Thursday, February 16, 2012


I've always loved vacation but if you were to ask me why, I wouldn’t have had a concrete answer. But now it's poured and dried. I love vacation because I love the lack of schedule. The absence of deadlines. The invitation of redefining. The liberation of going with the flow. That is why I love vacation. Yesterday I couldn't meet the one deadline on the agenda and I paid for it. I found myself  on black rock, that overlooked powerful waves whose threatening bashes injected anxiety straight to the center of my heart, sending ripple effects through my blood, confusing my ability to decide if I was privileged to be witnessing something magnificent or stupid for not running away from death’s warnings. Anyways, in the midst of watching this, the deadline expired and I was forced into a compromising position- back against the black rock wall, booty squatted almost on the ground, two weakening arms holding me up until I emptied the full tank- and pants on the ground.  I infected Queen’s Bath out of pure desperation and much to my kids and husband’s delight. I don’t do well with deadlines, even ones that have a consequence when you don’t meet it.

I also love thinking. It's probably one of my hobbies. But thinking is also like a maze to me- it's very hard to find the ending, the exit. I'm much better at staying lost in the maze, much to my insanity. Today I briefly gave into the temptation of seeking an exit to the issues I have to worry about when I get home and the deadlines are awaiting me. If I were to enumerate them, the issues wouldn’t sound that serious to you. One of the realities I’ve had to face as a mother, is not settling for default. It’s always been easy for me to dismiss deadlines and flip schedules the bird, often times with the result being I lose power of decision. Thankfully, having kids has made default decisions unacceptable to me, but I often feel my lack of experience in the decision-making field. So I welcome a vacation when I just don’t have to find the exit.

Here in Hawaii, the roosters are abundant and run wild. They've done a heck of a job picking up the kids scraps after eating breakfast and lunch on the outside patio. We often leave the doors open and have wondered aloud what would happen if one of them made their way inside. Well, of course when I was home alone and without back up, I found out. That little hen delicately crossed the threshold into our condo and cautiously walked along the sliding glass door. I followed her in mere moments after and had no idea what to do. I wished Virginia was around. I remember Dallin B and I watching a little bird walk it’s dainty self into our house before and giggling at the site. As you can imagine this poor little birdy was flapping around like a wild banshee, flying full-speed towards any escape he could find, only to be met with a head butt from thick glass. Our house at the time had a lot of glass, so this episode continued from one transparent surface to another. After the funny wore off- which didn’t take long- we didn’t know what the heck to do to get it out. I had absolutely no ideas and trying to “shew” it was making absolutely no progress in getting it back outside. After enough minutes of trying to deal with this birdy- really just mentally from the sidelines if we’re gonna be honest- in walked Virginia. My El Salvadorian warrior entered the house, dropped her purse  grabbed a towel all in one swift motion and started whipping it around like a matador. She moved and whipped with graceful strategy. Advancing quickly from one spot to the next, jumping at just the right times, and ushered that little birdy right out the same door it came in. And just like that it was over. Dallin B and I returned to our boring morning, Virginia resumed work, and I imagine that bird delighted in freedom- for a few moments at least before being forced to address his growing headache.

So as this hen walked in, obviously my mind jetted back to the bird incident- the only similar incident I have to pull from my experience base.  The hen stayed right by the door and made it’s way to the back corner where the sinking realization hit that she was stuck and this was a glass door. She wouldn’t be getting outside that way. I stood and watched, too afraid to help it to the door and too afraid to scare it out the door. The hen showed her discomfort as she tensed up on her feet and tightened her feathers. She looked similar to the way a cat does when it’s scared. I stood, waiting for her to flip out and start pecking at the door and get frustrated and aim that beak right at my legs until she could get to my eyes. I thought freaking out was the only way a bird knew to handle this situation. But instead…..she just sat. And waited. Surely in her little hen mind, she counted to 10 and took deep breaths. And after a bit, she tried again and calmly found her way outside.

It’s commitment to peace. It’s the learned lesson that running into glass doors hurt. It’s confidence that everything will work out. It’s knowledge that arbitrarily looking for any exit still leaves you lost. It’s staying still and listening. It’s mothering instinct. That’s how you face uncharted territory, how you find your way out of the maze.

It'll be okay when I have to face the deadlines again.

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