Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Endure. Breathe. Hope

The last little while has been somewhat challenging for me. My dad is sick, my husband has been working in Rhode Island for the summer, the kids have been at home watching me come and go with working and other obligations, and, the inevitable preparation for the beginning of school was beginning.

I've rarely had my camera since we returned from Rhode Island at the beginning of the summer and frankly, after the heat and dry weather set in, there wasn't much to photograph. Kind of a drought all the way around.

Creatively I've been trying to make it to my table when I can, but more often than not, if I'm not on the road, staying with dad, making hospital visits, or working, I am more inclined to be on the couch trying not to think.

Of course, my challenges don't compare to many, especially my dad's where every day is a fight, but they're mine and I own them. Aside from all of my domestic worries, I am working through the possibility (probability) of living a large part of my life without my father--the only constant man in my life. The man who taught me all things male... fishing (including baiting my own line with minnows, trolling, dropping anchor, barge fishing for bass, and cleaning everything I caught), driving a boat (including loading and unloading), how to waltz, cotton eye-joe, shottish, two-step, and twirl... drink beer, and enjoy the country and the land.

This list is nowhere complete, but, they're highlights from right this minute... and that's all that I will allow myself for right now.

I try not to focus in the inevitable, however, when it's fresh and looms up in front of my face and I am blinded with tears, I find I lose all connection with my 'higher self' and grieve uncontrollably. A wise man told me not to grieve daddy's passing while he's still here but to celebrate his life and living (I love that man!!) every moment that I can. And that's what I remind myself to do every day.

This morning as I was running out of the front door, in a hurry, distracted and hoping I had everything I needed for the day, my eyes saw this:

(a green grocer cicada)

Now, many will wonder just why this is so important that I have to post it. And I get that. And this is how I see it...

Some people listen to other people to hear the lessons in life that they are to learn, some read books. I learn from the natural world. This one small event made me stop dead in my tracks and marvel. At life. At a new life. A Beginning. The continuing of a cycle that has been going on forever.

His wings were gently lifted and replaced by the breeze. He emanated life. LIFE. There was an energy around him that was almost audible. I remembered to breathe.

I dropped everything in my hands and rushed back in for my camera. I took photos from all angles, trying to capture his energy... if only.

The morning sun was warming up the day and in surrounding trees, cicadas began their singing... and I wondered if he recognized the singing, if he understood the song... if the song that was being sung was for his arrival...

And I realized he probably wasn't concerned about what his life would hold, if he was going to make it through the day or if a huge cicada killer would be the end of him--he was living in the now. That moment was a celebration of life. His life. ALL life.

And I remembered to breathe again. In, then out... and I was in that moment, The Moment. All thanks to a little green emerging cicada, who reminded me about life not having an end, only a transformation.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Emily, Sonia, and Tiger Molly

I know. It's been awhile. Not that I haven't had wondrous thoughts of what to post here. I've had those.

Fleetingly, there have been musings, squished in between being a single parent while Brent whiles away ever so lonely in Little Rhodie; working only some times; taking daddy to his drs appointments, a couple trips to the ER for him, one for me; and getting the kids ready for school. Leaves little time for written thought or even art...

But there have been highlights. Like these two hooligans:

Oh sure, they're absolutely reeking innocence. And I must say they were the most amazing kittens ever. Their story is one that breaks your heart--the litter was dropped off in a box. Before I could get the woman to fill out any paperwork, she left. I looked into the box where the babies were crying their hearts out and there were 4 of the tiniest babies, smelly and frantic, I'd seen in a long time.

I brought them in and examined them. MAYBE 3 weeks old, covered with fleas, dirt and feces. ALL of them were starving and I really couldn't tell if they'd been with their mom for days or not--they were little bags of bones covered in fur. I gently bathed each one in warm water, wrapped them in a soft towel and put them in an warmed incubator. After they were warm, I weighed and named each one and bottle fed them warmed fluids. They nursed from the bottle like champs and fell quickly into a sound sleep.

That evening they were transported to the clinic and then taken care of. Sadly, two siblings didn't make it. They were so sick. However, when the remaining two, Emily and Sonia, were old enough, I requested to foster them until they were able to be adopted.

Therein begins a month long journey with no regrets. Knowing their sad beginning, I thought bringing them into a home with kids, other adults cats, and a couple of dogs would go a long way into making sure they were appropriately socialized.

Really long story short, they are the two most loving kittens I've known. And one thing-whenever one couldn't find the other, they would trill out loud and the other would come running.

They were adopted by a wonderful family and we have so many wonderful memories... and hundreds of photos.

and then there's little Tiger Molly.

Sweet little ball of fire. I heard her long before I saw her and when I saw her I knew I had to bring her home. With little discussion, I brought her home, taught her to nurse from a bottle and the rest is history. She quickly learned to play with the much older Emily and Sonia and in the process learned to jump, climb, and squeal like any ordinary younger sibling.

Now that the girls are gone, she has learned to entertain herself. Every once in awhile Jemima The Gladiator will lower her standards and PLAY with Tiger Molly. When we hear a Gladiator flopping around and scurrying around the house with a teeny little ball of fury on her heels, we know It's ON.

Tiger Molly has been spoken for. By a little boy (and his mom and dad) that we've known since before he was conceived. We know they will be best friends.