Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Pat's

Well, it's the annual drink green beer and kiss everyone because everyone is Irish today...St. Patrick's Day.

I've got my non-alcoholic, non-green beer in hand and am letting all the stress of the last few months go...Missoula is done for another year. It remains to be seen if the Arts Council actually makes some money from it this year -- but there were several of us who worked hard to make it happen.

The kids were cute. They did well. The storyline was a little weak and perhaps reached a little too hard for laughs. But I heard over and over again from parents and grandparents how much they appreciated us bringing it here, how their kids/grandkids loved it and look forward to it every year. That makes it worth the work. We're accomplishing something here.

AND, I'm happy to report, the Chickie Trucker is safely in Birmingham. She left Sacramento Thursday morning and just drove. It helped that the weather was unseasonably cooperative! But she pulled in this evening and is safe, the car did fine, and we're grateful. Hopefully she can take what she's learned over the last two years and make a better life for herself.

So it's onto the next thing for us all.

I'm aware of the anniversary of my uncle's death creeping forward...every day I think of it and think of his family, knowing a little too freshly what it feels like to go through. There are two dates, really -- March 28 when he fell and March 30 when it was all over. It doesn't feel like a whole year has gone by since then, but here it is.

These mile markers -- anniversary dates, birth dates, death dates, other days of significance -- come faster now. It's like watching signs from a car window -- you can read them easily and slowly when you're cruising at 20, 30, 40 mph. When you get up to 50, nearing 60, the words start to blur a little and it goes by maybe even before you've read the whole sign.

As I watched the kids rehearse this week, and talked with their parents, I remembered my daughter's first role -- at three years old, she was a lamb in the Christmas pageant. She had a line even. There were roles and plays throughout school, at different ages. One year she was Dorothy, cute in her braids and ruby slippers, in maybe fifth grade. She was serious, earnestly learning her lines, learning how to act. I saw every play at least once. And nearly every one in college (she was a theatre major!)

I remembered juggling my job and after school care and summer care and church meetings and my choir stuff, and keeping the house reasonably neat, and still having time to sew for her and for me. I remember watching her with such pride, such delight in what she was doing. I remember the feel of her sitting in my lap or with my arm around her, encouraging, supportive, delighted to have her at all! I loved reading out loud to her at night and answering her questions and giggling at silly things we'd make up.

It makes me so very aware of time and ages and stages.

There is more I need to do in this life. I want to make my time filled with fewer of the 'ought to' or 'hard to say no' things, and a lot more of the 'feeding the soul' and the joy-filled things, the creative, delight-full moments and projects.

And only I can make that happen. Starting tomorrow.


Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw wrote, "Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torchwhich I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."

And for this St. Patrick's Day, this blessing to you: "May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, the foresight to know where you're going, and the insight to know when you're going too far."


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