As a romantic Summer Surprise is one of my favorite childhood stories from my mother. Having visited my grandparents home in Winner South Dakota many times as a child I can well imagine what those hot, humid Midwest nights were like. It was all before air conditioning. The windows and screen doors would have been open and the kids would have longed to stay outside to avoid the heat of the house as long as they could. Getting ready for the trip would have been hard, hot work. But so worth it to have a refreshing break from the monotonous heat of summer! The excitement of variety and not doing anything according to schedule, just kicking back and enjoying the easy feeling. My mother is a romantic also and she was a child at that time so her story does not include all th ticks and chigger bites that came home from the trip too. But no one ever died from bites.
I have been in that folding canoe And all trips to South Dakota in summer included cooking hot dogs in the fire place my grandfather built in their back yard. They also included trip to Rahn’s dam to picnic, fish, and canoe.
I understand now why all camping trip and picnics that we took as kids always had a candy bar for dessert and why my parents always had their candy bars with a cup of coffee.
My boys have many, many unique and fun adventure memories of traveling across the country and camping with their dad each summer. When I trace my family history I am proud because I come from a family of romantics who made all of life an adventure. People who were committed to each other and overcame handicaps without a second thought in order to live life to the fullest. I credit most of that to my grandfather but many threads were actually brought to the tapestry to create the final product. When you look carefully you can see that only God could have orchestrated such beauty.
Anne Spencer Lindbergh (née Morrow; June 22, 1906 – February 7, 2001) was an American author, aviator, and the wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh. She was an acclaimed author whose books and articles spanned the genres of poetry to non-fiction, touching upon topics as diverse as youth and age; love and marriage; peace, solitude and contentment, as well as the role of women in the 20th century. Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea is a popular inspirational book, reflecting on the lives of American women.
I open and began to read this book recently while hiking on the PCT near Portland OR. It was actually a perfect day for hiking in Oregon, overcast and cool, slightly misty but warm enough to run without a jacket. We had gone about five miles at a very brisk pace (we never actually ran, even though that is what we had come to do). We were propelled along rapidly not by running but by arguing. After five miles the aurguement came to the usual unresolved end that leaves you all wondering, what the purpose of the argument was and what started it to begin with.
Dean wanted to continue to the top of the steep hill and just “see how far the trail goes.” So I picked out a large rock by the creek that crossed the trail and sat just below the water fall. No one else was there. The soil was moist and earthy smelling filled with ferns and fronds of all types. A few beautiful wild flowers shown their colors beneath the heavy canopy of trees.
Worn by the five mile jaunt and mental sparring I settled on the rock and opened this book. gifts From The Sea.
Anne Lindbergh writes,
” I began these pages for myself, In order to think out my own particular pattern of living, my own individual balance of life, work and human relationships…I had the feeling, when the thoughts first clarified on paper, that my experience was very different from other people’s. (Are we all under this illusion?)…”
“My own pattern of living…” My own PARTICULAR pattern of living. Wow, I loved that! What is my particular pattern of living?? So I began to think and write. My own pattern of living, do I have one? I do not know what my pattern is. I am not a rugged individualist, I am more a reflection of people around me, interconnected and related. I am a reflection of all around me. Things affect me, people affected, people hurt me, people love me (this always surprises me). I am not the fastest, strongest, smartest, wittiest, kindest, most talented, purest, most capable, or the most adventurous. What is my pattern?
There are things which I am. Things which are deeply part of me, they are ingrained and cannot be removed. I find that the things which I am are not things that are generally admired or will bring me recognition, and this is probably a good thing.
God is deeply ingrained in me and I in Him. God is part of who I am, hard work, drive, fairness, kindness, love, adventure within framework and fears. (You may note that I state, “I am kind” and I also state, “I am not the kindest”, these are true)
Part of who we are is also our history. I have always been the oldest daughter- first married, first to have a child, first to have a grandchild. I have received recognition- National Honor Society and 2015 Nevada Nurse Leader of the Year. These recognitions never brought pure joy. The moment of recognition is elating is exhilarating but then the moment is over. The “first”,”best”, and “est” are gone and regret sets in and just the you is left.
It is often good to not be the “est” . I am not the loudest, greediest, most annoying. So what is my particular pattern of living? At this time I do not know. I may never know. I do believe the considering of your “particular pattern” is vital and healthy. As with tapestries our pattern continues to emerge and evolve until the tapestry is done. I am intense, introspective and I will continue to seek to find. I do know that all of my seeking will be in the direction of God. I am his.
Please purpose to seek to know your particular pattern of living. God bless you, Johna