Monday, March 08, 2010

Contracting, expanding

My social network has shrunk since moving up here to be closer to my daughter and her children. This is no one's fault but mine as I have focused mostly on the unexpected transitions occurring within the past couple years, changes which were not part of the future I had planned when I chose to leave job, hometown, and lifelong friends. The cup was supposed to be half full. I even dreamed of an in-law cottage. Happy couple. Happy grandkids. Happy me.

Instead, there has been a lot of pain and loss. It's not easy to watch a marriage collapse and dreams dissolve. Perhaps the only thing of worth I can offer is my presence. At times, it does not seem enough. Yet, somehow, I've managed to stay on my feet and offer steady comfort during some of the darker moments. I can see this in the eyes of my granddaughters and hear it in my daughter's words of gratitude.

Suddenly, there is a bit of slack in our relationship. My daughter tells me to think of myself, to find what gives me pleasure. My granddaughters smile and lovingly tease me to worry less.

I show up at the local ice-skating rink to take videos of the girls. Jenn straps on a pair of ice skates and ventures on to the ice with Sophie and Hannah. The three of them surprise me. They are sure footed, less wobbly than I had imagined they would be. Even the youngest, Hannah, glides by effortlessly and with such determination. Occasionally, they fall down but bounce up quickly.

I am amazed at their grace and resilience. In my heart, I compare their skating to the larger life lessons they are learning: holding on and letting go, slipping, falling, getting up again, regaining balance.

Watching and waiting. Seasons of sadness but, recently, subtle changes for the better. More laughter, less tears. Something good is happening. I can feel it, sense it. There is a quiet strength rippling under the surface, something new waiting to be born.

My gaze returns to the threesome on the ice. They are finding their rhythm, their speed ... testing their wings.

Dare I think of butterflies?

I want to believe in Spring.


ARGZ BLOGZ said...

What a beautiful perspective from such a loving observer.

May your next adventures bloom with the crocuses and the daffodils.



Mrs F with 4 said...

The ONLY thing of worth you can offer is your presence? What more valuable gift could there be?

Kathleen said...

Such an uplifting post. Good news. YES!

dede said...

You are a true and loving Mater. What do we have if our girls are unhappy? I know what living a half life is all about. But if you were back where you came from and not with Jenn and the girls, you would be missing out on this wonderful chunk of Mothering you can offer.
I think you're right... good things are coming with spring.
xox dede

Lisa said...

oh! tears! yay for all of you!

love from one of your biggest fans :)


Jenn said...

Awwww. xo

Terry said...

Life goes on, and you are probably where you were meant to be. My mother always said her grandmother was her best friend as a child, especially after her parents split up. "Angel" may be more like it. Bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

xxx from Kirsty

nono said...

May it be a good spring for ALL of you. I hope you are able to walk that fine line of love and support, but move forward in your own personal journies as well. I don't know what I would have done without my mom's presence during my darkest times, but by the same token watching her now happily involved in a new relationship, and enjoying these later years of her life, she's giving me the hope that there are great things to come no matter my age. Life continues...just make sure to push yourself back into it.

Patti McCracken said...

I vote for butterflies.

Rita said...

You are a wonderful writer. I love how your heart is on your sleeve at all times.