Who’s Garden?

Kenney & Josette 1944
Last Thursday would have been my parents’ 74th wedding anniversary. This coming February will be my grandparents, Marguerite and Alfred’s, 96th wedding anniversary. My mother has only been gone three years; her dad, Alfred, died eighty-one years ago.

My, oh my, where is my place in time? Now, for sure. At least I like to think so. This is an abundant time in my life as I reach out to friends, new friends step into my life, my creativity has moved to the forefront of my priorities. It was a luxury before, now that I admit how quickly my earthly clock is ticking, I realize it is now or never to write that novel (and the ones in the idea pipeline), ruminate and publish these blogs, choose the gigs I want to accept, and get my next award-winning CD done!

I am learning to release the things I wish I had done: been more present for my Mom when my dad was dying, then later when she herself was dealing with a cancer. When I did not follow up with a friend, who died before I got out to visit her. Talk about my, oh my: the times I did not protect my children. My son at a young age had to do many things on his own, including as a first-grader to ride a bus to daycare with older, mean-to-little-kids kids, and later, catch the bus way early a quarter mile down the country road we lived on.

Actually, that ‘what I failed at’ list is getting pretty long, so the things I did right is the list I’m thinking about now. And even better, the above to-do list. If I had known then to be more attentive, to ask more questions, to be more compassionate… famous last words.

“Commitments that are broken are those where there is non-alignment among mind, heart, and action, when one or more of these parts are not willing to participate fully,” Angeles Arrien.

I have come close to that understanding by saying when someone, including myself, didn’t follow through, it was because they were not ‘invested’ in whatever the project or commitment was. Dr. Arrien gave me a deeper understanding of this. And my commitment to others has often taken precedence over a commitment to myself.
This path of finding my place in time interests me more all the time. This is a path most of us revisit over and over at different stages in our lives.

Alfred & Marguerite 1923

The 74 year anniversary got me thinking. I have kept so many things, linens of my great-grandparents’, paintings of my grandmother’s, and keepsakes of my mom’s that I have no specific attachment to, however I think I am obligated to keep them because of my attachment to the people who were precious to me.

Surprise! Guess who was keeping all these things before me? Bonus prize: you’re right, it was my mom.
I am coming to realize what is mine and what is not. Big light-bulb for me. The precious part of those people is within me, which I can’t lose. It seemed the cardinal sin was to forget someone. God forbid I do something I am not supposed to do. Mary always does what she is supposed to do.

Sure, I have done well at lots of those things: my boss, Marcia, thought I’d do well in Drug Court. She was right, I did great. I also was a good optician, a good receptionist, a good office manager, a good counselor and advocate. I enjoyed doing those things, and know I did my best to help others; every now and then, a voice from those times will find me. I love that. Yet, those jobs were usually someone else’s idea. Even as I bloomed like a rose, which helped me learn and develop, it now seems I had been planted in someone else’s garden. If that was my apprenticeship – I’m good with that. Where is my place now?

In my own garden – of friends, stories, music, novels, CDs, and blooming again as my true self. The richness of all those previous experiences will deepen my creativities. I am learning to say Yes or No without worrying what others will think. I am learning to take nothing others do personally (oh yeah, this is ongoing!) I am learning to listen more deeply. I am learning to release judgments (okay, this is ongoing, too.) I am learning to trust and follow my heart’s calling.

Where is my place now? I’m not sure, however, I am delighted to follow the path. You are so welcome to come along~