Small Moments

Small moments in time.

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We experience many such moments each and every day.

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I try to capture these through my words and my pictures. Sometimes it works. And those moments are caught. Their meaning, their essence, and their grace shines through radiantly and perfectly.

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While away for Christmas with my family, I saw and I felt and I experienced, so many of these small and wondrous moments.

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Here are my pictures of those moments. I hope that they convey the joy, the warmth, the love, the beauty, and the magic of how I am feeling this holiday season.

It isn’t necessarily the grand events or big moments that are the most memorable…

Instead, sometimes it is the small moments in time, that warm our hearts and bring us peace.

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Lightness

It’s hard after Thanksgiving to feel light. The bountiful food and drink. The rich desserts and snacks…leave us feeling quite heavy and full.

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At the same time, there is a feeling of lightness that comes from being with those we love. Celebration and gratitude. A season of thankfulness and giving. We think more of those things in life that truly matter. Our troubles, our burdens and worries weigh a little less on our shoulders. It’s whats in our hearts that lift us up. All is well. Our spirits are replenished with the gifts of love and light.

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I love the light. The light that is around us and the light that is within us. Light that is simple and complex at the same time.

Like a prism…reflecting color from a single beam of light…bending and spreading moving outward

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Much like the lightness of our souls. Reaching out to those around us. Light that embraces and soothes…

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Enriching our days and brightening our nights.

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Its brilliance dazzling and multifaceted

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The lightness of love, around us and within us…

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Coming Home

The word home means so much to us and encompasses so much of our lives. For most the thought of home means warmth, contentment and happiness. It is a place that is safe haven away from the harshness of the outside world.  We have many homes that we remember; our childhood home, our first home away from home, our first home that we own, and raise our own children in. Some (lucky them!) have second homes where they go to rest and rejuvenate.

My parents' home

My parents’ home 

But home isn’t the actual physical house or building, it is the people inside that home, that truly make it a place we want to be.  It is the feelings we have when we are there that make it home. It is the love and relationships that make any place a home.  They say home is where the heart is…and I know this to be true.  It doesn’t matter how big or small, what neighborhood it’s in, whether its old and run down or shiny and new. Home is where our heart dwells.

Most of us have (and will have) lived in many homes during our lifetime. Perhaps some of them were truly homes and some were just houses… Life is like that. Life is also about changes. Changes that involve moving or relocating. Circumstances, jobs, relationships, age, death. Illness, children… So many reasons that our houses and homes change.

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To me, home is any place I can be myself. A place that brings me peace and serenity. It’s any place where I feel love and am loved. It is a place I look forward to returning to…whether for a visit, or forever.

I’ve found over the years, that I form attachments with the places I have lived.  I think this is because of the effort, thought and time we put into our houses, to turn them  into homes.  I believe most people do. For me it began with my first apartment and the little bits of decorating I could do to make it my own. To our first home and the birth of my son and the nesting all new mothers do. Creating a space for him as well as for us as a family. The move to the bigger house with great schools. The lovely old farm house in need of TLC. The selling of the farmhouse, and the move to a condo…that never quite felt like home. And now, perhaps the biggest move in I’ve made in quite some time.  My nest empty….and a wonderful opportunity to move into a new home that is full of love and so much more…

What I Will Miss

My son.

For 18 years he has been my life. For the last 12 years it has just been the two of us, finding our way together….through the ups and downs and twists and turns of growing up and living. My smart, strong, kind, handsome, funny, friendly, happy, exasperating and drive me to the looney bin son, will be going off to college in just a few days. A new beginning, for both of us.

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Life is going to be different. There are so many emotions that I am feeling and will feel. He’s very excited. I can see it and I’m excited for him. But I can also see beyond that and know that he is nervous.  I am nervous for him too. But I have great faith in him. I am very proud of the young man he has become.

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There is so much I will miss

Time spent together…

The silliness…

Even more silliness…

Football…

Lacrosse…

Being a Cougar mom…

Team dinners, parties, and celebrations…

The boys…

The piles of laundry, the grocery bill, the arguments, the sweaty smells after a game, the gas money, the rap music, the mistakes and the learning, the growing up…

I hope I have raised him well. I hope that I have prepared him for this grown up world. I hope he always says please and thank you. I hope that he is happy. I hope that he follows his heart,  I hope he knows that I am always here for him, and I hope he always remembers how much I love him.

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Grief

We said goodbye to Elijah today. The church was filled beyond capacity, spilling out into the hallways and stairs and onto the green outside. So much sadness, heartbreak, tears and grief. This amazing young man, who died too young, and his family… Loved so deeply by all those who know them.  We are grieving for them and with them.

The depth of this grief surprises me.  He was not my son. Yet he was all of our sons. They are not my family. Yet our community is a family.  So perhaps it shouldn’t surprise me. Perhaps I should just know. We all lost someone today. We are all in mourning.

Grief also remind us…of past losses. It brings the pain and sadness we thought was gone, back into our hearts. And so our tears are tears of remembrance too. We grieve again for those we loved and lost.  Grief it seems,  is not something that really ever goes away. It’s within us always. It changes us, subtly and not so subtly.  It lingers in our hearts, forever.

Today, I grieved again for Michael. My husband, the father of my son Paul, who died from cancer when Paul was only six. The pain of that loss sat with me in the church this morning. It stayed with me all day. And the memories came back.

The memories of those we have lost are a part of who we are forever. Michael will always be a part of me and my life changed in many ways for loving… and losing him. I see him everyday in my son.  But I haven’t felt the grief again until today.

I wonder if there was still some grieving left to do?

12 years ago, in the blink of an eye, I became a widow. I also became a single mother.  We had just bought an old farmhouse the year before he died. Suddenly it was all so overwhelming. I cried every night. I took care of my son everyday. I remember wondering how I would do it all?

I think I put my grief on hold. I hid it away so that I could be a mother, a teacher, a homeowner, a daughter, a friend, a sister. I pushed it down inside.  Deep down where I thought it would stay. But grief is not like that. It must be felt. It must be experienced. It must be allowed to be.

My tears are for Elijah, but they belong to Michael. My heart is broken for Elijah’s family, but it is also breaks for my son.  I am in mourning. This time I will grieve.