Thursday, February 03, 2011

Happy 40th Birthday, Carolyn!

 My older sister would have been 40 today but instead, she remains an eternal 18 years old.

I cannot imagine what she would have been like at 40. Frankly, I do not know how we could have survived her molten presence for that long in our lives. (Said as I smile. She was certainly a firebrand and destined for things far greater than this ordinary and temporary mortal existence).

While I cannot imagine it, I wish I could have found out what she would have been like at 40, surrounded by children as full of sparks and fire as she, children who inherited her charming dimples and gold-flecked eyes. I would have loved to see her as a mother.

One night when we were in our early teen years there was a huge storm. Thunder and lightening and driving rain pounded our house there in north Orem for what seemed like hours. Neither of us could sleep. In the early hours of the morning, it seemed as if the world split apart when lightening struck our neighbor's house. I was terrified and started crying. Carolyn, being the big sister/protector, jumped into my bed next to me. We then lay side by side, her warm body pressed against my shaking one talking and giggling until I fell asleep.

I think she would have been the same kind of mother - a fierce protector of those she loved. Devoted.  Willing to comfort those in need of comfort. And always ready with a story or a joke to help you deal with your fears.

Gosh, I miss her.

And if she would have been 40 today then that makes me...old.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

30 Days of Truth Day 5: Something You Hope To Do In Your Life

I hope to own a family farm.

There, I said it. I want to be a farmer.

I want to be a farmer like Joel Salatin at Polyface Yum.   More than just a farmer, I want to be a steward of my own land. I want to coax green growing things from the soil. I want to raise my own animals with care and love. I want to have my grandchildren come spend the summers with me and help me collect honey from the hives and pick fat, juicy apricots from the branches of trees that are so full of ripe fruit the tips bend down to kiss the ground.  In the sun-drenched kitchen, I want to be able to teach my children and their children to properly sauce tomatoes, make dill pickles, strawberry jam, and bake up divine peach cobblers from things we have grown. On early spring mornings, I want to sit at my front window and gaze at steam rising from freshly plowed fields. I want to smell the acrid smell of burning weeds from the ditches. I want a soft brown, velvet eared cow that thinks my back porch is her own private Idaho.

I want a garden...I want a huge garden of heirloom plants, edged with Shasta daisies and purple cone flowers and with rows of sunflowers as a back drop. Moulin Rouge, Ring of Fire, Velvet Queen, Claret Hybrid, the Mongolian Giant, and the Russian Mammoth would all have a home in my garden. I want a huge herb garden with mounds of basil - the Siam Queen, purple ruffles, globe basil, sweet basil, and Magical Michael.  And tomatoes...Nebraska Wedding, Lemon Drop, Red Zebra, Beam's Yellow Pear, Amish Paste, and Trucker's favorite. Cabbage, corn, beets, cucumbers, squash in all it's variety, beans, berries, onions, garlic, lettuce, melons, carrots, potatoes, peppers, watermelon.

And flowers. There will be acres of flowers.

I don't need 400 acres - 50 or 60 well situated ones would do just fine.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

30 Days of Truth ~ Day 4

Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone for.

I have not forgotten this little project...just got into some deep thinking about Day 4.

You see, forgiving others has always come much more easily than forgiving myself.  I am having a really hard time trying to think of someone I have not forgiven....yes, {believe it or not, big brother who likes to lecture me about our father}, even my ex-father who was so pathetisad he landed his backside in the Big House at the Point of the Mountain.

I have truly wrestled with today's topic. Who do I need to forgive?

I think of a person that maybe I need to forgive...but then I remember that they, too, are human just like me. I cannot see inside their head and so maybe, just maybe their craptastic behavior is linked to their unseen sorrow and pain, just as is mine on occasion. (OK - more occasions than I would like to admit.) And when I start thinking of them in that way...I am not angry at them any more. Sure, I might get hot under the collar for a day or two about something but invariably, the lyrics from a hymn creep into my heart and mind, "Who am I to judge another when I walk imperfectly?"

Forgiveness is about judgment. It's about me judging the behavior of someone else and deeming it less than acceptable and requiring something to mend the brokenness they created in my heart. I know there is a time for righteous judgment and there is a time to call a spade a spade, but even when I cry out for justice, I find myself wishing mercy upon the other person as well. And this fine balance between the desire for justice and mercy...I have found that without one, there is not the other. As Catherine of Siena said, "The pearl of justice is found in the heart of mercy."

My heart has not resided in this Zen-like state my entire life and I do not even know what brought me to this place. All I know is that I like being here much better than I like being in that other place where my life is full of angst over wrongs perpetrated on me by the witting and unwitting alike.