I have been fully intending to do a recap of 2017. But like many of my other good intentions, it hasn’t quite gone the way I intended.
My answer to the “well, why not?” question remains the same: Life is in session.
I have a friend who says that often and I have since adopted the habit of explaining why things do or don’t get done. Why do things happen without warning so I can adequately prepare?
“Life is in session,” I say to anyone who cares to listen.
Looking through my photos (thousands of them) and the few blog posts I have managed to squeak out (maybe 20) in the last year. Why the many photos and the few words?
Life is in session.
2017 began with a major loss: my beloved mom, Luza passed away at (almost) 103 years of age. At pretty much the same time, the foundations of our home were compromised (DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE THE IRONY HERE??) because of a slab leak. I managed to write about those events here and here.
I desperately wanted to sit and grieve and redecorate my home and take the time to do it well and catch up with all the laundry. But life, ah, life… it remained in session.
So last year as we traveled and I cooked family dinners and danced in videos and we celebrated birthdays and our daughter Lucy got engaged and subsequently married, I wanted to write about it all as it unfolded, but I was still being visited by bouts of supreme grief in the midst of unspeakable joy. MY DAUGHTER GOT MARRIED, PEOPLE – a day which has a thousand stories in itself. And I haven’t found words to describe it all.
That’s how life does it, doesn’t it?
It remains in session.
I have so many stories that I want to write about from last year. And I managed to share ideas and recipes and movie reviews here on my blog in quick bursts. And I pushed my feelings aside and down when they threatened to bubble up and spill over.
It’s only now that life has slowed down enough for me to take that deep breath and see that I barely visited the things that I wanted to capture and share, let alone feel my feelings.
I know this because I take thousands of photos. And they all have a story.
It was just over a week ago that I was out in my garden, which is just starting to come out of the throes of a winter of neglect that I noticed that my wild and beautiful Calla Lilly was starting to open.
My garden has always been the place where I can feel my feelings most honestly and listen to God most attentively. So I paid attention in the midst of the embarrasing messiness to the beautiful bloom.
My mom carried Calla Lillies when she was married 78 years ago. They’re a winter blooming bulb and she and my dad were married on December 31st, 1939. That thought brushed past me as I smiled at the blooming Calla.
The next thought came in sort of super slow motion – is it January 14 already? It’s been a year since she left us.
I was more than a little distressed that I had not marked the date with more urgency – as if I could really completely forget. Oh, wait. Life is in session.
I smiled as I marveled at the beauty of the unfolding Calla. My mom would have loved that moment. That I didn’t just have a date on a calendar to remember – although she personally loved calendars, but that’s not important right now – but that the garden itself chose to speak and remind me of loss and new life.
I don’t particularly like these types of photos, but I take them anyway as I document the seasons of our lives. There’s no way I wanted to share them because you can very obviously see the mess that is my garden in the winter. The roses are bare. Honestly, I don’t want to share right now. It’s so much prettier when the roses are a riot of color and cover the entire fence.
There are seasons of both fun and sadness. There are days that fly by and others where I-can’t-do-anything-right-why-is-this-day-so-long days.
I sat down today to write and I was so-very-tired tired. And I didn’t know where to begin. But the new year has commenced and even though nothing has slowed down, I have stories to tell.
So I’ll start with the reminder to myself that Life is in Session.
Welcome, 2018. Let’s do this.