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, May 12, 2013

It's that day again

Me and my mama long, long ago
The family member who is not in this picture, my dad, was behind the camera. I sometimes wonder if the desire to take pictures is inherited, since I love it, and I remember him enjoying it enough to have a darkroom to develop pictures. This cheeky little girl and her beautiful mother are preserved for us to enjoy almost seventy years later, thanks to Daddy. Mama must have loved to dress me up, since I think I look pretty cool in that beret and outfit, which she might have made herself. And that old Packard in the background! You know when I was in that car, there were no seat belts or restraints of any kind, and I probably jumped up and down in the back seat or sat in Mama's lap in the front. Things we would never even consider allowing any more, not to mention it's against the law.

Yesterday was an unexpectedly beautiful day, with high clouds and abundant sunshine. I drove down to Snohomish and made another four skydives with my friends. We didn't know if it would be possible to make any at all because the weather forecast was iffy, but it turned out to be another perfect day. Last Saturday I made four and went home, but Linny and Christy came back the next day and made seven each, for a total of eleven for the weekend. I was that gung-ho once myself, but that has all changed, and I was satisfied with my measly four jumps. They told me that last Monday morning they were so sore everywhere from the activity that they could barely move! By the end of the summer they will be accustomed to it. I will keep to my less frequent activity and enjoy it for at least one more season.

It's been a very good week, with the unusual constant sunshine and people in skimpy dress out enjoying the beautiful May weather. Everything is in bloom everywhere I look; all the colorful rhododendrons are out, catching my eye as I pass by. I would take pictures of them, but I've done that every spring now and there's nothing much new to capture. Now I simply enjoy the riotous colors and take note of their beauty. Maybe today, Mother's Day, I'll wander around and take pictures of them with raindrops on them, since the rain has finally returned. The next week's weather will be wet and unsettled, and we will return to our normal temperatures again.

As much as I enjoyed the weather, I find that I don't mind the sound of the rain outside the window. It seems much more normal, and I won't have to water my garden today, as it will get a good soaking from Mother Nature.  My ears have finally recovered from the sunburn they received last Tuesday, when Al and I went up to the Mt. Baker area for a snowshoe excursion. It was completely sunny, and the reflection of the sun on the snow at altitude made sunscreen imperative. I wore a visor so that I wouldn't be too hot as we labored upwards, but I had forgotten to put sunscreen on my ears! They burned for a couple of days afterwards but seem to finally be okay.

I've been thinking of my parents and missing them both lately, especially Mama. And today's the day I think of all the Mother's Days I have had since she left, twenty of them. You only have one mother, after all, and she holds a very special place in the hearts of most of us. To reflect on the life of that one person who carried us under her heart and labored to give us the chance to draw our first breath, to grow up under her tutelage and then become independent of her. I see it everywhere in nature, with the first clutch of eggs hatched in birds' nests and the gaping mouths of the chicks waiting for their parents to feed them. I have belonged to the Whatcom Birders' listserv for years now and save pictures that I especially enjoy. Here's one that captures the day for me.
Taken by Douglas Brown, hummingbirds being fed by Mama
It's been a good week, one that found me enjoying being alive and healthy, giving thanks for having finally gotten over that awful illness that kept me down for way too long. Today I'll probably spend some time thinking about how to plant the remainder of my garden plot and maybe find some random act of kindness to pass along to some unsuspecting soul. I hope you have a wonderful week and we'll visit again next Sunday morning.


Sally Wessely said...

You were a darling child. I love the cute outfit. Thanks for the upbeat thoughts. Happy Mother's Day. I love that you plan to spend it in a way that is productive and blesses others.

Linda Myers said...

I love the picture of the mama bird feeding her babies.

Rian said...

That is a darling photo of you and your mom. And Djan, I thought of you when someone pointed out Mt Baker to me on my trip.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Wonderful old photo! You were so cute! Happy Mother's Day..you are a special lady..just wanted you to know that on Mother's Day! :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats on being healthy again! Too often we take our health for granted until, wham!, we are hit with a virus or bacteria. Perhaps, after you give up skydiving, you will consider tap dancing for exercise. That would be fun. I know I enjoy dancing the hula. It's not only the exercise, but it's my enjoying the beautiful Hawaiian music. Happy Mother's Day, DJan!

Mel said...

I just love that picture of you, so adorable in that outfit, so loved by your mom.

I'm so glad you're feeling better, it was a wicked virus, wasn't it? I still have a lingering cough but I'm almost myself again.

I laughed about your photo comment, because this year I haven't taken as many as I used to, because I have hundreds of the same photos and this year had the same thought, nothing new to see, just look and enjoy.

I always love reading your Sunday posts, because I always come away feeling enriched by your words, and honored to know you. Hope you have fun in the garden and your back doesn't punish you like mine has - I'm almost able to bend down after a week, ugh. You can imagine how in awe I must be of your skydiving and hiking. Thanks to you, I'm completely expecting to catch my second wind and have some grand adventures in this next phase of my life.

Have a great week, and thanks for that hummingbird picture, it made me very happy.

Linda Reeder said...

I love your contented tone today. Peace be with you, dear friend.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

It sounds like you are in a very happy, contented, rich place this week. I am glad for you and I'm feeling pretty good (and grateful) myself. Have a great week, my friend.

Dee said...

Dear DJan, your posting today was replete with contentment. And it oozed, via your words, into my own contentment, enlarging and enhancing it. Your words about your parents made me remember my own and the love they had/have for me. Mom's been dead for forty-five years now; Dad's been dead for thirty-eight. They still seem near.

I just got back from a thirty-minute walk, my second in two days. It's left me contented also. And I so hope to experience this contentment again and again in the following months as I try to get back to my routine of daily walking. I did that for about twenty-five years in Stillwater, Minnesota. Then Meniere's entered my life and no walking was possible. Now, I'm hoping, I can resume a habit that gave me such peace and contentment.

You know, DJan, I think of you as a modern philosopher. Your writing helps me know what I think. Thank you. Peace.

Gigi said...

I absolutely love that picture of you and your mom!

And yes, just like you, I'm usually the one behind the camera.

Arkansas Patti said...

Adorable picture of you and your Mom. Some people don't look at all like they did as children-- that picture is a perfect mini you.
Glad your ears healed.

Olga said...

Your smile has remained exactly the same. I am in awe of anyone who skydives.

Red said...

It's been a good week since you are fully recovered from your cold and life seems that much better.
My Mom left us 40 years ago and my step mom died in 2006. They were both very good to me.

Jackie said...

You have a gift for putting words together perfectly...in such a way that they touch a heart when they are read. I know that your Mom is proud of you. And it is evident that you have always loved each other. Happy Mother's Day to Jan's Mother in Heaven.

amanda said...

Your Mama was beautiful - that photo is a treasure!
Beautiful words flowing here, DJan.
Tugged at my heartstrings & made me feel that sunshine!

troutbirder said...

Glad your feeling better. Beautiful mom and little girl there. I think by the thoughfulness of the picture your dad knew he had something special going...:)

Friko said...

Going round and looking for a random act of kindness to bestow on some unsuspecting soul . . .

What a lovely way to go about the day.

Every post of yours tells me of your great zest for life. I admire you.

Rita said...

I love the picture of sparkly you and your mama! Sounds like it was a good day with beautiful memories. :)

John's Island said...

Hi DJan, Sure enjoy your writing. I especially like the way you weave life philosophy into things. Your thoughts about skipping the photos on the rhododendrons this year because you've done them so many times before ... I recently caught myself thinking the same thing, not about rhododies but about other flowers I've pictured so often on my blog. Really enjoyed the post. John

Stella Jones said...

That's a lovely picture of you and your mum. It's so nice to be able to look back and see as well as remember.