I admit it: I'm a hopeless sponge, drinking in my inspiration from the people, music, landscape and books around me. But mostly, people. When I come home from an event, I'm charged. I can be dead tired, but I'm supercharged. There's something about talking with people, watching people, taking a clumsy step back and bumping into someone, then laughing about it and slapping shoulders that builds some happy sense of camaraderie. Seeing the way a lady dresses which highlights her elegance, the way she sits or stands or smilingly exits an entangling conversation, doing so as smooth and sweet as honey, the way her posture gives her the dignity of a thousand years, and her smiles and merry countenance the freshness of a mere girl - I cannot help but be drawn in and love it. Love watching people and learning from them. Immensely, I enjoy the charm of reforming myself on the way back home, and basking in the afterglow of the glimmering experience of faces and the buzz of conversations, the warmth of hearts affirming the other and such.
This summer perhaps more than others, I have thrived in mixing with my friends and family, because of realizing the sacrifice and effort it takes to see them, and because of recognizing, too, how much I need them.
Last week JB and I sat on the couch one night, and though he'd finished work for the day the weight of burdens he'd carried throughout it seemed to hover on his shoulders like ghostly echoes of troubling business. He yawned and I sat there feeling like bursting into tears for no reason. It's that after baby thing, I know and knew then, but a gal hates it the worst to blame tears on some unseen, unknown reason. I believe I'd rather cry over a split pea than to think I was crying for nothing. But there it was, that bothersome lump welling up at the back of my throat. He'd been talking a little, but looked over and he saw it, I guess. Maybe it'd gotten big enough to see through the throat itself.
"What's the matter, darlin'?" He asked and looked puzzled as we waded through a bog of silence. During this time I groped around in a muddy mind, hoping I could rustle up a reason for why I'd been like this all day long - something that would justify it and have the effect of "Oh, I see why. Yes, I'd be crying too, if I were you," but it wasn't there. Just a gloomy grey all intense and miserable without reason or rhyme.
"I - …I - just feel dead inside…" I mustered, glaring through tears at the invisible Something that made me feel ridiculous and out of my right mind and petty. I thought of all the girls in the world who would look at my life and think it was heaven. I looked around at our house, with bookshelves we'd bought with his hard earned money, the rug, the old hand-me-down couches that have seated many a person we loved. There was the little table, given to us by dear friends all the way from Georgia, and there, the twinkle lights and photos and paintings and lamps - all the collage of things we've added that have made our little house more of a home. It is luxurious - not all the nicest things - but they are used and comfortable and - they're ours. I thought of how many people in the world now are hurting, suffering with real issues to shed tears over, and they bear it all bravely while I'm here holding a beautiful healthy baby, sitting on a comfortable (free) couch by a tall, handsome Texan with the kindest heart on the earth and I'm crying???
He reached a hand over and took mine, then asked about a trip. He said he'd work hard and take me to a church meeting in Memphis that weekend, 15 hours away from where we live, if I wanted to go. He wanted to. He would. I needed it. And he did. Driving hard during the day after work and late that night, and then some the next day, we got there. I've grown up going to this event. My family and core group of closest friends attend this event. Besides that, and the more important thing - though we don't always act like it's so - is the Spiritual aspect. Since having Bella Rose I'd missed four Sundays and at least that many Wednesday night services. My heart was dry and brittle and my insides raw from whatever eats at me when I'm not close to my Life - Source as I should be.
I'm not dumb enough to think I don't need God for a full life. But if I were as cool as I used to think I wanted to be, I'd say I don't need people to be happy or full or inspired. That I could be one of those who seems to draw happiness and motivation from themselves. But I'm not. And honestly I don't want to be, because people are fascinating, with much to offer and to learn from. Visiting with my friends, hearing 6 sermons in three days, watching my family with Bella Rose and seeing my Grandmama, brothers and baby sister meet her for the first time - it all filled up an ache in my heart, so much so that days after I'm still experiencing the warmth of it. Still smiling over words exchanged, over memories fringed with wistful fragrance and still learning about growing as a person from my time there. When it comes down to it, I have to admit I'm a needy person. Needy of God and people and reminders of the very stuff I know, because I tend to forget it.
"Look at those big feet! I still can't get over girls feet nowadays. Back when I was growing up, I always wore a five or five and a half, but all you girls run around in eight's or nine's! Looks like she won't be any differnt."
Mama's smart new glasses remind me of her high school year book photos. And her laugh reminds me of sitting around the table at the Grey Submarine, eating roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, green beans and ocra from our garden and soaking in the general Sunday fest of stories and laughter with peach cobbler, coconut cake or homemade ice-cream and coffee to top it off.
This scene right here is as old as my memory and older. Grandmama, standing on her porch and waving us off with merry little chuckles and "I love you's" and "I'll see you next time's", "Don't forget your sandwich's" and "Debbie, did you get that package for Judy", will live as long in my memory, I hope, as it's been going on in real life.
Left-Right // Melody, Merry, Dawn, Abraham, Mama (with Bella Rose), Daddy, Chris, Me, JB, Anne, Jay. And Yes, this is every time we take a picture. Me adjusting or staring mouth half open at the camera because I can't quit being a photographer just because I'm in the picture.
I knew he'd be the greatest Granddazzle. And he is.
"How about ye send me another picture of the lass?" Was a text from him the other day - he being in Ga and I in Tx.
Abe has always thought little babies look like "bald squirrels", so I asked,
"You mean you want a photo of a bald squirrel?"
So I sent him one. He replied,
"I find myself irresistibly wanting to give the lass a good squeeze and some sugar."
I'm glad he finally did.
Dawn won't be called "Aunt". She won't have it. It's too "something". So she's Polly, and if you've ever read An Old Fashioned Girl, you'll see as well as I do, that it fits.
Uncle Chree, singing a song about how he was sure Bella was smiling because he was holding her.
I guess it is one of the most heart warming things to see your family love someone nearly as much as you do. If ever a heart could expand a little more, mine did in seeing my family love this little person so much. Are we a little baby crazy? Yeah. You could say so.
But hey, I guess we've waited long enough.
Baby Cousins! Ada and Rosie Belle making fast friend. >>Don't let the sleeping guise fool you. Rosie was into it, big time.
I'm grateful for Mama who's taught me much and is teaching me still, what a joyful life and selfless motherhood looks like in action.
And let me tell ya - My man?... Still can't believe he's mine. John Barrett Watson is the cream of the crop with a cherry on top, and somehow I got to marry him.