Moving back into the house is taking a long time. Everything goes slower than I imagine. Was it really easier to pack? My bedroom is set up. Clothes and shoes back in the closet; everything plugged in and working. The toy/office room is getting closer. At least, there are games, books and toys for Julia to use. Therapy material is out. My desk needs sorting and going through. There is dust, wood dust, over everything that was not taken out of the house. And so, every surface needs cleaning. I am putting felt feet on very stick of furniture to preserve the floor from getting scratched. There is the remains of a previous felting from when we did the floors on Washington Blvd in Indy. I am still reveling in the finished wood floors, the color of the walls and my beautiful shelves! Last night, I put the tv and accompanying devices on shelves. Again, I managed to do all the connecting, although I did peek once again, at my pictures.
Twinges from the past attack me -- David did the felting in Indy. Now I am scraping the remains of his work off the bottoms of chairs. No, I am not considering preserving his work, but it is just something else that is gone. Replaced by something that I do. And I want to complain about every task that I must do by myself. I can still be such a spoiled child.
Yesterday, I was aware how I brought home the deaths of those old men of my family. Dad, David's father, is no longer available to call. It was duty much of the time. That made me call, that kept me on the phone. Even that is gone. I talked to him the day before he died and his voice is still inside my head.
I wrote out a few post cards when I was at Chautauqua and realized that most of the people that I used to write postcards to are now dead. When we traveled, I loved writing postcards. Connections to those who were not with us. That was so sweet to me. Maybe I need a new list. Maybe I don't need to send any at all. I am not sure which.
I am not working on the house for hours each day because of Julia. It seems silly to spend more than her therapy time working on the house. School begins in less than a month and then I will have the days to do house chores. Right now, it is better to be with her whenever I can. So, we do work and fun stuff.
This week's work: Julia is not putting the number tiles 1-70 in order and I think I can go to 80 tomorrow. She confuses numbers at times, but is correcting more of them herself. She is counting by 1's, 5's and 10's by herself, and can almost do it for 2's when I separate the numbers into columns of 2's. Counting is still pretty much rote but the form is getting inside of her. She still works with before and after in our instruction exercise -- morning parade. She doesn't get the terms yet but we keep working. Reading and doing our reading journal comes pretty easily. She doesn't always have something inspiring to write about but her pictures usually make up for that. And it is the exercise that is important.
She has had a hard time concentrating on anything and focusing since we got home. She chattered during her riding lesson to the people who help her ride. She missed every direction that teacher called out. I know she is responding to the transition of coming home and the upheaval of the house. Another reason to concentrate on Julia the rest of this month. Hoping that she is ready to start school.
We took a walk tonight after her last therapy session and before our supper. After feeling sad for a few days, I saw some small miracles that could not help but get me giddy. First, Julia can really skip! She has been sort of skipping for more than a year now, but it has been skipping as if two legs were not her original means of motion. It was tortured and practiced. Today, it was wild and free and very big skips. Skipping is precious to me. In dance class in college, I was never a good leaper, but an incredible skipper! I felt speed and height. I felt the power of muscles. Skipping was as close to wild flying as I ever got. Watching Julia tonight, it is clear that she has it too. She skipped and ran and called back to me, "Mommy, I want to fly. Can I fly?" Her legs are still a bit bowed and her feet turn in a little when she walks or runs, but it is much less than a few years ago, and everything about her movement is evening out. Watching her, looking for all the world like just a regular kid, I tear up. Oh, if David could see this. Maybe he does, but he is not available for comment.
And -- drum roll, please -- Julia can cross the street by herself. This is the culmination of a long, long teaching -- at least two years, but she has it. She is erring on the side of caution right now and we had to wait a long time for a car to get to us and pass us before we could cross, but she is watching, noticing, and making sure we are safe. She even told me that she didn't have to hold me hand because she was keeping us safe.
And -- another and -- Julia's love of animals is blossoming. It is lovely to watch. The little girl who was so scared she wanted to hurt every animal she saw before they hurt her, now asks owners if she can pet their dogs or cats. She is gentle and kind. She compliments the animals, and thanks owners. She continues to catch and investigate bugs -- might I say, torture? I try to encourage kind behavior, but I am happy to see her sustained interest and I have noticed that when she puts them in containers to save them, she is trying to put in "brown and green" and a bit of moisture, like I tell her.
Yes, me. Part of the sadness of coming home is facing the enormity of my feelings for what I propose doing. Lying fallow. My secret fear, my great giant of a fright, is that I will not discover anything. That I will be as clueless about the shape of my future in June as I am now. My eternal optimist, sitting on one shoulder, loudly proclaims that even if I discover nothing, there is value in the great clearing, sorting, and storing of possessions, in meditation and exercise, in intentional arrangement of the house and garden. Cynically, I wonder about being clueless, but neat, clean, thinner, and more spiritually fit. What would that look like?
Seriously, I want clarity. I get announcements for conferences, conventions, and teachings that I might be interested in. I remember that some of my confusion from last year was about not knowing which of a garden of choices to pick. I have ideas, I have possibilities, but I want to grow into a path. I want to fit into a place, even if it is up to me to create that place. I want to look like my work.
Being at Chautauqua, ignited a new idea, not novel in any sense of the word, but new to me. I felt my love of learning, and remembered how I clung to that passion all last year. And I remembered that I love learning broadly and deeply. And I experienced, for a first time, a place where I could go to be reinvigorated and replenished. Perhaps, this is a first point on my year's outline. Perhaps this is a beginning point.
I tend to worry beginnings, wanting to get to some absolute original point. Now, I see that I have taken a few steps. No question but that I am already on this path. I am already moving in the direction I intended to go.