Today, a wintry mix of rain and snow falls outside my window. But we might as well ignore that old news … because in the time it has taken my eyes to move from computer to window screen, the light gray sky has become full of fat, fluffy snowflakes.
So it goes with Oklahoma weather… and life and… well, I’ve been thinking of late… those relationships with whom we love more than words can convey. All of them suffer droughts and seasons of moisture and gladness and sorrow and times when things just seem to sync and other times when we just feel walloped by our powerlessness to fix or make things better.
City officials — was it last week or the week before last?– began brainstorming on further water conservation strategies should our unwelcomed drought linger on and on into infinity and beyond. Lawn and garden irrigation may be outright prohibited — and/or those of us who use more that what the city deems “their fair share” may incur a surcharge. For now, we are under a winter rationing plan, following rules once reserved only for the depths of summer hell … which means, that all my big ‘ole spring gardening dreams have blown away in a cloud of dust.
There would have been a time, not that long ago, when I would have plunged ahead with plans of all sorts, come the proverbial hell or high water. Why, by now, I would have already planned which new shrubs would be going where..and lined up contractors to break up old backyard concrete so that new paths could be drawn to enlarge and soften and fill in new garden lines. So, I wonder: Is it age that causes me to listen to the weather forecasts and adjust plans, to listen more closely to what people say (or don’t), or to listen to the rhythm of my days in order to move more in keeping with their changing beat?
The local AMC movie theater is offering a 2-1 special for anyone who wishes to view the Academy award nominated film, Beasts of the Southern Wild. Half of me wants to go, because I know this film would stir my soul and sprinkle in new seeds of thought, that only this particular piece of art has in its treasure box. But instead, I’m sitting here in from of my hearth, in my Hemingwayesque, Havana inspired living room — a decor, if you can believe it, that sprung out of last year’s visit to Key West, where we vacationed exactly a year ago today, while meanwhile, back at our OKC ranch-house, it was snowing and my youngest son was turning twenty-four and some of his siblings were picking him up for a birthday dinner of sushi.
So… though half of me wants to go to the movies the other half — perhaps the better half of me — prefers to watch the real-time show of falling snow outside my picture window. Already, the trees are sugar-coated with snow.
I tend not to sugar-coat life — just ask my children — and too often, what I say is just more than they can take. It makes me sad that I can’t do better… that I can’t share my thoughts in a way that is healing rather than hurting, where words spoken would fall gently, oh so soft and quiet and beautiful like this snow falling outside my window. When I serve up too much truth… I tell myself I’ll do better. And maybe, sometimes, I do. But for better and worse, I am who I am, and I slip into old molds of living, often hurting those I love most without trying, and, often, without even knowing it. Until days or weeks or months down the road, when I begin to wonder why I haven’t heard from this loved on or that one….
It makes me crazy. So much so that I try to rationalize away the pain by telling myself that my children (and others whom I love) have many, many friends willing to put the best gloss on life… and that, well, they have only one me… who is willing to level with them… who is willing to share the unvarnished truth with them… well, at least, the truth according to Moi… but it’s poor comfort with no staying power, that melts as fast as an Oklahoma snow.
Today is President Lincoln’s birthday… and if you haven’t seen it… Lincoln would be another wonderful Oscar nominated film to catch today… if you are not catching, like me, a better reality show of snowflakes falling on a drought-thirsty land.
Today is also my youngest son’s twenty-fifth birthday… and I wish… oh, I wish for all those sorts of things that mothers everywhere probably wish for their children, you know, that all his dreams might come true and that life itself, everyday, will be better and more magical than the best dreams can conjure.
Today is also Fat Tuesday, which means tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and then Lent and a forty-day season of time for thoughts such as these. What else can I say… but God, have mercy?