Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Attending to the things of Life

Last week was 'a wash', as far as 'outer work' goes.  No projects begun, worked on, or finished.  I couldn't seem to 'get it together' enough to do anything productive.  My body was OK, it was just my mind that seemed pre-occupied.  I had numberous memories surface throughout the week, along with feelings, that demanded attention.  So I attended to them.

My father is dying.  My brother tells me of going each day to help my father into bed at night.  They live on the same street, so it's close.  Dear Dad is such an interesting man.  I remember when I was 4 years old, on a hot summer day, my Daddy cleaned out a round, tin, horse-watering tub, and put it in the middle of our front lawn in Lehi, Utah, and my toddler sister Jane and I played in the water.  Two little blond girls, with Mama sitting on the front doorstep of the house, feeding a bottle to our new baby sister Jolene.  There was a huge tree in our front yard - I think it was a sycamore.  I remember thinking my Daddy was so smart for fixing us a 'swimming pool' to use.  Later, he told me that Porter Rockwell had built that house, as one of the houses he built in Utah after having been the body guard to Joseph Smith, Mormon prophet.  To me, it was just my family's house.  We had chickens out back, and I remember corn growing SO tall in the garden.  The neigbor had sheep in the field out back, and I liked them.  Years later, when I was married with five children, I got a ewe who was ready to lamb and kept her in the 'back field' in So. Weber, Utah, where we lived then.  I wanted to continue my efforts to provide my family with the 'natural' basics, I was helping my boys with Boy Scouts, and I thought that a few sheep would be a good project. 

My father was a rancher from Eastern Utah, turned insurance saleman to support his family.  He's 94, and his mind has been sharp until just lately.  He has so many stories of 'the old times', and has been trying to record as many as he can.  I've been helping, by phone, with some of those memories.  And with these memories, as I've been reminding my father so he can write his own, I've had feelings come that have been long 'buried and forgotten'.  I've worked on lots of 'mother/father' issues, and seem to have cleared much.  So what's been coming this past week has to do with the more subtle realizations of 'the water I swam in'.  That metaphor is from the example of asking a fish, "How's the water?"  The fish would simply reply, "What water?"  This past week I've become more aware, through the sharing of both my mother and my father, of the 'water I swam in'.  Their personal struggles, their intentions, their perspectives of should's and shouldn'ts in raising their children.  I realize that I did feel loved, even cherished, but it was not unconditional.  My parents could only give what THEY had, themselves, and neither one had received, nor felt, unconditionally accepted and loved.  I believe it's probably the same for each of us, in a way.  There's no 'ideal' here, no 'perfect childhood'.  How it was for ME was what I got this week.  And how my entire life has been affected.  No big wow's, but so many small, powerful realizations.


Post a Comment


Sample text