Friday, January 26, 2018

A Warm January Day, A lot of Pictures, And a Little Dream of Fear and Hope

We’ve had an especially warm January. It’s been lovely of course. I won’t deny it. But I keep feeling vaguely unsettled – as if perhaps I’m cheating someone or something by thinking springy thoughts when winter has hardly been here at all. And of course . . . there’s the drought situation – constantly hanging over our heads here. And I feel uncomfortable knowing we haven’t appeased it’s thirsty little demands.

Nevertheless I did enjoy – without a bit of hesitant guilt -- (a Saturday or two ago) when we intended to accomplish all sorts of important and necessary things . . . and somehow . . . without planning or intending to, and with no real discussion, we all drifted out of the house where we colored chalk, flew kites, jumped on pogo-sticks, rode bikes, played PIG (basketball), and left everything needing done . . . undone.

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Mette came ambling after Mike with this swimming-pool noodle and somehow ended up completely tangled in kite string and noodle. And Anders’ kite-flying looked most often . . . as you see below. (Luckily it didn’t seem to discourage him any.)

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Summer and Mette hugging is just the dearest thing. (Summer is very often the most tolerant and kind older sister one could possibly be [when only age three and to a sibling just one year younger].) And the chalk coloring. Somehow it ended up just dumped out and sort of rolling about under their bellies . . . and Mette’s darling navy pea coat was in a sorry state after. And that picture of our camping stuff . . . is probably the most orderly part of our garage. (Which is a horrifying thing to think about . . . and something I typically try not to think about.)

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I don’t recall why, but we’ve had this tube for a very long time. How convenient that we now have a wave-runner to pull it along with!

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One night, several years ago, when Summer had just learned to walk, I dreamt that I was standing on the deep-end side of a giant swimming pool. Across the pool from me I saw that Summer was toddling quickly towards the edge of the pool. It was such a terrifying moment. I saw that she was going to fall in. She didn’t understand her danger. And I did not think I could save her. And of course no part of me realized I was only in a dream. A thousand panicked thoughts rushed into my mind with the speed they can only in impossible moments like that. I knew if I yelled for her to stop, she wouldn’t understand and would simply run more quickly towards me (and the edge of the pool between us). If I jumped in, I would never have time to swim across the tremendous width of this pool to get to her in time. And running around the length of it seemed just as unlikely to get me there in time to assure her safety. But, in an instant, before I even had time to form a decision about which course to take, the unthinkable happened and she stepped over the edge and into the deep end. Only then . . . and now I’m actually crying as I type this . . . she just defied all my worries for her. She didn’t sink at all. She simply walked on the water.

Maybe it means nothing to anyone else. A silly dream. A relief. But to me it seemed to, in one small scene, summarize the depth of all my fears for my children: all my fears about their futures and their troubles and their trials, . . . and simultaneously fill me with every hope in the world about their potential and ability and how they’ll manage all the things ahead that I can’t simply save them from experiencing.

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4 comments:

Marilyn said...

I feel the same way about the weather. Can’t enjoy it. Unsettled. Like the number of nice days now is directly proportional to the amount of snow we get in May, or something. Maybe it all relates to your dream somehow—that hope for the future we wish for, but are so hesitant to claim for sure.

But Mette with that pool noodle is just about the most perfect thing I’ve ever seen. I know I say this all the time, but...I just want to eat her!

And you! You are so lovely in those happy pictures with the sun behind! I love seeing friends in pictures. Isn’t it funny how you can still tell it’s winter light, even though it was a warm day?

Beautify Pacify said...

Hi there Nancy! So here is a post, and a post means several posts...good!! :)
This dream you describe...unsettles me as it represents my deepest fears and hopes. This vision of Summer coming closer to danger, this moment when everything seems suspended in a thousand horrible possibilities, and this moment when the worst happens, and the worst possibility becomes the best thing possible...It feels like I've experienced this moment a thousand times already. It feels like I've dreamed and imagined and shaped and anticipated this a thousand times. The fear, the hope, the relief. It is the hardest thing, in my life as a mom, to release my kids and let them go wherever Life is calling them. Knowing there is danger. Knowing it is how their beautiful winds will spread. Knowing there is beauty and happiness ahead too. Knowing that hope and fear are my closest companions.
Ooh, what an amazing, forceful dream you've had!

Nancy said...

Oh! That IS interesting! I had to go back and look at the pictures. And you’re right. Something is still very wintry about the light. I wonder what makes it different from summer light?!

Nancy said...

What you said here is so perfect Val!! Yes! Exactly exactly! You expressed it beautifully. All the truth I feel.

“It feels like I've experienced this moment a thousand times already. It feels like I've dreamed and imagined and shaped and anticipated this a thousand times. The fear, the hope, the relief. It is the hardest thing, in my life as a mom, to release my kids and let them go wherever Life is calling them. Knowing there is danger. Knowing it is how their beautiful winds will spread. Knowing there is beauty and happiness ahead too. Knowing that hope and fear are my closest companions.

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