Sunday, January 17, 2010
"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes,
flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you.
Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes,
certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life."
- Robert Louis Stevenson
and "Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." - Harriet Tubman
Finding the right balance between reaching for the stars and living simply can be a challenge. It seems to me that both are important and that the quest for each can complement the other, rather than be mutually exclusive.
In fact, I believe that on many fronts, it is the juxtaposition of different worlds that instills a deep appreciation for each. For me, each week, it is life in two places, small town versus city, having children with me versus not, staying home versus being on the go. . . and over the course of my life have stood the contrasts of poverty versus relative abundance, connection versus loneliness, strength versus surrender. I could go on, ad nauseum, but am reigned in by the constraints of time and mental energy. My ruminations today are even more loosely tied, perhaps, than usual, so take from them what you will. . .
Following a blur of days in the capitol, it was refreshing to spend the rest of the weekend at home and near about with the darlings, doing chores and crafts and visiting with friends.
I have a number of new clients in my DC practice. This means information overload: so many stories, so much to absorb and conceptualize.
My mom was hospitalized over the weekend for a pulmonary embolism. She is doing well now, on blood thinner, but the concern is, as this is the second clot in a few months' time, that she may have a genetic predisposition to such clotting and may have to remain vigilant and on Coumadin.
Since I could not get to visit her, I found myself wanting distraction. So I worked hard, called mom a lot, spent time with friends, stayed out late, and worked some more. Here is the lovely V as we are wrapping up our evening at 1:30 Saturday morning.
By the time I got back to my daughters on Saturday afternoon, I'd accomplished a great deal, but felt emptied out, depleted. It helped to have dinner with neighbors, at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in town that is a favorite meeting place. I can never go there without running into friends, neighbors, and clients, and the food is cheap and delicious.
This morning, the rain came down steadily, beating a hypnotic rhythmn on my tin roof. It was overcast and the darkness and rain sound helped keep the girls asleep until almost 10:00 a.m. I relished the opportunity and did absolutely nothing with the found time, drifting in and out of a pleasant, dreamy sleep. The rain is washing away the snow that has been on the ground here for six weeks.
When we were all awake, EG & MG wanted nothing more than to cuddle in my bed and tickle and giggle and talk. This is what heaven must be like, and only hunger eventually forced us to get up and begin the day. Having not yet completely unpacked the car, and having an ever mounting pile of chores to overcome, I tried to get motivated and make progress. The day's accomplishments, however, were minimal.
"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials." - Lin Yutang
EG was all about changing in and out of some new clothes we'd purchased for her the night before. She exclaimed, "Don't I look amazing?" MG claimed boredom and was looking for something to do, so we got out the cement mix and she made a stepping stone inlaid with a fish mosaic from beach glass we collected on our 2009 summer vacation.
We ended up going out for lunch and for dinner with grocery shopping in-between. Dinner was with SP and her two little ones. We had picked up candy canes on sale at the craft store and made a fleet of candy cane reindeer as we ate our enchiladas.
Halfway through the meal, EG had to change her outfit. She'd packed extras in the car, and wanted to make sure her best friend got to see the new dress, modeled. The puffy dress led to dancing, and all the kids got involved.
We topped off the frolic with fried ice-cream . . .
Now it is Monday morning and I'm waiting for clients at my home office. It is the MLK holiday. I'm glad this day is set aside; each year it helps me re-focus on issues of social justice, dreams of positive change, hope . . .
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?" - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Last week Haiti was devastated by a horrendous earthquake. If you're reading this, and you haven't already, please make a contribution to benefit the people of Haiti. Even small donations can make a huge difference in the well being of a person.
Partners in Health -- http://pih.org/home.html
and Doctors Without Borders
are just a couple of organizations that you could give through.
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