If you ask around, you may find that families sometimes have uncanny clusters of birthdays. For my family, that cluster occurs in August. Both my maternal grandparents had their birthdays in August, although I don’t remember the exact days. My brother’s birthday is today; mine is on Thursday. My brother-in-law John’s is the 25th; Steve’s brother-in-law Dan’s is the 22nd. My husband Jim’s birthday was August 26. What could be the reason for all these babies being born this week?
Gotta be Thanksgiving. We are the product of grateful coupling, I suppose — cold nights and tryptophan relaxation. Why not? The harvest is in. Be fruitful and make babies.
As a child, my end-of-the-summer birthday precluded school parties and peer recognition. I was content with family gatherings that included spare ribs, corn-on-the-cob and chocolate cake (my frequently requested birthday dinner). My children introduced new birthday traditions, like Hoops & Yo-yo cards…
and this hysterical Birthday song by the Arrogant Worms (click to see youtube version w/lyrics) often sung over the phone by my oldest, Susan.
Lately, I’ve been giving myself year-end treats. I started this blog to mark my 50th year. The next year, I bought myself a digital camera to replace the Canon AE-1 that my husband had given me 33 years earlier. This year, I bought plane tickets for me & Steve to travel to California to visit my mother, my siblings, the family grave site (where my sister, my husband and my dad are buried), giant redwoods, tide pools, pinnacles and a winery. I am looking forward to unwrapping that gift slowly over 6 days. I want to savor it as much as I can.
Today, though, I’m wishing my brother a happy birthday! He was a gift brought home from the hospital on my 11th birthday. He helped me grow up in a million ways — first by taking my place as the baby. As adults, we’ve always had miles and miles between us keeping us apart. I’m hoping that when that distance is bridged, we’ll find much to connect us again.
In the late 1960s, a couple with 2 young children bought their first house in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
There were small trees in the back yard that grew and grew…
The trees shaded the house and the garden. The children played beneath the trees, and the mother and father planted flowers in the garden so that they could sit outside and enjoy their color and fragrance.
As time went on, the children grew to adults and moved away from the house. The couple lived there still, and grew older together. Then the father died, and the mother lived there alone. Finally, she decided to sell the little home to another young family with small children…and a baby on the way. So she and her grown-up son said ‘good-bye’ to the place together.
Texture: that which we touch, which touches us, which we feel. Texture lets us know we’re alive, we’re here, we’re present and presently interacting. Texture teaches us that the world is sameness and contrast – smooth, cold, rough, warm – and solid as concrete.
How much do you pay attention to what you touch and what touches you?
When you become fully mindful of something’s presence, do you feel more fully alive?
Have you ever lost the concept of time as you stroked silky fur, or dipped your toes in flowing water?
Time pales in significance when I am present with something completely.
“The quickest way between two points might be a straight line, but it’s rarely the most interesting one. ” So begins the teasing prompt for this week’s photo challenge. I’m a pretty straightforward kind of person, myself. Steve calls it “The Train”. I get my sights set on a goal, and I steam on ahead without getting diverted. And often without being aware of people and feelings and other things that are, well, rather important.
Now, I’m not saying this is a BAD way to be. It can be useful. I get things done. But it’s not the only way to be, either. Steve is definitely a preferred zig-zagger. He calls it playing his “bowling pin” game, which goes something like this: set up the pins in their starting formation and bowl. Wherever the pins have been scattered, set them back up exactly where they are now. Continue bowling toward the pins in their new place. Eventually, you get a game that has ranged all over the house, the yard, the neighbor’s yard, and down the block. Hey! This could go ANYWHERE!!! Isn’t that EXCITING?! Yup, he’s an adventurer. And life with him has definitely opened up new possibilities for me.
We have managed to travel pretty successfully for more than 5 years now. I am pretty good at going off track now and enjoying it greatly. One bit of advice, though. If your GPS system should happen to fail, don’t ask him for directions. Ask me. You’ll be at your destination in under an hour with plenty of gas to spare. Trust me. :)
Watch this space! More about Wilderness coming up…
Originally posted on THE BARDO GROUP:
Editor’s Note: Please join us for this event sponsored by The Bardo Group and hosted by Priscilla Galasso (scillagrace).
PRISCILLA GALASSO ~ started her blog at scillagrace.com to mark the beginning of her fiftieth year. Born to summer and given a name that means ‘ancient’, her travel through seasons of time and landscape has inspired her to create visual and verbal souvenirs of her journey. Currently living in Wisconsin, she considers herself a lifelong learner and educator. She gives private voice lessons, is employed by two different museums and runs a business (Scholar & Poet Books, via eBay and ABE Books) with her partner, Steve.
During the week of August 31 – September 6, The Bardo Group will post essays, photos and poems on Wilderness to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act being signed into law in the U. S. You are encouraged to…
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