Dance anyway

I love to hear the stories of the person behind the counter, the colleague at the meeting, the neighbor, the waiter, and the stranger.  They are all beautifully different and yet the same, I haven’t heard any without heartache. 

Today I listened to the woman behind the coffee counter who spoke eagerly of her plan to “dance the night away” at a summer concert.  The breeze was warm and the sky was colorful, it was the perfect night to be swept away by musical geniuses.

We heard the windows lock, the doors close and the last employee leave.  She spun her body slightly as the click to the door took and she headed towards her car.  We asked if she too was going dancing at the concert. She said, “no I’m not going to the concert……but I’m dancing anyway”.  I repeated in a whisper, “dance anyway, I love that”.  

Beau would like that, I thought to myself. 

Nearing the end of a year I have grieved the loss of his smile, hugs, and laugh.  I would love to renew my motherly tears shed when he struggled here on earth, paired with prayers for his heart. I would love to somehow have a do-over when it comes to miscommunications, words spoken or unspoken. I would love to see the uniting of Beau with his brother and sister, to spend Christmas together, to sit quietly by the fire drinking his favorite tea, commending his strength, resilience, his sensitivity, his artistry and passionate heart.  He would want that too.  However, for this uniting I must wait. 

I remind myself, my family and I have danced pretty well this year. For myself, there were times between the silent wailing of my spirit, I danced joyfully to the tune of this life and Beau would be proud.  So, today I will dance anyway, no matter my circumstance and I will be an encourager to others struggling to dance their dance.

Will you dance anyway?

C’est Beau

P-Town 208

Moonlight

More amazing than moonlight

The kayak slid into the water, quiet and stealth. The lake was still, mirror like abandoned after a day of hosting speedboats and rafts, jumping children and dogs fetching sticks. My oars dropped into the water, ripples moving out to touch the shore. There was no wind so gliding was easy.  Getting to a favorite place on the lake was effortless.

The only light came from the moon; it imitated the glow from a door partially opened that offers just enough light to ground you in the delirious wake of the nighttime.  A section of the water was glistening.  The silhouette of the trees were dark, the inset of their reverse lay in the water like a shadow drawn in charcoals on a beautiful piece of art.  To feel such quietness and peace was nearly overwhelming.  To be in such solitude was magical.  To be myself, no person noticing me, no one to care for as they all rested in the night.  There was only God and time to listen.

The cloud drifting in, teasing of a storm was shaped of a hand, reaching over or towards, either was good at the moment.  I felt it was just that, a hand reminding me who carries me. For an hour I drifted, paddled, sat and gazed from moon to sky to water. He had placed such beauty for my enjoyment. Tears made of stories so final and painful were replaced with gratitude and delight; the open sky reminding me of the big picture of life on earth and of home in heaven.  

I sometimes want to make sense of all this, of life’s jabs, nudges, pushes, rips of the heart, it’s pushing and pulling.  I want to struggle and resist, when if I only quit and drift in silence and prayer I might notice what it gives. Tonight I was reminded that if God created the moon with all it’s beauty to enjoy, how much He must care for us all. How true it is he watches over us.  The moon is awesome. And you, you are more amazing than the moon!

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Pennies on the tracks

The stillness crept up my spine. The wind in the trees beckoned me to listen to the heavens. I looked up from the train tracks at the railroad ties glistening with oil and tar and smelling of the same.  The tallest fir tree waved gently at me.  Just then a strong breeze blew through, one that caught me by surprise.  My hair blew off my face and the clear sky lay over me. I remember once my beautiful son telling me that God spoke to him in the wind one day while he was camping.  I believe him. And today, my son speaks to me, I promise to listen.

It was eerie, standing on train tracks.  At one time in my life, hearing the metal-to-metal contact of wheels on tracks was soothing.  The rumbling from miles away was a reminder that not all things change.  The train was a piece of my life that was constant and even on a schedule.  It was safe.

But life does change and the train is something I am learning to love again.  It could easily be the place that my son and I would revisit now recalling him as a child laying pennies on the tracks.  Back then we would watch with delight as the train rolled over them, leaving behind a shiny treasure.  But today I revisit it as the place where he lost his life traumatically while searching for himself.

In this moment I am grateful for the lessons he continues to teach me. I have come to understand more clearly that he was an individual caught in the cycle of shame, feeling worthless and broken inside but speaking boldly on the outside. He walked on earth with such sensitivity, sometimes silently and sometimes with intensity screaming for the understanding of those who loved him.

There are many who have walked this similar journey and have not lived to share.

There are also those who chose to run from the imprisonment of shame and fight for their lives, bringing to the rest of us encouragement, faith, inspiration and hope. Today I commend you.  Although I may not know your story, I know you are amazing.

And to those of us who have yet to fight what we believe is the fight of our lives, there are people who have gone before us.  People who are placed here to teach us; people whom God has prepared to love on us.  Maybe today, be willing to reach out an invite someone on your journey with you.

And for all of us….. be confident, that in our ever-changing story, not yet finished,  God has promised all will be well.

C'est Beau! 

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Rocks

I gently place my bare feet one after another over a trail scattered with rocks. I plan each step to offer me the most comfort in getting to my destination. At the same time I wonder, why is it that I don’t put my shoes on? It could be laziness; that’s totally possible.

But no, there is something more. This ritual of walking barefoot as often as I can, winter over snow, spring in the puddles and fall on the crisp sidewalks to retrieve the mail, has more meaning. I realize summer is no exception.

One step placed in the perfect spot brings the shifting of soft dust to cover my toes; two of these successful steps in a row are a total accomplishment, something to savor! Others to follow find rocks pressing against and threatening harm to my slightly callused feet; these steps cause me to flinch and my toes to curl. I hold my breath in order to stuff a screech that I would like to let loose to echo in the silence of the forest. And so it goes. Each step offers something new

I love this connection with the dirt and it’s apparent simplicity that God laid before me. I love that His beautiful creation tugs my heart towards a more prayerful moment. I love that others of all ages have walked there too; many walked barefoot just like me. I love that this imperfect path causes me to feel beyond my comfortI feel pain, I feel childlike, I feel foolish, I feel brave, I feel tickled, I feel strong, I feel nostalgic, I feel light and heavy, I feel challenged, I feel faithful….

Sometimes we work so hard to avoid feeling in life, don’t we?  Yet, to usher in feeling is to acknowledge life and to feel beyond comfort is courageous.   Today I practice feeling with my feet in the dirt and rocks. Tomorrow life may offer me a another path, unchartered, unplanned, filled with intensity, anticipation, hope, pain, happiness, sadness or joy beyond belief.  I don’t know what is coming, but today…..I practiced.

 

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What feeling will you bravely usher in today?