Joy and me at a photo shoot for 25 new photographers who needed subjects to ”practice on” at Garden of the Gods, two weeks ago.(She is my pajama’d friend of the story below.)
The best of best moments.
It wasn’t going to a Broadway play in New York City–though that was amazing. It wasn’t seeing the Statue of Liberty up close, or Time Square and real NY Cheesecake. It wasn’t the train rides, visiting with lovely, thoughtful women in the homes where we stayed, though the time shared and dreams and ideals expressed, was of the sweetest kind of soul-sharing.
It wasn’t even the stimulating fellowship at the poignant Relevant Blogging conference, where I interacted with and engaged with 200 gifted, sweet, encouraging writers. Also, an encounter I will long remember.
But two moments pressed into my memories.
Late Sunday night, Comfy, squishy, black cotton pj’s adorned my weary body as I plumped two pillows from my bed. Patting them, I gestured to my amber-eyed, tossled haired, barely distinguishable freckled, 15 year old to lay down on my pillowed lap. Clothed in her own warm flannels, she squished up on the couch, draping her legs over the end. Her warm body helped disperse the chill of our first cold night.
Sharing profound soul-thoughts, laughing at stories from the days of the week, tearing up over the needs of friends, planning life together, she only wanted me to be her friend, companion of these quiet moments, one who listens and hears beyond the words,–she wanted me only to be her mother. I tenderly stroked her hair out of her eyes, and caressed the sweet face so close to mine. What a gift that God chose me to be her mother–the one who had the unique calling to breathe life and beauty and hope and inspiration into her soul. That He would choose me for her, a gift beyond understanding.
What comfort came to me–the one who does not like the spotlight or to be the center of attention. Me, inside feeling fragile in crowds of women, inferior in my own eyes, not knowing what to share, but learning to press through what God has put on my plate to do.
Never feeling that I quite fit in–but here, in the quiet of a Sunday night, I fit in as my true self was known, and fully embraced in the sweet lingering moments of sleepy late night.
The second moment, pattering out of bed in the semi-darkness of 6 a.m. sun rising light, I reach for the empty kettle. Gathering mug and cup, I “put on the tea” and settled into mommy arm chair and he into his leather, manly one, “50 year old birthday present” from 9 years ago. Together, we shared in the sweet, quiet moments together of life, dreams, work, a thumb injury, the phone calls and issues of our very own children, the sharing of what it feels like to get old together when surrounded by so many young, talented people.
Thirty precious years of this early morning reverie. But this moment, made new again by his presence and listening ears. This, the secure comfort with my stable, strong, always “there for me” husband, no performance–all sins known from long ago, known and souls laid bare. This “knowing and still loving” comfort, built over 30 years of the life we have struggled through and celebrated together. This my second moment of grace that soothed my soul and spoke to me, “Ah, it is good to be truly home.”