Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The dreams may lead.

We're playing hide and seek and I can't find my friends. I curl in a ball close to the sandbox and rock myself into a tizzy. Why was all the little kinders always smarter and faster than me?
I just want to be good.
Please let me good at this game.

I run fast.
They hoop and holler.
Makeshift slingshots of pinecones and pebbles whip through the air. But they miss me. By a long shot. Sailing through the forest around our little kindergarten. With long red pigtail braids spinning helicopters behind me. Not giving up until all of the kids are too winded to follow pursuit.

I grew up needing approval.
Soaking in every look from a teacher, note from a friends parent, spelling bee medal, winning track meet ribbons, and race congratulations. Along with every card in their envelopes and post it notes from friends and family. They were all cherished in pretty boxes brought along through countless moves. Eventually it was a turn of the page in my chemistry textbook while my marks struggled to stay above B. Flagpole prayer meetings and testimonies finished my grade 12 year with barely a passing grade to Graduate.

Is everything in life worth fighting for? I grew up believing that my life's worth depended on someone else's approval. If I wore the most modest clothes and was seen but not heard.

I became an adult cringing from the tender touches and innocent displays of love. Frightened of the dark and what lurked behind closed doors. Trapped in a corner waiting for the right words to express what my heart wanted to express. Expecting what the closest family needed was for me to be more capable - less vulnerable.

And we're all spiraling down this tunnel of memories. Wrapping our wounded hearts with see through gauze. Our vulnerability closer to our souls so far all our own.
We all have scars from the pain of being misunderstood.
We all have questioned our worth.
Surround yourself with those on the same journey. Daydreams may
lead to healing.

You & I are worth it.
We were made for magnificent things.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A call to my prodigal inner child.

I remember opening my arms and falling into waiting arms the night we arrived in that surreal safety net. The days ran together by then in what felt just like we stepped off earth and into another superhero galaxy.

My legs felt so long, heavy to lift and tired. Although I was tiny at 4 years old - I felt so tall. Towering over the world.

How do we measure the ache of longing? Time has hands that grasp us by the ankles. Diving into a deep blue sea of memories.
When we never get to the bottom no matter how deep we plumb. It's love that matters and treasures of truths unseen.

And it is in the morning as I write this - fast forward 30+ years.

I watch again a little part of me bound out of her room with too short jeans, too tight t-shirt, holey socks and chopped away hair. "Look Mom. Look at me! I grew. I'm 5!!" And instead of saying "Oh Azaelea you need to change..and let's do your hair" I just burst into a little dance with this little pixie to celebrate the wonders and joys of right now.

Last year (in May) we had an adventure. She looked me in the eyes - struggling to breathe. I knew it was urgent. It seemed hard to be careful not to speed, and then think positive in busy traffic. We arrived 2 hours later at the Children's Hospital. I had never been to Emergency there, and she could only breathe short gasps by then. "Hold me tighter please we need to run" I whispered. People were running with me through the parkade guiding us to the emergency doors. Then I tripped. Tripped through the doors, and landed with her secure in my arms on top of me.

I will tell you how this very moment was healing for me. An incredible turning point in my life's memory reel.

The nurses had her on a gurney with an X-ray machine, IV, and asthma meds through a mask in what felt like 90 seconds. Because you see: she was in a pediatric critical condition.
We stayed in quarantine for 4 days with a lot of progress.

It was in the middle of the night when nurses needed blood, her bed was wet, and meds were being transferred. She was so scared. When I just looked into her eyes and told her "I am so proud of you". Tears fell on her little body while she reached up to softly comfort 'me'. "I'll be ok. So will you, Mom."

She's intuitive already at this age. I see myself all over again in her. I scoop her up into my arms for an incredible embrace. The ones that she wraps her arms and legs around me so tight.. I squeeze right back. Put her on my lap and whisper "I love you" in her ear. Enjoying deep breaths of her morning hair. She'll stretch her arms out to the next person without letting me go. "Hug sandwich!"

Oh I know deep within me that these ordinary moments together are needed, and will be remembered far into the future.

In the dark of night whispers will remind me within my dreams. You know the ones? I remember being 'too small' and having nicknames that clung to my heart. But I'm older now and teaching our children the power of words. "So Mom when someone runs away how come you say (add emphatic hand gestures) Mom! Dad! Sweetheart! Son!" "Because they missed each other." I reply - as a matter of fact. There is no need to add the guilt or a question of "why on earth would you want to run away?"
She just seems to know already that everyone has a chance to be the prodigal child.

I'm starting to wonder what it would be like if I let go of those memories. That only have baggage attached. The tattered kind with the dog-eared books filling the cavity. Handles still hanging on by only one bolt. I'm starting to lean on the knowledge of *Honor your parents.* In my case it has been thoughts of - how do I do that? But the answer is in this prodigal lesson. In the innocence. --Go home.

Today I remember being 4 going on 5. I remember it all too well. But there seemed to be nothing to throws fits and bounds of joy towards.

I look back to that year of 4 years old. Starting to piece together where in history my foundation of parenting small children with big hearts actually exists. Watch my words. Open my arms and move forward. Is anything worth sacrificing joy?

So I keep learning this second time around. Because it is all a never ending story. A forward motion love. And I can look back with lighter baggage as I journey 'home.'

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Tell me your story please.

Waiting on a breathless prayer.

It’s just a cardigan I pull closer over my arms and across my chest. A security dawning myself as I glance over at another trigger, another spill. I've spent time hiding in the closet of life and have made masks out of mothballs that have been left from rovings of wool.

Instead of opening the floodgates. Finding myself from the depths of an ocean of words. I pull out of the closet - for a night - dawning a midsummer nights dream. Maybe one more night- thoughtful. One more distraction to bear the weight of heat.

I have courage, but I’m trying to wear myself small. The murmur of the weak made strong in the breaking. Bravery unknots all my fears of failure. I laugh, breathe deep..

Anxiety turns fear inside out. To become stronger than ourselves. All I have stirring are intentional answers all wildly rolled together. Breathless. Everything running all down…

In the beginning, yes, breathless. In the end all I remember is taking the first step.

This is the reason I've never dived in. Invited that scared little girl over for a playtime. Her courage is our story. And when a trigger is pushed she calls in the troops. The one who is her only testimony. Standing up to fight instead of cowering in the corners.

Courage lives in our heart. Encompassing all that is watering our soul.

The wine glass in my hand stains red and I hear the word-Enabled.

Something rises up in me and the red wine splashes the wall and a witness is wide eyed. All while a terror streams down the walls as the glass shatters..

My Mother was never enabled. Although accusations caused myself and her to be beaten until unconscious so many times that we eventually found the courage with the help of my young uncle. To runaway. Through ravines and hiding under parked cars. I was 4.

My first memory was my mother fighting a man off of me, and myself being spanked until I saw .. Well nothing. She was admitted in the hospital numerous times and the hospital staff contacted my Grandmother. A nurse at the time. My grandparents made the long trek to see us way up in the Northern tundra. 16 hours. Only to be told they were not allowed on the property. Not allowed to visit. No pictures. Nothing.

The story is loud, loaded and frightening. The story has faces and bodies ravaged by domestic violence and pedophiles.

But I will now tap into the courage that had always been there. Growing roots planted long ago.

I see the gentleness behind your eyes. The lack of judgement. The grace to accept all things wholly old & new. Immediately the exhale slowly releases the memories bound up tight.

Now in whispers I remember the reason we came to this place tonight. The adventurous heart is longing to be with the people. Listening to their stories. Giving them voices.. Again. Some for the very first time.

But chances are I may regret this. Opening pandoras box. This life is worth it.

Who will join me? Sit together perhaps with a screen between us or a coffee wafting warm and inviting. Daring the silence. Exploring the risk that terror will be reminded to be watered with tears.

And prayers match the grieving, the waiting and pursuing. All where my heart lies right now. On the outside looking in I want to wear who I am.

My friend thank you for seeing me.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Time after time I understand how many layers our hearts hold.

Our hearts hold layers just as a tree holds leaves. Each one falling slowly. Sometimes not at all welcomed, pushed along with the force of a gusty wind. Renewing our lives as we grow stronger and walk confidently. The roots grow deeper. Seemingly compared to the words we hear along the way. Carving and shaping not only ourselves but each one that we get to share our homes with.

This little pixie in the middle. We celebrate broken fevers, a sleep full night. A dry bed and an inch taller in her height. This almost 5 year old. I close my eyes sometimes and make wishes. One in which we will cherish these seemingly insurmountable accomplishments ~always.

When we travel through months & years of healing. Deep conversations sometimes hold the weight of the world. This moment:

Dear Son, I want to write you a letter. One that has taken a long time to write. I know that sometimes other people, even your friends, don't always have your best interests in mind. In your vulnerability more of your precious innocence has been lost. Your art was found in the wrong place. You are home with us, from school, to really let that sink in. To learn from this occasion. Thank you for your honesty. And for apologizing to all those that were affected. For this I am completely proud of you. We want to direct your art in a more positive direction. One day you'll know that we as your parents were there. And we understand. There are so many things tumbling around in my heart that I want to tell you. But for now let me sum it up: I love you. I appreciate you. I value your life. I believe you will lead an incredible life. An artist you are. You were created perfect by your Artist. Wholly, unconditionally loved. Please know always that you are not alone.

Love, Mom

Friday, October 12, 2012

'For Real' Baby Sling Pattern

This is from a very special request, and a go ahead from one of my dear baby wearing friends. A 'For Real' baby sling pattern has arrived for wee infants. ~Recommended for up to 15lbs.~ Carrying your baby in a sling will help you be hands free for many little tasks throughout the day as a busy mama. Baby slings are often made from woven fabric, such as hemp or fleece. This one is made from 100% wool yarn. The wool I use, especially for patterns, are found locally at the Custom Woolen Mills .

Enjoy a cozy cuddle while baby and you stay toasty during the often chilly months this time of year brings.

Beginners & Knitters everywhere can pick up this pattern with ease. Enjoy!

You will need:
-US size 10.5 (6.5 or 7mm) needles.
-2 skeins of Lopi or bulky weight wool.
-When selecting yarn for your baby sling, find a 100 percent wool yarn that felts well.
-An extra needle for bind off.

Cast on with long tail method -30st
Knit first row
Continue Stst (knit 1 row, purl 1 row) until it measures 8"

RS Kfb1 *K1 M1* cont. to last st Kfb1 (60st)
Purl first row
Cont. Stst for 30"

RS When garment is 37"
K2tog all across (30st)
Purl first row
Cont. Stst until the garment is 47" long.
*Cast off with 3 needle bind off

*Note: another option is to bind-off, then graft ends together, using a mattress stitch method.

Weave in loose yarn.

To give your finished sling more security, and you peace of mind, felt your finished knit sling. This will shrink the size down to give it more structure.

Have you ever felted? I assure you it's yet another hobby that gives satisfaction with the finished project. Plus there are many ways to embellish it to give an original appeal.

Felt the sling:
Place it in an old pillowcase and add it and a few pair of jeans (preferably) to a top-loading washing machine. Wash the sling in hot water with mild detergent. After the laundry cycle is finished, remove the sling from it's pillowcase. Then give it a really good tug into shape, and let it dry on a clean dark bath towel.

Happy knitting (& felting)!