Monday, February 4, 2008

Happy Birthday

to me!

38, how glad I am that I keep going on. Where onto am I going?

My mom tells me this story sometimes, of when I was little, about 2 years old. One morning, she was surprised I hadn't gotten up yet, so she went into my bedroom to check on me, and I wasn't there. She frantically searched all over the house. I wasn't there. She noticed that the screen to the front door wasn't fully closed, so she went out, running down our driveway. Scanning all around, she went down toward the top of the pasture, she saw me, through the fence, through the horses legs, sitting, in my pale purple nightgown, at the front of his hooves, practically leaning up against him. My mom said he was known for being skitterish. She was really scared that she would startle him as she very slowly approached. She had to move quietly and smoothly. She said her heart was beating hard with fear, but that I was perfectly serene, sitting there at the horses feet, looking out over the lower field. (I of course, was safely gathered up, and taken back into the house, in case you are wondering. Hence my ability to write this blog post)

I don't know why I like this story, when I hear it, I don't think about how I could have gotten trampled, I don't think about the pond, or stream at the bottom of the hill. I don't think about it as a 'what if?', or narrow escape, sort of story, or one of maternal fear (though those are all thoughts that would be very common to me, and a rational reasonable perspective for the circumstances). But instead, I like this story because I think of it as saying something about me, the quiet inner me. A story not of danger, but one of knowing I would be safe. Of whatever called me out of bed, and led me down the hill to sit in the grass among the horses. I don't feel the fear in the story when she tells it, though I hear hers, I feel a calmness, a knowness. A sense of belonging and place. An internal compass. I wonder at this part of me that I seem to have lost touch with. The part that just knows, and its innocence moves forward through risk, not bravely, for there is no thought that one needs to be bold with courage, rather just going along calmly if called.

Even now, I force feelings of foolishness upon myself, saying I should be embarrassed, for stating this, for holding up the naiveness of a toddler, and stating I want it reinstated. But of course, that isn't what I want, what I mean is, I do think knowledge is power, and fear can be a gift, I don't want to be simple in those ways, but I want to know me well enough, and my sense of the world well enough, to not waste time with worry and fear, when I am safe. I want to feel my inner compass, and move with knowness to where I belong, calmly. The simpleness, the purity, of that.

Some people stand safe in hurricanes, some aren't safe in padded rooms they never leave. When I feel pulled toward something, I want to focus on it, not on all the potential dangers around it. I want to be able to hear it, and follow it, with calm knowing.

6 comments:

Mediterranean Views said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Loved this piece, the reflections, the final question, the vocabulary, the feel...just loved it. Enjoy your day and spoil yourself a little,
Love Amy

Vesper said...

Taff, I missed this, I'm so sorry! I hope your birthday was to your heart's desire! Many happy and healthy returns of the day!
Your picture as a toddler is absolutely lovely and I very much enjoyed the story and your thoughts.
Hugs and kisses!

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

What a wonderful post - I loved it!

And here's wishing you a belated but VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! May your year be filled with love and laughter, peace and happiness, joy and harmony, good health and success - in other words, all and only good things!

Love and hugs.

Taffiny said...

Amy,

Thanks! :) I really appreciate your saying that.

And some occasional spoiling is indeed a good thing.



Vesper,

Thanks! :)
It was a quiet day, but that was how I planned it.
That was my cutest year.

Vanilla,

Thank you very much! :)

I'm glad all of you liked this, I was worried it seemed a bit odd to take the interpretation of the story that I did, but it is the way I feel about it, so..I am happy you gals understand.

Paul said...

Happy Birthday and a great, great post. Even though the story makes me nervous as a father, I loved how you told it. I could just picture this little girl, calmly sitting beside that grand, dangerous animal.

Taffiny said...

Paul,

Thanks.

Oh yeah, I can not imagine being the parent in the story.
I couldn't find my 11yr old son at parent pick-up from school on Tuesday, and I started coming unraveled (it had been 20 minutes). I was pacing around, trying to calm myself, while thinking "Where is my son? I want my son. You had all of your hours, now they're over. Give me back my son!". You would think, I would think, he was somewhere in the building, and fine, just fine, but no, I felt like something bad may have happened to him and I might never ever see him again.
So I am sure if I actually was ever given real cause for concern, I wouldn't handle it very well.