"Will we ever get there?" is the question my daughter and I asked aloud several times, and each pondered silently, on our recent trip to visit a beautiful college that is nearly impossible to get to from here. The delays through Chicago, followed by construction delays and re-routing onto rural highways to avoid more such delays, in the dark, with a quickly diminishing phone battery, we drove on, silently wondering, 'Will we ever get there?' As we entered the town where the school is located, Siri instructed, "Continue on Main Street for . . .", and then went silent. Our phone battery was exhausted, as were we. It was 1:30 AM, and we had driven for nine hours, following a route we didn't comprehend, trusting that Siri would get us there. And she did get us close enough that we could do the rest, by simply stopping in the nearest gas station to ask directions for the final half mile of our journey.
When the phone went dead, my daughter and I panicked for a moment. And then, I said, out loud, "Thank you, Siri, and thank you, God, for getting us this far." If the phone had died 20 minutes earlier, we would have literally been in the middle of nowhere, with no way to find our way out. We were grateful beyond words that Siri (and God) had led us as close as she did to our destination.
As I continue to find myself on the desolate, unfamiliar, winding road of life, often wishing I had Siri to tell me which way to turn, and taking me on an alternate route when she sees trouble ahead on the logical one (as when she took us off the freeway which had been reduced to one lane for construction), trusting that she knows how to get me there, with as little incident as can be had, I know I do have my God, and my trust that he knows my ultimate path in life, and that when an alternate route is best, he will provide a clue to take it, and that while there are moments when I fear he has left me, I always find he has gotten me close enough to find the rest of the way on my own. If God is not your compass, know there is something greater than you, guiding your journey, and trust that your path will lead you where you are to go.
Interestingly, after we settled into our bed for the night, my daughter said to me, "Mom, I was really scared." I replied that I was, too. Neither of us had talked of it during the journey. I'd like to say it was because we each had such great faith we would arrive safely; however, I know it was because neither of us wanted to make the other more worried. We were looking out for each other, out of the love we have for each other, which was equally important in our ultimate arrival at our destination.
As you make your life journey, trust that you are on the right path, and be ever thoughtful and grateful toward those who are part of the journey, for both are imperative to be successful and peaceful along the way. We will all get there.
How Do I Love Thee, Mom? It is impossible for me to express how much I love you because I love you more than words can say.
A child's love for her mother seems beyond the realm of understanding. Fortunately, each of us is a child, and we each have a mother, so we all understand. But do they?
A child knows at at birth that her mother is essential to sustain her life, not yet comprehending that her mother also gave her life. As a child grows and is able to physically be more independent, her mother shares her own life experience, lesson, and celebration in order to help the child grow as a person. As an adult, the child uses these gifts to fulfill her own life purpose, knowing it would not have been possible without all her mother gave. Late in life, while it may appear that the roles are reversed, if the child begins to care for her mother, the child receives the gift of allowing oneself to give back and reaps the bliss of gratitude in return.
A child always feels in her heart the immense love she has for her mother. The love is so bounteous that no expression could do it justice, even though we as children do try. The only consolation for the child is knowing that her mother was (and is still) a child, and therefore, she also knows.
Today, on Mother's Day, and every day, may we cherish both the gift of being loved by our mothers, and the joy of being mothers, knowing how much we are loved.
Joyous Mother's Day to you!
I awoke this morning to a sweet message from a friend, wishing me a Happy May Day. A few years ago, she and I were exchanging stories about how as little girls we each had hung handmade paper baskets with small bouquets of fresh flowers and sweet treats on the doors of our friends and neighbors, as was the tradition on May Day. We agreed we would revive the tradition together the following year. Sadly, neither of us thought about it in advance, so it never happened; however, to this day, we send thoughtful wishes to each other on May 1. Happy May Day!
In honor of my friend's message this morning, which left me smiling all day, and wondering why so few still celebrate May Day, I decided to find out more about its significance, given that as a child, its only significance was the joy of sharing gifts with those I loved. As it turns out, the ancient spring festival of May Day is an astronomical holiday, as May 1 falls roughly equally between the March equinox and June solstice.
As it turns out, I find myself feeling quite in the middle of things these days. l'm considering embarking on a few new enterprises I've been researching. I'm moving onto the Board of an organization I love, and considering letting go of a volunteer activity I have cherished for several years. I find myself quite in the middle of the road regarding my political views, as well as regarding how to best address the issues we all face.
Being in the middle of so many things at once often makes my head spin, and can cause me to become a bit paralyzed. While there is much to be done regarding each of the paths I am on, finding myself in the middle of many divergent, yet sometimes connected, often criss-crossing life journeys can cause me to become so muddled that I simply stop everything and do nothing.
While doing nothing may seem like a waste of my precious resources of time and energy, sometimes it is the only solution, as I simply cannot decide to which of my endeavors I will devote those resources. When I find myself in this situation, I try not to expend my extra time and energy on mundane tasks, but rather, to let myself linger in the moment, to allow me to find my way back to my life's work, whatever it may be. This freeing of my mind, body and spirit usually helps me resolve where to begin again, and to move from the middle of it all toward my ultimate purpose.
What is the significance of May Day? It is a day in the middle, a day to linger, and to find peace in the middle of life, in order to go forward again. Why not celebrate it by giving someone you care about a small gift, like spring flowers, to bring joy to them and to you?
Happy May Day!
author of "JOY"