I spent a lot of time waiting Saturday. I was waiting for a deer to walk out.  I sat on the stand almost all day with no real movement of wildlife at all.  The birds and squirrels were even remarkably quiet.

I spend a lot of time waiting every day, I think. Waiting for something to happen.  What do I think is going to happen?  I can’t even answer that question.  I just feel as if something is about to happen.  Something for which I need to wait.

Perhaps nothing is going to happen. What if I am just waiting?  What if I just sit waiting until my time has run out and the days of my life have gone?

I am not blindly waiting. I am expectantly waiting.  Waiting for whatever it is.  I believe I will know when it happens.

Meanwhile, I try to stay busy. Going to work, trying to keep up with the house, cooking.  I go with him when I can.  Hunting, fishing, riding in the buggy.  Whatever he does and wants me along.  (Which is anyplace except his recliner.)

I also spend time thinking. Mentally preparing for the something that might happen.  I think it might even be something no one else will see.  Maybe it will simply be a shift of my perception.  A change in my belief system.  Not even all my beliefs.  Just one or two.  Enough to make my entire world change.  The world I inhabit in my mind.

Sometimes I feel as if a big reveal is just about to happen. The curtain in my mind will fall away and I will see whatever it is I am supposed to know.  Maybe just the seeking is the happening.  It all feels strange and difficult to explain or examine.

What do I want? Peace of mind, contentment, purpose, a reason to spring out of bed every morning ready to start the day.  I want to know that it is good and well for me to want to be happy.  I want to know that it is good and well for me to want to love and be loved.  I want to know that it is good and well to be alive and well.

I struggle with a type of survivor’s guilt and with a sense of abandonment. I depend on him so much to provide emotional support.  I feel like an emotional vacuum at times.  I try to not cling to him overmuch.  Much of the time I want to curl up in his lap in that recliner and stay there.

One of the best things I have learned is that my feelings are not me. I was born terribly sensitive.  So much so, my grandmother called me “Squall-bags” for a nickname.  She always offered me a sugar tit.  After spending most of my life held hostage by my emotions, I am finally getting free of them.  Peace of mind is sure to come.  Eventually, purpose will emerge with contentment to follow.



Burning Leaves

I am finally getting a chance to rake the oak leaves in the front yard and burn them. I prefer burning pine straw. Oak leaves have to be stirred and coaxed and tended carefully if even slightly damp. I want things to be bright and easy and fun. I am not even planning to burn my pine straw. Rather, I am going to use it for mulch under the fig tree. Sacrifice immediate gratification for longer term satisfaction.

Am I talking about yard work? Sounds like life to me. Life needs stirring and coaxing and tending. Life is not often bright, easy and fun. And giving up something now can often mean something with a better return later. I would rather burn pine straw. But, we did work hard to clean out the fig tree. I don’t want to lose that progress. I have fought hard to get to a point in my life where I can write publicly.   Talking about life again, rather than yard work.

I have spent some moments recalling dark hours and years of despair. Despair driven by grief and self-condemnation. The one thing that has been most difficult to overcome is guilt. I have had to get over feeling guilty for being alive. My loved ones are gone. If they could tell me anything at all, I know it would be to live fully in their stead and be happy. To grab every opportunity to laugh and love and be joyous! Not trudging through life like burning oak leaves, but flaming brightly like burning pine straw. Bright and easy and fun at every opportunity. And get out and rake up the straw. Gather up the loved ones, make new friends, round up the old friends. Light the pile with laughter, food and drink, games, boat rides, buggy rides, skeet shooting, fishing, hunting, jumping into the river, snuggling newborns, romancing him.   Smell strongly of the smoke of memories made fresh and new, bright and easy and fun.

Sometime life will need for the oak leaves to be burned again. Meanwhile, burn the pine straw.

burning leaves

Smoldering, smoking.

Glowing, flickering.

Grieving, aching.

Loving, believing.