I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, December 16, 2012

When the sun returns

Young mother with her young son
It has been really dark and rainy in my part of the country lately. Although many of my blogging friends are complaining about their weather being warm and dry right now, it's not that way here in the Pacific Northwest, believe me! I can hear the rain drumming on the roof right now, and the days are so short that it seems the sun seems to barely come up before it goes down again. It's that time of year, but in a few short days the light will begin to return and the days will grow imperceptibly longer. By the end of January, I'll notice the lengthening of the days until summer, when the nights are barely there. It's all part of the circle of life.

I've used that picture before. It was taken by my then-husband Don of Chris and me on one snowy day in winter in the early 1960s. We lived in Michigan and took many walks together back then. Don has since passed away, and those two people in the picture are also long gone. One of them is me, but I am no longer a young mother, and Chris died when he was 40. But I still have the picture and the memories.

MerCyn of Six Decades and Counting gifted me with a blog award, after she herself was so honored. The link will take you to her post telling you about the award and why she has passed it along. Back in my early days of blogging, these awards went around quite often, and now I find that although I am happy to play along by telling you seven things about myself, I am not willing to single out five of my fellow bloggers. I did that for awhile, though, being someone who follows rules, even arbitrary ones. If you wish to have this award, I would be happy to send it along to you! Just let me know.

Let's see: seven things about myself that you are not likely to know already. That limits it, doesn't it, because I've told so much about myself in the blogosphere, but here goes:
  1. I've made 4,150 skydives in the past twenty-some years. You probably already knew that, but I still find it rather astounding myself.
  2. I was married and divorced three times by my thirtieth birthday, but now I've been married to Smart Guy for longer than all three of those earlier ones combined. This one took. 
  3. During my lifetime, I have colored my hair every shade imaginable, from champagne blond to jet black, with red and even blue in the mix. Now white hair suits me quite well.
  4. I have a collection of teddy bears. My favorite one belonged to my mother and is very well worn, missing an eye and a few other parts.
  5. I haven't carried an actual purse in three decades, using a backpack instead, but I call it my purse. That is what was stolen out of my car last Christmas Eve.
  6. Even though I experience some daily discomfort, I consider it normal to have aches and pains and take no medication for it on a regular basis. If it gets bad enough I'll take something, but I know that none of those medications are without some cost to my body.
  7. I wake sometimes with the most amazing dreams and could be a best selling novelist if I would ever write them down. 
Whew, that was fun, but it was also work. I had no idea that those items would be the ones I would choose, and I'm positive that now I will think of others and wonder why I didn't choose them! It's funny to think of myself in the abstract like that, figuring that my regular readers probably know most of these facts about me. It's a good thing I'm an extrovert. Of course, this blog is all about me and my life anyway.

Thank you, MerCyn, for the opportunity to fish around in my psyche and come up with some items you might not have known about me. It was quite a good exercise, so if any of my readers want to do the same, I can recommend it as an interesting activity, spending some time searching around for seven obscure things about yourself to share.


Red said...

Great metaphor with your life and the cycle of the seasons.
For today the sun rises here at 8:40 and sets at 4:22 .
I feel the same about some of these rewards.
Keep dry and warm.
Today I do Christmas bird count so I will be outside for about 5 hours. Then in the evening the birders have a pot luck.

Anonymous said...

Very beautiful and touching photo of you and Chris. Love it. And what an incredible life you have led, DJan. It's something to be proud of, despite the emotional pain you had to endure. Never mind the physical pain now! Yes, stay away from painkillers, if possible. Blessings all around! Cheers!

Rubye Jack said...

This is such a beautiful heart-warming picture of you and your son DJan. The years do pass don't they.

Personally, I find the awards fun. I suppose it is the child in me. When I've gotten awards I would pass them on to the new blogs I'd discovered that I thought others might also enjoy and to bring them into the fold so to speak.

When I was down in the heartland of rural America, the doctors had me on all kinds of pills and I finally decided that they only caused more trouble in the long run and so quit all of them except for the BP one. Backpacks are so much easier than purses aren't they.

Linda Myers said...

Lovely picture.

I think awards are like compliments - recognition of what someone else likes. Your blog is award worthy!

I didn't know any of those things about you, even after our weekend on Vashon.

Linda Reeder said...

I love that photo! And it is so appropriate for today - looking for the light. I am thwarted in my desire to walk outside today. 38 and raining is just too nasty.
With my blogging and my Facebooking, my life is an open book. I don't know if I have anything else to reveal. Well, that I would WANT to tell, anyway.
I didn't know about the Teddy bears. I guess you have kept a few things through all of your moving.

Arkansas Patti said...

That is just an amazing photo and I can see why you prize it so.
Congrats on the award. I enjoyed the 7 things but #7 really resonated with me. I do that also and sometimes write down the premise but that is as far as it goes.

Stella Jones said...

Gorgeous picture and every picture tells a story you know. You son has the same profile as you. So sad that he was taken from you so young.
So you have a teddy bear collection? Well I for one didn't know that. Why haven't you posted about them? Come on now, I'm dying to see some pictures, being a teddy bear lover myself.

Jackie said...

Those abstract thoughts that you compiled and shared are a lovely glimpse into the blogging friend I've come to love.
The photo of you and Chris is mesmerizing to me. The wonder in the eyes of both of you is beautiful....
I hug you and hope that you are having a good day, today.
Even though it might be raining in the Northwest, your blog brings sunshine to me. Thank you for that.

Sally Wessely said...

The photo of you and Chris is amazing. Your husband, at the time, captured the most wonderful looks of awe on the faces of you and your son. The lighting is amazing. I love it.

I think I knew a few of the seven things about you, but not all of them. I was most surprised by your collection on teddy bears. I thought you didn't collect things because you moved so easily this past time you moved. It gave me comfort that you have that teddy bear that belonged to your mother for some odd reason.

Far Side of Fifty said...

We have sunrise at 7:58 and sunset at 4:30..but on dreary cloudy days it gets dark shortly after 4PM. A few more days and we start gaining..slowly.
I have a backpack too..do you have your phone etc password protected now? I have a password for my Kindle..just incase...wish I could password protect my camera too.
That is a lovely photo of you and Chris..I am sure you are feeling lonely this time of year. Sending you a hug:)

The Broad said...

Well done on your choice, DJan.

Today our sunrise is at 8.24 and our sunset 15.50 (3.50) I remember being surprised when we lived in Olympia how similar the weather and daylight hours were. As I comment it's raining, grey and grim! But we don't get moss growing on everything!

#1Nana said...

I love the photo. We have miserable weather today. Rain is beating against the window and the wind is so strong it blew down the fence around the front pasture. I also have my mother's teddy bear. It is very old and tattered. It sits on the bed in the back bedroom and when I see it I am reminded of the story she told about it. That bear is probably 80 years old!

Donna B. said...

Oh DJan, I loved the photograph of you and Chris....I am always flattered when someone bestows an Award to me, but I choose not to participate in them too as I had such a difficult time singling out my fellow bloggers to share the awards. Like you, I would want to share it with everyone.

I used to collect Teddy Bears, tea cups, tea pots and anything shaped like a heart...but have stopped collecting...I strive for less stuff and a more simple life....less clutter.

I have always been a purse lover...continuously searching for the "perfect" purse for me. The bigger I go, the more I carry and I just can't make a small one work. I also have several backpacks...maybe I need to re-visit my closet and test drive a few to see how it would work....

I often carry one in addition to my purse, especially when I travel...you know, a book to read, snacks, iPod, iPad, macbook....

I enjoyed reading 7 obscure facts about you....some I know, some new information, but I am still smiling and still so grateful and happy we are friends.

Rita said...

That poignant photo so beautifully captured a precious shared moment.

Great post. Learned a few more things about you. :)

Friko said...

Your secrets are safe with us.

The picture of you and your son is glorious. True, all of the people have gone, but once you were that mother and you shared the love of your son and your then-husband, the photographer, who must surely have loved the two of you to capture this image of joy.

At this time of year I tend to think back over my life, not just the last twelve months, but all of it. Some of it was good, some of it sad; as you say, that’s how it goes.

Happy holidays, Djan.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

That photo says it all. Life. It gives us a brief moment to share time with others no matter who and then we wonder for all our lives why they are gone and what will be our fate. Thanks for the reminder.