Monday, March 15, 2010

March Madness

The Legs and Tallulah
Our nest is situated in an area where college hoops are of equal importance with the celebration of the Lenten season. We live slightly accosted with an obscene amount of big orange and folks that think the tide ebbs and flows with seed numbers...

Years ago I may have been talking about how many crops were being planted, the number of acres that would be harvested, how many annuals we were hoping to start in the beds. Today, the seed implication is all about basketball rankings. Where the boys will start in the tournament. Whether it's fair or not. I don't full understand rankings and polls and how teams are judged and matched, but that final term is one that resonates loudly. FAIR. I hear it often, usually in the context of it's just not fair. Hmm, a multitude of posts could be written on that phrase, but back to the subject at hand, good ole' March Madness.

While watching the late local news this evening, a young man stated that the team didn't get a fair seed. They had beaten the #1 and #2 teams during the season and now their ranking was set as sixth. He was whining and I was not feeling appreciative. I wanted to sit him down and school him on fair. I was actually getting mad at the television.

What did he know about fair? His clothing, shoes, travel, food and education are all paid for. He plays basketball, a sport he loves, in exchange, and will go on to make oodles of money doing it professionally. Little ones in Africa go without food or adequate shelter. My amazing friend has a disease that has made her home bound, yet she writes on surrender http://www.incourage.me/2010/03/i-surrender.html. My chicks grow up in a nest where we are constantly vigilant because one of us has a compromised immune system. I'm watching this cocky young man on the telly and telling him he wouldn't know fair if it ran squarely into his 6 foot 7 inch build and smacked him in the face. Every ounce of me wants to show him fair.

A commercial airs, and I suddenly realize that I'm the one that's been hit with March madness. Instead of looking at things from his point of view, I selfishly interject my own. I'm judging, and that's what's not fair, nor right. I need to remember that although his circumstances may not mirror my own (um, free food and lodging) they are his and he's probably worked through situations I'd never want to find myself in. In my fury of comebacks, I've forgotten the most important one. Grace...she sneaks in and covers fair like the first snow of the season every single time, leaving it pure and white and unblemished. No dirt, dust, tracks. Just pure loveliness covering up the ugly of fair.

Ironically, weather followed the sports update tonight. With all of the madness and unpredictability of March, the weather girl reported that snow was on the way for the higher elevations. I hope it reaches the valley as well, because maybe, just maybe, I'm up for a bit of the madness to come.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Second Chances

It seems that here in the nest we're in perpetual motion, flitting and floating from one activity to the next. Today I've done three loads of laundry, cleaned the main floor, showered (a minor miracle), walked the pooch, ran the garbage back and forth to the curb, taught lessons for both of the girls, pretended to be nice to our persnickety neighbor, scheduled all of the appointments for the next two weeks, checked the voicemail (a major miracle) and driven to dance. As I handed Little Bit a snack and glanced up at the monitor where Miss Leggy was completing a quad turn (for those of us less versed in dance terminology that is four complete revolutions in a row) it hit me...I'd forgotten the dance clothing I'd purchased to donate. Leotards, tights, ballet shoes, and hair accessories all sitting in neat bundles in my abyss of a closet. Gear I said I'd bring today to help with an after school inner-city dance program put together by one amazing member of our studio.

These bundles are important. How had I forgotten them? We've been praying for the little girls who will be receiving what the chicks and I have been in the process of putting together for the last few weeks. We'd taken care to pick out colors we thought they'd like, hair pins and bands that might match their tresses. I was trying to teach my charges to be intentional in their giving because we are so abundantly blessed. They understood the lesson, were joyous in giving, prayerful in outreach. Now, on the day I said I would deliver the package, it was sitting forgotten in the closet near the last load of laundry I had for the day. I felt like a failure.

As I set my head in my hands, surrounded by the chaos of the studio, I realized there was a new lesson to be gleaned by our trio...being intentional is a process that requires follow through. Not only did I need to model the giving, the preparation, the prayer, but the completion of the task. Not becoming so busy with the day-to-day that I forgot the small moments that mean even more. Learning to let myself off the hook from all the "necessary" business long enough to breath. I need to show the chickadees that even though crossing the regular off the list is compelling, full completion is more rewarding.

I just asked in the studio office and was told that I have until tomorrow to deliver. I won't be early, but I will be on time. SIGH. I don't think I'll share this part of the story with the chicks; they are unaware of the battle I've fought with myself for the last hour. When Miss Leggy is done with class a new plan is in place. We aren't headed home to change, practice piano, and make dinner, which was the course of action. Sure, all those things will get done, but first? First, we'll grab our packages and place them with care in the car for tomorrow. We'll pause, thankful for what we have, the ability we've been given to share, and that our God allows us to continually learn.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Migration

(The view from our nest last July)
Migration...a strange term and perhaps an even more odd pattern of flight. Imagine having a built in sensor which alerted one to the fact that she should be following an internal compass to an opposing pole. Now fathom having little control over that impulse to react. Would you really postpone an activity, join a group of like-minded individuals, and take off? If you were a migratory animal you would...just like that.

Children tend to have this type of inherent desire but not the compass that guides it. They migrate toward food, sunshine, chaos, laughter, and merriment...they're migratory creatures of a different sense. As adults, I think that sometimes our sensors solicit adjustment. We need to tune in a bit more to the internal and phase out some of the required surrounding us. My chicks just respond to their radar. They see the sun and immediately ask to venture into the great outdoors. I see it and query on the need for sunscreen, hats, and coats which turns into an debate (in my head) about how much I should finish before we venture out. The chicks? They're just ready to go. Am I? The question gnaws at me: Why do I put such emphasis on the need to get things done instead of flying the coop every so often? All this inhibition has me feeling a bit stir-crazy. After much internal debate I've made a most important decision, one that might change the course of flight around here. The next time those sweet baby-blues turn expectantly toward me with the recognized question mirrored in the dual set, I'm in. Whole-heartedly, both feet hitting the ground with a bounce, hat being slapped upon the head in. Let's migrate chicks, the sensor's been repaired.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Life with the Chickadees

Life with the chickadees is all about flight...the rise and fall of the air under little wings. Days here entail much soaring, spinning, twirling and swooping. We crash gloriously and rarely glide when jumping from this particular perch. Following long days of adventure we seek out stillness, treasure moments, and reflect on the blessings of the day. Until these chicks are ready to launch, may this nest provide them with love, laughter, learning, and refuge.