"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: new year

a buddha . . .


Sometimes, it feels like we are charging around trying to do as much as possible in a limited amount of time. Yesterday, my daughter C. and I had a dim sum lunch (her birthday treat) and we went window shopping at a handful of stores that we like to browse in afterwards.

After the surfeit of Christmas gifts, our browsing was short-lived in a couple of shops. And so we headed to Starbucks for a hot drink before parting ways and going home.

Derby Farm is a favorite store across the street from Starbucks and we decided to peek in because there was a large “SALE” sign in the window. I spied a large griffin statuary that reminded me of a number of gargoyle pieces that we have scattered in our yard that we purchased almost twenty years ago. This griffin reminded me of ones that you might see guarding the Notre Dame in Paris. I was momentarily tempted but it wouldn’t survive outside during the freeze/thaw of our winter months here in New England, and it was way too big to put anywhere inside the house.

Last night, C. sent me a snapshot of the griffin that she had taken with her phone as a memento of our day out together. Right away, my eye caught the peaceful smile on the buddha seated beside the proud griffin. The coiled curls on the Buddha’s head and especially the boldness of his ears also won me over. In Asian cultures and especially for the Chinese, the shape of the ears called “Buddha Ears” is significant because well-shaped ears like this signify an awareness for and ability to listen to everything. Take a look around at people’s ears sometime and you’ll see how greatly they vary in shape and how only a few are delineated as boldly as those on Buddha statues.

Because there was a 20% storewide sale that the shopkeeper mentioned aloud yesterday when we were in the store, I phoned to ask how much the Buddha might cost. Turned out that it was very affordable and I purchased it on the spot. This weekend, I’ll drive into town to pick it up.

This year on February 19th, the Chinese year is represented by “green, wooden sheep”. It seems to forecast a calm year and I am looking forward to it after such a tumultuous one last year.

Now, we have a peaceful Buddha to grace our home as well. Thanks to Serendipity and to C. for taking the photo and sending it along!


starting anew. . .

Baby Josie and me, this week!

Here it is almost new year’s eve and the beginning of a new year, along with many of us thinking about how we want our lives to be different with this turning page of the calendar.

Some things will remain the same: problems that crop up unexpectedly; relationships that are not what they seemed or that have run their course; perhaps some health issues that we didn’t know about or have ignored. Some things will be different, I suppose. On my list are these thoughts:

a. to be honest and straightforward (even more than I have been up to now) so that each day is clean and cleaned up as I go along. This has usually gotten me into trouble most of my life because I was unable or unwilling to “play the game,” and to say or do what I knew others might expect.

Thankfully, I’m not working in corporate America anymore. which means that I don’t have to dread spending my working days with people whom I didn’t trust very much, and whose agendas usually did me no good. But now, I don’t have to watch every word or how to phrase things in order just to get the work done. So, I’m grateful for this phase in my life.

b. to love and respect others without taking on their burdens. This one is a tough one because as a helicopter Mom, I have spent a majority of my life worrying about things that I couldn’t do anything about–just watching my daughters find their way in life. Now that they have reached a place where they are living their own paths, my work is done–except to feed them occasionally with good food, or to send an occasional check. This is also true for others whom I love and support. Judging not today or any day, but also, being here for them. Wholly and thoughtfully.

c. to continue to simplify my life and to curtail that which complicates it.

d. to simplify our lifestyle: to distill it down to its true essentials. And not anything more. That feels really good to me after the huge largesse of Christmas joy, holiday giving and wonderful things. Which I love doing and am probably the biggest mama of them all to give away what will be used and loved more than it would be in my possession. I love doing that–finding a better use for something that I might not use so much to justify keeping it.

me with a "mrs. santa" chocolate from my stocking. . .

e. to read a lot. really read. not to learn how to write by it. but to read for its own sake. I can’t WAIT to do that and have been wanting to read for pleasure as a way to live for a long time, not just catching bits of it along the way.

f. take care of my canaries and plants. Self-explanatory.

g. to rejoice in my luck and good fortune to be married to the love of my life.

George, tending a piano

h. to be surrounded by loving and delightful children. To be accompanied by charming and delightful granddaughters, fifteen years apart–one (Anna) almost ready to go to Paris with my daughter, Caitlin, this coming summer.

Caitlin, French teacher and la photographe extraordinaire

granddaughter, Anna, who is almost sixteen!

And the other little one (Josie) who just left–to be as charmingly engaged in life with each and every breath.

josie and megan

We are so lucky. And we’re lucky to know it and to be grateful.

Happy new year, everyone. No matter how bad the world appears on TV and in the news, we are lucky to be where we are. And at least for us, I’m grateful for it all and give thanks.

Many thanks!

meg, josie and jen!