Finding Your Heart
I decided to go blueberry picking. Berry picking is a pretty nostalgic thing for me. When I was young, I would go blue berry picking near our home just about everyday while the low bush berries were around. I got started berry picking with my dad. He would get us all in the car and we would pick strawberries, then raspberries and blueberries. We harvested zucchini, beans and peas through the season. When fall arrived, it was apples and pears.
When my dad was still working, he bought a 55 acres of land and planted his own garden producing more food than he could eat. As his health became less reliable, and he retired, he had a garden in his back yard. He would harvest cucumbers and make pickles, beets were stored to be enjoyed throughout the year.
En route to the blueberries, I decided to stop and visit mom and dad at Holy Cross cemetery. I cannot name what the thought was, but as I approached their grave the tears began to flow. I guess I miss them. I miss not being able to plan berry picking with my dad. I hate that they got old, and that I am getting old. I am incredibly proud of my son and frustrated that he is now on his own and I miss so much of his life.
With more than 10 pounds of blueberries, I returned home and promptly redirected my attention to getting some shit done. Trim in the room downstairs which is a project long left uncompleted because it felt so overwhelming. That project lead to painting. I also need to take care of those clothes that need hemming and a zipper replaced.
My mind is running… looking for an occupation. The moment I stop, I eat and drink. Better to keep running.
Is it the grief at all the loss? Or is it the fear of my own aging? Is it the loneliness? Or is it the boredom?
Perhaps the most effective question is what am I not wanting to feel? I don’t want to feel being alone. I don’t want to feel the sense of grief of all that has been lost to my life. I don’t want to let go of my son, my parents. I don’t want to face who I have to become without them.
My son made me a mother and I love being a mother. I love having a schedule that depends on another person I love. I love having someone depend on me. That’s the real truth, having someone depend on me gives me a sense of purpose and meaning to another. A feeling of belonging and value.
My parents were always a little challenging for me. My dad approved of my berry picking penchant, but there were many parts of me he was less than impressed by. At least picking berries with him I felt like we were connected and just for that moment I was not a disappointment.
As I work on the basement trim I listen to Dr. Edith Eger’s book, The Choice. Her life of capture and imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp being far more traumatic than the death of both parents and a son going to college, I have very little to complain about. And yet, I understand the message she is offering… we chose whether we look to the past or we look in the present and toward the future.
Then opens another pandora’s box… what does the future hold that I am actually looking forward to?
Hmmm… that is tough. My life is pretty solitary and repetitive. The parts that I enjoy include coaching the youth who are pursuing climbing performance goals. I enjoy spending time hiking and writing. If I had a million dollars I would coach just for the shear joy of it and I would hike all over the place.
Perhaps it is as simple as that… just focus on the pursuit of the things that bring you joy. Just remember what brings you joy.