Those Rocks. That Tree.

As time passes, and life happens to and around us,  we are not necessarily the same people year after year.

And, it seems, to me, that we shouldn’t be.  Without compromising who we are at the core; we learn and grow. As a rock erodes into a pebble and eventually into sand over time, we have the potential to change in seemingly invisible ways every day. Our minds can change. Lord knows our bodies change. Relationships come and go and add rich layers of memory and story and sometimes hurts and forgiveness.

Our kids, the people we are raising, leave us changed daily.  Responding to the struggle(s) of the day, whether it’s the 7th grade math, freshman year jitters, college goodbyes, first heart breaks, puberty, or the teething and diapers – it all becomes part of our core. Like cooking from a recipe made so many times we feel it more than we can explain it. It just is. We just are.

My son is on the early cusp of puberty, my father has dementia. I am still a mother and a daughter but what that means and requires of me is changing as they change. Some days it looks no different than the day before, and then suddenly it’s obvious we are all different.

That said, among all that we juggle – the balls we manage to catch, and the ones we simply know are hovering in the balance, seemingly invisible but so very present – comfort can be found when we return to a place that does not change. A place that is somehow a constant for us, a landmark in both the metaphorical and concrete kind of ways.  A place that somehow soothes our soul, beckons us to memories that we can smell and feel from visits gone by, but it’s as if it were yesterday each time we return.

When you recognize a tree in the forest like an old friend, and know the one rock on which to sit by the lake.  They are unchanged and exactly where you saw them last.

That.

A place where the soul settles and rests.

And exhales.

We should all have that kind of place.

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.  – John Ruskin

A place where we are sure of who we are, excited about possibilities we perhaps can’t even fathom (but like those balls hovering in the balance, we know they are there…) and revel in all that has been.  From good to difficult and everything that lies between. A place where –  no matter the season,  no matter the weather  – gives us just exactly the moments we need. No matter in what direction the winds may blow, to have and find comfort in a place that we are so very lucky to know.

And I’ve been lucky enough to learn that when someone you adore adores the same place as you – well, that’s one sweet exhale.

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Ps…thanks to Lori for the Ruskin quote!
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12 thoughts on “Those Rocks. That Tree.

  1. I have my special place, Bonnie – and we all need that to rediscover ‘me’ instead of mother, daughter, carer, aunt, worker, etc…
    “…I’ve been lucky enough to learn that when someone you adore adores the same place as you – well, that’s one sweet exhale.” – amazing words!
    And I love that Ruskin quote xxxx

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  2. You’ve outdone yourself with this one Bon. It touches me in a very real place. I wish I could say it left me feeling happy knowing I too have ‘that’ place…but I’m left holding my breath. Still. Longing to go to it but knowing I can’t. Or won’t. But…all the same…this is one hell of a piece, written beautifully. I’m so glad you have that place and more so, that someone you love knows that feeling as you do.

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    • Rhon, thank you so much – for sharing this had such resonance for you – even it did pull up the not as relaxing part of you and sharing that this perhaps hit you a tender spot. We never know how our writing may affect someone else we care about – I wish it left you with happy feelings but as we know, the whole gamut is what makes us who we are. You are brave and as always..your honesty and grace are always welcome here!! And, I hope that one day maybe it will be time, and ok for you to be in ‘that place’…xoxoxo

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    • It is indeed a great and rewarding feeling when we are proud of the people our kids become. It’s also wonderful to have a safe haven place in the world to rest from all the work that goes into parenting and the rest of life!

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