Saturday, March 26, 2011
Of Waiting Well
I'm going to rerun this one from 2007. It's about waiting well, and ohh, I have not been waiting well for Spring. Uh, no. (She says, hanging her sorry head.)
Just checking in... I'm still reeling because of what choosing contentment can do and feel like and change. These summery mornings are cool and exciting again and I have all these plans for our current house, projects galore (mainly painting furniture and knick-knacks an aged sort of white). And I'm anticipating more yard sales and estate sales with Tom (we visited tons last weekend and just enjoyed being together) and yesterday found me at Salvation Army's half-price day, fingering piles of white china and glass vases and fluted custard dishes.
My previous discontent was rather like that, "...a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump," verse and yes, I'd become one large lumpy complainer. But what a grand difference to choose to go there no longer... to leave the future alone and instead, brighten and make sweet my present. Bloom where I am planted and all that.
Anyway, I am actually already rereading Thoughts of Home after having bought and read the sequel, If These Walls Could Talk. Both books are perfect summer books, and well, there's a paragraph from the essay, The Love Nest, which I want to share with you. The author describes how she felt when she and her husband moved out of the home where they'd raised their family, this after a time of clearing away and cleaning out and asking their grown children to come and haul all their stored stuff away:
"By moving day, the feelings had spent themselves, and as Our Van was taking things away to storage and Their Van was bringing things in, I felt light of head and heart. I felt footloose and emancipated and about twenty-five years old, something in me had shifted into another gear. It has been this way from that hour. Miraculously for both of us the letting-go was swift and complete, accompanied by a huge surge of energy propelling us toward the new, the uncluttered, the small."
My eyes widened when I discovered that paragraph because it described how I've felt since Naomi, at 25, moved into her own place. And I guess I've been shocked ever since to have felt so free over something I'd dreaded, at times, over the years--the saying good-bye not just to our daughter, but to a whole era from my life. But like many things, this was one which could not have been foreseen until it was experienced, no matter how much I'd read or heard about others' experiences.
And just this whole thing of "waiting well" has reminded me of the years when a teen and young adult Naomi could not seem to appreciate my tendencies toward, and love of, all things domestic. She often hinted that Life's best things were ones you garnered outside of home... that because I didn't have a real job, I knew nothing about the real world... that washing dishes and gardening and sewing slipcovers were for those who had no life.
And of course, that hurt, especially when all along I'd hoped she'd come to appreciate, if not all things domestic, at least the fact I stayed home and did them to sweeten life for the three of us.
But I waited anyway, hoping she'd see the light--that so often the small domestic things are amongst the best things in life. Yet I did not always wait well, and that is my regret today... that I saw the present and feared the future would look the same. Oh, sometimes I trusted God to keep Naomi from crossing totally over to that side of humanity which sees us homemakers as wastes on society... but other times I waited in fear and discouragement and without a whole lot of hope.
If only I'd have waited well for Naomi these past ten years or so... She is becoming domestic around her home in her own creative ways, making me often smile. She visits Salvation Army on its half-off days and finds cute curtains and couch pillows and dishes and then arranges them when she gets home. And too, she loves to cook healthy meals inside the blue glass casserole dishes I gave her.
And you know? I've not even planted a vegetable garden this year, at least not yet. But this weekend Tom and I stopped by at the yard sale Naomi and her neighbor were holding together and what did we see in front of Naomi's half of her duplex?
A vegetable garden... with tomatoes and squash and the strawberries she'd asked me to let her bring home from our yard... and the lemon balm and purple basil from back there, too. She walked us around her garden's edge, told us about each plant and even asked for advice about how to make things grow...
... and I thought, if only I'd waited well while waiting for this.
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant." ... Matthew 25:21