Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mindful and present

Today's view from the porch is deceiving. While the grass is certainly greening and there are little sprouts of tulips and daffs in the flower beds, it is chilly out there this morning. There are snow showers in the forecast and I am missing the warmer days of last week when it was wonderful to walk outside. Those days will return soon. The weather is giving me the excuse to have a "sweatpants Saturday." The kids are on spring break now and, boy, do we need a break.

There's a lot going on in our family these days. The kids' dad is in the hospital in Iowa City and its a serious situation. We're being very gentle with each other, finding a lot of strength in ourselves we never knew we had, and feeling both grounded and lifted by the love and support of family and friends.

The last gasp of winter weather draws us to stay in today. It calls for movies and basketball, naps and cups of coffee, homemade waffles like Auntie Ar makes, and freely giving hugs. I think it also calls for a big pot of "end of the week" soup. Whatever I find in the veg bin is going in the pot.

In light of the serious nature of what we are dealing with, I am struck that we are simply living, mindful that life is a gift. It can be messy and it is often not what we expect. But the best part of this gift is found in the everyday moments of life - laughter, tears, work, sleep, and love. Living with a new focus on gratitude for this most amazing life.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Life is full of surprises. Expect them.

The world's axis shifted in more ways than one these past several days.

These days, one needs to have multiple personalities to keep up with all that is going on in the wider world, the country, the state, the community, and my own family.

Mother Nature had mercy on us this week and gave us some warm and sunny mid-March days to remind us that, yes, Virginia, there will be a spring. More daylight in the evening has allowed us to get outside after dinner. The early spring air smells so...muddy.

My vices of comfort this week have been the delectible taste of spring spinach and the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Honestly, the events of the past several days on all fronts have been life-changing. No whinging about my life - my family and I were not buried alive under a tsunami of mud.

But...there have been some very, very close calls this week with those closest to me. As my son John says, "Life is full of surprises. Expect them."