on the shore-even if you don’t know how to swim-that’s what life jackets are for!!)
Truth is… I’ve always thirsted for more.
More from myself, more from others, more from this great country we call the United States, and more from people who call themselves “Christians.”
And I love water. The meaning of Lynn (in Velynn) means lake. It is also of Spanish origin which means “pretty.” My husband thought I was a “pretty lake”too. He named me, (like Adam named Eve) “Oasis”-which is tattooed across my heart.
I grew up in Portland, Oregon, where it rains more than it shines. I cry like a faucet-constant and consistent. Every emotion that filters through me joy, sadness, frustration, excitement-comes out in tears. I love to drink room temperature water, peach Snapple tea, strong brewed coffee and deep red wines. However, no drink, no matter how refreshing, smooth, or lovely can reach my deepest thirst.
I never understood how a blue-eyed, blonde -haired Jesus could love a little black girl like me. I think the Samaritan woman at the well felt the same way. Jews didn’t talk to Samaritans and Samaritans sure weren’t suppose to talk to Jews. Our country has changed a lot since slavery and the Civil rights era, but back in those days racial lines were dared not crossed. Jesus crosses race, religion and redemption to grab a heart that’s willing to believe. He did for me.
I am so proud of my African-American heritage, but more than the color of my skin I am so grateful that God saw the condition of my soul. Like the woman at the welI, I looked for people to stir up and quench the parched places of my needy heart. When their attention and love for me would run out, I would go searching again for another to feel my empty well.
It didn’t happen over night. It wasn’t pretty or even planned-but one day the God of the universe stopped by my address and gave me a drink that has never gone dry. And every day He offers me a fresh glass of living water that I get to sip on all day long.
Today’s Cup: John 4:13-15 (The Message)
13-14 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”
15 The woman said, “Sir, give me this water so I won’t ever get thirsty, won’t ever have to come back to this well again!”
(PS He’s got a cup with your name on it!!)
Walking In Deeper Waters Together,