Thursday, February 08, 2007

WRITTEN IN September 06

I’m Still on Vacation

My mind is still on vacation at Julie’s

Stepping into the cathedral quiet rain forest

Surprised it is so close to our sitting and watching TV

I’m still walking the trail with her yellow lab as our senses come alive in the shaded damp forest scent

Eyes dancing from fern to sunbeam through the trees

“Just a trail,” I thought, “a pretty walk”…until

I stepped into God’s Cathedral forest

Sometimes beauty is so unexpected,

I meet it with a surprised intake of breath and awe.

He is here in this place of quiet

Enjoying the coolness

This meeting place where words and thoughts are set aside

For gazes and deep breaths and amazed sighs.

Wordless beauty

Bathed in peace.

I’m still on vacation

Laughing in double sol

Our guards melting into adventurous cheating and catching

Punishing and laughing.

A game my mother plays with practiced hand—Julie too

Who knows when such silliness will come to life?

It didn’t come to life with rolling dice which was almost a sleepy chase to see who could get there first.

But then a game of cards emerges with two professionals and one beginner.

1000 points in dice did not boost the enthusiasm like catching someone’s mistake.

She saw it and I didn’t and an extra card slapped my way

amid protests of complaints and sighs of compliance.

Tension rises as each person’s intent grows to catch and not be caught.

In this game, our should’s and ought to’s were tossed aside except for the placement of cards and the laughter and glee at catching and getting caught.

We got to see each other new in ways never captured shopping or watching TV.

I’m still on vacation as mom and I express our gratitude with gifts of chores needed

but set aside by Julie for more pressing or less focused times.

My prayerful eyes surveyed the landscape to see what I could do that would boost the soul—every soul. What chore, what gift could I offer?

For Saturday we chose the front yard—still

pretty but needing attention.

We weeded and pulled and dug and raked. We trimmed and mowed and swept. We shopped for flowers and bulbs and mother found their homes in the flower beds.

Standing back and taking pictures, the yard was clean and neat and ready for the coming winter.

Hard work and deep satisfaction.

I’m still on vacation—a somewhat commissioned decorator.

Out pops decorative items and ideas for mantels and dining room and entertainment center.

The purpose driven detective decorator in me searches and unveils items needed and discarded.

And after the flurry—a mantle sparkles with tiny lights, orange berries, and candles.

A dusted entertainment center is cleared and rearranged with RELAX and Luke and decorated egg on top. Overhead baskets and star blend with the dark wood in contrast to the gold yellow wall.

The dining room basks with autumn leaves and candles,

new placemats and contrasting plates—ready for the harvest meals.

My mind is still on vacation

A bit nervous on the way late to Contra Dancing.

Driving a long way to a school, I think,

and a downstairs room looking older than me

with wooden floors and a stage.

A ragamuffin group of expectant people

wearing their choice of dancing clothes.

Jeans and T shirts, blouses and swirling skirts.

Tennis shoes and jazz shoes to no shoes at all.

Quick verbal instructions from my sister wanting to help me in my first dancing.

Could I do it?

Would I be foolish and faltering in my steps?

Would I be sorry and rather sit and watch?

What have I done by jumping off this platform to dance?

“Would you like to dance?” he asked.

I didn’t know if I would like to dance, but wanted to more than not.

“Yes, but I’m new and haven’t done this before.”

My undaunted partner steps with me out to the dance floor and amid confused mind and baffled feet

I listen to foreign instructions and bumble through a brief practice.

The music starts and off we go into vaguely familiar territory. I know the swing and doh se doh, but other steps and directions catch me dumb. My partners' gentle nudges and encouraging smiles help my awkward body remember a smoother way. Can I do this?

By the time the evening is over with many dances under my belt,

I DID IT! Partners rejoiced when I got it right.

I didn’t hide and go away.

I risked and tried and had a wonderful time.

Thank you Julie for encouraging me to share your new joy in dancing.

Julie is my adventurous sister.

Stepping into fearful divorce alone with six children

Wading through depression

And keeping her children close and prayed for.

Unwavering faith into each fearful place.

Weathering loss and homelessness

No jobs and new jobs

New homes and children faltering in their young adult lives.

Never have I seen such closeness in a family.

Obvious love and devotion for a mom that has weathered the storms with faith and a smile.

Julie is my adventurous sister

Buying and selling homes on her own

Dancing alone with new partners to swing
I am tickled and please to see joy reborn

On her face

In her voice

In her body

A dance resurrection that breathes new life into her soul.

Julie is my adventurous sister

And now it seems God sheds his grace on her.

Beautiful home and yard,

Good job, wonderful church.

We are only waiting for her new friends to come and discover her.

Friends that are looking for an adventure ;-)

Relaxing in the hot tub.

The forest in the background of Julie's hot tub is the cathedral forest mentioned near the beginning.

Julie and I in front of Lake Stevens


aliangchen said...
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Annie said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post... loved sitting at the card table with you, taking a hike with you, watching grandma perform her greatest work, and dancing with my two aunts and beloved grandmother. Thanks for sharing.

Julie B said...

Very nice Marti. Wish you were back here now! I too really enjoyed the visit, and miss my sister and Mom, hence the trip to BKS. God Bless, Julie