Home is one of the hardest words to define. Is it the building? Is it the geographic location? Is it where I’m from but not where I am at the moment? Is it the collection of people who are relatives? Can it be a group of people who aren’t related? What if you can’t define home?
Being a product of the “baby boom generation,” I finished high school in the mid 60s living in a peaceful, suburban area where all the kids looked alike—middle income and white. There was another world out there that most of us never saw—the race riots, horrors of the War in Vietnam, new discoveries in space and astonishing acts of violence that took the lives of a president, a presidential candidate’s and a race relations leader.
I was on the tail end of a generation where young women were making their choices of an advanced degree in college or homemaking and motherhood. I never regretted the road I chose. I just see it so differently now in a generation twice removed how the roles have changed & women are allowed/accepted women in many roles i.e., professional wife/mother; single mother; adoptive mother to children of the family or from other families and even foreign countries. Lines are more blurry now of who is related to whom and who is a good role model.
I know the definition and the difference between home & family. I know the words don’t mean the same to everyone. For me, the choice was part of who I was growing up to become. I completely felt the need to follow my young husband first to college, then into the ministry, then the military, and back to college to complete a degree.
Before I was old enough to vote, I was a mother. I became a mother the second time 2 years & 8 days from the birth of my first child. I reveled in that role with full commitment and understanding. How could I achieve that so young? Because I had seen family and home in my life as being the safe place where we live. It is the place we hone our skills of personality & acceptance.
There is forever that “leaving” that happens when children reach a certain age. And who in the world can find what that perfect age is? For me it was a way to be with the man I loved and start our family. Those little tiny packages that came on hot summer days in the years of 1967 & 1969 were the most precious little human beings I had ever seen. They were the perfect companion for a life I was to live. They were sweet, loving and so cute; they had tempers, crying spells and their own little personalities. And, in the end, I was left to build and modify the mold in which they would be shaped.
Experiencing some changes just as the beauty of glass comes after the heat of the elements, I was alone to take them into their teen years & adulthood. How could I do it? Who would I lean on and turn to?
…there’s no other word that conjures up for me the feelings of peace and strength. In family I find encouragement and understanding. I had such a huge lesson to teach my children and I didn’t know where to start. How could I instill in them the importance of relying on each other? How could I be sure they would always do the right thing when I wasn’t always there? What would be their choices when I let them make those choices.
Suffice it to say I was in fear of this huge responsibility. But, time was marching on; and as each orbit marked a day upon a day, I knew one of those days was THE moment when I let them choose and make their path.
Oh, how could I be sure they’d ever come back home? What would I do if they failed? How could I be there for them when time & space wouldn’t allow it?
…the never-ending self-sufficient heart-warming kind of feelings that would translate to trust and safety. Did I need to worry about them in their lives? Of course, I would but I didn’t NEED to because I had equipped them with the best tools I knew: love, trust, faith, friends, family and a HUGE amount of self-worth and purpose to which I added load of hugs. I then added my words of trust and confirmed to them that I knew they had made good choices. It was such a hard time, BUT I EVENTUALLY GREW UP!
Forty plus years later I can see I need not have worried about how and what they would choose. They have gone through the same questions I did. They have made good and bad choices. They have learned from certain mistakes but they have kept their faith and love close to their heart and have given it to those with whom they surround themselves.
I didn’t need to worry at all. I didn’t need to lose sleep waiting up for them. I had no real reasons to check on them even when they said “it’s all good.”
I didn’t have to…but I wanted to! I wanted them to remember that home & family are the place you find the strength to take your first baby steps and those young adult bigger steps and the huge giant steps when you create your own little human beings.
I humbly say, “I’ve done well.” But so can they…they can be proud of where they are in their life now and what it took to get there.
Want to come home? Need to come home? Sure that’s an option, but I’m much happier they’ve made their own homes with those they love.
Good job, kids!This post is dedicated to my children who recently had August birthdays..and to my granddaughters who are on their own now making choices. My advice is: pray about your life; work at it; stay true to yourself; think of others…and most of all…learn how to love and be loved. Life is a fabulous gift…use it well. Johnny Mathis “I’m Coming Home”
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I’m sure at one time or another you’ve been just absolutely BLANK–nothing is in your mind let alone anything that is interesting.
Sometimes your mind is just VACANT…but a Blogger or Writer is supposed to have loads of material…so they write about it. Yes, IT! You must write about the NOTHINGNESS that sits before you.
It’s even worse when you are a Traveler & Dreamer and that BARE and EMPTY feeling comes over you. Where do you go? What do you look for? Oh, thank goodness, there’s a sign up ahead that will help me.
Oh, No! It feels like a episode of Twilight Zone and I’m traveling in Area 51…
Now I wish I was an artist so I could draw you a picture of my mind!
But because there’s nothing there how can I give you details?
Because my mind is void of thought, I can only say:
Words have deserted me.
I am silenced!
It finally happened!
People pray for it
They write about it
Some curse it
Many welcome it
Some run through it
Some run into it
Some run from it
What is the one thing that can elicit the most
It’s simply RAIN
As a child did you ever sing
“rain, rain go away; come again some other day.”
Learn to live in it
Try to praise it
write odes to it
sing about it
It’s only RAIN!
It will pass
it will end
it will move on
Don’t be caught
looking the other way
or you’ll miss the very best thing
of all about rain…
What does it take to stand out in the crowd?
conviction of purpose
commitment to values
courage to own every decision
Sometimes it takes just one act of courage; sometimes it takes many occasions strung together through a lifetime.
Turn your uniqueness into the loudest voice among the crowd. Make the right choice for you. Stand strong through it all.
You’ll never regret an action based on your conviction.
But you might regret remaining silent.
Well, finally! Spring is here!
Some may not be sure of that fact if they’re looking out their window today. But I’m sure it’s spring…the calendar says so.
I wonder…as ancients were following moon cycles and earth’s rotations and printing calendars–if they thought there should be some dramatic drum roll to herald in each season of the year. I think of all of the seasons, spring should come with a shout if only to replace that dormant winter that is slowly—some say too slowly this year—leaving the dead and dying leaves and debris in your back yard. Have you heard those small cries from your shed? It’s your rake, broom and hoe just yearning to come out and play.
We think of winter as the time when the earth recedes under and into itself to commensurate and ponder the questions of its existence. We tend to use that time in the same manner so it’s time for us to wake up our body and mind. Winter may even say that it rests so well while blanketed and snuggled beneath winter’s cover that it can stay as long as it wants. Who can make winter leave that hibernating slumber?
SPRING CAN! That’s who!
Spring can break forth, finding its way up through frozen tundra and dead grasses and piled leaves. Spring has the added expressions of the flowers’ smiles, the birds’ songs and the caressing breezes necessary to push away a sleeping winter. It seems as if it doesn’t take much trouble on our part to welcome spring and play our way through it .
You remember how hard you prepared for winter? You checked your house for possible pipe leaks/bursts and insulation/heating problems. You “weatherized” your car. You prepared early for the livestock, animals, and even your own little kitties and doggies. You got the snow blower repaired, purchased a new shovel and started thinking what you would do on those extra days that may come your way as “snow days” if you couldn’t get out of the driveway.
Such hard work…and yet like a whisper and a refreshing clear, deep breath, spring is here and you didn’t have to do anything. Well, there was the clearing out of the wardrobe–the coats, hats, gloves & snowshoes. And there was the 3 days you spent tilling up the yard so you could plant those lovely blooming plants.
But for the most part, you get to just sit back and watch spring arrive and watch your soul and body regenerate and rekindle.
Now a time of serenity has come to replace our weary thoughts and plans. Come on over and let’s join in and welcome spring with as much excitement as it deserves and bid our final farewell to this long, hard record-breaking winter.
[Enjoy the video below as you think about spring. “Song of Spring” by Mendelssohn]
Oh, I surely hope you aren’t suffering from the allergens arriving daily. I truly wish the spring storms bypass you this year. But most of all I beg you to make the most of this arrival of renewal.
Before long, we’ll be making ugly faces at that thermometer.
How long do you think it will take for you to utter the words?
Boy, I wish it would cool off soon.
There are no rules for architecture for a castle in the clouds
G. K. Chesterton
Later in this column, I’ll give you the scientific definition of WIND. But for the moment, think about wind only as a source of energy—something we can’t see but can feel. I consider it the most mysterious of weather conditions. Where is it? If it can be so powerful, why can’t we see it?
This winter of 2013/2014 has proved to be one of the most extreme weather patterns in recent years (in some cases decades).
Mostly we consider wind to be the “source” that:
- messes up our hair
- takes the dirt/dust in the air and collects it on our cars,
- sends the pollens into our red, watery, itchy eyes.
It is also that thing which causes your little speeding golf ball to take an unruly path away from the hole on the green.
And you may remember the frustration of trying to fly a kite which is difficult with too little or too much wind.
For all the things we can blame on wind, I want to consider it’s positive force—how it makes you feel. Whether you think of wind as in the concept of power or gusts or you think of it as a whisper fluttering the leaves, it undeniably has power like no other part of nature.
To me it is the way I feel in the wind. I know, scientifically, there is energy and power in the wind. But to feel the wind as it touches my face and body, to let it drift over my mind and thoughts, just to see it moving the other elements of nature is so representative of a force greater than you and I.
It seems to have the ability to make my mind clear – like clearing out the cobwebs. It actually affects my body & health. It takes only a few minutes outside in quiet solitude before I feel as if I’d done spring cleaning in my thoughts completely removing the problems and worries and enjoying the deep breaths I draw.
Regeneration is a word that reminds me of what “wind” does for me.
Let’s think about when wind mixes with a particular element–that brings on a whole new meaning.
- If it is snow blowing and swirling, then we have a blizzard;
- if it is sand or dirt blowing, then we have a dust storm;
- if it is rain that is moving with the wind, it may result in tornadic or hurricane force winds.
- The coolness of an autumn breeze;
- the snow moved softly by the wind;
- the pollen pushed forth by the blowing;
- the rain shower that blows upon us for only minutes.
Like most of us in the US, I’m awaiting those days that will soon burst forth giving us more pollen, more rain, more movement than has laid below our frozen tundra and iced vegetation. As the Spring of 2014 drifts upon us in a few more days (weeks), I hope I will be able to appreciate what the wind provides for us and greet it with welcoming smiles.
Wind dusts off, cleans away, and refreshes the earth as well as our body. The power of the wind reminds me the source of all wind (all energies) is controlled by my Creator and that God is the maker and purveyor of this earth.
Scientific Information about wind: For any of you who wish to read a “scientific Description” of wind, you may click this link. It seemed to me to be very mysterious in its definition—a little like wind seems to me! http://www.weatherquestions.com/What_causes_wind.htm
For the wordsmiths among us, here are other words for wind:
breath ♦ breeze ♦ draft ♦ ozone ♦ puff ♦ blast ♦ waft ♦
whirlwind cyclone ♦ flutter ♦ cyclone ♦ flutter ♦ tempest ♦
typhoon ♦ zephyr ♦ ventilation ♦ chinook ♦
Wind has so many attributes and has often been used in music & poetry.
One of the songs about “wind” is represented in the1969 Hollywood film “Paint Your Wagon” (They Call the Wind) Maria (pronounced /məˈraɪ.ə/) performed by Harve Presnell. Here is a video of that performance.
The exact opposite of Maria is when “wind” brings us the soft, wistful thoughts. “The Breeze & I are whispering goodbye…” For those who want to dance in the breeze, I’ve included that haunting melody here
The Breeze and I - words by Al Stillman, music by Ernesto Lecuona music written in 1929 as a piano piece called "Andaluza,"part of the Andalucia Suite by the Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona - words added later by Al Stillman - sung here by Caterina Valente, 1953
The breeze and I are saying with a sigh
That you no longer care
The breeze and I are whispering goodbye
To dreams we used to share
Ours was a love song that seemed constant as the moon
Ending in a strange, mournful tune
And all about me, they know you have departed without me
And we wonder why, the breeze and I
The breeze and I
Here is a little known fact related to weatherology:
As mentioned, the song “They Call the Wind Maria” was featured in the 1969 Hollywood film “Pain Your Wagon, starring Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg. It was George Rippey Stewart’s 1941 novel Storm, in which he presents the storm which is the protagonist of his story and named it “Maria” (pronounced /məˈraɪ.ə/).
In 1947, Stewart wrote a new introduction for a reprint of the book, and discussed the pronunciation of “Maria”:
“The soft Spanish pronunciation is fine for some heroines, but our Maria here is too big for any man to embrace and much too boisterous.” He went on to say, “So put the accent on the second syllable, and pronounce it ‘rye'”
The success of Stewart’s novel was one factor that motivated U.S. military meteorologists to start the informal practice of giving women’s names to storms in the Pacific during World War II. The practice became official in 1945. In 1953, a similar system of using women’s names was adopted for North Atlantic storms. This continued until 1979, when men’s names were incorporated into the system.