Life is full of surprises. In fact, life is one big surprise, I think. Luckily I love surprises...nice ones! If a surprise isn't nice I call it a shock to differentiate. Last week I noticed how beautifully and abundantly my yellow begonia had bloomed (from the hanging basket, church silent auction fame a few posts back). A surprise as I had worried about the location of the basket, thinking it was maybe too shady. Perhaps too shady for the bell-like flowers with it, but not too shady for the begonia (at least I think it's a begonia).
Other days since then have held their own sweet surprises, many little moments that are noticed and stored but that are not necessarily easy to recall or distinguish: poems that come easy, visits that go smoothly and are filled with love, cancelling monthly plans with my friend whom I felt diminished around and noticing how my free time just seems to have expanded as a result (lack of 'anticipatory energy' my counselor called it), several buds on a pretty frilly pink African violet that looked like it only had one bud on it, more beautiful ATCs, and the right song at the right time.
Sometimes the surprises are big and kinda bowl me over. It was Mam's birthday on Monday, the same day as my counseling appointment and, given my feelings the last time I went, I was prepared for huge emotions but they didn't happen really. I had a sweet facebook message from Fran who always remembers Mam's birthday and who treasures memories of a good friend (Mam) as well. And a congratulatory email about my writing from Cindy at Kitty Kare (the charity I donate the prisms to). Oh and while waiting for Lisa, my counselor, I found an article on and picture of myself and the NOWW winners in Bay View magazine. A surprise I had forgotten about! Rob is exceptionally tender after my counseling and we met for a sushi dinner which was delicious. I felt a little raw and tired but otherwise good.
Yesterday I felt very content. Again I had the whole day off with nothing specific planned so I could just indulge my whims. I was scrolling through facebook on my phone when I caught a live midday mindfulness video from my lovely son-in-law, Jonathan. Such a treat. In the mail, I got a delightful package from Fran: a beautiful card with two little lady bugs on it (a special symbol for us), a photo of a shop in Germany with Mam's name on it (Doris....an unusual name) and a gorgeous bee bookmark. All meant to send hugs and love across the miles (Fran lives in Tasmania). Which indeed they did.
Sitting in the living room, enjoying the gifts, chatting with Rob, I looked around, reveling in how full my heart felt. High in a corner, a heart made of light caught my eye. Not sure what created it as I don't have any heart-shaped ornaments hanging in the windows and it's not a sight that I usually see. But it reminded me of the intertwined heart reflections in the hall the day Rob and I married. So I'll just take it as a blessing and love and send gratitude.
Last night I got to pondering finances and wondered how many more payments I had left on my car, never remembering how many years I had the contract for. I determined I had another year to pay, that my contract was for 7 seemingly neverending years! This morning the only mail I got was from Ford Credit to let me know that my FINAL PAYMENT will be next month! Next month! What a sweet surprise! After that, it will be the first time since 1982 that I don't have a major payment (rent, mortgage or car payment) coming out of my account on a monthly basis. THAT will be a wonderful feeling.
Surprises surround us. May you be blessed with and notice sweet surprises especially on the most ordinary or hardest of days.
Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
BY ROBERT HERRICK
I had originally thought the above quote (of which I could only remember the first line) came from The Prophet but apparently not. And now that I think about it I 'hear' it in Robin Williams's voice as he played English professor John Keating in one of my all time favourite movies: Dead Poet's Society. No matter. It meant a lot to me on the last day of Dane and Jonathan's visit and I shared my thoughts about it over lunch at The Eddy in Kakabeka Falls with Dane, Jonathan and Dane's aunts, Brenda and Lea (also my dear friends and ex-sisters-in-law). I had drawn a card, Rose Garden, from my oracle deck (Oracle of Mystical Moments) that morning and as I was enjoying the windows down, music blasting drive out to Kakabeka Falls, half an hour away to meet up with everyone, that quote came into my mind. Along with the thought: This is what I'm doing right now. Gathering rosebuds. Moments to turn into memories as a buffer against life's storms. A privilege to be aware of that, to embrace with hands and heart those precious moments and tuck them away safely. To preserve their scent as much as possible. The whole wonderful wedding weekend and the remaining few days that Lea was here (she lives in southern Ontario) centred around gathering rosebuds.
It seems that I needed to gather these rosebuds and use them much sooner than expected after a counselling session this past Monday that left me feeling weepy with a tangled black knot of grief the next day. And the day after. And the day after that. Lots of old feelings to process apparently. Just when I thought I had. Damn! Dad and Sandy are in the process of sorting through items in Dad's house to prepare it for the sale at the end of July and gathering items for a yard sale. I find it difficult to go through items, to choose this or that to keep or sell. It's good that they, with the help of Sandy's daughter, Robyn, do that. But it doesn't make the process any easier, my emotions any easier to untangle. My counselor suggested that it can be hard to play catch up with other people's faster paced agenda when I need to process things, big life things, in my own time. However, it is as it is. And it needs to get done. And it's not my forte so it's good that Dad has the help he requires.
Feeling weary from these feelings (not even as recent as going through house items but from heaven knows when! All my counselor had done was question how I felt about my miscarriage over 30 years earlier), I returned home from a lovely, gentle visit with my friend Val on Wednesday to a gorgeously decorated envelope containing ATCs from a swap partner in the US. I sat outside in the sunshine with a peanut butter and banana sandwich, a good cuppa in one of my favourite cups beside our flowering bleeding heart and opened the envelope which was decorated with washi tape announcing : "Hello Beautiful". My ATC partner sent the beautiful ATCs below. Heartwarming and uplifting.
And I gathered more rosebuds. May your day be filled with rosebuds for you to gather.
Welcome! I'm Sue Blott: a writer of all things, a poet at heart, mom, wife, daughter, step-mom, grandma, tea drinker, tai chi-er, mystic, artist, dreamer...and now a blogger! This is my world.