|(photo added on September 24, 2012)|
I went camping! We joined my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins for a cosy group-camp. We cooked, we hiked, we biked, we threw rocks in the creek. We ate grandma's zucchini bread, aunt Jacque's taco dip, my fresh golden beet chips, uncle Rod's pancakes, and aunt Lyddia's fried eggplant, picked from grandpa's garden. It got a bit hot during the day but cooled down enough at night for pleasant sleeping in our eight-person tent. The girls love playing in that tent. Oh my goodness, and the highlight of camping was definitely when my girls put on a show for us in the mini-ampitheater (gravel "stage", eight benches for "stadium seating"). They took turns telling stories, jokes, and performing little dances. Children are so amazing.
I finished a manuscript (high fives, co-authors)! I wish I could say I submitted it, but it's a long story and suffice it to say that I don't have the internet link required to submit. But it's done and I'm not changing another word (so don't read it again, Tom).
I attended a Kiddical mass! A friend of mine organized a three-mile bike ride with kids and families (a kiddical mass), and the girls and I thought it would be fun now that the weather has finally cooled down. Since Azalea rides a bike with training wheels and Eleanor is still triking it, I decided to haul both girls in a trailer. Ugh! That was a load! The girls together weigh nearly 70 pounds, so the weight of the trailer is probably negligible. Needless to say I did not execute the whole route (it began uphill and against the wind, burn!), but it was great to participate.
I went to a barn dance tonight! We ran into some new friends earlier today, and they invited us to a free barn dance hosted by the Onion Creek Band. We had a ball! I wish you could see the look on Azalea's face when the circle closed in an everyone raised their arms with a "woo!" Her expression was joy and surprise with a touch of intrigue, like she couldn't believe that grown ups could be so much fun. Eleanor had fun, too, but seemed a bit bewildered. She broke down when I let go of her hand to step away from her, as prescribed by the dance. That's when I picked her up and we became Azalea's partner. We're already looking forward to our next barn dance.
I still have tiny flights of nerves from time to time, but those are getting to be fewer and farther between. Perhaps they will never go away, but I am learning how to make them pass. Recently in yoga we learned about addressing our fears. In meditation you find the place in your body where the fear is physically manifesting (in my case, my heart center). You simply breath into it. You slowly take a breath into your lungs and crowd that fear in its location. Then force that fear out with your exhale. You do this again and again until you no longer feel the fear. It's pretty amazing and kinda fun.
Barbara Kingsolver said, "The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope." My hope is simple, and by living so very much I am residing within that hope.