Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Grandma's Front Porch

Last March I took a leap of faith.

(You can read about my decision to leap here.)

I left my job...

a secure job...

a well-paying job...

a job with benefits...

a job with a HELL of a lot of stress and leadership that made everyone's life difficult.

For too long I was gritting my teeth, tired all the time, quick to lose my temper, and very hard to live with. I felt I was getting a nudge from something greater than me to leave - that there was another path waiting. So after a lot of discussion with Pat I turned in my notice.

I was on cloud nine for weeks, but after time passed and no yellow brick road or sparkly red shoes magically appeared, and a mystical voice didn't whisper sweet anything in my ear, I began to doubt my decision and the tension crept back in to my jaw, shoulders, and home.

Savannah was due to go to my mother's for a visit at the beginning of the summer. We typically meet my mom half way instead of taking the entire 3-hour drive, but this time I decided to make the whole trek. As we drove down the narrow country road leading to her house, trees forming a thick canopy over the car, it all seemed so familiar to me. A place of love, family, and home.

My mom now lives with her sister, my Aunt Peggy, in the house they grew up in, the house my grandfather built in 1931. It's the place I visited every summer and many holidays. It's where my grandmother, aka G-ma, rubbed my back until I fell asleep; it's where my mud bakery spanned the vast front yard complete with mud pies, mud cakes, and mud cookies, and where I snapped fresh peas and peeled potatoes from G-ma's garden as I sat next to her on the porch. Despite the memories I hold, I don't believe I ever fully appreciated the comfort this place provided until this recent trip.

I was in need of calm; something to get my mind to stop. I was sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch, the same one G-ma sat in for many years, when I heard thunder in the distance. Not long after a soft rain began to fall. A breeze blew in with the rain and eased the Texas heat. I could feel the coolness brush my face and listened to the rain drops softy land on the trees and grass. and I felt my body sink down into the rocking chair as it released the stress. I laid my head back and enjoyed the moment; a much needed moment to gain a little peace of mind. A moment that I now refer to when I feel my jaw tense up, my "safe harbor" as author David Trottier calls it.

I go to my safe harbor, my grandmother's front porch, and bring all of my senses with me, and just let go...if just for a moment.

What about you? What's your safe harbor?