A week from now I’ll be in Wales. I can hardly believe it. My sisters and I are going to see the birthplace of our grandfather whom we never knew. It may seem hard to believe, but as the youngest child of a youngest child, my grandfather was born in 1864. He died at age 90 just before I was born. He came to the United States at age 12 with only his sister. His parents stayed behind in Wales until many years later. He was a coal miner all his life. It’s hard to imagine the changes he experienced in his lifetime, 1864-1955. My sister has been making inquiries with genealogists in the family who are putting us in touch with cousins. The pull of family is very strong, and we feel the promise of a certain sense of home, of roots, of being grounded in the place we came from.
As a knitter, I can hardly wait to see the lambs frolicking in green, green valleys. As a musician, I can hardly wait to hear a Welsh choir. As a nature-lover, I can hardly wait to walk the Brecon Beacons, see the spring flowers, and hear the birds. As a granddaughter, I can hardly wait to have a real picture of the place where my grandfather was born.
To be with my sisters for more than a few hours will also be a delightful treat. Siblings are usually life’s longest relationships. I’m so grateful for mine.
To the Grass
Under weight of snow,
Send down roots.
After winter’s dark night,
Awake and stretch toward warmth and light.
With your fellows,
stand thick and close.
When nibbling grubs tickle
And ants race through your feet—
Cows, sheep, or lawnmowers
Shear your lush green-ness,
Rejoice that you give life
And cool my
by Marilyn, April 1, 2014
For people who know me well, the idea that I could do ANYTHING for 31 days in a row would be preposterous. I have rarely passed Day 10 on any diet or self-improvement plan, housekeeping routine (that would be more like Day 3), or child-raising routine. I have structure in my life, but not necessarily routine. It is HARD for me to do things at the same time each day, or even each day. Even things I enjoy are not easily sustained on a daily basis.
So what was different this time? I’m not sure, but I feel that the supportive community was a BIG motivator. I found that I looked forward to writing and I looked forward to receiving comments and feedback. This was my first year slicing and I entered the challenge with a friend. I’m sure the friendship helped support the effort, too.
But I think there’s more. I think that I recognized that this was important work for me to do. It was work which brought meaning to memory and voice to feelings and thoughts that have been quiet a long time. I loved the “Be inspired” section and often I was inspired and my imagination was challenged. I found “flow” at times – that optimal place where engagement and challenge are just right. I realized that living like a writer is a good way to live. It’s a reflective, active, observant practice that made me happier.
I thank ALL who participated. You have touched me and lifted me up. I hope I have been able to be a support for some of you, too. Perhaps we’ll meet again on Tuesdays this year. Remember Wimpy (Popeye’s friend)? “I’d gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today.” Well, I’d gladly write on Tuesday to be a part of this writing community.