Tag Archives: Appreciation

Quote

From my window I can see a pond.

I guess it’s not really a pond. It’s a bioswale where the runoff from the rain fills the retention basin until it can slowly seep into the ground. But, when the water is up, and there are ducks paddling, it’s a pond. It’s surrounded on three sides by a small forest and the little hill around it is high enough to serve for sledding in the snow.

There’s a hawk that circles over the woods occasionally; some doves nest nearby; a swarm of sparrows visits regularly; and every now and then a blue heron tries his luck. Mostly though, gaggles of Canada geese visit to graze the green grass on the slope and float on what water is there. I watch them grazing, a few keeping their heads up on guard while the others eat. Then in turn the others will stand watch until everyone has his fill.

The past few days a single goose has been here by herself. I say “her” because she’s a little slighter in size than most of the geese I see. She grazes alone. She swims alone. She tucks her legs under her and rests alone. A dog-walker came a little close, and she rose up and waddled a few steps, spread her wings in a flurry and settled back down. The puppy proved disinterested and wandered on.

So I wonder about this lone goose. Certainly, she would be safer among her relatives.  Might she be injured? But no, she has flown to the water and landed and swam, so clearly if she wanted, she could leave.  Has the flock left her?  Do geese do that? Abandon one of their own? But again, a gaggle passes over and she doesn’t even honk at them.  She has the grass she needs for grazing, the pond – should she need to move away from danger – and at the rim of the berm, she rests.

Brave goose.

She passes the time in serene surroundings.

Such is the way with wild animals. In uncomplicated nature, they are fulfilled in each moment. Once basic needs are met, they are at ease – creatures with no struggle, no schedule, no worry, no regret. Compelled at times to action, but moving freely, living their lives to the utmost of their natural ability.

And as the last light of day skims the treetops and sets the edge of the hill softly aglow, she lingers, content.

“…therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. ”

Matthew 6:25-34

On Her Own

All Fired Up

Standard

porcelin

The heat is unbearable.

I always thought it was smart to bring a jacket. Now I’m stuck in three layers of clothing, sitting next to a rather large individual in a fairly small seat on the train.

Why, in God’s name, would they set the thermostat so high when it’s such a beautiful day? Looking around however, I’m the only one noticing the heat. Is it just me?

Oh, I get it.

It is just me.

Dammit.

My sister warned me about this. Out of nowhere, you become a kiln. A sensation starts small in the core of your body and ignites every cell on its move outward. Suddenly, what was comfortable is now suffocating and stifling. There’s an incredible urge to start unbuttoning everything. This is a public place though. I can’t exactly strip down. Oh dear God, will I actually immolate? Probably not. So here I am suffering the fires of transformation in golden silence.

It’s a test, I know.

Just as soft clay is fired to harden it to ceramic, the experience of my childhood, my youth, and my adulthood is being forged into the fullness of being a mature woman.

In a kiln, the higher the temperature, the finer the porcelain becomes. The imperfections are eliminated, the fine lines of paint are made permanent, and the colors become enameled. The result is a visibly delicate, but incredibly strong piece of china capable of withstanding daily use while maintaining its beauty.

And that is how it is with women. We reach a point where experience has done its job to teach us all the things we need to know… to be durable, to be practical and yet to display our gifts in a way that highlights the best qualities of our feminine assets.

We know who we are.

The doubts are burned off. The fear turns to ashes, and anxiety is just smoke rising and wafting away. With confidence and clarity we move into the new territory of being ourselves. Not a daughter anymore. Not a wife anymore. Not a mommy anymore. We become the women we knew our grandmothers to be: calm, assured, optimistic and ever faithful, tender yet strong, with the perspective to gauge the passing days over the lengthy years.

So as the intensity of this moment subsides, I’ll not wish it away. I will remember that in these brief minutes of internal combustion lies the serenity of my future.