Saturday, September 8, 2012

Feeling Maudlin; aka my Fledglings are Learning to Fly and will Gradually be Leaving the Nest

If you don't like mushy, sentimental stuff, better not read any further.  I'm going to try to put into words how I'm feeling right now.  It's personal, and parts of it might be somewhat poetic, because that's how things are aligned in my brain right now.  Not poetic, as in rhythmic and rhyming.  But poetic, as in nature and words and sounds and feelings all coming together, into something that seems to be forcing itself out of my brain and heart, and onto my blog.

My oldest son graduated a year ago.  At that time, he moved home with no definite plans.  Then he moved to a nearby town.  After a several month stint of living on his own and providing for himself, he is living at home again.  It was not terribly traumatic for me to let go of him.  He didn't go far, and now he's back.  Probably he will leave again.  Perhaps he will go further afield this time. 

As a mother, I know I must be prepared for the fledgelings to leave the nest.  My brain knows this.  My heart is in denial.

Tomorrow Louisa leaves home for her trip to Italy.  She will be there for just over nine months.  We will still be with her tomorrow; we are leaving after church for the Twin Cities to stay the night.  Her plane leaves early Monday morning.

By the time she returns, Matt will be graduated from high school, and will be in San Diego, CA, at his Marine Corps basic training.  We took family pictures recently with the idea in our minds, "Only God knows when we will all be together again."

My brain and my heart of faith reminds me that this is not our real home.  We are all strangers and wanderers in this vale of tears.  We walk the paths along which God leads us.  We accomplish the tasks He lays before us.  We fall.  We get up again.  We bask in the love and forgiveness of our heavenly Father.  We rejoice.  We cry.  We tell others of the reason for the Hope the lies within us.

But through it all, we know that this is a transient world.  We live for God, and in Him, through Jesus, we will rise again to live together in eternity. 

But my heart of flesh loves this world.  I love my family.  I love the people and things God has given into my stewardship.  I don't want to let go of them.  I really don't.

The weather outside is perfect today.  Perfect for my melancholy.  I am fighting a little bit of a chest cold, so I'm spending the day mostly in my room.  I read awhile, nap awhile, and cough awhile, play a little computer solitaire, and check my facebook and e-mail. 

But directly behind my head is the great outdoors.  I have the bedroom window open.  It's a very blustery fall day.  The sound of the wind as it fights its way through the tall poplars is that of a rushing and mighty blast.  The gusts come wave upon wave.  Loud and robust, and then quieting until only a trace of white noise remains.  The merest whisper.  But before the sound disappears completely, it starts up again into a raging vengeance.  The sound conjures up images of autumn.  Of drippy days and falling leaves.  All the greens and reds and oranges and yellows of summer are fading.  They will be replaced soon with the grays and tans and whites of a Minnesota winter.  Already some of the leaves are turning.  These last few windy days have already brought many leaves scurrying through the sky and across the lawn. 

Yes, this is a perfect day for my grief.  My heart is crying.  It is heavy with sadness.  It's not an unexpected sadness.  But the weight and mass of it has surprised me.

I have snippets of songs running through my head.  In their entirety, the songs don't match our situation.  But different lines of different songs flit continually through my subconscious mind, and when I stop and peer into the dark recesses, I can grasp the little edges of these songs for a brief look.

"It's like walking in the rain and the snow, and there's no place to go.  And you're feeling like a part of you is dying."

"And the wind will whisper your name to me."

"Sunshine, on my shoulder makes me happy.  Sunshine in my eyes, can make me cry."

"All the leaves are gone, and the sky is gray."

And this last.  It's probably the least fitting, but somehow, there it is, wrapping itself around the corners of my heart and mind, along with all the others. 

I think that perhaps it's the optimism expressed with, "I wake up to a sunny day!"  So with that in mind, Mary, get on with it. 

You've had your little cry, now on to the sunny day.

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