A good friend introduced me to this concept, Wanderlust. The definition of Wanderlust is: a strong desire to travel.
“a man consumed by wanderlust” Though I have no real desire to travel, this song does cause me to travel to a time in twelfth grade. My friend Nicole Bach and I would drive to White Rock listening to Ani DiFranco, while sharing with each other fears and concerns for life in the now. Time can be such an enemy, but at the same time, it can be such a friend. It was during this time I established great memories and presently have feelings of nostalgia, looking back at it all. It was a difficult year for me, however, these little drives with the company of a friend and a soundtrack to this particular year, became like a homecoming to me.
When I prayed for a husband, I prayed. I prayed, and I prayed, and I prayed. Gracie and I would cry together wondering how we were twenty -something years old with no potentials in the forecast. She lived in a cedar bungalow in the backyard of a well groomed house. The magnolia I would pass under, each visit would continue to greet me, as it changed with the season. The grass, without fail, faithfully would dampen my feet, as if to say, “You can’t control us, we will dampen your feet one way or another, whether it be dew or rain”.
Gracie’s place was like a fort; a fort amidst the Fort. It was a meeting place. It was a safe place, a place in which we could lay our burdens down. It was a framed structure of antique eloquence; a stain glass mirage of spoken wishes with fairy tale kisses. The ambiance was home. The music was fine elements of mood and classical savory. Fondu, song writing, and Elderflower Presse, these times were fond and life forming.
With the glow from candlelight and with the softness of wine induced splendor, jealousies would at times rise up like the incense burning on the stove. Was one favored? Was one more beautiful? Perhaps one desired more attention, while the other demanded it. Said to be the center of attention, I didn’t ask for it. I longed to be loved and appreciated. Deep down, I know I was, but misunderstood was a party favor I was often given. Outside of this life of familiarity and simple commonness, was another life of spirituality. My life friends these were, but on the other side of the Valley’s hills was the birthplace of my spiritual family. The family that would shape me, challenge me, and display for me; over and over again, the grace of God.
[Image credit: Ginette Callaway]
Again, I am reminded of Georgie. She had sparkled cold blue eyes. She was winter and wore it well. She embraced the season with purity and integrity. Her friendship meant well, I know it did, but 25 held a dark place in her heart. She needed to leave this scene. To get away. She had been too long and too many began to see her and her colors. They weren’t all put together like a promise, but a broken child, unleashed against the weasels, stoats, and ferrets. When she left, her books and memories stayed behind; all of them, tucked away unharmed, in a box in the attic. They are pieces of her in words, her words, her sayings, written by her favorites: Tolkien, Lewis, and Montgomery. Sadness belonged to my dear friend, but there was hopefulness, as well. A vessel lost at sea, lost in transition, lost in process. Community and communion, a longing and desire, she taught this well. In her heart, she could not rest. She could find no contentment. She could find no home.
When Georgie said she rear-ended someone, the first thought that came across my mind was, “Again? Didn’t she just rear-end the girl with the porcelain skin just 2 weeks ago?” There was a heaviness about her, in more ways than one. She carried drama around her like her favorite shoulder bag. Annoying? Yes. Time consuming? Of course. Ridiculous? Always. But I loved her. She was my friend, my archetype, and the one that saved me from the glares and whispers that creeped about my 5”7 complicated frame which went hand in hand with my complex emotional state of mind.
We had known each other only a few days, but our friendship was instant. Timing was everything. It was the life preserver before the perfect storm struck. The love of my fractured life was disintegrating before my eyes and at the time he was the only thing I knew. I didn’t know love could feel so good, taste so real, and capture me wholly. Time seemed to not exist; however, it was everywhere, but nowhere to be found, especially when it ended. If only time could have stopped or ease the pain somehow, anything before the darkness hit, but it just didn’t work that way and nor will it ever.
Meeting Georgie, though, time came through in a positive. But here she was again, the result of another situation; another, only to be followed by a few many. Her mother was a concern, her father and step mom were a concern, there were concerns everywhere, and everywhere Georgie went, she took with her all the concerns of those around her.
Today reached a gorgeous 25 degrees, which is spectacular and close enough to summer weather to me. The forecast declares sunny and warm all weekend, which translated to me is, “Family cabin here we come! Get your sandals, pails, and shovels!” I love salt water crisped hair, the fragrance of bon-fires, and warm bronzed skin. My nickname from my sister has been Powder for ages- remember that one hit wonder from the 90’s? Anyhow, though I don’t change color, especially a nice bronze color, it sure looks lovely on others. I honestly admire those who can tan.
I have been thinking how much the weather plays a significant role in my day to day life, especially as a mother. I felt like I should have received the mother of the year reward when I dropped 1 off at school wearing ballet flats, while the other kids in her class were all wearing gumboots. She also didn’t have a jacket. Where was my mind? Who knows? I dropped her off, got back into my vehicle…and sure enough, down came the rain.
I was once told that Canadians, are more likely than any other country folk, to check the weather continuously throughout the day. It is one of the things we base our days around. I am not sure how true that is, but I know for myself, looking at the weather forecast has become a daily task, especially after my school incident with child 1. Weather is huge for us. We like to know what is going on and how well we can be prepared it. Sad thing is, we are never 100% prepared for anything. It is the reality I have been endeavoring to come to terms with. It has been a reality in-which, as a young child I had no concept of, and perhaps didn’t begin to take notice of it until in my mid-twenties,when it came knocking at my door. I don’t regret opening the door to reality, but sometimes it seems as though it would be safer to hide from it, or tune it out. The truth about reality is, it is what we have been longing for, waiting, craving, desiring, obsessing over, and completely sacrificing all we know for it. It is a powerful uncertainty, an antidote to our deepest sufferings. It is a truth that beckons us forward to a safety in which makes little sense. It’s incomprehensible. This lack of understanding, however, is the very thing that keeps us moving forward, sleeping deep into the times of night, then waking, longing to taste once again, this wonder, this passion, this lover of our soul.
Yesterday and today I have been in my head of constant memories. I guess it is because of the weather and the spring is resembling more of summer and it seems my brain was somehow able to consume and store more summer memories than spring ones or fall. 182. That was an important number for me and my childhood friends. It was ingrained into our very existence, it was our world and our safety. Our adventures and our growth. It embraced me as well as nurtured me into a being of calm, hyper, happy and sad. Memories. The memory of hearing of death and cancer for the first time when my close friend lost her grandmother at a shocking young age, and seeing her 20 something year old mom crying to my mother in her kitchen. It was hard to understand at 7 or 8 what was happening and to not understand death only brought more confusion and questions. I remember the urgency of putting on my shoes, but never fast enough with the emotions that came with playing outside with my childhood friends, Jen and Chris. It was pure adrenaline. Then to run up the hill a mere 2 houses away which felt like years to get there. It was exciting. It was fun. The lemonade stands, with the occasional popcorn stand, the dressing in clown costumes and doing cartwheels as the cars drove by, screaming with determination, pleading with strangers to pull over and buy the bestest beverage in the world. The countless nights of scrubbing pitch and sap off our hands and feet. The innumerable amounts of band-aids our moms would go through for skinned knees and elbows, or the painful sprained ankles from falling out of trees, falling off bikes, falling off homemade ramps, or falling off the blow up water bed mattresses their dad randomly would bring home from job sites. The neighborhood parties, barbecues, and pizza nights, slip and slides, water fights, and filling burning barrels with water and remembering myself panicking I could get blood poisoning with all the rust in them. The summer never seemed to end, and probably could have continued for years more if not for transfers, divorce, death, construction, destruction, development and change. The memories are my reminders of the delicacies of the neighborhood, the childhood, and now the parenthood in which I see a repeat in nature as well as with nurture. I understand as I watch my own kids screaming as they scramble to find their own shoes and race outside into the heated sunlight, a canvas waiting, to birth new memories in this new place in time. I feel it, too. The urgency to live. The urgency to play. The urgency to be.