Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Repost

I just logged on to read Hopeful Parents and realized that today was my day to post! And now it's after nine o'clock at night on the west coast which means the day is turning on the east, and I have nothing to post. So, what I'm going to do is post one of my favorite posts from my blog. I realized when I read it tonight that one of the things about living with my daughter, Sophie, is the timelessness of it all. The fact that her disability, the ups and downs of her seizures, her slow development that moves forward incrementally and brings such joy is almost timeless. What was true last year is also true of this year. What was true five years ago is sometimes true now. I suppose this could be depressing, but in fact, it's not, and I'm not sure why. I think the word timeless, with its suggestion of eternity, has as its base, love. The post is from the fall of 2008, so it's well over a year old, but I could have written it yesterday.

Sophie has been having a lot of ups and downs these days, more downs than ups, actually. And I've been so busy with the boys and back to school and then this Sarah Palin stuff really knocked me out. And I still have a bit of an addiction for the word games on Facebook and reading other peoples' blogs and, well, the list just keeps going on. Oh, and I'm running for Vice-President, too. So, I'm busy. Really busy.

My friends and family ask me, "How is Sophie doing these days?" And I usually say, "She's all right. She has her ups and downs." I don't bother to tell them that she's mostly down right now because it's actually gotten to be routine. The down stuff. If I tell them, I'd also have to explain things and maybe help them to feel better. 

Instead, I look at the moon, a huge, pale and glowing disk in the sky these last couple of nights and think it's really so close. It is what it is.

It is what it is.

There's a blanket of tiny yellow flowers lying on our front lawn. I can never remember the name of the tree that is shedding these tiny flowers, but we can't remember another fall where they were quite so profuse. We all trail them in the house and they're stuck in Sophie's carpet. I pick them out of my hair and sweep them from the bathroom rug. In the morning, when we drive off to school, they fly off the windshield and past the back windows, making the boys shout with excitement. "Yellow snow!" they exclaim.

When Sophie came home today, we sat on the grass for a few minutes and even lay back under the tree. The yellow flowers kept drifting down and around, on top of us. We got up and went for a walk around the block, and when we got back to the house, Sophie was very tired. I put some music on in her room, a CD of songs that they play in my kundalini yoga class, and Sophie lay down on her bed. I was going to leave her and go do some busy work, but instead I lay down next to her and held her hand. My palm was against hers, dry and warm and we both looked out the window at the palm trees swaying in the back yard. Snatam Kaur
 sang in her ethereal voice and I slowed my breathing, waiting for Sophie's own.

I wondered whether meditation could fill up the room, whether my mindful breathing could affect hers. I wondered whether she sensed my presence and whether our consciousness was linked in a way that was wordless. I thought of the green tree and the yellow flowers and the blanket over the green grass. It was all good.

Elizabeth tries to write regularly at a moon, worn as if it had been a shell.


  1. I loved this post when I read it on your blog and I love it here. "It is what it is." That mindset allows us to let go of wishing things were different from how they are and find beauty in what is right in front of us. I love the way you write about the yellow flowers and lying down with, and being with, Sophie.

  2. Wow, that is a breathtaking post. Thank you.

  3. I see why this is one of your favorites, it's gorgeous.

  4. This is so beautiful, Elizabeth. I'm really glad you reposted it here. These lovely images woven by your words are indeed timeless.

  5. Karen GerstenbergerJanuary 23, 2010 at 12:07 AM

    Oh, I do believe that she senses your presence and that your consciousness' are linked. The link is love; the presence of love is unstoppable and unmistakable. It's a universal language. Every thought and act of your caring for Sophie, for your boys and your husband is communicating that language of love.
    I believe with all of my heart that Love Conquers All. In the end, it's all that matters; it is what we are, and what we are here to learn. At least, that's what I believe. Thank you for sharing this beautiful glimpse of a day in your life.

  6. This is overwhelmingly beautiful.

  7. What a beautiful picture I have in my head to start the day - thank you.

  8. Elizabeth, this should be required reading for parents hell-bent on progress/cure/improvement...etc. We all spend some time in a flurry of activity trying to make things better. Which as strong as that may look from the outside, when approached frantically, it's the wrong side of acceptance.
    Thanks for this luxurious reminder to stop. Breathe. See.