Saturday, July 28, 2012

Summer Breeze Makes me Feel Fine

Sweet days of summer the Jasmine's in bloom
July is dressed up and playing her tune.

For me, July is a month of dichotomies.  My birthday, my brother's should be birthday.  Busy days during which my Angel Daughters used to be off from school and ready for play.  Quiet days during which I spend time daydreaming about what should come next for me.  I am at a precipice in my life.  Standing between the end of what once was, teetering on the edge of what soon will be.  And the scary thing is I cannot, for the life of me, seem to hear my own voice.  I am not exactly sure where and when I became so good at squelching my own voice.  How far back does this go?  Would I even recognize it now if I did, indeed, hear it?
The end of July used to mark the halfway point between play days and back-to-school supplies.  Fresh crayons and pristine packages of neatly stacked, college-ruled notebook paper.  Thick Crayola markers in colors that outlined the pictures of life throughout my days.  Newly sharpened pencils and new classrooms to explore.  And children.  Lots and lots of children.  My children.
July is quickly coming to an end as the dog days of summer melt hazily into the month of August.  I look at my children through different eyes now and although their colors are still incredibly young and vibrant, I am longing for a reason to purchase the Crayola eight pack of thick markers, a Hello Kitty lunchbox and a back to school outfit or two for each one of my girls.
Angel Daughter Number Four's recent graduation from High School brought with it a newfound longing, a straining, to hear the sound of my own voice.  To receive an epiphany or that booming voice of God or even the tinkling of whisper-soft angel voices.  Hell, even the mechanical female voice from a GPS system would be something at this point.  But I am having trouble deciphering it all, hearing it all, making sense of it all.
Because between Angel Daughter Number One and Angel Daughter Number Four, were also Angel Daughters Number Two and Three and I was a very busy, very fulfilled, very satisfied momma.
Mark and I raised them, but a lot of the raising was up to me because they were the future that I knew would be when I closed my own sleepy child eyes at night.  Every.  Single.  One.  Of.  Them.  And then I went to college, found the perfect man for me within two months of arriving there, graduated, married, moved to California from New York and before we knew it, they came.  One childhood dream after another, after another, after another.  And I suppose that somewhere along the path of raising our girls, I got very, very busy and became very, very immersed in the job of doing what I had always dreamed of growing up to do and other voices became louder than my own.  Until somewhere along the way, I forgot to think about what I would be good at doing not only when I grew up, but also, when they grew up and I somehow lost track of the sound of my own voice.

Around our Ladera home in which we spent the final eleven years of our children's growing years, there was jasmine that we planted along our fence line that bloomed every summer and smelled like heaven.  Recently, we sold that home to another family and we are now in escrow and we are putting that home into boxes because we are living in our ocean home which was never really supposed to be our "primary" home.  Yet with the girls moving up and out and on, Mark and I decided that our Ladera home was much too large for the size of our dwindling household and, well, not on the beach which is where we now feel most at home.  And as we move away from the aroma of summer jasmine down to a place that carries the essence of sea spray and honeysuckle and saltwater, I am experiencing this deep-seated beseeching need to hear my own voice again.  To find my own words.  To discover, for myself, what comes after jasmine.  And even though I know for sure that my children will always be my own, not only is it time for them to find their own way in this world, but it is also time for me to once again, find mine.

And I come home from a hard day's work
And you're waitin' there
Not a care in the world.

See the smile awaitin' in the kitchen
Through cookin' and the plates for two
Feel the arms that reach out to hold me
In the evening when the day's through

Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
-Seals and Crofts


joanne said...

I've had that song running through my mind for days on end now. I remember it well, I was in college and had just met my future. My future husband, father of my children, future. Sweet memories come to me flowing on the breeze of youth. Thanks for the memory!

Renee said...

Our nest has been empty for a few years now, but I remember how it was when the last of 7 were gone....and even though my days were structured around an illness, I wondered who I was and what my future held now. And now with a dozen plus grandchildren added to our group, I ponder this new place I find myself and was will be revealed in yet another year of change. Sounds to me like you need some quiet time in retreat where your new identity can blend with your destiny now. Look forward to hearing about it!

Debra said...

Angella Lister said:

I know.
I know.
I know.

What you speak of here, I know so deeply. Yes, we are walking the same path. It does help to know we are doing this together. Perhaps this is what mothers who have loved nothing better than being mothers must face. It was always inevitable. We will find our voices again and we will mother ourselves. We will find new ways to be whole.

Love to you my sweet friend.

Miss A said...

I look at the pictures first and am always, always amazed by your daughters' beauty that shines through.
Glad that you are permanently moving to the beach! Ha to be your neighbor one day would be wonderful!

jen said...

It's been amazing sharing in this journey with you and your beautiful daughters. I can't imagine how challenging it must have been at times to raise four teenage girls. Your marriage continues to inspire me, Debra. And, your faith. xoxo

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