Monday, September 26, 2011

madame butterfly

While taking a break from the morning homeschool studies with mr. Cook and mr. Ninja, I snatched a half hour to sit quietly on the back porch and soak up the taunting sunshine that had decided to return from her week long hiatus.  Ready to absorb the next writing lesson from Julia Cameron's The Right to Write  or refuel on her encouragement, I came to the lesson about listening.  It is Cameron's opinion that it is easier to dictate the words that come to you through listening than to create something from scratch- to listen to the words that come to your mind and trust that they will guide you to whichever road they need to direct- whether it be a dead end or not.

This particular exercise asks one to imagine sitting under a large tree which has a very wise storyteller sitting on the other side, who is willing to share whatever story is requested.  What five stories would you ask him to tell?

Still pondering what to place on my list, mr. Cook popped outside and decided to sit next to me.  His eyes fell upon the butterfly bush that is planted beside the porch, which had managed to attract a  beautiful monarch with it's rich flowers of velvet. Excitedly, mr. Cook asked if he could run and get the camera.  I hesitated, thinking that by the time he would return, the butterfly would be gone.  Much to our delight, it wasn't- and fortunately for us,  the little lady wasn't camera-shy either as she busily flew from one flower to the next, focused solely on obtaining the sweet nectar.

Please tell me the story of the monarch, was written fourth on my list.  Weeks later, curiosity led me to the computer where I learned that the monarch lives only for two to six weeks after he/she breaks from it's chrysalis.  Only the fourth generation of monarchs migrate- and there are four generations in a year.

So this lady (and she is a lady because of her lack of the solo black spots found on each hind wing)  belongs to the fourth generation of monarchs which appear in September and October.  She will make the long journey south to Mexico or California and live for about six to eight months before she lays her eggs on the milkweed plant to start the cycle all over again.

Happy travels, little mama.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

madelinetosh: corsage

She is finally done.  Is in the hands of the new owner, and is being well loved.
If you'd like to make your own Ellie, you can find the pattern here:
Ysolde- Elijah. The yarn is by Madelinetosh in Corsage.

Originally, I had intended to make this elephant for Pixie 2 and give it to her on her birthday- come next March.  We'd had the Pixies over for a few overnights while their parents enjoyed a quick getaway to NYC.  It was over this weekend that Mr. Ninja decided to circumvent my birthday plan and use the elephant to lure Pixie 2 into the house, promising her that if she came inside, the elephant would be hers.
After that, there was no taking it back.  She knew the elephant was hers and from that point on, she had it with her everywhere.

I asked her what she was going to call it.  Her two-year-old response was Ellie.  
Couldn't have picked a better name, myself.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

a 9/11 remembrance

morning light, 2011
Ten years ago today, I was a very pregnant with Mr. Cook.  Nights were uncomfortable as my cramped bladder would awaken me, beckoning me to the bathroom, preparing me for the many sleepless nights I would soon experience with my newborn.  We were planning a home birth in our little two bedroom town home that was located right underneath the flight path of the Sky Harbor National airport. Hearing the planes pass overhead daily, was as routine as looking outside to find the sun shining in the big, blue Arizona sky.  Usually, I'd arise around 7 or 8 in the morning to see Mr. Hero off to work, before he began his forty-five minute commute to North Phoenix.  This morning was different.

While on the road, Mr. Hero called and with panic in his voice, he urged me to turn on the television set.  There was something going on in New York and he wasn't clear what it was.  Immediately, I found coverage on all of the news stations that the twin towers had been attacked.  I saw to my horror the airplanes flying into the World Trade Center.  I stood there in disbelief.  It was as if the whole thing were some freakish dream, yet it was all true.

The days following brought a tremendous amount of fear.  The planes were no longer flying overhead.  American flags were flying half mast as our country fell into mourning for the 2,470 Americans who lost their lives on this tragic day.  Alan Jackson's "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning..." continually played on the radio- bringing tears to my eyes when I listened to it.  Our country responded to this terrorist attack in a reactionary manner.   The level of security increased in our airports nationwide- requiring two hour waits to get through the gates, Congress passed the Patriot Act, in an effort to provide additional tools to the FBI to fight terrorism, and the war on terrorism and fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan began.

Mr. Cook was born one month and ten days later.  Of all of my children, he seems to be the most sensitive, most anxious, most readily frightened.  I don't know if this is because he felt that tremendous amount of fear I was experiencing, while he was still in my womb... it does make me wonder.  However, as I was sitting in church today, listening to my pastor speak about the Unitarian's principles of compassion, equity, and justice in human relations, and how this principle can help us view the terrorist attack in a new light, I couldn't help but ponder how this event has changed my life, and how can I respond because of it?  His question to us was whether or not in ten years, we would be living with the same fears, same threats, same regrets?  And what would be needed for the next ten years to be different? This is the question that was posed to the congregation.  And the congregation responded with these answers:

  • loving kindness
  • remembrance
  • forgiveness
  • tolerance
  • endurance
  • seekers of truth
  • to honor all souls- whether human or not
Moving into our future clothed in these attributes instead of fear, anger and hatred towards our enemies would make a difference, wouldn't it?  Would be another way to honor those whose lives were lost-so they might not have died in vain.
Mr. Cook in NYC,  reading the Flag of Honor which lists all the names of the
individuals who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

What do you think?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

and so she thought...

Letting go is about:

Choices- making the decision to put on the raincoat and take the walk anyway.

Control- deciding that it's o.k. to relinquish a little bit, even to the nine-year-old or the mother-in-love.

Compassion- choosing to love the difficult person, thing, or situation and trust that benefits may still be part of the outcome.

Creating Space- for peace, quiet, growth, love, and freedom.

In what ways have you recently found yourself letting go?  What did you discover from the process?