Steady rain silvers the green river. The parched earth opens like a lover.
A text I received a couple of weeks ago was to my worry like this rain is to the land.
We worry that food will become scarce, that terror will keep us in lockdown, that we will burn in our homes, and that everything we put in our mouths will poison us. We worry that we will grow fat, old, forget things, our roofs will collapse and that our children will be left with bones and ash.
But when, after a long drought, I wake up to this kind of nourishing, cleansing rain, hope buoys in my heart.
In this current climate of increasingly rigid rules and diminishing employment opportunities, I have watched my ceiling fan’s perpetual rotation through many nights wondering how my son will fare in this hostile and unwelcoming world. I’ve scoured employment listings for him, suggested places for him to submit his resume, and despaired that there appears to be little available during two and a half seasons for his kind of work.
But just as the rain lifts the worry about sustainable life, a series of recent emails lifted a stone from my heart. Within a week, he received three requests for interviews – all of these positions desirable and have strong pros to accepting them. That in itself was thrilling. But the best part were his text messages.
His texts. OK, I’m easily thrilled. But thrilled I was.
As he was about to lead his first canoe trip with eight fifteen-year-olds into the wilds of Manitoba, I wished him a smooth trip.
His response: “Everything is wonderful! I love it here, so much more than (his last place of employment). My co is the bomb. (co = co-worker)
I answered: “That brings tears. There’s almost nothing in the world I want more than your happiness.”
His response: “Today was amazing. Love you Mom” – followed by a heart icon
And there you have it. The world was right again.
Someone recently posted a meme on Facebook that said, “Your adult kid saying ‘I love you’ is almost as good as winning the lottery.” I observed that although I’ve never won the lottery, I’m quite certain that hearing those words is, in fact, better.
It isn’t that he doesn’t ever say or show it, but this particular iteration carried with it a basket-load of story – years of hoping he’d catch fire and pursue a passion and then when he finally did, agonizing whether that passion would provide him with a livelihood.
Although his trade is hiking and canoe tripping, my son is not a lover of travel. He has always loved home first and last. So although his passion is deeply rooted in the land, he has been reluctant to expand his gifts and expertise beyond what is within a couple hours’ drive. But I have been pushing him beyond his comfort zone, trying always to maintain a balance between respect for his wishes and hope that he will be able to flourish beyond his own borders.
From the moment he was born he has been teaching me patience. While I have been tugging on him; pulling him out into the world, into experience, he has calmly been teaching me how to be in the place where I am.
Now, we meet in the centre where right now right here is more than enough and the new and unknown is ripe with possibility.
It is raining today and the earth opens its mouth and drinks.
My son paddles into his life and I am home breathing fragrant air.