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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ps…thanks to Lori for the Ruskin quote!
sig4

Double Dog Dare

Summer is officially over, and tomorrow commences a new season. But, before summer packs its tank tops, shortens our days and flip flops out the door to let fall rush in, I bring you one last bastion of summer.  A follow through on a dare from my friend Paula at Stuff I Tell My Sister.  It was a double dog dare that we turned into a double triple – three of us, three times.

If you are like the 17 yr old I asked to take our pictures in Round One of this dare, a teen who ever so subtly rolled her eyes when I asked her to snap the shots, as if to imply that ‘duh, old lady, yes, of course I know‘, then you will know what planking is. But if not, she did indulge me and snapped away while we adjusted knee caps, ribs and other ‘parts’ on the uneven surfaces of gorgeous, but oh so unforgiving, granite boulders so that I could make good on this dare and bring you proof of having carried out the planking promise I made to Paula.

TRIAL RUN

First up was a test run with the junior member of our planking team – (there are different ideas of proper form in planking, and we opted with the one you see here) –  and you will see a slight faltering in his form – hands and feet should not be touching the surface, but his face is correctly nose to the grindstone, so he gets points for that.  He did move on to the first round of the finals and served as mentor to our other planking amateur.

–ROUND ONE–

Judges rank of the plank:  so so. Those hands should not be waving, we need to see some superman action here.

And, you know what they say, the family who planks together,
stays together. :).

Family wins ROUND ONE

The planking mama and kiddo, surveying the land for our next opportunity to strike a pose.

–ROUND TWO–

You can see we each competed in our own category:
kiddo’s involved a bit more of a handicap with that granite ledge.
My older, ahem, wiser body couldn’t wouldn’t quite ‘adapt’ to those contours.

Kiddo wins ROUND TWO

–FINAL ROUND–

The Final Round went to extremes, planking on the edge of the earth.

My planking partner has some training sessions he missed, and so…
Planking Mama wins the FINAL ROUND.

Paula and I will be representing blogland in the upcoming international planking championships and we are recruiting members of the team. Applications are now being accepted.

🙂

Outnumbered

So, yesterday I had made a ‘committment’ to spend my Sunday drinking and browsing, but as it turned out, I was outnumbered and outvoted by the men in my house. Which doesn’t take much, as I am the token female in our family. The cat doesn’t count.

But, if I couldn’t spend the day in my pjs curled up with a cup of coffee and the world wide web, at least I could spend the day in my second choice favorites: shorts and a tank top and instead of the couch, here

The boys would have none of this lounging bit, so off we went for a day hike up in one of my favorite place, Desolation Wilderness.  I find it ironic how something known as desolation somehow lifts my soul no matter how many times I traverse it’s stark, surface-of-the-moon like terrain.

It was this guy’s first foray into the wilderness, and he held his own and set his sights on vistas far and wide.

We made our contributions to the ‘community rock garden’

and despite the fact that I was out voted on the pajama day, I managed to wrangle a lizard like nap in the sun

And when I am a middle-aged woman, I shall, I will,  (I do now – thanks to the clearance rack at the REI on the way up the hill)  wear purple hiking shoes; for in my middle age, I somehow forgot to bring my hiking shoes, for our day of hiking. Tally one for ol’ Twinkle Toes!

And at the end of the day,

I’d say it was more than a fair trade; the wildnerness in place of the couch, and purple shoes instead of pajamas, to spend the day in one of my favorite place.

There’s always tomorrow!