Friday, October 31, 2008

Haircut

BEFORE

When I was little, my mother kept my hair cut in what she called a "pixie". As a young teen, I opted for a "Twiggy" mainly because I had heard for years how my face was too small for long hair. On the occasions when I let my hair grow, Mom or others would constantly be at me to cut it. Part of me hated being told to cut my hair, and part of me loved getting a new look. The part that hated being told, wanted to grow my hair as long as I could. Someday, I thought, I would be brave enough to just do it.

Tenacious to a fault, I finally decided in my late forties, that I wasn't going to cut my hair until I wanted to cut it. Over the past ten years, I have grown my hair out several times, trimming it every so often, giving what was cut to Locks of Love.

{Locks of Love is an organization that makes wigs for children with cancer. Even though my hair is mostly gray, they still accept it and sell it to offset the manufacturing costs of making the wigs for the children. So it is a win/win situation.}

However, while my hair has been trimmed several times, I have kept it relatively long; long enough to braid. Something about being able to pull it up in a braid seemed important.

Well, a couple of days ago, I took six more inches off the last cut which I had several months ago. My Love, Roger, volunteered to cut. Since there wasn't enough to send to Locks of Love, I threw it out into the garden for the critters to use to line their nests for the winter. When we were done, I felt lighter...happier, even.

Interestingly, it was my youngest daughter who reminded me of the psychology behind hair cutting and women.

"Wow, Mom, that's great!" she said. "Isn't it good to let go of all that old history."

Hmmm...an interesting perspective. One I had forgotten.

Over the past year, lots of difficult things occurred, some of which actually made me ill. My hair grows, on average about an inch a month. Cutting off another six inches of hair was equal to letting go of the last six months. No wonder I feel better!

While I love long hair, I also understand the need for change, both mentally and physically, in order to grow and proceed in life. How grateful I am that I have daughters who can remind me of wisdom I have forgotten.

AFTER



Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tree Fort

Many years ago, when I was raising my four daughters, we lived in a neighborhood that still had woods and ponds and brooks unscathed by the desire to turn every inch of land into mega-mansions and ultra-malls. Most of our neighbors had sons, much to the girls delight and/or dismay depending on what area of maturity they were at in their development.

During a time when the boys were yucky, they (the boys) got together to build a tree fort directly across the street from our home at the top of a rise that elevated their view directly into the second story rooms. When the girls spied the boys in the tree fort, they would pull down the shades, squealing with delighted disgust that their privacy was being invaded. The boys would whoop and holler, make gun sounds, jump from the limbs of the tree and run commando style through the woods.

During the time that the boys had become cool to be with, the tree house served as a place to meet. From the vantage point of my bedroom window, I could see them walking down the street and back, sometimes bumping into each other, only to blush and separate all giggly. My oldest daughter and her now husband, whose family lived two doors down from us, made this into a fine art. One evening, they managed to stay out until close to 11 on a school night as they walked each other back and forth from front door to front door! This escalated into what I called the Sweetheart Chant, as one of them would remain in their own drive way, as the other walked down the street to their home exclaiming in turn, "I love you!" "I love you, too!" "I love you, three!" "I love you, four!" "I love you, more!"

At some point during the days when the boys and girls alike were traveling off to colleges and lives away from the neighborhood, their parents and each other, I came home to find a "Sold" sign on the tree fort. Maybe it was hormones, maybe it was exhaustion, maybe it was my desire to freeze my babies in their places until I was ready to let them go...whatever, I pulled the car over and cried. Then, I ran into the house, wiping the tears away and desperately tried to focus on the scene to capture it on film before someone saw me.

My "baby" just turned 24 this week. My oldest is 30! My babies have babies of their own. In celebration of all that has past and all that is yet to come, I post this picture. Love you all...to the moon and back!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

350 Bell Ring and Crop Walk


A view of Mount Sugarloaf as we walk to end hunger

It was the most perfect autumn weekend. The sun lighting up the maples in glorious sunrise/sunset splendor. The sky was that crystal blue that only appears in New England on crisp autumnal days. It was the weekend of the socially conscious, the activist, the tree-huggers, the dog-lovers and me!

350 Bell Ring at South Deerfield Congregational Church

We started the weekend with our 350 Bell Ring for Climate Awareness. The evidence that the climate has gone to the dogs was apparent when a four-legged friend stopped by to ring the bell!


Four-legged friend comes by to ring the bell




At the finish of Crop Walk...tired but happy

On Sunday, another gorgeous day, we held the Franklin County Crop Walk to End Hunger. I did the 2+ mile loop, others took the 5+ mile loop up and down the rolling hills of South Deerfield. The walk raised over $20,000.


Resting in the arms of a friend, Miss Maple

If you are interested and want to help end world hunger, click on this link and make your donation. http://www.churchworldservice.org/CROP/walkweb.html

Other info on climate awareness and what you can do to help bring the carbon levels down can be found at http://www.350.org

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Autumn in New England


There is something enchanting about autumn in New England. No place in the world do the trees have such a rich, multi-colored vibrancy, or the air that particular mixture of farm animals, pines, ocean, apples and pumpkins all blended together.

As has become our family custom, the girls and I gather each year to pick apples. The crisp fall air, the smell of apples and the dark, lush earth are the elixir for a day of laughter, and light-heartedness.

The following pictures were from this year's outing. What fun!


Following the Middle Path


You sure you know how to drive this thing?


Look, Mom, Apples!!!!


Nanilin and Apple Pixie


Chillin with Mom


Simon says, "Touch your nose!"

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sabbath

There are some words that I have found to be interesting. Words which cause you to want to know more or sound musical when you speak them or look as if they are a complete story unto themselves. Words like calliope, rutabaga, serendipity or peregrine.

Sabbath has intrigued me since I first heard it. You seldom hear this word, unless it is spoken in the context of religion. Where did it come from? What is the meaning? Why are we still using it today?

Sabbath comes from the Old English sabat - the seventh day of the week observed by the Jews of the day (about 950) as a day of rest; borrowed from Latin sabbatum, from Greek sabbaton, from Hebrew shabbath, from shabath he rested. Sabbath was applied to the first day of the week (Sunday) about 1410. The spelling with double b is first recorded about 1280, and that with th though recorded before 1382, did not become widespread before the 1500's. (Resource: The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology, Robert Barnhart, Ed., 1995, HW Wilson Company-Harper Collins/New York)

Sabbath means literally, "he rested." Rest...time off...time spent not working is so important to our health - mentally, physically, spiritually. When we have rest, we are able to discern our needs and the needs of others; we are able to open to the creative energies around us; we are able to imagine possibilities for change; we are able to heal.

It is no wonder then that the ONE organization has brought back ONE Sabbath, a time for interfaith connection to bring awareness to poverty, disease and illiteracy in the world.





Together, we can make a difference in the world. Together we can end poverty, disease and illiteracy. Together, we can find rest...we can unite in ONE Sabbath.