I recently whined to a friend that it seemed the only thing that anyone ever asked me to do was meet them at a restaurant.
It is true that restaurants can make for relaxed places to talk and enjoy the tradition of “breaking bread together.” But they can also be noisy, uncomfortable and extremely bad for my past-mid-life waistline.
Since that specific whining episode, this friend (we’ll call her Debbie) has asked me to do some really fun things that didn’t involve food and that I hadn’t done in many a year:
1) Bowling (I just barely broke 50 the first game and didn’t break 50 in the second—I laughed and laughed and had so much fun!)
2) Walking an upscale shopping mall (I usually avoid malls at all cost!); we giggled and were silly with our pondering the styles and colors that are so “in” and how “out” we would throw them.
3) And just yesterday we met at a paint-oriented hobby shop, having signed up for a three-hour class. (Thanks Deb for treating me.) In the company of six other women we attempted to paint a mountainous scene with flowing river and mature trees, using kid-safe acrylic paints and little tutoring. Chick-flick music, alcoholic drink and women-being-kids were our company. We laughed and laughed and had great fun.
And so I spent a good bit of today reflecting on the healing power of friends who enable the kid-in-us to laugh, and do, and be.
Yesterday evening my introverted self needed quiet time with a good book, much the same as elementary kids need a nap after time on the playground. And so I finished reading Sue Monk Kidd’s latest novel: “The Invention of Wings.”
I could write a blog about how deeply this book touched my heart, but I’d rather suggest that you read it. “The Invention of Wings” does more than personalize the 1800’s world of slave and free; this book does more than speak to the beginnings of women’s suffrage.
This book gifts the reader with the introduction of two historically-real sisters, and multiple other women, slave and free, whose stories were left out of ALL of my history books. Women’s history is missing from mainstream American history. I believe it will take women to correct this wrong.
Sue Monk Kidd shares a piercing quote that encouraged her to write this book:
“History is not just facts and events. History is also a pain in the heart and we repeat history until we are able to make another’s pain in the heart our own.” Read that quote more than once; let it sink in.
I spent a good bit of today reflecting on this quote; on this book.
And this morning I did not go to church. Even that life-ago when I attended church most Sundays, I avoided Easter. The Easter crowds and their offerings may be good for a church’s yearly budget needs, but not for me.
And this morning I did not go birding. During these last few years of spending a good bit of time in Texas State Parks, I quickly learned to avoid Easter weekend crowds (and Spring Break and Thanksgiving crowds). The Easter crowds and their day-pass purchases are definitely good for a state park’s yearly budget challenges, but not for me.
Instead I spent a quiet Easter morning at home, reading a bit from the book of Luke, Revelation and Genesis; and a bit more time with my Mountain Dulcimer and favorite Irish tunes whose titles would not be welcomed by a church choir.
I spent a good bit of today reflecting on the concepts of Paradise and the Tree of Life; on their symbolism that fascinates this nature lover.
And this afternoon I walked my hour walk at a favorite greenbelt. The walk was quiet, but the noise of earlier crowds was given-away by the broken boiled eggs and colored eggshells that littered the picnic area. This particular litter did not anger me. The raccoons and opossums and such would have their Easter feast this night.
I walked and reflected on this day. And walking did what it always does for me: it reminded me to walk past yesterday and walk toward tomorrow’s possibilities.
And this morrow the crowds will be at work; in school; and this One can take wing and go birding.