Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Yesterday Faiyaz and I took Anjali to Florida Caverns State Park. I hadn't been since I was a young child, and was restless for an adventure. For Faiyaz and Anjali, this was a first visit. As we took the tour of the caverns, Anjali was so excited to explore, and walk around looking at all the people and the formations of the cave. There were dark, still pools, towering columns, and stalactites and stalagmites that resembled everything from ducks, to families, to Homer Simpson. As I followed behind Anjali, I became increasing aware of all the dangers on the tour. Yes, there was a clear path, and yes, there was lighting, but there were also slipper stretches, unexpected dips, and dark cervices that someone Anjali's size could be swallowed up in. At one point, as we walked along a tunnel connecting two caverns, I looked to the side, and saw a deep hole just large enough for her to have been lost in. When I looked ahead, Anjali was far ahead of me. I ran towards her, afraid of any more unexpected holes near the path. In the caverns, we looked at the ceilings, and saw the remains of prehistoric fish, and even a shark tooth. This may sound predictable, but afterwards I couldn't help but to compare the tour through the caverns to our experience in mortality. We pass through the dark tunnels, we stare in awe at creation, we travel so long we forget what the light outside is like. The cool and damp make us forget the warm. Like Anjali, we don't always understand when we are led aware from pitfalls, either through the Spirit or through listening to the Prophets. Sometime we might even kick and scream against it. Then, at the end, we ascend, the door is open, and daylight and warmth flood us. Please don't think this trite. As I thought back to following Anjali, alert to any danger she might not see, I had an inkling of what Heavenly Father must feel as he watches us through our mortal lives. Beyond that, it was a wonderful trip. We went on some of the trails, and ended up walking around for two and half hours. The mosquitoes were exceptionally persistent, we had to use a lot of bug spray, but other than that, a great trip. And Anjali slept the whole way home.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Today Langston and I braved the heavy traffic on Tharpe street to walk to the San Luise dog park near our home. We've driven there a few times, but I'm never tried walking it before, and was nervous, but poor Langston really needed the exercise, and Faiyaz's family was with Anjali, so off we went. It took us about twenty-five minutes to get there, going at a brisk pace, Langston pulling the leash the whole way. Late afternoon, the sun starting to decline behind us as we went. We took a side road, a peaceful path with the cars on Tharpe zooming by only about twenty feet away. Langston's tongue, purple and pink, flapping out his mouth as he strained to move ahead. He's gotten so little time outside lately, I think he felt despate to move. A little sweat on the back of my neck, the constant pounding of my feet on pavement the only things spoiling a beautiful, sunny day. When we waited at the crosswalk, a girl in a car at the light watch Langston, and I felt the pride any dog owner feels when their beloved pet was admired. At the park, I sat and watched him romp with the other dogs for about an hour, then we met up with Anjali and my sister-in-law at the playground. I don't know when or how I can repeat the experience, it's not a walk Anjali can take, but it brought me a great deal of peace. It's a simple act, to walk your dog. I think in my next book, "The Good Wife," I'm going to give my main character a dog to walk. With all the bad stuff I've got planned for her, she'll need something like that to help her think things through. I highly recommend going out and having a nice long walk with your dog. If you don't have one, see about borrowing one for the day. Especially for you mommys, it's so different from taking a walk with your child. When I walk with Anjali, we go in spurts, slowly then suddenly running, then stopping. Along the way I point out the trees, the birds, the cars, I'm constantly talking to her about things and colors and shapes....it's good for her, but exhausting for me. It's very different to move at a steady, brisk pace, no talking, but still know you're doing a good deed for a fellow creature. No wonder they say having a pet is theraputic. It's nice to have something that's easily pleased.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I am a stay at home mother and a writer. For some reason, when I tell people this they seem to think that the writing is a side note. I love being a mother, and love my daughter very much. At the same time, I can remember when I was eleven, and first realized that I wanted to write. Emily Dickinson became an obsession, and I began scribbling down bad poetry at every chance. I didn't know then that it was bad, and I felt such a thrill to be writing, to be getting words down on paper. That thrill has never left me, although thankfully my prose is much improved since then. I can't help wondering though, if ten years from now when I read the stuff I'm writing now, if it will then seem as bad to me as the stuff I wrote at age eleven?