The sun found Portland today long after it was due, showing up as if right on cue like a   celebrity late to her own gala sans apology. My granddaughter, Abby, a bona fide nature nymph, could not be contained. Her well-being had been compromised by the lack of spring and outdoors she flew, beckoning me to join her. Nothing to do but scoop but the eight-month old baby, grab a blanket, and head for the front lawn. We settled in semi-shade for the sake of Garen’s bald head, yet close enough to Abby to be part of her alter-world: a place fashioned from low-bent branches and a secret cubby behind a bursting rhody bush. The two pugs, Yoda and Chewy, sat pining on the other side of the fence, forlorn as if they’d been banned forever from heaven. The baby rolled, grinned up into the sky, grabbed handfuls of grass and body-danced when I balanced him on his feet. The season may have come late for the rest of us, but this was his first spring and its tardiness was none of his concern. His squealing ode to joy was proof of that. 

As I lay on the blanket with life spinning around me—the rumble of garbage trucks, the whirr of a weed-whacker next door, the grind of a lawnmower down the street, and the occasional whine of the dogs, I was transported back to a place I’ve never been. I was no longer a grandmother tending her progeny, but a young mother circa 1975…carefree, laughing, delighting in her children and the day. I wasn’t re-living this woman, but rather, experiencing her for the first time. For I wasn’t that mother to my own young boys—caught up as I was in my ambition to matter, pummeled by the hail of old emotional pain, and driven to divest myself of a stifling religion. All of these investments would, in time, serve my children well. But it did not serve them on fine spring days when all they wanted was my complete attention, my devoted presence.

This sudden flash from an unlived past could have been rent with remorse; but blessedly, it wasn’t. My regrets have been journaled, shared, and for the most part, laid to rest. I was a girl struggling to become a woman I could admire, and doing my best with what I had and didn’t have. So instead of regret, sheer happiness arose. What an unexpected gift! The Universe was giving me back a precious moment…as a young mother sitting on the sunny grass with nothing to distract her from the adoration of her children. And in that lucid place, I could see these magnificent beings just as they are…and just as they were.

What could I do but wipe away a smiling tear of gratitude?

On the path of our own evolution, sometimes we receive opportunities we thought were lost forever and have a chance to reclaim them. Have you had this experience in any of your relationships? In any other areas of life?

Together on the Evolving Journey,