I get melancholy. It's a fact. My dh turned on home videos of our children from 7 years ago, and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. My oldest son was 4, and he looked like some other person. Someone I can't remember. At all. On the video, he sang the song from Sesame Street-"I'm a little airplane now" and another diddy he made up on the spot as he heartily rode on the big molded bouncy horse on springs of all childhoods, "This is a song about cowboys and cowgirls."
"Cowgirls! Cowboys! Batman! Robin! Flying through the dessert. To get to the ocean."
"Then the cowboy lost his hat. Now I can't sing."
My 2 year old Tator sang unintelligible lyrics matching the tunes to the songs playing in the background. He strummed a plastic crazy kid rock and roll guitar. I despised that horrible toy which produced Van Halen guitar riffs with the slightest touch. It was evil. My Boodle jumped up and down and rolled his head side to side with the wild music. You'd have thought we frequented heavy metal concerts with him the way he carried on. Currently he is intent to learn the Beatles "Blackbird" and the intro to "Dust in the Wind". I get a giant lump in my throat when he plays with his dad on the green suede couches in our living room. If you only knew what it takes DAILY to keep that boy on the right track, and how the guitar definitely does just that.
My Wise One was a baby just beginning to walk. He was more chunky than I remembered. Now he's only skin and bones with an appetite the size of New York. I constantly carried him in my sling like a smiley kangaroo for years, but he was free to move about in the video. He walked something like a mechanical frankincense duck with his back arched and hands pointing backwards like wings from his hips. He epitomized contentedness as a baby. I highly recommend this temperament for a third boy child to any mother. He's still a contented soul. On his birthday last year he asked for pizza.
"Wait a minute. You don't like pizza," I reminded him.
"I want my guests to enjoy the food and everyone else likes pizza," he soothed.
"For heaven's sakes child, it's YOUR birthday. Have what you like," I joked.
"Mom, it's what I want most for my birthday- to please others."
Can you believe this person? When he loses it, it's because he's really been pushed beyond the natural limits of his giving soul.
The melancholy set in immediately as I watched the rambunctious boys run, jump, bounce, fly. Those days were so very hard. Endless poop diapers and redirecting octopus toddlers till my jello brain hurt made that season in my life a blur. Also, it was not long after this video that my entire world flew apart. A time when I angrily tore all my preconceived ideas about life and faith off the shelf and carefully and thoughtfully put only what was real to me back and trashed the rest. I wouldn't return to those days, just like Neo wouldn't go back into the system in the Matrix. I'd been sleeping to escape the pain of an unexamined life and tragedy woke me up suddenly. The awakened world around me was ugly and grey, but more real than the life I'd lived before those days.
One sign of deep healing originating from that period came in the form of lyrics from a Delirious song "Obsession". One night I sat scrunched on the floor with my back against the wall of a church service, making myself as unnoticeably small and out of the way as humanly possible. My head in my hands, I prayed to God with the song in desperation. God, "What can I do with this obsession with the things I cannot see? Is there madness in my being. Is it the wind that blows the tree? Sometimes you're further than the moon. Sometimes your closer than my skin. You surround me like a winter fog. Your burn me deeper than I know. And my heart burns for you. And *my* heart BURNS for you." So, where are you now, God? Can you possibly love the unlovely, hateful, unholy me? Suddenly,like a ray of light, I had a revelation that there was an angle I had always been missing in that song. God flipped the script and began singing to ME over and over, "And My Heart burns for YOU."
In my most undone state, a pit of despair, God saw fit to love me, deeply. I return again and again to that moment when storm clouds gather around me.
The Minister Who Invented Camping in America - William H. H. Murray was a wealthy Congregationalist minister and an outdoors enthusiast. Every summer he went to the Adirondack Mountains, often with hi...
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