It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Sometimes I go about in pity...."

I think that I have finally learned something, about myself, after all these years of living. In my younger days I thought that being pretty was going to get me somewhere. I wanted to be a model. I wanted to be Twiggy but I couldn't get that skinny. I liked to eat.
I wanted to make a lot of money but I didn't want to work very hard for it. I wanted weekends off and I wanted to do things at my own pace. I didn't know the difference between hard work and looking like I was working hard.... and I whined a lot.
I got married and had children.  Then my life got more complicated.
I wasn't "the girl who wanted to be a model" anymore.
I was (OMG!)...a mommy. I had to be responsible.
I didn't feel like a grownup but I was acting like one... like my mother... and since she was always a great example and did everything perfectly, I just did what she did (only a bit differently) and that seemed to work.
It took me a few years to assimilate into this new status (of being a mother) but I did and now I had another reason not to do the things I really wanted to do. I was busy being a mother. There was always something that didn't get done because "I had children to take care of.".
Then something happened.The funny thing was that the more I worked at being a mother, the more it became a part of me. The more I payed attention and accepted where I was , the easier it got.
Finally I realized that I was here... right where I was suppose to be and that life was good. As the old song goes,
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right
,'Twill be in the valley of love and delight
.When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.
("Simple Gifts" was written by Elder Joseph while he was at the Shaker community.)
I love this song. It's kind of centers me and puts me in the moment.
****************
So, let's talk about life and death.
Why am I writing about some of these personal insights? What's my point?
Well, it's because I have decided that my life is really, really good and I want to share it with someone.
Maybe the earthquake in Japan brought this observation to the surface. Maybe it is the thought of losing my family, near San Francisco, in a large earthquake that put things into perspective. This kind of tragedy can happen anywhere.
So to me, "coming down, where we ought to be." means living in the  moment and seeing what our life really is. Accepting all of it and changing only the things that are necessary to make it better.
That sounds so simple.
It's not.
If it was.... everyone would be walking around smiling and doing what they really want to do, making lots of money and living in beautiful homes.  But this doesn't happen to everyone and I suspect it takes a lot more hard work than we think it does.
Life is not easy for most of us. Every person is going through something different and difficult. But I think that somewhere, in each moment that we live, there is an answer. 
We are born in a single moment and we die in a single moment. We are here and then we are not here. We are breathing and then we cease to breath. All the rest is "now"...
  Now,we can choose not to suffer. We can choose to look for the beauty.
 It's always there. It's the smile on a child's face. It's the way light filters through a window. It's finding a beautiful and perfect wildflower. It's a friend's understanding, a partner's kiss... laughter
***************.
I wanted to be a "model". I wanted to be famous, or write a book, or be a fine actress, or sing songs. Now I see that I actually did these things.... in many different ways. The talent was channeled in many directions.
 I think that , as the old Zen saying goes, I have "Caught the vigorous horse of [my] mind." At the very least, I have found a nice corral for it.
Peace to all of you.....






16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen! -- Well said!

Madeline's Album said...

On this Sunday morning when I read this post and after enjoying my 75TH birthday yesterday I was so impressed with what you wrote and truly agree with you on all counts. God has blessed me in many ways wonderful husband, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and many friends here in blog land. Have a blessed day and a wonderful week. Madeline

susanc said...

Very profound post Connie. Thank you for sharing and being so open and honest. What you write is so true and I try to "live in the moment", but am not always successful. The images from Japan are absolutely heart-wrenching and I cannot wrap my brain around the devastation and what the Japanese people and others there are going through as I write this. It is always in the back of my mind that something like this could happen where I live as well. I've been through a few large earthquakes and know how frightening it is, but they were nothing compared to the Japan earthquake. I pray I never have to find out what it's like. Have a beautiful Sunday.

P.S. I hope Brownie is feeling MUCH better! xxx

Doreen said...

I can relate to much of what you wrote here. I almost got as skinny as Twiggy, and when I look back on those photos...... I looked awful!! but at the time thought I was so cool. I exercised hours each day while my husband was at work. the transitions we go through growing up. I feel as though I am still growing up!!

Denise S. said...

Connie I suspect you have been "there" for a long time. Enjoyed your post today as always. Enjoy some warm weather for me today. Kiss Brownie and the pups and tell them its from some ole gal in Wyoming!

Verde Farm said...

So, so true and well said. I believe we all tend to think we should be in a different place than life ends up taking us and yet we find out we are right where we were meant to be--that is definitely the definition of contentment to me :)

Laura~peach~ said...

soooooooooooo very true and perfectly put :)
love hugs and ear scratches for you know whos :)

Tatersmama said...

Sometimes things just take my breath away with their beauty and simplicity... This post certainly did, and I feel so very Blessed to actually know you!

Whosyergurl said...

Connie, Great post. I love that song. It has taken me a long time to realize it is good to live in the now. Don't think I was there when my kids were little.
I don't know if I know a lot of rocks...but I have a minor in Natural Resources. I love rocks and I love caves and I learn about the environment wherever I am. Sounds like you know some things about it, too! XO, Cheryl

Karen Deborah said...

That is a good song C. I think sometimes it takes a big reality check like this devastating earthquake to make us all think about what really matters. a lot of us from CA have been in earthquakes, the worst for me was a 6.2. I cannot begin to comprehend an 8.9 or the tidal wave that came in after that, or the nuclear reactor spills happening after that, and it's just getting started. There is no telling how bad or how long for these poor people.

jojo said...

simplicity is perfection...that is my life lesson and it took me awhile to get there but now that I am I couldn't be happier. Thanks for your thought provoking post today...

Nancy K. said...

...and to you.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

Lovely and heartfelt thoughts, Connie. It's that feeling of "I wouldn't be who I am today if I didn't go through all that I did." I certainly didn't think I would be where I am today. I am so grateful everyday for my 'privledged life' even though I don't have a lot of money or a big house (or a Twiggy body anymore!) but, really, I can honestly say I AM HAPPY AND FEEL BLESSED! And I've met others like you who are kindred spirits.

Debora said...

Turning, turning, we come round right...that is just it, isn't it! I've never read that before-but it's so true. I think you and I are on the same mental path these days. My blog was similar, just not quite as eloquent. Thanks for your insights.

Paxie said...

Simple is the only way to go, but I don't think we realize it until we're older. We need life to get easier at this age.

Japan is breaking my heart. The tragedy and the way they react...still calm and peaceful and with dignity and respect. I admire them so much and wish we could be a little more like they are...

Loved this post :)

Diana said...

Oh another Twiggy want to be. Me too...I so wanted to be a model. And me too...I woke this very rainy morning thanking God for all of my blessings. Thank you for speaking your truth and reminding us to be so grateful.
Tootles
Diana