Surrounded by women used to be the last place I wanted to be. Guys are just easier to hang out with. I’ve never been a girly girl, I don’t like to talk a lot, my fashion sense is nil, I’m more of a guffaw than a giggle…and the list goes on. Over the last three years I have been so very fortunate to have women come in to my life that are quite a bit like me…and others who accept and love me regardless… and now I seek out the friendship of women like I never did before. This week, six of us took on Table Rock in the Molalla River Wilderness Area. We were more like tomboys, although I did wear pink…We did talk a lot and they all guffawed with me. All in All…a most wonderful day with girlfriends.
I want more time. That is what it all boils down to…
More time to play, to run, to read, to soak up the beauty of this world, to be a better friend – wife – daughter – mom, to sleep, to camp, to listen to music, to travel…
I find myself trying to fit it all in but what it feels like is happening is that I’m fitting a bunch of stuff in that I need to get done first…before I play, run, read, soak, be that friend, wife, daughter, mom – to sleep, to camp, to listen to music, to travel…
I work, check off my to do list, rush along…
I speed through drying my hair, pulling it out by the roots as I rake my brush feverishly through it only to then speed brush my teeth and then quickly throw lunches together and then leave the house 5 minutes late and speed through the streets to get to work as I speed up the stairs to clock in…at least a few minutes late…every stinkin’ time.
So I’m slowing it all down. When I start to feel that tightness rise up in my chest, I stop. I do something that feeds me. I don’t let that tightness take hold. I breath. I open the window, I listen to what my insides are saying to me. They always come up with such good ideas. Today they said, “take a nap”.
Who am I to argue with my insides? They are ALWAYS SO RIGHT!
I knew last night that I wanted to run this morning. I’ve been playing around with starting back up again but I keep talking myself out of it. I was at my best two years ago and it took a lot of work to get there. These days I mostly don’t make it out the door because I dread the dread. The dread of running too slow, the dread of thinking the pain will return, the dread of sucking wind. Yet on this only sleep-in morning of my week, I set the alarm and headed out before my house even started to think about rising. I laced up and told myself to just enjoy…the smells, the air, the birds. I did not run for time, I did not run for distance, I did not even run consistently. I moved a little faster when it felt good (the downhills and flats) and I moved a little slower when the pavement had a rise in it. I remembered what it used to be like and I remembered why I started and I remembered the joy of early morning runs. I remembered it all…and I’m pretty sure I’m back.
As I was walking the dog and the girl today, I came upon a tree that whispered in my ear that I would surely enjoy lying under her branches and leaves… that she would dazzle me with the way she would let the sun drops speckle and weave their way down to me.
I kept on walking.
Can you believe it??! It seemed like too much work to get the dog and the girl talked in to it when our walk had just started. It seemed like too much laziness when I quickly tabbed through my mental to-do list for the day.
It seemed like something I would secretly come back to do later on my own.
But later came with kids that wanted to go to the park and a mom who couldn’t say no and so I offered a compromise. I would put them at one end of the park…
…and then they would leave me the hell alone while I stared up at a tree.
They were game.
I set out my favorite blankie…
…and got to staring up.
I was NOT disappointed. She and the sun and the breeze shared their stories in gentle whispers as I melted into the soft cool grass.
But then…I got to looking around and noticed quite a few other trees in the park and I thought that maybe one of them would please me more…so I picked up and moved over 10 feet and then 10 more and then 10 more again until I had appraised all of the trees in the park.
I almost skipped the very last one because it was so far away and looked kind of barren and like it had no secrets to share with me, but onward I trudged (very too close to my children) and reclined to discover it’s hidden beauty in the branches rather than the leaves. Something different, but the same.
I was reminded of my recent journey with God and the church and how I keep circling around finding myself with new views and changing perceptions, but how the strong base remains the same while allowing my branches and leaves to look different than other seekers of God.
The trees whispered to me today. They said don’t stop seeking.
I was born under the sign of Pisces. I do not even know what that means other than I am a fish and the water calls me. Today the pull was unbearably strong and after too long as a land lover, I hit the pool for a swim. The water was beautifully soft and comforting and fresh and clear. Yes…it was of the 24 Hour Fitness variety of water…but still… Amazing. I’m learning to heed these feelings when they rise up in me. When I ignore or put them off, my life gets murky and uncomfortable. On days like today, when I immediately honor my soul’s desire, the payoff is in relief of anguish and uplift of spirit. Pharrell is right – Happiness IS the truth.
Lap swimming is not my favorite form of fishery (this guppy wants a river or a lake!!). I usually count laps or on a good day, if I’ve hit the pool at the exact right time, I watch the light show under water as the sun shines brightly through the windows. Today I was so overwhelmed with knowing that I was exactly where my mind and body needed to be, that I almost cried – except I was too happy to cry! I came away from my swim convinced that I have all the answers… to life and love and peace and joy. Seriously – it was that great of a swim. I wonder if anything made you feel that good today. Will you share with me?
My life is like that fortune cookie game… where every fortune is made more funny when you add “in bed” to the end of it.
In my case, though, I play the word game as a preamble to my day to day life … to remind me that it all starts with my Spirit, so that in each thought, action, and step, “I am” becomes an extension of the universe rather than a claim of self.
Try it out. Taste those words… and the power and the peace they can give you.