“I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh
They are very noisy and really don’t like taking turns. Thrilled to be remembered and listened to, they are often my greatest entertainment when I give them a moment of my time, and space in my day. I think they get a kick out of watching me get frustrated, trying to find things they’ve carefully hidden, knowing that they have the power to lead me to those things if my desire is strong enough, if I show enough persistence, and if I ask nicely.
I wonder often about the gaps of time where I don’t pay them any attention. I love the rush towards me when I finally “come home” and the “hugs” at my knees as I ready myself to enter their world and play as only they know how.
They really are very amusing. I love how they laugh and joke with each other about the mess I make of things. But they don’t seem to mind as long as I keep playing.
I think it must be very hard for them to feel invisible, waiting to be noticed, waiting to be loved again after one of my many absences. But they are very forgiving. Whenever I make myself available they are ready and willing to join in any and all fun. Even a walk to the pond or through the woods is enough for them. Spending time with me alone is what they value the most, and being out in nature is where we connect the deepest – in the quiet and beautiful places of the world.
That’s where I played with them, my ancestors, yesterday – on a walk to the pond where I sat in the sand while James and Kenny jumped from a tree and dug holes as the sun set on their backs.
James and Kenny had no clue of the conversations I was having with my dad. They didn’t hear the words of encouragement from my great grandmother or the arguing about whose turn it was to talk.
They just watched me roll over the heart-shaped stone I’d found waiting for me in the sand at my feet.
But I know they felt something different about me as we walked home and up the tiring-for-little-boys-with-bikes hill.
I’d mellowed from the mom who needed sleep so badly she was cranky as she was led on a forced march with little boys who I believe were pawns in a much larger game of “Wake Betsy Up Whether She Likes It Or Not.”
My heart was filled as I let my ancestors back in – as my eyes refocused and my ears tuned in to their love for me. I know that I need them as much as they need me. They have so much wisdom to share, so many lessons to impart, so much comfort to give.
I found another heart rock on our walk home. James even joined in the search when he knew what I was looking for. I set the two rocks on my kitchen window sill.
I’ll be collecting them, naming them, and recording the lessons associated with each one, given by whichever ancestor is speaking at the moment.
The big one, the first one that I found, is my Dad’s. I saw two Mallard ducks at the pond, which reminded me of Ballard, Washington, which reminded me of my Washington / Norwegian / Swedish ancestors.
I need more heart rocks. The others are jealous and squabbling. 🙂
I wish that you and I lived nearby. I would help you get started on your journey into your ancestors’ lessons for you. Maybe if I share the stories I uncover you’ll understand better. I’m thinking of a new series, Heart Rocks, at my website Weforgotyounot, an idea that formed on my walk home. We’ll see. I’ll let you know.)
But for now, if you sit and listen with your “other ears”, you’ll start hearing them. I promise.
It just takes a little softening of a rocky heart that’s accustomed to being distracted from what fills it the most.
Your life will all of a sudden look like a masterpiece painted with love over many generations, one person at a time.