Thursday, February 5, 2009

Keeping House and Other Stories

(Bonus points for figuring out what's going on here)

Today is a brilliant mid-winter’s day. It’s the type of day that beckons one outside; nature’s reminder that spring is just around the corner. The sixty degree temperature a not-so-subtle hint that warmth follows cold and light darkness.

Except, of course, some regions never see the light, lest not this early in the season. My front walkway is one of those crepuscular areas; facing north the pavement never draws the sun’s rays. And the walkway therefore remains an arctic tundra - frozen in time. It seems even global warming is not enough to melt this ice. I worry that someone will slip and fall. I worry about lawsuits and losing our home. I worry what the neighbors will think.

And so, in an effort to prevent senseless injury, I set out with a snow shovel to scrape away the cold hard layers of ice; both from the walkway and from my heart. Because, you see, the deep recesses of my heart, like my north facing abode, are not exposed to the sun. Yet as I roll into my late thirties this region is beckoning, calling and begging to be set free. I need to expose my heart (and soul) before my body seizes and ceases to exist.

It seems I’m not alone in this desire to be, well, more me and less the person others think I am. Books such as Simple Abundance, Twelve Secrets of Highly Creative Women and Taking Flight illustrate a universal desire to break free from the bondage of expectation. I am not alone in my desire to change, to open up and embrace my inner self, my womanhood. I am, after all, a woman.

As a child I was a tomboy; running with a pack of testosterone laden children I’d hunt for lizards, build forts and wallow in the dirt. As a student I was not afraid to march through barn after barn in coveralls and galoshes sticking my arm where the sun don’t shine (you’ll have to use your imagination here) all the while pregnant with my second child.

As an adult I dove into management and board meetings; a young woman surrounded by old white men. This in addition to my full-time job and parental duties. My childhood I do not regret. Adulthood has taken its toll, robbing me of enthusiasm and squelching my creative inner self.

I forgot that it is okay. It’s okay to nest, to comfort, to cook, to clean. It’s okay to smile, to love, to dance. It’s okay to be open and vulnerable. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be creative and innovative. And it's downright proper to jump on the bed.

Woman do and should think differently than their male counterparts.

Management is now behind me. Collar up and head down I’ve been plodding through my own personal winter. The wind whipping at my face like a backhanded slap from mother nature. Get it together! And now, in the midst of winter, I am reminded that warmth follows cold and light darkness. The sun’s rays emanate from my outstretched arms as I toss ice and salt over my shoulder for luck. But I won’t need it because shovel in hand I am clearing the path. I am setting myself free.


If you haven't tried jumping on a bed lately I highly recommend it.


Happy Love Thursday!


Meryl said...

What fun! I think I need to go home and have a good jump on the bed!

Se'lah said...

I am sure my daughter will just love jumping on my bed ;-)

We were just talking on the ride home about how special her bed is (having been transformed from a crib to a full-size bed).

Happy Love Thursday !!!


Gayle said...

Jumping on the bed looks really freeing! This probably sounds silly, but I'm kind of afraid to try it!

Love your photos! Happy LT!

Gabrielle Kai Photography said...

Oh Shalet,

How you have made my day! This instantly brought a HUGE smile to my face!!!

It's been *way* to long since I have jumped on the bed. Off to do that now....

Happy Love Thursday!

Shangrila said...

Wow, what an amazing post! Thanks for the reminder that it's okay to free myself. I'm off to dust off my Sarah Ban Breathnach, now...Happy Love Thursday! <3

Amy said...

jump for me! a beautiful manifesto.

Diane said...

good advice -- just let ourselves go!

Joy! said...

I don't know how I missed this the first time. Reflective and poetic. Thanks. We all need to break out the shovel at times.