Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Measuring A Year...

I'm pulling out fabrics and thread, yarn and patterns. I'm tearing images for collage, and ordering new art materials. I'm starting to slow down a little from the routine that has guided my days for the last 9 months. I'm watering my garden in my night attire at 10pm just to show myself that, despite the trials and stresses of the past year, I am still the boss of me.

Summer has almost officially began.

I don't measure summer from the start of a set date. For me, as a teacher, summer - and all the promise it holds - is measured from the last day I work in May until the day I return in August. And I don't measure years by days on a calendar.

I measured this past year by Friday afternoon cups of coffee at an uptown cafe, and by the times I turned the pages in my son's school journal and watched how the August scrawls turned into legible words by December. I measured this past year by paint strokes on canvas, and by knits and purls and laughter with the group of friends that gathered in my home every other Saturday night. I measured it in moments spent coming to term with things I could not change. I measured it in books I read, in emails I sent, in letters I recieved. I measured it in hours spent waiting on to catch a plane, and in the memory of the moment I stepped off the plane to a destination I'd dreamed about for years. I measured it in days spent at the pool watching my son learn to swim, and then to dive, and then to dive deeper. I measured it in moments I forced myself to dive deeper, even when I didn't want to know what lay beneath the surface.

I measured this year in choices I had to make, difficult ones. I measured it in articles and blogs I wrote, in animals I rehabiliated and rescued, in the bursting forth of life from seedlings I planted. I measured it in hugs from students, in bills I managed to finally pay off, in goals I accomplished. I measured it in moments I realized that out of all the attributes a man can possess, courage is the one I value most, and it's okay for me not to accept someone who is less than bold. I measured it in moments I took risks, and in moments I realized that there are some people who live within fences that they'll never have the courage to leap.

I measured it in moments I held my son close, and realized that he is the best thing I have ever created. I measured it in moments I knew, without doubt, that raising a child is the noblest of goals, and, modern woman or not, I am a mother, and it is the job most worthy of all my effort and energy. There will be plenty of time for writing, for painting, for waxing poetic over coffee in cafes with friends...but there is only one period of time that my son will be a child, and it is now. I measured this year in skinned knees and fairy houses, in lego castles and in times my son got back up on the bike after falling....and in long evenings spent watching him ride after he finally learned how.

So I let this year draw to a close. Summer, with all of it's promise, is about to begin. For me, it's only 3 days away! I close with one of my favorite songs from RENT, a favorite musical.

Painting: 3o Minute Peonies, Amy L. Alley, completed in college for a class assignment, dug back out of the closet for a Feng Shui experiment! :-)))


Anonymous said...

Amy, this is outstanding! You have done such a better job of keeping time than I have. I am envious.

Virginia ("Ginn") said...

You are buildingbeautiful memories. Life is about living - too often all I hear from people are the checklist of things they accomplished each day and they seldom include those moments of magic (like you detailsed).


Across Town Sippin' Morning Coffee