I've been struggling with a paper that's due on Monday for my counselling class. My chosen topic is the issue of self-esteem and the middle school classroom. While there is copious amounts of information, to actually hit home the point that keeps wandering through my frontal lobe is, well, tough. Five to seven pages is a lofty goal. The problem is that self esteem doesn't just stand alone. Instead it's a great big umbrella that's attached to self worth, self image, and self ability. It's like a big looming tent that's sitting in a hurricane - it will either hold or it won't. It can be damaged and torn but still hang on, or it can float away like a balloon in a breeze. No wonder it's so tough to be human. I can't help but be intropective and take a flashlight to my own shadowed corners. I never thought anyone understood who I was... who I really was. I think the reality was that so many more understood than I gave them credit for. It was me in the dark. It's humbling to come to the point where you understand, with all the hindsight of clarity, that you really don't know it all.
I spent last Sunday afternoon with Grampie. We weeded his garden and then sat in the breeze under the pine trees that he planted with my uncle was born. They're very tall, fairly straight, and have solid roots. They're like Grampie. I learned that Grampie brings a lot of things to life because of his life... he cares and provides and is gentle in ridding weeds. But he understands that there are certain things out of his control. He can't change how much rain falls or how much the road washes away and floods his tomato plants with sand and gravel, all threatening his hard work. But he watches from the kitchen window, out of the storm but not far away, waiting for the rain to end, or at the very least, slow down a little. And then he goes back out with his hoe and fixes and clean things up the best that he can. The garden changed and will never be the same as it was, but he continues to help it to grow. He never lets it die without a fight. I can't help but be more than a little overwhelmed by that. As we sat there last Sunday I asked him if it had been strange when Dad became a preacher (because if truth be told, Dad was the last one that you would ever expect to become a preacher, and mom was the last one you would expect to become a preacher's wife). He looked at me with his beautiful blue eyes that I swear are still as clear as the day he was born, and said, Well somebody had to do it so why not him? And it made a lot of sense. Everything made a lot of sense. And I felt tears well up because all of a sudden, all the gold in the entire universe had just been laid at my feet and I was a very wealthy woman.
Once upon a time Peter's sister-in-law told me never to expect any public displays of affection from him. He didn't like it and would never do anything like that around his friends. Yesterday, as I was taking my position on first base and he was standing on the pitcher's mound he grabbed me around the waist and planted a big one on me in front of an adoring hometown crowd. We got hoops and cheers and a standing ovation. Atleast I think we did but it could have been all in my head. But that's only a technicality.
I am in big love with my life. Everywhere.
'Tis being and doing and having that make
All the plasures and pains of which
To be what God pleases, to do a man's best,
And to have a good heart, is the way to be blest"
Lord Byron (1788-1824)