“When you feel a connection, a gut connection, a heart connection, it’s a very special thing.” Alfre Woodard
Looking in all the Right Places
There is something special, as Alfre said, about making a connection. She was talking about that love/lust thing, which thankfully I’ve experienced a few times in my life. While these have all bloomed and faded, they’ve left behind memories, both good, and bad, that put under the microscope help me define who I am.
Now, in my seventh decade, I find connections that define who I am in different ways. Mostly they come through travel, books and family relationships, the latter of which, when I think hard enough about them, leave me understanding that I was at times better than I gave myself credit for, but also sometimes not as good as I thought I was.
It’s a complicated thing, and sometimes I simply decide to give up thinking about whether I was a good, strong mother, or a weak, spineless one. .
It’s much more rewarding and fascinating to come across things in my travels that connect to my life, like a Chinaberry tree that reminded me of the many hours I spent up in one in my grandmother’s back yard – until the day I discovered a rattlesnake sunning on the rock I used to boost myself up into the branches. The snake scurried away as fast as I did. It was probably as afraid of me as I was of it, but I never climbed that tree again.
All this came back to as I watched a white-breasted nuthatch in a Chinaberry tree growing next to where I was camping in my RV, Gypsy Lee. Time, I realized, had taught me to fear the snake when it was where I would place my foot, but not to fear it when it wasn’t there. It was a well-learned lesson that gave me many years of freedom in the outdoors and the courage to face the unknown unafraid.
Books, meanwhile, let me know that I’m not alone in my odd ways of thinking. I delight when I come across a person in a memoir, or a character in a novel, who sees the world as I do, which is through rose-colored glasses despite accepting the reality that the world is chaotic and often unfair.
These are the kinds of connections I never had time to make when I was younger. I was too busy simply living life. But suddenly I find them fascinating. These connections to my life happen often these days, and they enrich my days. So I have come to search for them – in all the right places.
Bean’s Pat: The Gift of Time http://tinyurl.com/lskfbh4 Tosty Mae makes me laugh. And I loved this blog about unwelcome “connections.”