You have not always been at the forefront of my thoughts, a shame really. I mean there is an abundance of gratitude I do feel for you, though in my life I do not think you have heard it expressed directly. Over the course of my life, you have carried me forward 600 months, give or take a few. Marching band, hikes, biking, casual walks, dancing, exercise, up stairs and down. You have covered countless miles.
There have been a few specific experiences where you brought my attention to you front and center. Remember the Grand Tetons? That 7-day backpacking trek through, over and around the mountains… It was a glorious adventure, and you held up your end of that bargain with flying colors. I took you for granted, and you did not let me down. You held the weight of that pack, those wool socks and boots, through snow, water, shale, along switchbacks and through meadows. You were strong and steadfast, and held me up through to the end.
I unwittingly did you harm the fall of 2013. I did not prepare you well for a work event and wore shoes not suitable for the work that we were tasked with. My unfortunate poor choice in footwear created a pain in the right foot that stays with us still. For the most part, each step I take, or balance pose I attempt, is a reminder of the healing that continues to take place. You continue to heal. Even with the discomfort, you still carry me on.
Thank you for the places you have carried me, and for your supportive ways.
You are more than shelter. Which isn’t to say that in and of itself isn’t appreciated. Most definitely, one of life’s core securities is having shelter. And for that I am most grateful; you are not taken for granted.
You are my safe space. You wrap yourself around me gently, having allowed me to create a sense of security for all who enter and share in this space with me. Through you, I offer and live in safe haven.
Home, you patiently stand solid as I switch out your rooms, creating new and sometimes unexpected use of space. The definition of dining room is human expressed, and you have witnessed that space as a music room, sleeping quarters, dressing room, library and numerous other expressions suited to the moment or situation over the years. Thank you for being an outlet as I repurpose and creatively redefine spaces.
Structurally, your form has changed due to life’s surprises and twists, and also sometimes by my measure of determined initiation. As an adult, no matter the location, I have been blessed by your shelter and safety. What would I do if I didn’t have you as a means to redefine space, to showcase collected items of meaning, to share with others my safe and welcome haven?
My daughter, Love. Happy birthday. Today marks 19 years of unconditional, filled to the brim, pay attention to every day, moments of love. Each day for all of your years, I have known my role as your mommy was to care for you, raise you up, and step back as you make your way. Stepping back, but still beside you. For guidance, laughter, support, those “Mom, guess what?!” happy and less happy phone calls, those expressions of confusion and enlightenment as you grow and continue to create the life you want to live.
You have heard me say to you “I love you so” countless times. For me, it is a boundless sentiment but an unworthy statement, not quite capturing the enormity of how I have been blessed by you. I am accountable to this parental love I have been gifted.
Peace and gratitude, Love.