Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Messy, Thrilling Life

One day a few weeks ago, I lit a candle on my desk. The scent was lovely. After a while I got up to do something else someplace else, and when I came back, the candle had melted in the saucer. The hot wax overflowed onto everything in the small plate: the button I bought at a concert I attended last spring, a pin my son earned from something he did at church, confetti from the restaurant where we celebrated our wedding anniversary, rosemary I picked from the herb garden of a friend, and a few other objects that happened to be in the vicinity. What a metaphor for the messiness and thrill of my life: it smells great sometimes. It glows sometimes. It oozes all over everything sometimes. And it's all mine. That melted candle collage still sits on my desk as a reminder of that day and of all the things and people that make up my life. Read on...

This is the day of the week, Thursday, on which I often write a blog related to gratitude. Today is no exception to that. Today I am feeling enormously grateful for the messy, thrilling life I live.

More specifically, I am grateful for -

* the rain that fell last night and this morning
* Maya, the smelly, frisky dog that Kristiana and I bathed this morning
* the Great Harvest Bread Company, with its chocolate chip peanut butter cookies, honey whole wheat bread, and turtle bars
* Teavana's flavorful, energizing, relaxing teas
* British digestive cookies dipped in lapsang souchang tea
* Archipelago candles in the Luna scent
* Lisa, the most gracious, thoughtful, gentle, peaceful, caring person I've had in my home in a very long time

* the frantic hour we spent searching for my son at his school yesterday
* finding him
* the ability to acknowledge the fear that drove him to run away from me
* the ability to explain to him the fear that I felt at the prospect of not being able to find him
* hugging him and crying with him and explaining to him why he didn't need to do what he had done

* the fact that Lisa was with me the whole time, this new and true friend. She searched with us, cried with me at the end, and never once judged me or my husband or Daniel or criticized us or how we handled the crisis
* the fact that Lisa said she wants to tell him how much she loves him and us and was worried about him yesterday and is glad that he is okay...
* mojitos with Lisa at Miro (my favorite South Charlotte restaurant) last night celebrating Daniel's safe return and the beginning of our friendship

(To all of the skeptics and fear-mongers out there: welcoming this beautiful, wise, comfortable, comforting, open-minded, kind-hearted, spirited woman into my home and introducing her to my family is one of the most sane, peace-making, God-honoring things I have done in the past five or ten years!)

* idea books for scrapbooking and journal-making scattered in our dining room and living room
* stickers, patterned paper, glue sticks, glue dots, rubber stamps and ink pads - all of which serve to help me document my life journey
* museum tickets, airplane stubs, and postcards that grace the pages of my journal
* memories of good and bad times gone by - it's all there
* watching Lisa fill her journal with stickers and papers and cut-outs - little things that will always remind her of this visit
* blank pages yet to be filled with the stories of my messy, thrilling life

* the fact that the messes and thrills of my life,
the questions and contradictions,
the tears and tales, the missed appointments, the broken promises,
the demanding relatives, the inattentive friends,
everything and everyone that has intersected with and in my life
have made me a stronger, more joyful, more thankful woman,
not only appreciative of the many blessings I have,
but also excited about all the messiness and wonder
that lie ahead for me.

Thanks be to God.
All is well.

1 comment:

Amy said...

I'm so excited about you and Lisa and your friendship! It sounds like you two have covered much territory, physically and emtionally, in these few days.

Ah... the messes of life, Gail. There are many blessings in messes, too!

I love the photo. Before I read the post, I thought, "What in the world is that?"