It’s rainy here. Rainy. Grey. Cooler than expected for August. And a cellular memory is stirring. The memory that speaks of winter…winter and cold and the need to be prepared. To have wood “put up.” And food. To have food canned and set aside on pantry shelves. Or placed in a cool earthen cellar with potatoes and squash. And even though I’m not exactly doing these things–there’s still a message woven into my DNA that lets me know it’s that time again. I understand the feeling. And when I’m quiet enough, mental images surface. Images/scenes/scents from another time. Another place. And perhaps even–from other lives. These are the flip side of feelings that surface in early spring when surfacing and the need to go to ground manifest in a different way–in a more expansive way. Up and out rather than hunkering down.
For the next week I am tending boy. Sharing the joy of it with his grandpa. Alternating days that involve many things. Many things. It’s amazing to me how much I’ve forgotten about how much is involved in shepherding children. The basic logistics of feeding. Of having food available. Of meal preparation. Laundry. And then watching from afar and waiting for the return. It’s a LOT. And then the other thing…the listening to…to words…actions…expressions…the unspoken. Listening. And honoring space. His. Mine. Ours. My heart is full right now simply because I am seeing him for who he is rather than who I imagined him to be. There’s a difference.
Yesterday we dried wet laundry in a laundromat. Broken dryer at home. And we met some very interesting people. Men tending laundry. Household laundry. Washing sheets and towels and family clothing. They loved seeing boy there. And one man in particular shared stories of doing laundry with his grandma. Shared all sorts of stories in fact. And said as we were leaving, “Boy, you’ll remember this–you’ll remember helping your grandma fold clothes–and it will be a tender memory.”
A tender memory. And as we were leaving, I wondered why that comment move me so deeply. Was it his own sharing of memories?–memories helping his own grandma fold laundry many years ago. Was it this commonality of similar tasks that thread through generations. Was it because when I first saw him, I was not inclined to get to know him? There. That is true–because I had made certain assumption about him. About just staying far enough away that eye contact wasn’t going to happen. And then before I knew it, everything I had thought-without-thinking–all of my unconscious conditioned assumptions–vanished with the connection. The spark. The seeing…the recognition. The awakening inside on some cellular level. I’ve been wondering if he’ll be there next weekend. If we go back, will he tell us more? I’m just wondering about it all….
And something about this image–rain drops on a spider’s web–an image that we looked at closely, yesterday. Looked for a long time. Looked for the weaver. Marveled at the rain drops and the beauty of it all. That it speaks so deeply to me about everything I’ve tried to express here…. Still wondering.