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Flowing or Floating?: A Mother’s Day Wondering

It is Mother’s Day.  At 7:15 this morning I woke up to the 2nd reason I have to celebrate this day; our youngest daughter. Yesterday, she  re-discovered my childhood stuffed animal, Floppy. She is fascinated by our kept and seemingly ancient belongings.  To her, they are mysterious and full of story.  Jaylee promptly took Floppy under her squishy sweet wings and made up for years of lost love and doting.  Upon waking this morning she brought him to me, a love offering,  with a shared understanding. What makes us young?  For one, a joy for stuffed animals. And what makes  a mother?  Little ones who adore plush things and stories about their parents when they were young.

I still had one ear plug in (the other lost in the bedding somewhere), so her lilting words were muffled and I was still a bit groggy – somewhere between this world and dreamtime with only the weight of the comforter keeping me tethered to this plane.  I could only rely on my other senses – the smell of springtime coming through the slight opening in the window; the greenish tone of the filtered morning light and my gratitude for the sight of the lush tree out our window; the feel of my daughters cool, velvet hand on my arm and the weight of my old-friend “Floppy” placed gently on my shoulder.  I dozed off again and woke to the sound of rain tapping the roof above my head, the warmth of slept-in covers,  and the relief that morning rain brings, washing away any need in the body to get up and do-something.  Sleep.

I was awakened for the the third and final time to the smell of a homemade latte, toasted Zingerman’s farmhouse bread, fresh berries, warm oat meal and an orange so juicy and perfect, it was cut like a grapefruit.  All of this was placed before me with a song – “Good Morning to You” to the tune of “Happy Birthday To You” by smiling faces in pajamas. My two girls, who make this celebration possible, and my husband -adorable and tired -who made this meal possible.  The girls bickered over who would sit next to me (in hushed tones, it’s Mother’s Day after all).  I settled in for my Mother’s day feast as Brent rounded up the girls to feed them downstairs and give me a little more time in quiet reverie.

As my mind stretched, rolled out and washed its face in delicious coffee, the realization of the date settled in.  Nothing particularly special about May 13th only that it is May 13th. Bewildering.   There are only 5 weeks left of the school year.  Bathing suit weather.  The last time I posted a blog, it was January.  So very much has happened I am overwhelmed by the effort it takes to simply organize this list in my head, so I don’t.  Today has arrived and I intend to check-in with myself regularly. A gift to me.  A recent memory floated in:

My Tai Chi teacher asked us this week during a form progression class if we were floating or flowing?  We discussed the difference and it has stayed with me all week as I move throughout the day – a renewed dimension of the mindful meditation I practice . How do we know the difference?  How do we catch ourselves when we are we going through the motions while our head is off somewhere else? Whether it’s blissed out or off ruminating? How do we ground ourselves in our bodies and stay present with the sensations and the experience of the moment, one flowing into the next, so we can actually respond to what comes up? Listen, notice with curiosity and with out judgment.  I find the moving meditations help facilitate this process well when the body is restless.

I mentally hug the practice this morning with my stuffed companion at my side,  as my thinking self began to evaluate and pull my attention away from an amazing meal.  As I sat in bed, with my perfectly catered breakfast on my lap, I listened to my breath and to my thoughts.  Butterfly brain off reviewing the past three months, evaluating the events and coming up with a list of things missed, balances and imbalances, things I need to do, like ticker tape coming out the front of my forehead.  I could hear an accounting machine’s mechanical sound and I imagined gently tearing off the receipt of my worries and putting them in the napkin I had folded and I placed them under my plate.

I decided then to sit down and write as soon as the moment presented itself today, which, delightfully turned out to be a half hour later.  I have been writing for work over many months, creating and planning, but missing the writing of my own wondering and thoughts. I let go of the need to have anything particular to write about today and save the many topics I have stored in the library of my blog-mind for another time.  Today is about me. And millions of other moms who are hopefully enjoying a bit of peace,  and maybe some pie.

Flowers and presents await.  Two new overflowing hanging baskets of petunia hang in the front window.  Even the dog seems more obedient today.  Another delicious brunch in a couple  of hours at one of our favorite family restaurants where I will wrap my arms around my mother and say “thank you.”  I will get up and put on the new shoes I picked out for summer, the ones I didn’t need but purchased anyway after putting them on several times at the store.  I can now hear my daughters bickering upstairs and I am taking these distant sounds in like they are foreign and mysterious.  Without their sister-ness and all of its dynamics, I would not be a mother.  I take a long belly breath, listen and sit a moment longer. The dog is scratching at the back door, the cat meowing at my feet,  and I hear a daughter stomp off in anger on the floor boards in the room above me.   I am needed. I am mother.  Hear me yawn.

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