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early summer

June 16, 2012

Dear blog readers, it’s been what, two weeks since I last wrote?  See, I’m still trying to figure this blogging thing out.  What is the point?  The point, for me, is to lay down little shards of brilliance (thanks Mom-101) so that maybe I can look back someday and see the mosaic that was my life, the good and the bad, the bright and the dull, and find some happy memories to roll through my fingers like rosary beads when I’m wondering what the whole point was.

Sometimes I’m paralysed by the words of Carmen Aguirre, who won Canada Reads this year, who, when talking about memoir writing, said, “Write to the common experience.  People, your journals are interesting to you and you only.”  So I feel like I have this obligation to review my writing throughly so that it is good enough for the consumption of you lovely friends and family, and also strangers, who check in to see what’s happening in my corner of the world.  Only sometimes nothing profound is happening at all.  Only, many very lovely things worth recording happen every day, that are the most profound, and the shards that I’m wanting to reflect on down the road.

Baby turned one.  In the last year he’s gone from a warm bundle snuggled to my breast or tucked in a bassinet to a wiggly, drooling beast, to a crawling, almost-walking, lovely personality in this family.  Two years ago on Father’s Day the Big Guy and I were kayaking south of Brooks Peninsula and contemplating being parents together.  One year ago the Big Guy held his wee son on his forearm at the Fire Hall.  Baby tried to find something to focus on in the high ceilings and shiny chrome and red metal, then found his daddy’s face.  Today our wee man is about to take his first steps, and yells his mantra, “DADA” while he practices.

I am working a bit, and thinking about my career a lot.  I know exactly what I want to do.  Trouble is, today there is no paying job taking kids outdoors and showing them the miracles that exist in nature if you slow down and look and listen.  There are options, connections I could make, proposals I could write, political waters to navigate and a reputation that I’ve built up over 13 years teaching kids outdoors that I don’t want to damage.  Sometimes I wish, as a friend recently said, that I could be happy just cleaning house and cooking and gardening and watching the kids grow.  And I am happy doing all those things.  But there is a part of me that needs to leave the world a little better; a gift I want to share with more than just my kids and friends’ kids.  There is also a part of me that craves a little independence, financial security, a backup plan.  I hope my wonderful partner understands that that has nothing to do with him and everything to do with me just being a little scared to have all my eggs in his basket.

And surrounding all that worrying and planning and trying not to want something too bad, and trying to find that balance between the real and the ideal (as the lady at the career centre told me), it is a cool, wet spring.  The spinach and peas are gorgeous.  There is food outside ripe for the picking.  The strawberry patch is full of luscious, pale-green berries. (I’m watching the crows watching them, and wondering how much to sacrifice as a penance to the one I killed with the van windshield last winter.)  There will be sunflowers, and hollyhocks, and garlic.  The new baby hens will start to lay.  We will sleep out on the deck under the stars.  We will go to Hornby Island, and Lasqueti Island, and Rathtrevor Beach.  The double kayak is locked up down at Blueback Beach for some summer-night phosphorescence-watching and ocean-meditation.

There. Those are the beads I want to finger slowly later, when step-parenting/co-parenting is particularly hard, or when our house is sinking under the weight of ravenous, hormonal teenagers, or when I’m working full-time at a job that is closer to the real than the ideal.  May I always be grateful for my innumerable blessings.

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