“I love you to the moon and back, all the way down to the sewers where the rats live.” That is the definition of Sparkly Heart Love, in the childhood words of my oldest nephew. Happy Valentine’s Day. Still.
The peace rose planted by my front door has one bloom and sixteen buds. SIXTEEN! I can’t quite believe it! I chose this rose bush the first spring we lived here, way back in 2002, because the house I grew up in had a peace rose planted there. At my childhood home there were roses in an array of colors planted to the left of the front walk: red, coral, white, yellow, even a blue rose (really lavender), and peace. It was this peace rose, and its amazing beauty that comes in varying shades of yellow with white edges and a hint of pink blush, that was the only rose my dad commented on every time it bloomed.
“To shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
Before walking Blue this morning, I read this passage of scripture along with a devotion dated July 7. I loved the whole message, but my favorite part was the reference to a “path of peace.” Upon our return home, the dog and me, I photographed the peace rose bush planted to the left of the front walk at the house where I’m the mom. Then I stepped upon the butterfly adorned welcome mat that my sister insisted upon and walked through the front door into home. I’m always thankful for found moments of quiet, calm and peace, since with two growing up fast boys there are many times that noise, chaos and commotion reign. I love those zany times too. I do!
I’m packing away
a comforter today
the one my Grandma made
to top my childhood twin bed
twas my winter comforter
made of heavy fabric
for extra warmth
with a tangible weight to it
when you’re nestled underneath
you can feel it
even as you sleep
Grandma and Grandpa’s love
always with you
they worked as a tag team
in nearly everything
my sister’s bed
sported a matching comforter
Grandma made two
nearly the same
a lot like my sister and I
for years I’ve said
(a bit tongue in cheek)
“She is the blonde version
and I’m the brunette.”
but beyond our similar look
face shape, smiles bright,
dimpled chin from our dad
we’re more alike than not
on the inside
I’m packing away
a comforter today
for the warmth, comfort and strength
this decades old blanket
made with Thompson Love
through the fall, winter and spring
“When your life appears to be the most stable and calm, unexpected changes will occur.”
~ quote from the book, “Understanding and Sharing” chapter 7, page 141
I’ve just begun to sort through the boxes that hold the remnants from my childhood bedroom. It was February of 1994 when I packed up my basement bedroom at 21 Jones Place. I remember the date because that’s when my parents moved to their dream house, a new construction built just for them. Today I removed a slim spiral bound notebook from one of the boxes. It’s an odd size, 7 3/4” x 5”. On the cardboard cover I’d written, “Ceramics” and my maiden name, “Janean Thompson.” On page one, opposite from the quote shared above, the upper right hand corner of my notes declare, “1-30-90.” That’d be from second semester of my freshman year in college. Eons ago. Light years. More than two decades in calendar reality, not based on dramatic storytelling time. Of course I found this quote today, “6-16-13.” One of many notes I’ve uncovered this morning that I left for my future self. That’d be me. The woman I am now. The mother of two boys, ages 13 and so close to 10, who sees photographs of that teenage girl with the mane of long brown hair and smile so bright, and wonders, “Who was she? Where did she go? What were her dreams?” My soul whispers in reply, “I’m still here. Look inside.” I’m trying to. My sister’s wise advice is, “Just be you.”
My youngest son is home sick-ish today. Mostly feeling lousy with a headache and overtired. Oh. How I know. That’s been me this week too. That’s why, mid-afternoon, my sweet, nine year old boy is tucked into my side of the big bed resting. I came upstairs to check on him and heard myself say, “I’m kind of shivery.” Then that wise child o’mine said, “You could tuck in too.” Hmmm. Don’t mind if I do! So, I grabbed my favorite romance novel of all time, the one I started rereading yesterday, and crawled between the flannel sheets and savored the weight of an extra comforter…the comforter my Grandma made for me, and a matching one for my little sister, long ago and far away, when I was still a child. Dog is pacing. Woofing too. This cozy moment won’t last long. Rest time is a nice thought though…
I’m cryin’ as I write this
I feel like such a mess
wearin’ my cowgirl boots for courage
first time I’ve worn ‘em here
yet it’s the only fittin’ thing to do
I wanna tromp across the pasture
where the horses used to graze
and stand still in the barnyard
where we curried, combed and praised
those two horses of my childhood
Santas, short and stubborn
Copper, tall and true
how I loved them
and the time we spent
atop their steady backs
followin’ the trail you set
or walkin’ side by side
trottin’ was for sometimes
gallopin’ hardly never
I’m cryin’ as I write this
nothin’ weak in that
you’ve always led by example
some lessons are harder than others
oh, how we both know
I’m writin’ heart thoughts that seem random
but go together ‘cause they do
got my boots and denim on
just like you
written Thursday, November 8, 2012
as I rode the southbound train from Normal to Alton, Illinois
the first leg of the trip
Dear Queen Anne,
I love your lace.
I always have.
When I’d tuck a stem behind my ear and the delicate blooms would tickle my face.
I picked a dozen and wove the long stems into a crown, oblivious to the minute white petals in my hair long after the crown was gone.
I chose the prettiest blooms and presented them to my grandma in a great big bunch.
Flowers, flowers everywhere in her multilayered gardens, but the only one I was allowed to pick was your lace, Queen Anne.
That young girl, once so carefree, grew into a woman with a family of her own.
But I’m still me.
In the light of early morning, walking my sweet pup on a new path, I spied a familiar flower.
For I never could call it a weed, with a name as lovely as, “Queen Anne’s Lace.”
Hello my friend.
Thank you for waking up my memories, of those childhood days long gone.
My grandma is gone now too.
Smiling down from heaven as I snapped off a single bloom and kept on walking.
Puppy slowing down, pulling less, heeling more.
I know full well it’s against the rules to pick flowers in a public park, as they are there for everyone to enjoy.
I rationalized no one would miss one weed…
Even though in my heart I didn’t think it so.
Thank you for the beautiful, pure white, intricate blooms of your lace, Queen Anne.
I’ll be walking that way again and a flower may or may not follow me home again…
(Depending a bit on who is reading.)