Sunday, April 4, 2010

When you're needing something else

Earlier this week we had a day that was warm-ish and beckoning, and after a few days of colder weather and coughs, I was really really ready to get out and feel it all. The mud. The walk. The stretch and wander of the mind. We wanted to look for mushrooms and wildflowers.  I drove us to our nearby state park and we headed off following Ani up and up and up, straight up a path and I was thinking, yeah, this is great! This is it! This is...
ah, Eliza is not following.  Too muddy. Too much. Too hard with residual coughing.  So we retreat, down down down, and wait, is she just heading for the edge of the lake? She wants to just poke sticks around and hunt for shells?
 Shoot, that was not what I had in mind. Not even a little bit. I moped. I sulked. I coaxed, wheedled and I might have even tried demanding, or something like it, but really they were not paying me even a moment's notice, because they were so into doing what they wanted to do.
These moments happen to all parents, I am sure of it, but I suspect it maybe happens with more regularity here because we are always together.  There are days when I cannot get my nature babies to put on any clothing and step out the door with me, and I've been known to huff and puff and finally shove my feet into shoes and go out to walk up and down our block a few times, just to Get Out (this is when I deeply wish for the Back Forty to wander).  Three people spending their days together sometimes have three different agendas, and there is a part of me (a very immature part) that sometimes gives a foot stomp and says, HEY! What about what I want to do??? And then I cool off and look at the reality of my day and how much of it, how the very basis of it, is actually exactly what I want to do and then I begin to figure out how to make What Is work for me.

On this particular day, after wandering the lakeside and cleaning up after the fishermen who frequent the shore (we've been reading about the damage discarded fishing line and lead sinkers can do to birds - we felt sad that it was so easy to fill up our plastic grocery bag), I headed us off to wander up a little hollow (holler, as they say here), and again, I'd not gone too far along the creek when I realized, again, that they were not behind me.  Nope, they were in the creek, "setting up our house"!
Finding stones for tables, bowls, sticks for spoons, brooms, picking onion grass for mealtimes, and hunting fossils, they were deep into their game and I was left huffing and puffing again.  So...I changed my focus and looked at my feet.
Trout Lilies - we'll have to come back to see these soon

Soon I was completely in my own world (well, not completely.  Mom, will you tie this onion grass onto this stick to make a broom? Mom, did you bring any snack? Anything other than apples and almonds? Mom, can we eat this plant?), not breathing deeply and sweating like I had hoped, but engaged in a sphere outside of my head, as drawn to the forest floor as they were to the the end we all got a little of what we were needing, which is the very best we can hope for some days!

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