Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lest we run into stormy weather

My kids had a great day today; they got to play with their cousin. Their 22 yr old, recent college graduate cousin, Chelsea! Chelsea joined us for the day, arriving 7 seconds after the last bite of breakfast was taken. She got to see the ebb and flow of our day. The good, the bad, the crying. It's how we roll over here. You gotta go with the flow, or you are going to drown. A walk down to our duckpond and the arrival of a flying little beauty helped give me the reinforcement I was desperately needing to hear. Let me begin...

I love taking note of my surroundings. I love when a cloud is alone in the ocean-blue sky, or when a troop of flowers is dancing in the breeze. I am especially fascinated by the symbolic meanings of animals and insects. Symbolic meanings? Huh? Ok, here's my take on creature symbolism...a cricket. You're not supposed to kill a cricket for fear of bad luck. Most people have heard this. Most creatures are symbolic, in one culture or another. These meanings intrigue me and I love the chance to relate a meaning back to my moments.

A dragonfly followed us home from the duckpond today. We took a walk down to the pond to see how it looked after last night's crazy storms. We saw the newly emerged lilypads, green in their splendor. I reminded the kids to walk quietly around the pond so we could hear all the frogs escaping from their sunbathing on the bank. We saved a tadpole that wandered to far from the safety of its wet habitat. We examined half eaten tadpoles and talked about the ecosystem and the food chain of the pond. And then Calum spotted it - the first dragonfly of the season. I'm not sure why this excites us but it does, and we're ok with our weirdness. We remembered last year when our front yard was swarmed by them. For a week straight and at dusk, our front yard would come alive with these beauties. Hundreds of them. It was glorious, and I was fascinated. I get excited just thinking about it!

Today's single dragonfly was an exciting sight and we left the duckpond talking about all the creatures that come and go, as the cycle of the seasons goes on and on. Imagine our surprise when we got home to find a solo dragonfly hanging out on our back porch. Now, who knows if it was the same dragonfly...the odds that it wasn't are just as good as the odds that it was. The mere fact in seeing two, looking pretty darn identical, was enough for me to take note. What was this dragonfly trying to tell me? There's always a lesson. A meaning. And this dragonfly carried a good one.

Today was an exceptionally good day. We enjoyed our time with Chelsea. The kids stayed in motion most of the day. We ate good eats. We played good play. I was trying hard to anticipate activities for the kids. I didn't want them to spend this precious time with their cousin watching tv. So we painted. And beaded. And playdough'd. And fairy house'd. And ate snack straight off the vine. We floated from one activity to the next. I just tried to say 'yes' as much as I could, today. Yes, we can paint! Yes, we can go for a walk! Yes, let's go harvest the snap peas (even though they are barely of size...) Yes, let's capture that massive hornet and watch what it does in a plastic Tupperware container - lid on tight of course! --- note to self....research symbolic meaning for bees.---- I've learned over the years, it's truly better to just say yes. And, honestly, much easier. And I don't mean saying yes to the ridiculous, and by ridiculous I mean riding the bike without a helmet or allowing the kids to poke small metal objects into the electrical sockets in the name of science. Saying YES to their creative needs - paint, playdough, sewing, mud, sand, mud AND sand AND water - saying yes to these things, regardless of how I feel about the cleanup, makes for a smoother ride. And the kids feel nurtured and fulfilled. Just follow the spirit and interest of the children, and one can usually get through the day without any major squalls. Mind you, there is always a time of day when everything comes crashing down in a fiery mess of emotions and low blood sugar, or high blood sugar for that matter. My measurement of success is how the kids feel as they cuddle down into bed. If they feel peaceful, and free, and loved, well then, I've done my job.

           'As a creature of wind and water, the dragonfly represents change. It's iridescent wings are incredibly sensitive to the slightest breeze, and so we are reminded to heed where the proverbial 'wind' blows - lest we run into stormy weather.'

Our little visitor from the pond came to our home midday. I quickly read the above symbolic description of the dragonfly and noted to myself how much I felt like that creature...getting blown from one activity to the next, and trying to avoid that 'stormy weather.' But I then took great comfort in recognizing that this is exactly how it should be. My proverbial 'wind' is the attention and interest, and needs, of my children. And it's my deepest, deepest desire that these four creatures grow from a place of confidence, trust, love, and joy. Peace and harmony are two words that are attached to the symbolic definitions of the dragonfly - being at peace with ones work/life and in harmony with nature. We are trying very hard over here to be these very two things. In a world that doesn't always respect these desires.

What a wonderful little gift this little winged-spirit brought forth today. And how lucky for me that I could receive it.

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