Thursday, August 18, 2011

little wings

on.a.summer.walk

In a matter of days what has been an extraordinarily good summer will officially change into something that I am going to, for now, optimistically categorize as just late summer. With the four middle children off to their schools since Monday, I have insisted that summer is not quite over yet. Juliana is home still, if only till this weekend, so I trick myself into believing that its not over. Roman will begin a school too, in his own little environment most days with other little ones .... which I am sure will be welcome to his nature, the little-one-of-many boy. I didn't quite wish summer away as I have in the past, exhausted with people, focused on making work work. And shockingly, everything worked out just fine. Every single moment here this warm stretch of 100 days or so, has been made up of the needs, wants, musings, cheer, cries, projects, messes, meals and laughter of so many people. This chorus of bodies has very often been overwhelming, with a business that doesn't seem to know how to slow down during the summer. But I do fear the absence of those bodies, although temporary in most respects, will have me missing the sort of mellifluous chaos, leaving me only to..... me. Who changes every day. And my work. Which changes along with me, and everyone else. Like stringy transparent tendrils swimming the dome of an octopus this way and that. Swish. Has it been a year since I drowned in this sorrow? It has. And those words have, each day, rewritten themselves into some other story. Not one of sadness. I don't know what exactly, but its a novel, and it moves, and grows with no definite stops or starts, and no ending. And while I felt as though I was leaving a cocoon on the other side of the country last year, this year, pardon the typical reference, I really do feel as though she'll be flying on her own there. And I feel lighter. And I imagine she might too. Knowing how this works now. That she goes. Only to come back. Just like Roman trusts that we leave him to be cared for, only for a short time, then we peek around the corner again, and he runs, keeping his eyes on our faces, tripping sometimes, with love and gratitude that we are back, belonging to him. And each of us is made whole because of the other. But gorgeous on our own..... currents of wind, or water, no threat to the strength of us.

photo taken by Juliana on a recent family hike

39 comments:

  1. Yes, Beautiful and so very full of love.

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  2. Tears of joy from a mother's pride in the amazing human butterfly YOU have become.

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  3. I love this line "And each of us is made whole because of the other." Beautiful!

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  4. Such power in those little wings... like your musings, lovely and strong.

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  5. love what you had to say here. beautiful. :)

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  6. So, was there a moment in your life when you said, "yes! I'd rather be a designer than a writer"--'cause let me tell you athelfi--you could have been a writer---oh wait--dang--you are that too!!:)

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  7. Such a lovely post Anna Maria and quite fitting way to move into late summer. As always , thanks for bring us along.

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  8. How beautiful! We're trying so hard to hold onto Summer right now, with school beginning here in just a little more than a week, we decided to put up our tent in the backyard to enjoy these few nights left together.

    I'm saying thank you to you on my blog today, if you happen to have a second. Thank you for your work, your constant inspiration, and your words!

    : ) Maureen

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  9. Beautifully written. Although the seasons change and our stories grow in ways we could not imagine, there are so many beautiful gifts in this life, aren't there?
    Thanks for sharing your gifts with us!

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  10. AW AM. I don't want to be in your shoes, saying goodbye. I guess its coming eventually though. Thanks for living it so beautifully and honestly.

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  11. Such good real beautiful heartfelt poetic words. Tears in my eyes. Enjoy your late Summer days. xx

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  12. Oh Anna, put my oldest son on a plane bound for several states away yesterday to start his college life. I remembered your post from last year. Hoped it wouldn't hit me so hard. It did. He just sent me a photo of his dorm room. With all the stuff from his room here. His parting gift, as he hugged me goodbye he told me he "friended" me on Facebook. Oh, Lord somebody hand me a tissue.

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  13. (hands tissue) oxoxo, Anna

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  14. Such amazing words - I feel priviledged to have read them.

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  15. Wow...thanks for sharing your words on this. I too had a daughter when I was young...she is a sophomore at UW-Madison right now. The older post you linked to really touched me because we seem to have had a similar path. Oh, and having preschoolers still at home too! :)

    –Cassandra

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  16. My eldest is twelve, so we're not quite to college yet, but I sure appreciate this!!! I was 20 when I had her, so there are definitely some similarities between you and Juliana. Thanks for the beautiful words and photo!

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  17. It's so hard to articulate. My oldest is 20 and beginning his senior year in college. Each time I have to say goodbye to him seems to make me cry more. My heart aches to have him nearby. I miss him and miss seeing daily the man he is becoming. I also WANT him to have his life at college a few states away to become the man God wants him to become. I left for college and never looked back, but I want to have a different relationship with my kids (four more after him) than I had with my parents. It may be the fear of not having that different relationship that makes the tears flow so burning hot.

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  18. Very beautifully said, no one knows unless they have been a mother and had these experiences. The photograph is beautiful!

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  19. A very beautiful meditation.

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  20. You have such an amazing way with words!

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  21. Very moving posts! My own little ones will both be in school next fall and I know it will be a bittersweet transition. I remember crying when I was dropped off at college. thanks and best wishes.

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  22. ah. Love this post. Beautiful words spoken from a beautiful heart.
    xo, Cheryl

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  23. you write beautifully. from the heart.

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  24. Anonymous1:39 AM

    i am on the other side of the world in Australia, coming out of a very cold winter moving into spring, whats ending for you is starting for me - lovely words! donna

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  25. oh Anna - so beautiful!

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  26. I wish for a sliver of the grace that fills your heart and mind. Your "ramblings" as you call them never fail to shoot straight to my heart and leave me feeling that you my friend, have got it going on in that sweet heart of yours. Thank you so much for sharing...

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  27. My oldest of four starts kindergarten tomorrow. What a flood of emotions it brings! I love this post, and I especially love the post from last year.
    You are a very talented writer.

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  28. "...keeping his eyes on our faces, tripping sometimes, with love and gratitude that we are back, belonging to him." what a beautiful phrase. It brought back such vivid memories of picking my own son up at daycare. I think you've captured the "empty nest" feeling so beautifully! I have just one "baby" who will be 30 this year and has his own place. Throughout the years, when he'd visit his dad or his grandparents, and then when he went off to college, I was often totally at a loss with what to do with myself. By the time he moved to his own place though, I was ready. I miss him, but I thoroughly enjoy his visits.

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  29. Gorgeous. Thank you.
    I needed this today.
    (another)Anna

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  30. American summers sound so delightful. in the state of Australia that I live in school summer holidays start just before Christmas and end at the start of Feb - roughly six weeks. Not long enough!

    Wow a year since you posted that story already! Doesn't seem possible.

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  31. My first born is leaving for college in a few days, and I just really appreciated reading your thoughtful, beautiful descriptions of the process of growing up and away! Somehow the butterfly reminds me of him needing to spread his wings! Thanks AnnaMarie! sniff!

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