When I was a little girl, I grew up in The Bronx, New York.
I have so many wonderful memories living here, and some scary ones as well. But mostly memories of happy times, holdays, sharing with neighbors and friends. Here is where it all began, where I met my best friends for life, where I had my first kiss, picked up by my first date, photographed the day of my prom and finally, the day of my wedding. This home, prepared me to become the person I am today.
Was obsessed with Amy Grant and her life, growing up on a farm outside of Nashville TNN. I wondered what it would be like living away from the Bronx.
Life is strange, and unpredictable.
Here I am, 46 years old, still staring out windows. My scenery is different now. My concerns, needs and wishes have all changed. And life goes on.
I lost my father almost 2 years ago. My mom has grown older, her mind is not well and it can be difficult. I think of that young girl, without a care in the world, wondering, thinking, worrying. And I laugh to think of what I thought was important and worrisome back then.
I look in the mirror and still see her or a glimpse of her, still looking out. Still wishing, wondering, dreaming, worrying.
There is a song, called The river. I've often mentioned to people how that song always tugs at my heartstrings. Don't know why, it's a strange song, but I always listen to it around christmas time. Joni Mitchel sings about wanting to skate away on that river. I have often fantasized about doing that very thing. And then I think about when I was twelve. The next town over from where I live has a small lake called Lake Afton.
This is an actual photo of it. There is a charming little Starbucks next to it where my older son got his first job as a Barista there. Well when the lake freezes my the lake is immediately filled with skaters, mostly guys playing hockey. My sons have been on that ice a few times. It's absolutely beautiful. I feel so blessed that my sons have experienced beauty like this and experiences like skating on a frozen lake. As I child I watched scenes like that in movies. I never imagined I would live near a place like that or even have the opportunity to ever do something like that. But then I did.
When I was twelve I had an amazing experience that I have never forgotten.I had blogged about it last year but Thought I would repeat the story. Hope you don't mind.
When I was around twelve my mom's friend, who had moved to the country (upstate NY) came down to the Bronx to take us for a trip to her house. I lived in an apartment building at the time and was so excited. The car ride was about an hour and me and her two daughters whom I can't for the life of me remember their names sat in the back of her old cross country station wagon and laughed and waved at cars that passed by.
When we got to her home it was nestled in the woods and the trees were magnificently covered with snow. I think I had my mouth open for a few minutes looking at how beautiful everything was. (Never ever dreaming that someday I would have a home nestled in the trees).
My mom and her went to the kitchen to have coffee and mom chat while the girls took me to the Lake.
They gave me extra scarves and asked me my shoe size and we were off. It was a few minutes away from the house. They had a lot of property and there was a lake nearby. I had never seen something as beautiful. The lake was mirror like, covered in ice. It was sparkly and shimmery and I could almost see myself in it.
Before I knew what was happening, the girls were already skating on the ice. They had given me a pair of ice skates (which by the way when your from the city, they are foreign to you). One of the girls came back and helped me lace them up. Before I understood, I was on the ice being catapulted by my extra long crocheted scarf by one of the girls.
Funny, I don't remember falling much and I must have because I don't know how to ice skate. All I remember was laughing. Laughing so hard that I probably tinkled a bit. But when your twelve, that doesn't matter. I don't remember realizing that the lake was deep, and the sun was strong. I don't remember any feeling of trepidation about the ice and the probability of it cracking underneath my blades. I just remember laughing. No fear, no worries, no regrets. Just pure joy!
There was a moment when all you could hear was the sound of the skates, the blade connecting with the ice, all laughter, and sounds just distant and muffled in your head. I can only describe it as a feeling of ultimate peace. I've often recalled this experience to my mother and she's said "I can't believe you did that! I would have never have let you do that if I knew you had been skating on a lake."
I remember the lake being huge, but then again at the age of 12 most places are huge. I remember the trees were leaning over parts of the lake, branches heavy with snow. I was mesmerized. How blessed was I to have had an experience like that. It was a magical moment for a young girl who spent time looking out her bedroom window, wishing and dreaming. I felt free, like Joni talks about skating away on that river. When things get too stressful, I go there in my head. How I wish I were her again. To feel no fear. To feel no worry, just joy. I want to feel that joy again. I want to loose the fear and find the peace that comes from that freedom.
May you find that peace, that pure joy during this season of Advent and this Holiday season. Thank you for your comments and for taking time to read my little hideaway.