A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Monday, May 30, 2011

Big Life, Little Life

Reflections on a weekend.

Last year someone was teasing me about spending a lot of time on facebook, a program/service he'd never taken the time to really explore.  I responded that he had a "great big life."  He replied, "Do you imagine that you don't?"

My reaction was visceral.

I think I wrote it down somewhere, but it wasn't necessary.  At least once a day the exchange comes back to me as I ask myself, "Is what you're doing part of a great big life, or a little life?"  Each day I find new richness that I record in my emotional journal as part of my great big life.

I've learned that "great big" is open to interpretation and that we each get to define greatness bigness for ourselves.

This morning it seems like a little life day is looming. Laundering the sheets on my bed.   I owe the kitchen some work, including trashing and mopping down the refrigerator.  Sweep the dog hair off the bare floors - I don't have dust bunnies around here; they're dust elephants at this point.  Gotta fit the gym in somewhere.    

More proof that Benjamin Franklin needed to expand his perspective when he wrote about death and taxes:  Laundry should have been on the list of certain things, for sure.

Even these last two weeks of school - busy as they will be with retirement parties (lucky broad), class parties (one may be covered by the press; stay tuned), graduation trips (I hate Six Flags Magic Mountain but love this class), grades and final check-out - seem like little life stuff.  (Well, except for the possible press coverage but I won't get excited about that until it's a done deal).

I guess, for me, little life stuff is the stuff that causes stress but not excitement, angst but not satisfaction.  Check it off a list somewhere.  The momentary relief of "that's done" doesn't begin to fill the spirit.

Big life stuff fills the spirit.

Hence the reflection.

I wasn't particularly busy this weekend.  No adventures, no stepping out of my comfort zone. No drives down the coast.  No live music.  Too many brownies for someone with four more pounds to lose by June 18.

But as I reflect on the last two days, I can feel that little sparkler inside start to set off its tiny explosions.

Saturday I had a lovely day with my mom and sister.  I actually worked on scrapbooks during our scrapbook day.  I concluded weeks ago that one solution to my craft supply storage problem would be to actually - I don't know - USE the supplies to finish the projects I bought them for.  Now, there's a concept.  So I collected ALL that I would need for the present project and managed to finish SIX pages. We had a great lunch at a favorite restaurant.  My sister was feeling well after being under the weather for a little while.  Great visit.  Having this kind of time with my family is definitely big life stuff.

Yesterday I didn't want to get out of bed at 5:30 am (my usual time, even on days off 'cause I don't want to waste time sleeping).  So, I didn't.  Well, that's a lie.  I got up and got my pen and tablet and crawled back under the covers to write my morning pages in bed.  Looking out the window as the sun rose.  Right now the view out my window is greatness bigness.  The hydrangeas are stunning.  Cecile Brunner is in full bloom up there in the sunshine.  Anyway, I wrote my pages.  Yesterday's post was a part of those pages that I liked.  And my day felt greater bigger because of it.

Later in the day I realized that the Friday watering (usually done while I'm at work) had not been done and my flowers were wilting, so I took a little garden tour while I watered.  I don't mind water therapy.  It doesn't feel like a little life chore (like laundry, sweeping and refrigerator cleaning).  Helping something grow into beauty is a bigness.

And there were such surprises out there, such happy reward.  Brugmansia Creamsicle (planted summer before last from a six-inch rooted cutting with two small leaves) has the largest trumpet I've seen yet and SIXTEEN buds a-comin'.  Sixteen! 1-6!  I can't get over it.

Then, last year I bought a passion vine from Annie's Annuals in Richmond, California. (Amazing mail order; someday I will make the 10-hour trek to visit in person).   It was a healthy little thing in a four-inch pot with Annie's affirmation that it could cover a trellis in two years.  I was skeptical.  I've tried two other varieties of passiflora on this trellis.  The first, a red-flowered, grew well the first year and bloomed (gorgeous), then died.  I hoped it had only gone dormant but no, it never returned.  The second never even got that far.  Both had been planted from gallon cans, so I assumed they had had a head start.  Anyway, when this little baby arrived I was willing to give it a try but not optimistic.  Last year one "branch" grew the eight feet across the trellis.  No blooms.  But now?  It's only Memorial Day - May 30 - and the trellis is half-covered!

And check it out!
Three big buds on the passion vine.  Passiflora loefgrenii x caerulea
Yes, those are buds!  Three of them.  Right now they are a dark maroony purple.

I will post a photo when they open.  So excited!  And so excited to welcome the frittilaries when they arrive.  (Yes, they will lay eggs and the cats will eat the leaves.  So far, though, it's been my experience that this works like a pruning and the plant comes back healthier than before).

And I found first flowers on the sweet peas in the front, another couple of pots from Annie's via Roger's Gardens in Corona del Mar.

I will celebrate my 60th birthday next month and I'm doing it up big.  I have lots of adventures planned.  Some of them are even things that "other people" might put on their greatness bigness lists.  Parties.  Dinners out.  Rooftop bars and live concerts.  But it also includes things that I know will fill me, will add oxygen to the sparkler so that it will glow.  A visit to the Sisters of Mercy in Hollywood for pumpkin bread.  The Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Griffith Park.  A tour of the See's Candy factory in Los Angeles.

That drive down the coast.

Even visiting my friends on facebook, a powerful program I HAVE taken the time to explore.  And have taken the time to learn to enjoy.  Where I have stayed connected with people who matter.  Where I have found lost family and made new friends.

All part of my great big life.

No comments: