Tamra’s Pond

_Tamra at PondStacy Smythe came up to me at recent gathering saying “I found you a pond.” He and Alma then explained…

“Tamra’s Pond” – is one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever been presented. It’s the gift of a special type of experience and state of being… being able to sit in the serenity of nature… nature that includes water – so all the better.

Stacy would have to explain any details, but my understanding is he has been using different tech, comparing satellite images to maps, to look for previously unmapped bodies of water. The real challenge was to find an unmapped body of water that I could also hike into!

Since it isn’t being accessed by people, the nature there is “more” — just more pristine, undisturbed, allowed to be. See the pics to see what I mean.

I have many pics showing gorgeous horizons, but hesitate to post publicly because I’d like to keep this place mostly human free — while still making pilgrimages in to visit.

The pond is at the bottom of a water meadow going down a rolling hill, which reminds me of one of those cascading fountains where one level pours into the next, until the water lands in the largest pool at the bottom. It will be neat to compare the spring with the late summer/fall.

Thank you to Stacy and Alma for a beautiful Sunday, and to Craig and Kevin for sharing in the adventure.  *loves*

Pictures

 

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Could Have Been My Child

rainbow flower“But what am I?” Her eyes were glassy from unshed tears.

“You’re you. And you’re wonderful,” I tried to reassure her, but she saw the worry on my face.

My beautiful daughter: smart, compassionate, kind to all things living and not. Seriously, the kid bonded to pet rocks! And she never did fit in a box.

“There just isn’t a label for you yet,” I said as the letters of the current acronym went through my mind. None of those letters fit.

But she wanted a label. As much as she didn’t fit into boxes, she always wanted them. She would even ask me to create them for her. “Just tell me what to do,” she would say, even as a teenager.  I, however, was the worst parent for that request.

“I’ll help you find your way,” I would usually say. But this time I felt lost on how to do that. She was hurting, and I didn’t know how to help.

“I love you. We all love you.”

The words felt weak. Insufficient. How well would that love armor her against a world full of hate?

That was seven years ago, and my daughter travels the country, living life, lighting up the world the best she can. There’s still no perfect checkbox for her, but she has found a sense of belonging in other ways, and she makes the world a better place.

As I listened to Anderson Cooper recently read each name of those who died in Orlando, my fingernails cut into my clenched hands as I tried to stay as resolved as he was. With each name, I  thought, that could have been my child. I will hear these names. Then I saw the text message of one child to his mother. I had no words. Only emotions in a sea of synesthesia.

My heart turned to CMASAS students. So many of our students are targeted – for their culture, or religion, or neurotype, or sexuality, or other reasons.  Each one is precious.  We open our arms to them and their families, and do what is within our power to help them find their way. And love them.  Always love them.

But I find myself wondering what more we could do.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”  ~ Fred Rogers

Patrick Stewart on Violence Against Women

I found this to be particularly touching because he refers to how he couldn’t do much to help his mother when he was only a child, but he can do what he can now. I remember lamenting to my grandmother (my mother’s mother) how I wish I had become stronger sooner. My mother passed at age 56. Also, as with Sir Patrick, at a young age I too became an “expert on the escalation of violence.” So what can we do? Grow, heal, and use our uniquely forged perspectives to grow and heal the world.

Elizabeth Smart: Abstinence Education Teaches Rape Victims They’re Worthless, Dirty, & Filthy.

This part of health education continues to be controversial, but regardless of personal views, this article raises some important points about empowerment.

Social psychologists and sexual abuse counselors agree that comprehensive sex education can help prevent sexual crimes. Teaching children about their bodies gives them the tools to describe acts of abuse without feeling as embarrassed or uncomfortable, and it also helps elevate their self-confidence and sense of bodily autonomy. A shame-based approach to genitalia and sexuality, on the other hand, sends kids the message that they can’t discuss or ask questions about any of those issues.

Read more.

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