297 – October 24
“After winter comes the summer. After night comes the dawn. And after every storm, there comes clear, open skies.”—Samuel Rutherford
When I think of all the time and energy I have spent trying to convince people to take my workshop when they really weren’t that interested, I could cry. I finagle, I plead, I use all my fancy “closing techniques,” trying to convince them to do what I want them to do instead of letting them off the hook I want to reel them in on. I’m sure at these times that Chellie “has a lean and hungry look.” I am just as sure that it is not attractive.
Desperation appears when we fear not having enough. Enough participants in the workshop, enough money in the bank, enough salary, raises, promotion, accolades, jewelry, cars, clothes, children, space, time. We grab, we horde, we corral, we fight, we scream. Fear-based decisions rule our minds, hearts, actions. The more we grasp at abundance, the more it eludes us. Frantically, we try to push the river…
“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy,” reminds the song in Porgy and Bess, by George Gershwin. Life is slow and easy and rich in the summer. We are comfortable. We trust. We relax. We have dug the reservoir; the water flows in to fill it. Many people love me, love my class, can’t wait to attend. These are the fish who can swim in the lake I have created. The other fish aren’t bad, aren’t wrong, aren’t anything—except other fish who need a different lake.
When I remember this, I know my job is just to dig the reservoir. My fish will come.
“It’s summertime, and my livin’ is easy!”
Ah, I’m reminiscing about my wonderful family reunion several years ago in Brevard, North Carolina. We had most of my generation’s cousins – the children of the children of Mama & Papa Livy. Mama and Papa had 8 children (who survived infancy; 2 did not): Woodie, Lou, Rob, Lloyd, Egbert, Charles, D.A., and the youngest, my mother, Chellie Le Nell. Fifteen first cousins, most of them married and had children and some of their children now have children – no, I’m not going to name all of them, I might get myself in trouble forgetting someone!
We had a wonderful time hugging and laughing and catching up on everything that’s been going on since our last reunion in 2008, which was the first reunion since the 60s. Organized by our intrepid Gail Livingston Hare, we stayed in the most beautiful bed and breakfast, the Key Falls Inn, built in the 1860s. We had a fabulous breakfast with everyone each morning, and hiked the Pisgah Mountains trails in the afternoon. We went to the Pumpkin Patch with the wee ones, just joining our family circle and our world. We shopped in beautiful downtown Brevard, and saw the rare white squirrels at Brevard College, one of the few tiny communities who live in a few hidden places in North Carolina. Oh, and we ate – how we ate! Barbequed pork and beans, cole slaw, summer squash & goat cheese salad, big breakfast spreads of eggs, sausage, cereal, biscuits, scones, and lots of coffee and sweet southern tea. Woodie’s chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake…oh, my!
And we told stories, nodded, shared, hugged, and laughed. Sparkling eyes and deep smiles spoke deep caverns of love and cherished memories. We spoke reverently of those who have gone from this Earth but whose lives hold meaning for us still, and whose spirits surrounded us, extended our love from this world into the next.