Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “home.” Use it as a noun, a verb, an adjective, or an adverb. Enjoy!
“You can’t go home again.” No truer words have ever been spoken. Of course, gathering as families or connecting with old friends can be a pleasant experience but how often do our hopeful expectations of somehow being transported back to a ‘happy place and time’ come true? I guess that all depends on how specific one’s expectations are. I know some people would probably say that my initial declaration is a bunch of nonsense. That’s cool. I don’t intend to ‘harsh’ anyone’s experience. But for me, the sugar-coated memories I have are too precious to experiment with by adding a 2.0 version. I’m well aware of the selective nature of our memories. Heck… I never even put much stock in any ‘eyewitness accounts’. I also realize that there are varying levels of optimism and pessimism in each of us. Some people dwell only on the pleasant memories and others (sadly) give too much of their time and energy to the unpleasant ones. Either way, there’s no doubt that we have embellished those memories. So, for me, ‘there’s no going home again’. And that isn’t a sad concept. Perhaps, we who choose to take the path of blowing off high school reunions or trips to childhood ‘stomping grounds’ have a concept of life as an ever-flowing journey of learning and collecting experiences and are compelled to keep moving forward. Reflection on our ‘roads taken’ is a marvelous affirming experience but there’s no return trip in our itinerary. We prefer keeping our memories like a classic movie- without alterations, modern revisions or remakes. A case might even be made that people who keep “moving on” value the route they’ve taken the most.
“Total all-encompassing darkness even though the midday sun burns my face!”
Brian paused as he processed those opposing disorienting sensations. But as he crossed his legs and sat, he could smell the rich microbial communities in his newly tilled garden soil and felt balance return.
The wartime sacrifice of his sight wasn’t going to rob him of living fully. At that moment, he realized perhaps more fully than he’d ever known.
His father had dug a donut-shape and seated Brian on sod in the center with a trowel and 2 pre-selected seed packages.
Brian wanted sturdy sunflowers so their growth could be witnessed by his flesh as cool shadows, yet his fingertips would not bend them.
His other request was for aroma.
His Dad shed silent tears when Brian proclaimed, “I’d like, too, to plant the sweet alyssum that smells like honey and peace.”
In one convulsive second, when the crying infant still tethered to her by an umbilical cord was placed on her stomach, all her ‘befores‘ dissolved. The child catching grasshoppers in the tall grass at her grandmother’s farm, the teenager with a crush on one of her teachers, and the woman picking flowers for centerpieces on her wedding day, were gone.
When her brand-new daughter was brought to her, all clean, perfect, and ready to nurse, their eyes met. “Hello, Ellen. I can’t wait to get to know you.” she whispered. She had no doubt that a blessed transformation had taken place and her life, from that moment forward, would wholly be defined by ‘afters‘.
We’ve been asked how we relate to the above quote. I made a 44-year career out of caring for children in my home and, even now, my granddaughters frequently spend time here. Most of my adult life has therefore not been interruption-free. For a while, in my earliest blogging days, I got out of bed an hour and a half before the ‘gang’ arrived and wrote speedy pieces. Actually, that time limit fueled my interest in flash fiction which I accidentally found I had an aptitude for! Since my husband retired, there’s no actual me-time or space. Yet, I’ve always been a spontaneous sort and my inclination to surround myself with children is proof of that. I now pull out my laptop to my kitchen table randomly and race to run errands mid-post frequently. All the while, my mind mulls over the original inspiration and, quite often, inspires excellent new insights! Zigging and zagging all day comes naturally to me. LOL I set no schedule nor limits for myself making my writing endeavors a treat not any sort of chore. My goal of one day writing a book will be subject to life’s plan. If I were to stress over it, then all the other things that I do would suffer. I am more than a writer. With this attitude I’ll probably never be a Stephen King, but I’m happy, useful, and thankful for all of my opportunities. The rest of my life will write itself, I guess. 😉
Sadje has invited us to respond to her Sunday Poser Question.
I don’t know if I got used to not keeping a schedule before I did childcare for the better part of my life, or childcare inspired me not to keep a strict routine. When I recall how ‘last minute’ I was with school assignments, I’m inclined to think it’s the former. It may seem odd to care for kids and NOT have a routine. I’m sure some people do. But kids live life ‘in the moment’. Appreciating that myself, is probably why I was drawn to kids (and all kinds of animals). What I’m doing at any given moment is the most interesting thing. I joined a bowling team once… having to be there at a specific time was just too much for me! That experiment lasted two weeks. LOL I can’t imagine watching a backhoe digging in the driveway and breaking away from that interesting experience according to the demands of a clock. Deadlines, schedules, and routines ruin my life experiences more often than enhance them. I’m oddly very punctual at scheduled events. (I just want to get them over with, as soon as, possible.) When my husband and I are at our camp, guess when we eat meals? When we feel hungry, of course. Because we’re happily busy there, it’s most often, only once a day and likely not together. We’ll enjoy a few adult beverages at day’s end together though. Day’s end isn’t even a specific time. 😉 I take blogging the same way. Some days it’s one fun ‘write’ after another, and other days, something else captures my attention. (I don’t have ADD or Autism. I’ve checked. lol) I can leave blogging alone for extended periods, like weeks or even months. Actually, rediscovering it after a long absence, is its own kind of fun. I hope this post serves my blogging friends as a warning. If I don’t respond to a comment, I’m not ignoring you. I haven’t seen it yet. 😀
If you could have a second chance at just one event in your life, what would you choose? What would you do differently? How do you think your life would be different now?
Woulda, coulda, shoulda is the essence of this question. I find a direct answer to this question extremely difficult. Did I have life decisions that turned ‘sideways’? Countless times. But I’m a ‘what’s done is done’ person who finds counting my blessings such an integral part of my life journey that focusing on regrets is nearly impossible. The ripples caused by life events are also countless. Not all are unpleasant, wrong-headed, or bad. Even what seems regretful, at first, often turns out to have a silver-lining. Perhaps, my lack of interest in reviewing my past decisions comes from my acceptance that we all make mistakes and none of us has a clear view of the future. I humbly don’t give myself that much credit for my course. To me, life is a series of reactions to events and situations. I feel no power in directing life beyond trying to react with the best intentions. Gosh, have you ever heard the saying, “Some of the worst ideas come from the best intentions.”? Well, those moments are for learning and growth, IMO. That’s probably why we have a bucket load of bad outcomes when we’re young and tend to do better later on. So, I wouldn’t change a thing if given the chance. But I feel better equipped every day for making decisions that I can live with. Too bad we all have to learn the ‘hard way’ but I feel I’m happier focusing on my blessings rather than holding on to regrets. I also believe whole-heartedly in forgiveness. Forgiving ourselves seems our hardest task. https://fivedotoh.com/2022/03/23/fandangos-provocative-question-162/
I'm nobody! who are you? Are you nobody too, then there's a pair of us. Don't tell! they'd advertise you know. How dreary-to be somebody. How public-like a frog. To tell one's name-the livelong June, to an admiring bog. Poem by Emily Dickinson.