It struck me funny for a few moments, that time in particular because it just so happened to be during my 3 year hiatus from participating in much of life. I had decided to just focus on what was and wasn't working in my life and hold it together for my kid's sake along with their many friends who practically lived at our house all of the time. Snapping back to the present I said, "Oh my gosh, Nick, I didn't even recognize you all grown up. I remember all of you kids practically living at my house. I can't believe it. Look at you all grown up." Smiling from a place I had nearly forgotten, I went to pay for my mocha and Nick said, "Nope, it's all taken care of." "Awh, thank you so much, " I said and put a tip in the container at the register. I so wanted to catch up with him and hear about how life has treated him and his brother and dad too but he was working and busy so I let him know we lived right across the street and I would definitely be by with the kids to say hello. Before I left I asked if he was on FB and he said he was so I let him know I would find him.
As I left the store and made my way to my car smiling. I thanked the Universe for prompting me to take an alternate approach to my normal routine. I was rewarded with connecting with one of many children that have come into my life and who I had the honor and pleasure to get to know and care for. Especially one that was actually really special to me. He was special because I knew the heart of that him and I felt his struggles. The reason I knew this one was special was that he might have been rough and tough with the other kids but at the time I knew him, I was a single mom of three, one of which was a baby..as my youngest started to grow, I watched how he was with her. He was so sweet and kind to her and played with her sometimes. I would watch and I could feel the energy and love inside of him. He may not appreciate my saying this so I might just change his name in this post (I did) for the sake of his privacy. But he's special and I don't know if anyone ever told him but you can see it in him now full grown into a young man. Not to forget his brother - he too was a good kid at heart and he was so funny he always made me laugh. Today, the light shines in Nick's eyes and I was so proud. I could see his mom in the background beaming pure joy at the child she brought into this world. She left us about 11 or 12 years ago and with tears I remember that day and the moment his father told him and his brother that mom wouldn't be coming back. I was there looking out my window, feeling their sorrow right along with them and trying with all of my might to send as much loving and healing energy as I could. Oh gosh, that memory tears at my heart just now. But she went home and is at peace now. I've seen her from time to time over the years in a way I can't readily explain but she's proud of her boys and well she should be.
As I pulled out of Starbuck's and headed for the coast, I thought about that time once again. There was another neighborhood child around us then too. Mahlee, I'll call her as so often I did (not her name though - protecting her privacy). She too had lost her mother not long before then. So during that time of my life I was so overwhelmed being a single mother of three and these three additional beautiful souls were around me too and I grew to love them all. Mahlee entered an essay contest and the topic was about mom's for Mother's Day. She wrote something wonderful about me and she received an award, a garnet. She gave it to me in a beautiful box she painted. She knew I always made those painted boxes for others but never got to keep one for me. Now I do. I still have that box and the garnet she gave me. I remember the day she graduated Junior High School and she invited me to participate. She gave me a rose reserved for the moms and I cried as I watched her...I could see her mom smiling there right beside her too and my tears were of pure joy - not just mine but from Mahlee's mom too. There truly is nothing more precious than being honored to be a positive influence in the life of a child (okay - tears of epic proportion now remembering this time). I need to shift topics a bit so I can wrap this up without running for a box of tissues. :)
When I finally got to the shore of the Pacific, I made my way to tower 24 at Dog Beach in Huntington. It's my thinking spot. I sat down and immediately noticed two grommets (also known as very young surfers) in the surf. They were paddling out to catch the waves. They caught my attention because of the contrast between them. They were both caught in a very strong part of the tide. One boy struggled to move and was just stuck. He'd paddle and kick just to not move an inch. But he kept trying to paddle to the shore. He did this until he was so tired he just sat there unmoving letting the tide carry him until he rested enough to try again. The other one turned and went with the flow of the current and headed back out to the waves, caught one and then came back in. Finally, a surf coach tromped through the surf to help the other little grom get to his feet. She helped him get into a better position and then he swam back out and successfully surfed his way in past the section of strong current. I was reminded of so many things it would take a novel to fully articulate. In summary, as I watched the scene before me I realized that there will be times in life we can flow with the current. When we struggle against the current, we just won't get anywhere. If you don't give up and you keep on trying, help will eventually come along and if you accept that help and allow it to be, you'll make your way out of what keeps you held back and struggling. Then too, I came back to the fact that these were children out in the water. We're all like children out at sea trying to find the perfect wave or current that will carry us where we think we want to go. Sometimes the current will change and if we find ourselves opposing the flow, we'll struggle until we find a way to go around it or use it to our advantage. So many more thoughts blow through my mind like this sea breeze as I sat there watching and then it came, yet again - the voice of the sea and echoes of Elsewhere and I thought, "Could this day or this moment be any more perfect than it is." It was a perfect moment. I was feeling so much love running through memories and letting my thoughts find purchase in curiosity and hope. Those two things, curiosity and hope...they are the tools of transformation and joy.
I didn't stay at the beach long today. I was eager to head back home and find Nick and his brother on FB. I found them and well, I hope I get the chance to catch up with them and that reminds me it's time to check in on Mahlee. I've not heard from her in a while and would like to know how she is. Easy to remedy thanks to Social Networking! Life is good. No, not just good but REALLY good. I'm grateful in this moment for every single moment I have had to breathe here on Earth. I just really am. I hope you look back on your life from time to time to see just how perfect certain events unfolded with pure purpose even if you couldn't see it at the time. If you can see this, just one event, no doubt it'll have you smiling knowing the Universe is amazing, this life is a Treasure! Be blessed!
(c) 2012 photo/words Jaie Hart *Names changed to protect privacy. :)