I know that talking things through with someone helps to diminish the hold that anything that is frustrating me or causing me anger or resentment has on me. Writing also helps in the same way. So here goes. Whether I’ll be able to post is another matter, and that’s where my present frustration is coming from.
I haven’t written in a while. I’ve given up trying to understand why this happens. It’s not that I have nothing to write about. I have been keeping, and adding to, a small list of topics that I want to express my feelings about. But something is getting in the way. The weather has been gorgeous lately. We have been enjoying the best Florida spring weather – no grey, no de-pressing stuff going on outside, so that’s not the issue.
Now that I think about it, maybe there is still an issue connected to the weather that’s been keeping me from writing, but it’s the reverse of dealing with the de-pressing grey. It’s been so perfectly beautiful outside of late that I have been called into the garden and have struggled to balance my time outside with all the other things that I want/am committed to do.
It has been really amazing to watch the garden come to life after the long cold winter. It seems as though with each passing year I become more aware of the transformation that takes place as plants come back to life, buds appear, then full foliage and flowers blossom out. The Confederate Jasmine, that I planted as two very small 20-inch tall plants at the base of the front supporting columns of my old gazebo two years ago, has now grown into thick, lush greenery that covers both 8-foot tall columns and trails upwards onto two of the roof supports and is also quite thick as it meets across the front horizontal bar. It is also full of flowers which I hope will last so that I can see them and enjoy them when I return from this trip.
And therein lies another source of frustration. I have been travelling on and off since 28 March. Being out of my normal habitat and routine is always somewhat disconcerting and disruptive, and I haven’t yet learned to handle that with total grace and acceptance. I drove up to Newport News, VA back then to spend a few days with my son who was there from Italy to attend a work related conference. It was a gift that I had no intention of passing up. We had a great three days hanging out together. On the way home from there, I was then able to stop in Fayetteville, NC to spend an afternoon and night-over with my dear sister-friend LeeAnn. She and I never waste time on pleasantries, diving deep into our sharing from the heart and soul which allows us to broaden, deepen, and strengthen our relationship on all levels, especially the spiritual level. Another enormous gift for which I am truly grateful.
Arriving back in Florida after that trip, I had three days to catch-up (I always say that with tongue in cheek because, how on earth do you catch up with time that has already passed??). So it was a flurry of unpacking and keeping up with some commitments that were on my calendar, before I then had to pack for the trip that I am presently “enjoying” ( barring bad internet connections – grrrrrr!) with my husband.
And therein lies the ultimate frustration. Yesterday evening I had the first real longing, desire, to do some creative writing. I sat down eagerly in front of my computer and – nothing. I don’t mean nothing would come out on the page. I mean nothing would come up on the computer. No worries, I have my resident computer technician travelling with me, no? But after checking things out he told me that there was nothing he could do. There simply was no internet connection and he had no control over that. Talk abut frustration!!!
As well as the creative writing I felt called to do, I also had a bunch of emails I wanted to send out, and there were several things that I wanted to check out on Google. I was stuck. Couldn’t do a thing. So I called it a day and picked up a book and decided to read. But the frustration was there, bubbling under the surface and even though I checked in with God and asked for inner peace, I guess I was wanting to hang onto the frustration and wallow in it for a bit because it was still there this morning, and so was the lack of connectivity!!!!!!!.
Rich has struggled all morning to give me some connection, but it has been been frustrating for him too. Right now I have no idea if I have connection or not, but I did learn (thank God I can always learn something), that I can at least access my Live Writer programme and get the words out and down, and in doing so I have released some of the frustration. Whether I will be able to post my writing is another matter, but at least it’s ready to go if and when we get a connection.
It is Sunday morning and I am sitting in my lanai. I relished a short lie-in this morning after our trip home yesterday afternoon, unpacking and sorting out clothes and getting them washed and put away. It is good to be home in familiar surroundings. We had a great week in Orlando and it was good to be away from the usual routines. But it’s always lovely to come home.
It is a gorgeous day. Another one of those sparkling “Princess Di” days. The sun is shining brilliantly from a clear blue sky and there is a slight breeze sighing through the pine trees out back. Everything is gently moving and I can see all the individual needles on the pine trees fluttering in the breeze and shimmering in the sunlight.
I sit back in my chair and breathe in the soft, warm air. Yes, it’s warm here in sunny Florida at the end of November, although I hear that temperatures are going to dip down later on this week. In the meantime, I am enjoying this “Indian summer” and feel very happy and content. In fact my heart is full joy right now as I look at the beauty that God has placed right here in my back yard.
I notice that the small brown birds, I believe they are sparrows, are back again as they pass through on their way to who-knows-where and they are clustering on the feeders. There’s a flash of red as a colorful cardinal claims his place and the sparrows flutter away until he is done. I can hear the squirrels barking in the trees as they playfully, or maybe not, fuss at each other. Mokka, our cat, sits in the sun, her tail slowly swishing as she thinks her cat-thoughts about the birds.
But even as I am aware of the joy that I feel I am also aware that there is sadness punching and poking at my heart. It feels as though one ventricle is full of joy and the other is full of sadness. My life is blessed in so many ways and I am truly grateful for that. Yet I have a longing for a healed relationship with my sister who I miss so very much, and another longing for a happy, satisfying relationship with my daughter who I also miss very much.
And I am reminded of one of my favorite authors, Kahlil Gibran, who, when asked in his book The Prophet to speak about Joy and Sorrow, responds with these wise and wonderful words of wisdom:
“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.”…………..
“Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?”……………
“When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”………..
”Together they come [Joy and Sorrow], and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.”
And so hangs the balance of all life. One moment we are in joy, and the next we are in sorrow. And sometimes we carry them together. And I can only learn to surrender to what is, to accept the gift of my emotions no matter what they are. As a character in the movie Shirley Valentine said, “If I can feel it means I am alive.”
My husband, Richard,is a geekie-techie kind of guy and this helps to create a good balance in our relationship because I’m more of the arty-crafty type who, as already mentioned in several of my postings, tends to fly by the seat of her pants. Even though my husband’s attachment to his computer and all things technological sometimes drives me a little crazy, I have to admit that I’m very blessed to have him in my life. After all, I have a resident expert computer-problem-fixer.
For about fifteen years now Richard has created and maintained a web site about techie things, mainly connected to Windows related stuff. In fact his web site domain name is WindowsObserver.com just in case any of you other techies want to check it out. Over the last few years he has developed a strong relationship with Microsoft and has been involved in their Beta testing, has written a few articles for them, and has been nominated a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional).
Because of this latter status, he was approached and asked to sit on a panel at a Customer Support conference to be held in Orlando, Florida this week. When we looked at our planners and saw that I would be attending my Audire program in Winter Park from Friday to Sunday, we decided to combine our trips so that we would not spend five days apart. Consequently I find myself in the lovely complex called The Villas of Grand Cypress (Golf Resort). The accommodations are absolutely lovely, surrounded as we are by golf greens and trees, although I’m a little disappointed that a resort of this caliber does not provide a small mini refrigerator in each suite (I carry supplements and fresh juiced produce that need to stay cold).
So this morning as I woke up and came to, I opened the drapes to be met by a stunning scene. Right outside my French doors is a small patio that over looks a retention pond, and swimming across the middle was a group of ducks. The far side of the pond is flanked by the rolling dunes of the golf greens. On the other sides of the pond I see lots of trees and plants through which I can make out other villas.
About fifteen yards from my end of the pond there is a small island, no bigger than twenty feet in diameter, on which there are five or six large trees, a couple of saplings, a few bushes and some small sego palms. The sky was a clear blue, not a cloud in sight, and squirrels were scampering across the porch and chasing each other up and down the trees immediately beyond the porch. When I opened the French doors, a flock of white egrets (I think they were egrets – white with long, skinny, curved yellow beaks), appeared out of nowhere and walked right onto the porch, obviously looking for a handout.
Although it was not warm-warm, it was warm enough to sit outside for my quiet time with God. It was so peaceful and so lovely that the first thought was of gratitude. I read my morning reflections and then just sat back and took in the beauty of God’s creation and suddenly felt so blessed. Today is Veteran’s Day, and I think of all those men and women in far-flung and dangerous war zones around the globe, separated from their families and everything familiar and comfortable. My gratitude levels soar as I compare where I am right now and where they are.
I continued to contemplate and meditate and watched a small blue heron approach my edge of the pond and swiftly dip his beak into the water, drawing it out a second later with a tiny wriggling fish which he quickly devoured. The air is clear and fresh with a hint of wood smoke, that unique smell that permeates everything during the Fall. Then suddenly I see a small movement on the island. There, perfectly camouflaged in the shadows, was a “Big Blue”. He stood perfectly still keeping a watchful eye on the water, waiting for the slightest movement which would indicate breakfast!!
As I took this all in, I was overcome with emotion. My throat filled up and I felt tears spill down my cheeks. I am so blessed, my life is so rich in many ways. I may not be rich in the conventional meaning of that word. I don’t have lots of money, nor do I have a luxury car or a boat or any of those high-ticket items. But I do have the money that I need, a car that is more than functional, the possibility of being in this place at this time. I have an amazing, loving husband, and so many good friends. God has filled my life with so many gifts and I am truly grateful.