Thursday, 25 November 2010
By Natalie Cole
The empty road with the wide expanse of the landscape in my eyes. Yes, I'm thankful for that space. Traveling with a Hoop's (11) and a Miss A (9) makes me thankful for fresh eyes.
"Oooooo. Look! Hoops gestured out the window. "Look at those beautiful trees. Look at the vine fields. They're all red and golden and they go on forever." His face was glowing with discovery. The sound of his voice lifted me, and I chuckled to myself that he'd called the vineyards, vine fields. Innocence can renew the soul .
We were on the road to visit my mom and The King's folks for a few days. I haven't traveled much with Hoops and Miss A. We've built more community here at home as the economy tightened our belts. It's been a good thing in many ways. They've had long distance communication relationships with their grandparents, but we all know, it doesn't replace face to face connections. Hoops and Miss A are the last grandchildren in a family that has older grandchildren who are having children of their own. I'm the youngest in a older family. We are spread out all over. I suppose you can put our family relationship in a nut shell. Timing. The King and I have accepted the timing we chose. You all know that I'm a huge fan of "Right now."
So...on the road with two children who still light up with the world around them to go visit my mom who wants her light to go out, and don't forget The Kings folks who are both in their eighties. The kids know that their time with these folks is precious. I was thankful for that too. Now, I wasn't sure how it was going to go, but I had decided that I was going to be more in the background for the visit. They know me already. It was a good choice. Youth and age. There I was in the middle, quietly taking it all in. I got filled up, renewed and enlightened.
My mom (89) wanted to reassure the kids that if she never saw them again, she wanted them to know she love them. She shared her favorite prayer and laughed when she couldn't remember it all. The kids surprised me by sharing what they remembered of the same prayer. They finished it for her and she glowed. She asked them if she was talking about death too much and if it was too serious for them. They both told her that it was okay. It took no prompting from me. They spoke to her from their hearts. They just let her talk. When she'd trail off or stare out into space, they'd wait. At times they'd look to me for answers to the silence. I'd smile and shrug my shoulders. The experience touched me to the point of tears at times, but it was good water.
We left town two days later and headed 90 miles up the road to The King's folks. We hadn't seen them in five years, and although they speak on the phone often, you can imagine the reunion. I think we hugged for about 15 minutes. Surrendering hugs. The kind that fills you. Offers up a healing for the soul. For the next 24 hours, I watched the kids and the grandparents share themselves. Laughter, joy, dances, songs and a bit of family history. I observed how unbroken our circle of love has remained all these years. The love outweighed the passage of time.
All too soon we were back on the road heading home. I found a radio station that had holiday music and we sang familiar songs, or just listened as we each sat in our thoughts of our world wind grandparent tour. Six hours later, we were home and hugging Teen Dude and The King. Off to pizza and more sharing and laughter. It's good to be home. I am thankful for the quieter me that took this trip. Thankful for the long stretch of road that allowed my thoughts to mingle. Thankful for the blank page to write, release, and share with you. I wish you all a happy start to your holiday season. May you fill the spaces with your own good timing that starts with "right now". May introspection allow a peace within you to grow, and may opportunities to laugh fill your heart.
(pats heart and points to you)