Thursday, February 2, 2012

Looking back at the moments that matter most

The dark and the light.
Posted by Melissa Baumgart
Amy wrote that super sweet post yesterday, looking back on the past year with the blog.  I loved that picture of her ├╝ber healthy breakfast of yogurt, cashews and foraged blackberries.  As I read the post, I was touched by her sentiments and gratitude.  I was also harkened back to my own blackberries from that sunny September urban foraging trip.  Unlike Amy's wise choice to freeze her berries, I was heady with urban homesteading promise and knew I would be using mine up within days, if not hours.  Mine went right in the fridge.

Those damn blackberries ended up a juicy, rotten mess in the back of my fridge, to be found again sometime toward the end of September.  That's how it goes sometimes.  When you go all ovaries-to-the-wall (as a teach of mine used to say), you're bound to not succeed at everything.  This year, I have been really working through that lesson.  Learning that trying new things doesn't have to mean being good at them all.  It doesn't have to mean doing it every single day.  It doesn't mean that life stops and everything is set up for you to easily do these things you are excited about.

Life, the blog, being a parent, being a student, for sure being a wife...and basically being can all be a struggle.  But it is through that struggle; it is through taking new things on, being open to the unknown and jumping in with all your heart that you find unexpected places of beauty and joy.  You get to experience moments that you never knew were on your horizon, when you can stop and feel the wind in your hair, the sun on your face and know you are exactly where you should be.

I think that because I was able to face my fears, whether they were the embarrassment of failing or hiking up a mountainside; I was also able to have some pretty sweet moments.  Moments that I would not have had otherwise, sitting on my couch watching the Kardashians or some other addictively trashy show.

Here are some of those moments:

  • Driving through Winthrop, WA on the way to our campsite.  The sun was about to set, the air was cool, the music coming from the car stereo speakers was loud and moving, and I sang along like I was a kid again.  Seriously, that moment should be on a VW commercial.
  • Practicing Tai chi with a group of elderly women in a strip mall in Bothell, WA.  The simple humanity of these beautiful, elderly, everyday Americans touched me in such a deep way.  So unpretentious, so fragile, and still open to learning this ancient martial art.
  • Sitting by myself in a waiting room, for hours, with nothing to do and a ball of yarn.  I remembered a small bit of how to knit and I sat there and kept trying, over and over again.  I finally got it.  After watching A Perfect Storm twice, I had knit a couple inches of a scarf.  The pride I felt over this small accomplishment couldn't be shared with anyone since I was alone.  It was an unexpectedly sublime moment.
  • Feeling my legs shake all the way up the 23 foot ladder, certain that my sweaty hands would slip off the rungs above me sending me plummeting to my death.  Making it to the top and standing on the trapeze platform holding back the sobbing tears. And then, jumping, not knowing if I would be able to keep hold of the heavy trapeze bar.  The best part...the back flip after letting go of the bar.  
  • Sensing a bit of the magic in life, when after reciting our poems on a Seattle Metro bus, we met a homeless poet.  OK, maybe that's not so hard to do, but he heard us and joined in, reciting a poem of his own.  Here we were, people that may not have otherwise had reason to talk or connect, and we were reciting poetry together on a bus.
  • In Winthrop
  • And, of course, our photo shoot for Urban Homesteading.  Being creative, drinking mimosas and laughing.  We laugh a lot.  I felt like we were on a real life magazine photo shoot, only one of our photographers was a 6 year old.  
There are countless others.  I do hope many of you join us this year in our ever hopeful attempts at embracing life in new ways.  It's not always easy, but it is so worth it.

Thanks Amy, for joining me this year, I really love doing this with you.  Thanks to my family for all the hours you have to watched me at the computer keyboard, for having their birthday parties doing the blog thing of the month and always being happy to join in on the fun.   And thanks everyone for reading, supporting and encouraging me and the blog.  It truly means a lot.



Amy Baranski said...

Remember the snake!

Bob Redmond said...

"Up on Cripple Creek...!"