Tag Archives: roses

Freeze Frame

IMAG0071The last three roses froze on the bush today, little sprinkles of powdered sugar snow caught on their still-perfect, stiff form.

I brought them in hoping their blossoms will last a little longer.

Tried to freeze frame their beauty.

Hang onto the season of roses just a bit longer.

This time yesterday it was a balmy 73.

I worked hard then, painting, cooking, baking, entertaining. A full day and a full house.

Today the home echos empty, and melancholy sets in. Maybe I’m simply tired. Or perhaps I’m grieving the passing of the season.

Roses freezing.

Boy becoming man.

He’s the last home. A senior in high school on the verge of flying.

And today he is seventeen.

All 6 foot 1 inches of him.20140707_204145

This day he applied for a job, drove himself to physical therapy. Now he’s working on an English paper for the college class he’s taking.

Nothing little kid in  all of that.

Just growing up and beyond.

As it should be.

Earlier we cried a little together. The grief was more poignant on my birthday, too, remembering those gone who usually celebrated with me.

It hit him the same way, and I knelt beside my son at the hint of tears in his grown-up eyes.

He held me as my eyes filled too. And while I meant to comfort, it was he who comforted me, his arms and shoulders lending masculine strength.

When did he ease out of child receiving and into adult giving?

The sky outside has darkened, but the rushing snow brings beauty. I love the season of baking and quiet and snowmen and sledding.

The home inside has emptied, but on special days they rush back in bringing joy.

Yesterday they were here–all but the one too far away to drive home for an afternoon. I baked up a storm. They brought spouse and girlfriend and best friends. We watched the game and a movie.

Said happy birthday to Sam.

Maybe that’s why today this house is very quiet.

I thought I wanted this.

This greater space for me.

And tomorrow I will.

Sarah's party - SamBut right now I want to burrow in and hide a while from the wind of change.

To cling to the little boy twinkle in eyes of the past.

The same that flickers still in teasing gazes of the present.

I want to hug a little tighter.

Hold on a little longer.

Snuggle with him on the sofa.

Refusing the thought that he is seventeen.

And not seven.

A young man.

No longer a boy.

To freeze frame this moment.

To believe the blossoms will not grow old.

The season has not yet fled.

 

 

 

Adaptation Not Compromise

IMAG2531Sometimes my feet know where I’m going before I’ve consciously processed my decision. This morning they headed for the brilliant red bush about a mile up the street.

Growing up in Northeastern Oklahoma meant incredible autumn foliage with a variety of colors. I’ll never forget the joy of early morning walks across Northeastern State University’s campus when the air was crisp, the leaves crackled beneath my feet, and vibrant color still clung to strong branches.

I love yellow. Honest. It’s almost my favorite color, somewhere below pink. But when I first moved to Colorado I was disappointed in autumn because I felt the season shouldn’t be ONLY yellow. IMAG2576

But my neighborhood has continued to mature over the years, bringing new color with it, and as I’m farther from my roots I suppose I’m more easily pleased. Maybe, just maybe, I’m also giving it a more fair shake this autumn, choosing to meander in the cool fall days by foot instead of whizzing past nature while looking out of a car window.

As I walked this morning I found myself conflicted. Now that I’m satisfied with my new weight I’m not sure what my walks are about. Health? Maintenance? Emotional and spiritual nurture? Joy?

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This time last year I spent hours in bed, recovering from some wonky sensations in my head after back-to-back car accidents. For a time I stepped away from most of my responsibilities, my only goal to get well. Part of my journey back to health was developing a new habit of long, meandering walks. I strolled, prayed, and didn’t care how long it took me. I was finding life again. As I healed, I began picking up the balls. I learned to fit in a shorter walk/jog to stick with my weight loss/get healthy goals when the demands of schedule increased.

But after my encounter today with the red bush and the orange leaves and the yellow canopies, my feet wouldn’t listen to my mind rattling off the to-do list. My soul engaged my gait, longing for more of this day than checking off boxes. It cried out for beauty, for quiet, for spiritual refreshment. I circled the elementary school, praying a bit for the children there, then slipped into my favorite coffee shop, not for a beverage, but for the restroom. My mind had finally caught up with the agenda my heart and feet set, and I knew the conveniences of home were still a long way off.

Another little nature trail some distance from me cried out to be explored. I wandered the path, missing the twitter of the birds that usually serenaded me on this stretch. I suppose the wind was too strong, and they chose to hunker down wait it out rather than to brave it and allow their song to be lost, carried away on the stiff breeze.IMAG2559

I tried to cut home after the trail but found myself at a cluster of three churches I prayed often for last winter, so my meanderings included prayers of blessings for them, which turned into song at my favorite of the three. I guess I don’t mind if the notes dance upon the breeze, for He hears at all times.

I still don’t have it all figured out–this juggling act of protecting the strides I’ve made in physical and emotional health, this love of the sunshine longing to wander–all while adding new balls, more commitments, more responsibility into my daily routine. Even now my schedule mocks me, telling me there was no way to conquer it.

But I must cling to what I learned in the dark of last year. That caring for myself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually isn’t a waste of time; it is a necessity. If I don’t take care of myself, I’ll find myself unable to take care of my responsibilities.

IMAG2586-1I returned home today thinking the solitary rose framed by yellow leaves sprinkled upon the grass around it was a statement of summer shouting a last hurrah before giving way to autumn.

As the seasons of my life change I am forced to stretch, to adapt, to re-think. But in the midst of the struggle I don’t have to compromise on the hard-earned truths of my journey. Oh, I can’t control outside forces, like car accidents, that steal from me. But I can create margin. I can choose health. I can embrace the beauty of little moments.

How about you? Are you protecting yourself from the tyranny of the urgent?

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Life’s seasons change. We adapt, but we don’t compromise.