Last week (edit note: this was written in March 2012… so just follow me back there…) my husband and our boys embarked on a four-day journey to bid an earthly farewell to a gentleman who lived 77 years in generosity, creativity and grace.
They left with the lingering weight of celebrating a life well-lived while saddened by its temporariness. My little lady and I found ourselves suddenly interrupted. Assenting from our normal, we shelved rhythmic studies, idea explorations, artistic experiments.
It is a daring dance ~ sympathy, empathy, and the rhythmn of living.
Lesson plans adjusted; we ventured to a historical museum. A combined estate of two of America’s genius personalities sits on 20 acres along a river that flows freely into the Gulf of Mexico. This museum has become a family favorite. The museum houses many fascinating artifacts, modals, and a lab of a bygone era. While the grounds boast of a botanical collection, we often can’t decide where to begin. On the particular day she & I decided to go ~ “just the girls,” the clouds held the sun in a temperate dance. As we approached the estates, I asked her if she just wanted to explore outside today. She confirmed she was planning to ask me the same thing.
So we journeyed through the maze of snowbirds who meandered slowly and methodically through the grounds. An estate volunteer beckoned our attention and whispered the precise directions where we could find two orchids hiding in full bloom. We realized no one else was heeding his hints. So, we recounted the directives step by step. We ducked under a large branch and rounded the tree to discover… these lovely pink ladies.
While orchids symbolize many ideas world-wide, for me, these delicate petals unfold wonders while spilling subtle scents and colors vibrantly… genteelly.
Tenderly, Silky, Boldly. Full in spring bloom, my gaze submits to the tug of the dance. As we walked on, my focus lingers with the orchids.
While the little lady accepted my wonder, she skipped on to greet a meager squirrel. She chased him as he circled up the palm peeking at her, taunting her. Next, we encountered a flock for white long-necked birds with long hooked beaks cooling in the shade near the water’s edge. She restrained her body’s demand to spunk into their clan as my motherly way desired both to civilize and let her run free. Receiving while letting go.
The fleeting moments of the dance… in the dirt of living, sometimes I forget. Sometimes my dreams churn into complaints. Sometimes my memories covet one last waltz. All clamoring for a blinded, paralyzed thrust through the present.
Hums of sadness, loneliness, and wonders.
Yet, encountering ends
triggers a simultaneous-sponge to hold on
to what is no longer,
to fiercely pursue what may never be …
while shuffling, prolonging, petrifying in
the tenderness of what is.
Little lady, eyes wide, bounds on gleefully. Sights, smells, sounds, and of course the silly. On the horizon, boys bond as the miles of grief dusts in the distance … Receiving while letting go… I linger with the orchids.
March 8, 2012
Heidi L. Paulec