Friday, February 3, 2012

up where the air is clear

january was a rough month for me, and chuck full of irony. i really applied my mind to optimism - i made a mighty effort towards personal change, praying, reading, meditating, listening, petitioning the lord for more light and love. and for all those efforts there was opposition at every turn and darkness and discouragement aplenty. i had a spartan few victories, but in nearly every instance where life presented me a chance to respond with love and patience, i responded poorly, with anger and haste and uncontrolled emotion. my kids fought like cats. i was unusually impatient with nate, the culmination of which resulted in a very raw conversation in bed the other night in which he asked, "why don't you like me anymore?" i looked at him, doe-eyed, knowing how completely i deserved that question, feeling stabbed and speechless notwithstanding. i scraped for an explanation, but nothing made sense. all i could say was, "i know exactly why you feel that way. i'm sorry. i do like you; i love you. so much. but i've been horrible and i don't even know why."

and that was the overall flavor of january. really hard and frustrating and quite dreary on the homefront, frankly. so i am thrilled to close the door on month one and throw my arms open wide for february. three days in and things are brighter....i wonder about whether that's just psychological hocus pocus, the sensation of a fresh start. but it feels more substantial, like the love i prayed for last month is starting to flow - and how aptly timed to begin a noticeable trickle during this month of pink and hearts and cupid.

i know better than to think things get easy and all better with a turn of the calendar; i'm sure there will continue to be opposition and shortcomings, but this new month brought new light and new courage - and i need both.

today i needed time with my kids, time for love and smiling and approval. so i kept henry home from school and we packed a picnic and hiked up roxyann.

this is what the afternoon felt like: adventure bathed in sunshine. technicolored and magical.

southern oregon looked so beautiful! feather clouds in the blue, blue sky
i cannot take self portraits on the phone without looking tweaky and weird
we spent over an hour at the top, climbing around on the rocks, eating our sandwiches and drinking our juice, petting fellow hikers' dogs, and picking out favorite landmarks in the tinyness below. i could not have been more proud of my kids; they were troopers. helpful and happy and excited for an adventure. their little legs got tired on the way down, so i distracted them with disney trivia (i'm thinking of a character on cinderella...).
ever an imaginer, henry insisted on wearing a boy-scout shirt, bringing a backpack full of tools - field journal, hammer, calculator, fingernail clippers (??), scarf, and the smokin' barrel plastic rifle strapped on the side. i questioned whether or not he could pack all that stuff to the top of the mountain. i told him he had to carry it the whole way and asked if he was sure he could do it. he assured me that he could. and he did.

thanks for the sunshine, february.


  1. Oh bless your honest heart, Em. I am so grateful for your candid words. I think mostly because I can relate. We've all been there and sadly we return from time to time.
    You are such a lovely mother and wife. Don't be too hard on yourself.
    I think you're simply wonderful, dear friend :)

  2. I needed to read this today. I love how honest you are and it is so nice to know that someone as wonderful as you still deals with real mom problems. I have had a conversation with Dave that was almost identical to your conversation with Nate. Being a mom tests my patience almost every day but I wouldn't have it any other way. I hope your February is wonderful!