all these changes

A beautiful day. Just came back from a wander in the woods. And a first; I found myself reaching down to handle the moist cool earth, and underneath a log I found an empty snail shell. No sign of it’s inhabitant, so I brought it home in my pocket. There is dirt imbedded in my hands, and to my ears the birds sound beautifully quite full of new song. My steps crackled and crunched over leaves and twigs in the woods. When I came to a fallen tree I walked the length of it to try my balance. I heard spring peepers and saw a pair of mallard ducks, swimming gently down the stream (merrily merrily). I found an old nest! It was easy to get to. I carefully broke it away with its supporting branches and carried it home.

It’s a time of quiet and pensiveness for me—mother-me. The mother who is watching the birds and flowers bloom, gathering old nests and listening to songs, is the mother who is also preparing to very soon watch her son marry his darling, and another son chose a college and finish his senior year.

When the heart is full, it must overflow. Tears come as I think about the passing years. Wondering how I could have let them go without doing more, being more, loving more. I wanted to. And yet a mother is also a woman of her own, and during all those years I was also growing. Becoming more, (rather than DOING MORE) in other areas of life outside of motherhood. I can’t be disappointed about giving the children less than all of me, because then I wouldn’t be myself. They are secure in my love, and the love of their father and siblings. Together we grow in love and grace each day. and yet, I wish almost greedily, for more ordinary days of simply me, and them, together.

Caleb has not made the decision for school lightly, he gave it a great deal of thought and preparation. And now he is all set to attend Liberty University in the fall, a college about nine hours from home. Caleb, one of the “younger ones”. My sweet boy. I would rather not. And yet, the way it all worked out was “a shower of blessing” from above. Each thing that fell into place, each unexpected gift (such as a local life-long classmate of his as a roommate) (such as my best friends daughter also going) (such as him running into a camp friend), gave us such full hearts we couldn’t help but praise God and thank Him.

So it was, while Rich was with Caleb in Virginia, and I was at home with the others, that my mom texted with me with her own wise mother-words:

You will be a better Shanda as all these changes happen. I think I’m a better person now, more like Cindy should be. Not someone else’s person.

The truth of it all went straight to my heart and I knew she was right. And, like I’ve thought so many times before, if life is like a roller coaster I want to be the woman who throws up her hands and enjoys the thrill of the ride, (with some screaming now and then) rather than the one holding back in resistance.

Moss is the most vibrant green of New England in early April.
A shell from the forest, not the sea.
Found underneath a half-decomposed log in the middle of nowhere. I’m beginning to think that there IS no nowhere.
Mr & Mrs Mallard
The nest is now part of a house plant.

4 thoughts on “all these changes

  1. What good words! Especially from your mother. So many years giving so much to the family, then a different world! I’m not quite there, but it is oh so close!
    I had a quick trek into the woods yesterday after dinner. The girls brought back a pussy willow branch! I didn’t know we had any. Alas, they stand straight and very tall, holding their fuzzy treasure way beyond reach.

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