Thursday, August 19, 2010

Decorate your own soul

We were teenagers.
Laying in the sun.
Basking in our youth.
Dreaming of the future.

We would be teachers. (check)
Marry the men of our dreams (check)
Have babies and live happily ever after (well...)

We were dreamers.
Hopeless romantics.

We would lay in the lake.
Dream of our futures.
And wonder where our lives would lead us.

When I think about those times I think of the poetry that I had plastered along the walls of my room, the song lyrics that spoke to my soul, the dreams that I had of the woman I would grow to be. Wondering what events would shape her.

As I think back I am drawn to one particular poem. One I have read so many times, I believe that it lives in me still-

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises
You begin to accept your defeats with your head up and and your eyes open with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone else to bring you flowers
And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong and you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every good-bye you learn.

Author: Veronica A. Shoffstall

Twenty years later we can remember those moments.
Those girls we once were.

Think of those words.
The words we spoke so many times.
A simple poem.
The words.
See their truth.
Feel their power.

For tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans.
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

But you learn.
You do learn.
And we have learned. Having spoken a goodbye that we never could have imagined- never dreamt- never had believed would lie in both of our futures...

But we plant our own garden and decorate our own souls.
Because we know that's what they'd want us to do.
Because there is a place that is so serene and beautiful and our's. A place within us that dances in the sun, sings their names knows our peace.

A place.
Find it.
When you're ready.
It's there for the taking.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Dance

Tonight I was watching.

My children were at play outside. They were running and laughing in the summer sun- but it wasn't this that caught my attention.

As they were at play there was a butterfly. One that seemed to frolic with them. Dance really. And while I know it is just a butterfly, it made me think of him and wonder.

Andrew would be turning seven next month! SEVEN! He'd be reading, riding his bike and probably writing like his brother. I wonder what he would say.

I watched Joe and the the butterfly that seemed to chase him, chase all of them, join in the fun.

And then to my delight another butterfly came and suddenly the laughter faded and I just watched the dance. Delighted in it. It was beautiful and peaceful. They would rise and fall, flutter and glide. They were a pair. And as I watched my heart grew.

Suddenly I had an image that I hadn't had before...

Our baby E would have been walking by now. As odd as it is, I remember feeling sad that Andrew did not have the joy that I see in our children as they play together, laugh together- but today that feeling left me. For in my mind, I could imagine him running. Running hand in hand with a toddler- what would have been our toddler. I could imagine him helping and guiding and supporting and laughing.


I could see their outline. The sun in the distance keeping them a shadow to me. But I saw them. I watched the dance. I heard the laughter.

I know he's there. I know they're there. They have been there with me, dancing around me, celebrating with me, cheering me on. They have been there all along. Supporting their mother as she learned to live again. To breathe again. To feel again.

They've been there all along.
I hold them close and yet they soar.
Tonight I saw it all.