One morning, in social study class, the teacher explained the term, “Dysfunctional families.” Marshall sat up in his desk. That description fit his family perfectly. All the hype through the years about happy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas left him empty, sad. Those two holidays were even worse for his family, and he dreaded them to heart sickness. He knew exactly what would happen. His dad would drink even more. More than once, his dad brought drinking buddies home for “thanksgiving dinner.” This “thanksgiving” dinner was a “usual” meal, with the exception that his mom said a prayer. Why? What did she or any of the family have to be thankful for? How could his mom be thankful for such confusion, and yelling and screaming? How could anyone thank a God who allowed such misery? When he was younger, Marshall had to stay at home for the long nights of discontent on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now that he was older, he could grab his coat and hit the streets. It was cold out, and his jacket was thin. However, it was quiet in the downtown park.
Upon the beach, with a sand encrusted nose, Lucy the golden retriever had almost perfect camouflage. The sea-breeze created buoyant waves in her fur, and she stood there in canine proudness, truly belonging to that storybook-perfect costal scene.
When I wake up, I bet I heard my mom yelling at me for sleeping in. But then the reality takes over my dreams. Mom's not here. The reality hits like a stab in the stomach. All I can do is take it in.
My roommate greets me with a grin in the kitchen. Some Spanish show is blaring on the TV. My dishes are still in the sink. Those have been there for so long because no one has told me to do the dishes. I sigh turning on the faucet. Growing up is all about responsibilities.
It's not doing your dishes because you'll lose your access to wifi for an entire day otherwise. It's doing it because you won't have anything to eat from otherwise.
Waking up early is not about pleasing your mother and giving her a reason to let you go out. It's about running errands that your life literally depends on.
Curfews are not for your parents to stop worrying about your safety, but you worrying about yours.
Having a job is not about saving money, it's about spending it.
I curse myself for choosing to grow up so fast all the while doing my grown up responsibilities.
"Oh, I'm going out to the party tonight. You coming?" My roommate shouts to make herself audible over the noise from the TV.
"Heck, yeah," I say.
Did I mention growing up is having fun and being free?
For our wedding gifts we asked for only good wishes. Our guests wrote them on special cards we could fix into a memories book. Then over the coming year we wrote back to them one by one with a special wish for them. And, this universe being the wonderful place it is, those wishes always arrived in a moment when they needed it the most. It was the gift that kept on giving over the years and we treasured it more than any material thing could ever be treasured.
Jasmine would often describe her baby as frenetic and fractious. 'She was born with a hurricane for a soul, that one,' she would say. But she said it in a loving way with that soft glow in her eyes that only a mother can have for such difficult offspring. She would rock her in the dead of night when she found it impossible to sleep and she would wear her all day long in a baby carrier so that she would be calmed by the body to body contact. She would soothe her with lullaby's and stroke her tiny back and soft hair. She would whisper sweet things in her ears and cover her with kisses. She would love the hurricane right out of that child and replace it with a sweet summer breeze because above all, she was her baby, and she loved her with a power mightier than the wind.
Fire and You.
Fire is the most beautiful weapon of them all. It shines with all its glory; maybe that's why I'm so attracted to it? The warmth along with the welcoming feel it gives but as you slowly approach it snarls and bites. Everything you love could be gone in minutes, due to a single nip. That's why you're like fire. So warm, so beautiful, so welcoming. The human embodiment of fire. I turned my gaze for a minute and everything I loved was gone. All I loved. You.
Amelia adds a bee hotel to her garden. It is a simple act yet it is so her. She cannot help but be in love with nature and feel the need to nurture it as best she can. And so, when I see it there, that's what I see, her love for our Mother Earth. I guess that's part of what makes her so easy to love, that gentle and honest spirit shining out in so many ways.
I started pedaling, inching toward my destination and enjoying the newly cool air. It was a lovely day, the first of all the days of spring, with crocuses and daisies in the neighbors garden, and white asters blooming all around. I didn't simply like nature, but rather I loved it. The trees and the flowers and the animals who lasted all around. Imagining all of nature destroyed would be like leaving my soul gasping for breath.