For 2 weeks I’ve been with my 18 month old grandson Evan, and his Mommy, Patricia, and Daddy, Ross. When Evan becomes upset I love hearing my son say to this little guy, “Easy, easy, I’ve got your back,” or “We’ll work it out.” I imagine when he’s 12 or 16 or older Ross will still be saying and acting on “I’ve got your back.”
Saturday morning I asked Ross to help me with a small financial problem and later his sister also helped me. I told all 4 of my kids how difficult it is for me to ask for help. I’ve been thinking a lot about how many times one of them without saying the words, has acted on “Mom I’ve got your back,” or “we’ll work it out.”
I’ve been asking myself the question “what is my value if I am not totally independent?” David Whyte writes in a dialogue with Oprah “The marvelous thing about a good question is that it shapes our identity as much by the asking as it does by the answering…
Last weekend I stayed with a friend of 46 years. Darlene and I raised our 8 children together in a little community outside Flint, Michigan. Our professional husbands could not understand our daily get-togethers. They had no idea how much we needed each other. We shared money, child care, clothes, house keeping, meal preparation, friends and oceans of tears and miles of laughter.
During this visit she listened to stories about my journey and I listened to her stories about her 43 year old son and his 16 year-old son who live with her and her husband. During the movie Eat Pray Love we looked at each other and laughed about the times we cry “help me, help me.” She doesn’t long for a trip to Italy or Bali; time alone in a borrowed cabin Up North restores her soul as this time with family and friends restores mine.
Today I met a friend and old business partner at the Detroit Institute of Arts. She surprised her daughter with my visit. We all hugged and cried because memories flooded each of our hearts with the help we gave each other during our time together 15 years ago.
Penny, a gifted artist, writer and friend maker is promoting a permaculture culture. http://www.littleartshram.org/ I asked how she’s supporting herself and she replied “The Gift economy.” Friends and supporters of her work are helping her financially. She gave me a new outlook about sharing resources.
This month friends and family have loaned and given me money, a train ticket to spend time with my dad, an airline ticket, an offer of airline miles, good coffee, good meals and a reservoir of hugs, love and laughter! I hope I’ve been where I was needed and listened with my heart, and reflected with my soul, “full of fire and loving kindness” doing my part in The Gift Economy.
It seems silly that half-way through this year of reflection about sharing resources it is finally sinking into my head and heart that I cannot accomplish whatever it is I’m meant to do in this life if I think I can do it alone. Stay tuned…
If you wonder how to find passion in your life, look to see where you are needed, and go there full of fire and living kindness. The Kingdom is all around us—in the turtles and tulips, the redwoods and rednecks. Wherever we look, there is the Divine. And until we get that, we will not reach out and create the relationships that will heal our wounds, repair our brokenness, and help us safeguard this earth, our mother. ~Jan Phillips, No Ordinary Time