” I Am Here”

The past weeks  were filled with all sorts of things.  Just before school started, I took a long weekend in Elizabeth City.  Lyla was starting first grade on that Monday and so very excited about that-unlike her grandmother had been at that age. 
There was a movie night.  We made brownies and redecorated the little girls’ bedroom.  We rearranged the play room and had a small shopping spree, all before that Monday.  We were busy. 
I don’t even remember why Brynn was crying, but she was in Jennys’ arms one morning.  I was in the kitchen and overheard Brynns’ little voice, full of distress.   . . .and I heard Jenny soothing her little daughter.  Jenny repeated “I am here”  several times. in a hushed tone.  I was deeply moved.  What comfort, she spoke. 
My own Mother still says those words to me, and most especially these last two chaotic years, when one thing after another sprung up.  “I am here” is a language of love. 
Mothers  say it-and I feel like God says it too.  Somehow, I know I am never really on my own in the business of life. I may complain and over think things as if I am solely responsible for my fate . . . for a while.  When I have become weary and exhausted my dim mind – in other words, when I have given up-I suddenly realise, all over again, that God says to my heart, “I am here.” It is never “old hat”. 
It does amuse me, that I always seem to go through those  same tiresome motions like a very dull human. 
My own school started, too.  I had to be at work on Tuesday.  Some of the children came in beaming with “great expectations”-a few did not.  An especially dear little one was crying quietly.  I knew why she was crying. for she too was leaving a small farm with wood and field-and a big sky overhead.  She was leaving solitude and her animal friends, which she is very devoted to.. .  In all the many years that have passed . . .I have never forgotten how that felt. 
The next day, that especially dear child was laughing and playing on the playground. 
 I have planted more flowers around the rosewood cottage.  There are more pinks, for I can’t get enough.  I have planted a few white chrysanthemums-and I need a few more.  I found a few echinacea flowers that reminded me of the old farmhouse and a small rosemary bush begged to come home with me.  The yard is starting to look cheerful-and I am too.
One day, recently, I discovered a cascade of white blossoms on the fence.  It was confederate jasmine.  What a lovely scent they lend to the air!  I was thrilled.  Finally, something was blooming that I didn’t have to dig a hole for!    Another day, a bush that I had allowed to grow along the fence, was suddenly donning pink blossoms.  That bush was a young crepe myrtle!  Another  delightful surprise.  Maybe, I now hear, at long last . . “I am here.” 
So far so good on all the commotion involved in buying a house, these days.  When I bought the Farm Life house, I simply signed papers and went home.  The process is very different now.  It is complicated and the volume of details is exhausting.  I was so happy for the holiday just because, I knew the bank was closed and I wouldn’t receive another task to do “immediately”! 
Another reason-and most of all-I was happy  for the holiday, was that the family was gathering at Mamas’ .  Brynn and Ryan have September birthdays, so we all shared a wonderful meal which concluded with cake, ice cream and gifts.
I watched the children playing.  I try not to intervene, but to simply observe how they play together.  They rarely argue and what Lyla says goes, for Brynn and Ryan are sure she knows best.  Dolls and tractors, tea cups and trucks, are all cast into the same dramas.  Ryan may become “Captain America” at any given moment-but somehow, the story continues.  I feel as I watch, that I am getting an understanding of them, that  happens only in this way,  Their natural tendencies are unhindered, at play.
Tres had been tinkering on Daddys’ old tractor, the last few times, he had visited.  This time he gave Ryan rides on it.  That was a sight. 
I sure miss Daddy. 
 I don’t understand it, but it bothers me that Daddy will never stand in the small yard around the rosewood cottage-nor will he eat in the little dining room-neither will Grandmama, nor  Uncle Randy and aunt Carolyn, nor aunt Josie.  To me, this matters, though it is a senseless notion.  I have at least planted things in their honor.  I mention their names almost daily.  Just remembering them, honors them. 
It finally rained.  It was on Saturday.  I have missed the rain.  My collection of rain water had dwindled to a mere small bucket, so I was glad for that too.  I decided to paint the kitchen that day. 
The rosewood cottage is small and the dark beige walls throughout the house made it smaller and gloomy.  I worked all day, into the night.  Watching the kitchen brighten seemed to implore me to work.  When Christian came in from work, he was pleasantly surprised with the  scene of a now happy, kitchen.  I wished I had baked a cake.   
It rained again on Sunday . . .and so I started on the dining room.  Finally, that evening, I ran out of paint. 
The closing is scheduled for Friday.   I am excited, nervous and happy all at once.  I am also still bewildered.  Like usual,  I never saw this coming.  I moved here in a mad rush and was sure the place was just a pit stop.   . . now I need more paint .    . . and flowers for my garden.  . .  and most of all to remember not to “lean on my own understanding”.  

12 thoughts on “” I Am Here”

  1. Lovely story of your daughter and how she comforted Brynn. And then your own compassion for the sad little student. Paint can make such a difference. Because we live in the woods, our house is rather dark inside, and white paint really makes a difference.

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  2. Rejoicing with you because of the new paint, Michele. Somehow a house feels as if we belong in it when we begin to paint. My children also know how important it is and before John and I moved into our city apartment just before I turned eighty they painted the walls the soft warm white I love.

    Your garden sounds beautiful.

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  3. Love your stories. Haven’t responded to you about them, but that is my problem!! Love every word you come up with. Would love to see you. Have a good school year, enjoy your children, your grandchildren your school children. Wishing you the best.

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  4. Such a wonderful story to read on an evening in September. September heralds all kinds of changes and change can be beautiful too. We must keep our hearts and minds open and that is the key. I am glad that your cottage is in need of the important things that make a house a home…a fresh-baked cake, the sound of grandchildren playing in the yard when they visit, and flowers for outside and inside. These are the things that matter!

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  5. This is one of your best posts, Michele. You are where you’re meant to be. The plants and flowers are telling you that. Their new and unexpected blooms are their way of reaching out to you. You’re such an observant and loving parent and grandparent. I wish you were my assistant teacher in my preschool class.

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  6. “I am here.” I’m going to carry that with me. It takes on a new meaning now that my momma is heavenly. Love you. What color did you paint the kitchen? I want to repaint mine.

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