sprinkles of faith

I took this photo when we were up north in July. I don’t remember what building it was on, and I don’t know what is behind it, I just liked the way the door looked painted red against a backdrop of crumbling, beige cement. And the truth is, I’d rather not know what’s behind it because not knowing allows me the opportunity to imagine whatever I want. Maybe there’s a trapeze school in the building, people soaring through the air, reaching out toward polished swinging bars, learning to let go and fly. Or maybe it’s the storage room for an antique carousel, a forgotten treasure of beautiful hand-painted prancing horses, leaping bunnies, and roaring tigers, waiting to be discovered and restored. Or perhaps it’s the world’s biggest ice cream parlor, a palace of stainless steel and white marble where colorful sprinkles and chocolate chips fall from the ceiling like rain into bowls overflowing with delicious, lactose-free ice-cream!

Of course, there could be something scary behind that door, something that might even break my heart. I know that too, we all figure that out sooner or later, don’t we? But sometimes we have to open the door anyway, say yes, when we really want to say no. No, not today. I can’t. I’m afraid, or maybe I’m simply too tired. Those are the days we have to take one small step forward, say a quick prayer for sprinkles and bunnies and the strength to let go, and have faith that we are not as alone as we feel.

“Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. An lo, no one was there.”

budding diva

When I saw this week’s theme on iheartfaces was, “Best Face Photo from Summer 2011”, I thought of this capture of my little niece right away. Olyvia insisted on keeping her binky, and wearing her warm and cozy Dora hat in the pool while she swam. She was head-to-toes pretty in pink on that hot summer afternoon, and we envied not only her fun fashion sense, but that innocent sense of freedom to be and act and dress any old way she wanted!

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” ~Pablo Picasso

birthday boy

Today is my son’s birthday. He’s a dad now, with two little ones of his own, and yes, I watch my baby hold his babies and I wonder how we got from there to here so quickly. Of course, I was warned. By my mother and grandmother and aging aunties; I was told to gather the tender moments from the childhoods of my two children and hold them close because they would fly by. And I tried, I really did. But there was housework to do and bills to pay, a marriage to maintain and health problems to overcome, and before I knew it I was sitting in a hospital waiting room looking forward to holding my new granddaughter in my empty arms. The greatest joy of being a grandparent is that you get one more chance to honor the precious days of childhood as you watch your grandchildren grow up, and as an added bonus, you do it armed with a good night’s sleep and a little more wisdom. I think of my mother on days like today, dancing with Andy at his wedding 6 years ago, her head on the shoulder of her first grandchild and I know exactly what she was thinking…how did we get from there to here so quickly?

bee happy

The hydrangeas in the front yard are in full bloom now, the weight of the flowers causing the stems to bow and reach toward the ground for relief. I was thinking about change earlier today, it’s in the air here in Michigan. The days are growing shorter and last night autumn tiptoed by me as I sat out on the deck reading, the cool night breeze chasing me inside for a sweater. The older I get, the more I believe that the most important trait survivors have in common is the ability to adapt and change. We all have expectations—for our relationships, for our careers and financial well-being, for our health and the health of our loved ones. But life doesn’t necessarily meet our expectations. As a matter of fact, you can be damn sure it won’t meet all of them! So that leaves us with a choice, become bitter and sad and live in a perpetual state of disappointment and unease, or surrender and change your expectations. It’s not easy, and you don’t get there by just saying you want to, it takes time and maybe even a few passing years. But you can get there. Change is good, you may have to bend a little to embrace it, but that’s okay, you won’t break.

“The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.”  ~Japanese Proverb

pool time

Getting lots of use out of the pool during this hot, hot summer. That’s my sister’s granddaughter in the warm and wooly Dora hat. It was 90 degrees outside but she insisted on wearing it, even in the pool! I’ve been reading quite a bit this summer, doing some writing again, and working toward self-publishing one of my books. Favorite Aunt Janet keeps asking me about my novels and bugging me to, “put something in print so I can actually hold it in my hands and read it!” So that’s what I’m going to do, but don’t tell her, I want her to be surprised when she opens a package from Amazon next month and pulls out my book!