This photo, taken on our trip to Massachusetts in June, is of a road less traveled. Every time I look at it, I am reminded of many of my life choices: lonely roads, lonely journeys. I can honestly say that I have precious few regrets about my choices. Though none go with me, still I will follow...
1. Daniel likes school better every day. He comes home with more stories of classroom activities and more names of students he is meeting and hanging out with. I am glad that he is happier.
2. Today is my mother's 72nd birthday. She came over for dinner and birthday cake. Kristiana made her a beautiful card, a necklace and matching earrings.
3. Kristiana and I are having an excellent week of homeschooling. It is a true gift to me to be able to spend so many hours with my daughter, reading and writing, talking and laughing. We went to see "Becoming Jane" yesterday, and then we spent a long time talking about the nature of love and relationships. I introduced her to the phrase that I live by: "Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."
4. I am getting into a good routine of exercise, reading, creating art (currently I am working on postcards for a postcard exchange...yeah for mail!), journaling, and keeping on top of the stuff with the kids as well. Although I am staying up until nearly midnight every night, I go to sleep contented with the happenings of the day and wake up ready to do it again.
5. In other words, I feel good. And it feels good to feel good.
6. A loud, flashy thunderstorm rolled through Charlotte last night. Rain!!! Beautiful, wonderful, grass-soaking rain. It's raining again right now. Although the storms don't last long and I know they aren't "drought-busting rains," it is rain. And we need lots of rain.
7. Today Kristiana found an ant in the kitchen. It was the first one any of us has seen in at least five days. I hope it's not the beginning of a second wave...
8. I have been reading some excellent blogs lately. The usual few that I have links to here as well as a few new discoveries. After reading their words, I am encouraged and motivated to think more deeply, to laugh more raucously, and to live more passionately.
9. I have a new friend; her name is Carolyn. Strong, wise, and beautiful, she seeks hard after God. She aches to see young people know and love the Lord. She plays the guitar and sings with abandon. She loves her husband. She is in a car with him and their two cats right now - moving from Charlotte to a small town in Pennsylvania. I am so sad she is leaving. We were only just getting to know each other when she told me they were moving away. I hope our friendship grows over the miles: that's what telephones and the internet are for.
10. I had a chance to speak to an old friend yesterday: my dear Antonio. It is always good to hear his voice, to know that he is well, to find out what is new with him, and to report to him on what is going on in our family. After 12 years serving one community in Spain, he is moving this September to a new city and job. I have spent many hours thinking about and praying for him in this time of transition. To bid farewell to children he has taught, to families he has interacted with, to his Jesuit brothers, and to that beautiful city on the northern coast of the country I love. I cannot wait to get back to Spain and see his new post, to meet his friends, and to explore his environs. He is a loyal friend, a consummate host, and a fabulous tour guide and travel companion.
11. Tomorrow night at this time, I will be at a local resort in a deluxe room with a golf course view, recovering from a hot rocks massage, lying in bed, writing in my journal with a stick of Peace incense burning, reading one of any number of books I plan to take, nibbling on almond bark or almond clusters from a new Trader Joe's market - all thanks to a Mother's Day gift card from my dearly beloved husband. After breakfast on Saturday morning, I will head to my favorite hair salon for more pampering.
11. I am thankful today to be alive. To set up my laptop computer on the bed next to my husband and write while we watch Little League baseball together, Maya at our feet, and Kristiana hovering nearby, reminding me that she wants me to read her a chapter of a book we are plowing through together. Yup, that's my 13 1/2 year-old asking me to read aloud to her. To snuggle with my son when he's ready for bed. To be healthy and strong enough to appreciate the great blessings that I have in this life. To know that if I have a rough day tomorrow or Saturday or next week, I have had this day, this glorious day.
Tis better to have loved - and lost
Tis better to have laughed - and cried
Tis better to have traveled - and come home
Tis better to have given thanks - and (is there an opposite to giving thanks?)
Than never to have lived or laughed or traveled at all.
And for all of it, I give thanks.