"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Showers of Light


Like scouts for the Perseid meteor showers due later this month, bits of light flash across the sky of my life. At first I notice one or two shooting stars and they barely register as extraordinary: several days of sunshine in a row, the scent of petunias playing around my head as I relax on our patio.

Then they start to occur with regularity, streaking through with little time between, impossible to register anything but wonder and joy.

A breakfast yesterday with a fairly new friend in which the conversation was deep and satisfying—vulnerable and intimate. As I left the restaurant, running into two former and beloved students and their mom and a sister I can hope to have in a couple of years—hugs and happiness and warmth. From there to coffee with a friend with whom my relationship has grown this summer from an occasional pleasure to a constant source of comfort.

With time to spare before an afternoon appointment, I decide to get a pedicure. My first in two years. A luxury I'd decided to forego along with many other luxuries to better afford my leave time. Sitting in the big black throne of a chair with a breeze dancing through the open door to Enya's voice while my feet and legs are given gentle care. Walking out with a lighter step and purple toes.

More time to spend as I wish. An awareness that time freedom is the greatest gift of all, and soon will be even more precious to me for its rarity.

I go to an office supply store. The fall of my first year of leave, this is what I missed most: having a reason to lose myself in the world of paper and pencils and post-its, and to bring home an abundance of treasures from that place. Yesterday I gave myself that gift. Meandering each aisle as though visiting a familiar trail in the wilderness. Grinning with delight at new choices and products. Starting with a basket, which I quickly trade for a cart, and fill.

At my appointment, finally, hearing myself say, "I have hope." Surprising us both with the words and the depth of the truth underneath.

Coming home to a frantically happy dog and complaining cats, Walt gone to a day of golf, sitting on the patio in the last of the day's warmth and feeling nothing but gratitude.

Each event a clean flash of light, barely faded before the next one follows. As though I were actually lying in the grass of my field watching the shower of miracles, I feel held by the earth. Safe. Grounded. One with it all.

The Perseids are at their most spectacular in the darkest hours of night just before dawn. Bits of rock, distant cousins to the sun, ignited by the speed of their travels, announcing like the Star of Bethlehem the arrival of a new beginning.

photo by Mell P from Planetsave


31 comments:

Dee Ready said...

Oh, Deb, to be the first to comment on your gracious blog! Gracious because it is overflowing with gratitude for the life you live today. Your past touched it and well as your future. Your writing is a shower of light--just like the Perseid meteorites.

DJan said...

How lovely and perfectly said, Deb. I read it twice to get all its essence to fill me up. Thank you for helping me start my day in the spirit of gratitude for all that surrounds me with love and light.

Jessica Nelson said...

Woohoo for hope! I love this post and hope your days continue to be showered. :-)

Linda Hoye said...

A beautiful post, Deb. I love your expression of gratitude for simple things. It is something I am focusing on more these days too. Hugs.

Richard said...

You're an expert at living in the moment.

Barb said...

As you appreciate each moment, more of the same comes your way. Smiles to you, Deb!

Sandi said...

Deb, it seems you had a day that was truly one gift settling on top of another. I'm so glad you were bathed in those showers of light, and able to rejoice in each one. A treasured day to hold onto.

kario said...

What a boon to be available to receive all of those gifts! I love it when I'm in the space to just let wonderful things flow over me and bathe me in love.

And I have to laugh at your office supply store experience. Eve has an admitted office supply fetish and is giddy when she can buy pens and pencils and post-it notes and show them all off and try them out at home.

May today be another "flow" day for you.

Love.

Retired English Teacher said...

Thank you for sharing your awareness of showers of light that were gracing your life with us. As I read this, feeling rather hopeless myself because of continuing health issues, I felt as if I were showered with the light that you were spreading to the rest of us.

Buying pencils, notepads, scissors, and the perfect pen, are the first of the school year rituals that I miss. Such activity is filled with hope, excitement, and anticipation. I remember the joy of setting up my classroom each year. These are the little joys of teaching that other professions must not have.

It seems you have made peace with where you are today. With that peace, it seems gratitude overflows from your soul to teach and touch the rest of us.

Wanda said...

How rich and full!

JenniferL said...

Just absolutely loved reading this. Beautifully written and thought out. I too love getting lost in the aisles of paper supply stores - is that a writer/teacher thing?

Love you!

deborahjbarker said...

Thank you for letting us follow you through your day Deb - every part as spectacular as the meteorites in its own way. Hope - that is a wonderful word :-)

yaya said...

Although I'm not a teacher, you described how I felt each new school year..the ritual of buying the supplies, the new pencil case, the spiral notebooks with all the empty pages that would be filled with all the wisdom I could stuff in there! You made me feel I was with you on that glorious day. Now, I want to go outside and look for shooting stars!

Julia said...

I still get excited about school supplies. I want to stop at all the great deals and stock up. My garage is full of such items. I'm retired and not ever going back. Just for the record I love back to school! It's just not for me anymore.

Stacy Crawford said...

There is nothing like a teacher store to get you excited for the school year. I'm glad hope is peaking at you.

Wanda..... said...

Love days like that, the freedom to enjoy just being, when gratitude just slaps one in the face! I'm looking forward to seeking mail art items at the local office supply store soon!

patricia said...

This is so uplifting. That you could have hope, means I can also have hope. You are precious, my friend!

Teresa said...

We see hope in your words and gratitude. But I already knew it was there in your steadfast spirit. When people speak through their pain, strength and courage either shows its head or not. Yours flickered.

PS I love office supplies so much, I think me has a problem. :)

Charlene: the Polarblogger said...

"The Perseids are at their most spectacular in the darkest hours of night just before dawn."
Same with life. During the most difficult times in our life, such bits of blessings that we receive become "spectacular" for they light up our life when we are in darkness.
I love this analogy and the way you presented your blessings.
I also used my experience in watching the Leonid meteor showers years ago (they called it meteor storm that year) to describe my blessings.
Thanks again for sharing your heartwarming experiences.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

"hearing myself say, "I have hope.""

How lovely to hear you say that. The Perseids are always most brilliant on my birthday. While I lie on the ground watching this year, I'll think of you.

Out of My Mind said...

Every day is a gift with which we should do our best to glean as much joy and delight from it as we possibly can. It seems to me that you did just that. kt

#1Nana said...

Since I retired I have enforced a ban on purchasing stationary supplies. I still have a lifetime supply of post-its in a plastic storage tub in my back bedroom. But now my granddaughter is starting first grade and her mother gave me the pleasure of taking her back to school shopping...finding the perfect princess backpack and coordinating lunchbox, ahhh joy! I hope she lets me go with her every year until she graduates from college!

Bask in the light, I'll be thinking of you as I watch the stars fall from the sky from my hottub.

Linda Myers said...

I need to remember to go outside and watch the showers. Not just read about them.

LauraX said...

So beautiful dear one...the last paragraph wrapped right around my heart. I will be away for a week and won't likely have internet access...but will check in on you when I come home.

Blessings to you radiant friend.

Sharon said...

Blessings to you, Deb, as you bring your gifts and most of all your self to a new group of students.

Pam said...

Just by reading your posts here at Catbird Scout, I learn a lot about life, how to manage it,observe it, and appreciate it more.
Thank you Deb for always being so willing to share your thoughts with us. Your combined strength and gratitude shines through in this 'shower of light' post.
Lucky students to have such a wise and wonderful teacher. xx

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

This is a very uplifting post. I love the simplicity of life being described as gracious as you did. That's the way we feel about life when our heart is filled with gratitude.

Deb, you were one of my supporters during the A to Z project, and I want to say THANK YOU for your kindness and encouragement.

Blessings.

Doris

Janna Qualman said...

All those little bits of light are why life is worth living. I loved this post, Deb.

And I have hope, too.

Warm thoughts of you, friend.

kt said...

Well, kiddo, if you could see what I wear on a regular basis you wouldn't say that.

kt

Amber said...

All of this, and much more, should be yours. It makes me smile.

ox :)

Kathryn Grace said...

I rejoice in your pleasure, give gratitude to all that conspired to feed your heart this day.