Cleaning Out The Attic

Sometimes when you least expect it, a moment happens that reminds you of another life. A life you thought you had packed away, carefully folded, like clean clothes in an old suitcase. It waits, stuffed into a dusty corner with the forgotten bits of a past you no longer have use for, a neatly packaged collection of memories waiting to be discovered by another generation when cleaning out the attic after your death.

You forget it is even there except for the times when you feel obliged to shift the Christmas boxes or saved baby clothes to make room when the roof needs repairing or the pest control people come by to take care of the scratching sounds you hear late at night when sleep won’t come.

In shifting the suitcase to a new location, you wonder why you put it there and when you open it, you remember and you think, maybe I should get rid of these things that no longer fit me. So you shake them out and hold them up to the light. You might even step outside the attic where the light is better and you can see more clearly.

At the very end of it all, you may share some things with your friends who are happy to reminisce with you and remind you of all you have that fits the you that you have become. You consider what to do with it all after picking through the past, and after ruling out recycling, you stuff it into a large garbage bag and put it out with the Monday morning trash.

When I thought I had no more tears left for the sad mother stories that are at the very core of my history, I found myself wiping them away yesterday after reading your lovely comments. The sweetness and sensitivity you shared was healing and so appreciated. I hesitated for several months before sharing the accidental awareness found in a strangers question last January, but the dream of bowling balls and my mother pushed me to share a part of my life that sadly is similar to others out there. My deepest thanks to each of you for your support and kindness.

Just A Time Traveler Trying To Find My Way Home

Maybe to you this picture looks like just another woman at a fancy dress/costume party … someone possibly dressed as Amelia Earhart on New Year’s Eve, but I see something different. It’s there in her eyes … joy, relief, and playfulness … the kind of things one might feel when finally arriving at their destination after a long journey.

Too many of us get stuck in the past never letting go of old hurts or regrets. I have long been determined that I would not be a casualty of what I could not change and when I couldn’t find my own way, I had enough sense to ask others for a bit of help and direction. I know I walk a clearer path today because of the guidance and support of two very special women.

I am sure they both know how important the work is that they do, but I want to say thank you again to Nancy and to Wendy for helping this traveler find her way home.

So often I see an internal struggle in the words of the writers whose blogs I read. It is difficult not to want to lend directional support when I see people in crisis. It’s my nature to be a caregiver although I didn’t believe it for many years. I remember exactly, the moment I realized what I had been doing and the impact on my life.  It was the beginning, and I do mean the beginning, of real and lasting change for me.

While I earnestly believe as J.R.R.Tolkien said, ” Not all those who wander are lost ” I also understand that it can be a long and lonely road for those who grow weary of constant movement.

If you’re struggling to do it all on your own, I hope this will be the year you find your own “Nancy or Wendy ” to help you on your way back to whatever you call home.

Washed Away

Wellies - Washed Away

The constant rain over the last few days has made it easy for me to spend what seems like an endless amount of time staring into the screen of my computer.

I’ve been editing the 3000 plus images I’ve snapped on our adventures around the southwest of England over the last eight weeks sorting though the best ones to share in this space. In each one I’m struck by the lush green that provides a backdrop to this blooming paradise.

Rain is an absolute requirement for the never-ending sea of green. The breath stopping beauty depends on the watery bounty that falls sometimes for days. It’s an unending form of nourishment from the blue grey clouds that frequently dot the Cornish skies.

In the rare moments lately when the clouds hold back and we have a bit of weather relief, we pull on our wellies and tromp about the countryside like a pair of nine-year old boys stepping deep into the mud of the moor. Decorating the waterproof legs of my rubber boots with mud spatters like some sort of earthy Jackson Pollock, I love the freedom that comes with knowing that it’s just a bit of mud and that the next deep puddle I wade through will provide me with a clean canvas and a chance to do it all again.

I can’t help but think how wonderful it would be if all the mistakes we’ve made in our lives could be washed away like that. What if all the errors in judgement, thoughtless acts or careless words could be washed from our memories, slipping away with a splash or two of water from the next waiting stream. Just think how healing that might be.

I am inclined to wonder that if by freeing ourselves from the muck of our memories we might lose some of the fertile ground that spiritual and psychological growth needs to continue to flourish.

The lessons of life cling to us instead like dried mud on our boots sometimes flaking off a bit at a time, sometimes requiring a good scrubbing, but in no way easily dismissed.

Perhaps that is as it should be.

Reposted from original GOTJ