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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Not an Autism post: Cloud Shapes and Ice Cream Cones

When I was a little girl my eyes would light up and a big grin would spread across my face whenever I could find shapes in the clouds. Ice cream cones could do the trick too. It never took much to make me smile. But as I got older it seemed I never smiled.

It took me a while to come back to the truth - joy is found in the little things. No amount of "big" experiences would make up for the little joys in life. I realized I was not grateful for those little things. I guess I started to equate joy with having a family and to me, "family" was defined by children. Somehow I convinced myself that joy in the little things could only be found through the eyes of my children.

One day, while driving cross country, my heart just began to swell with wonder and amazement as I watched the landscape around me change from desert to mountain to green and lush valleys. I thought about all the changes on this earth that I have seen and I wondered if I were really as thankful for things as I ought to be.

That idea sparked more and more gratitude within me. I started noticing more around me that I had forgotten about. My smile came back and the twinkle returned to my eyes. There are so many beautiful things that are free to enjoy and all we need do is open our senses. There are amazing smells, breath-taking sights, and soul healing sounds all around us every single day. We must open ourselves to the experience and then enjoy it as it enters our consciousness and fills the emptiness within.

As I came to this understanding, the idea of never being a mother was not so heartbreaking anymore. I have found, rather than it being a time of sorrow and hardship, it is a time for me to prepare for what comes next. I know I will, one day, be a mother. What a joy it is that I get this time to prepare for that. I get to learn from those around me, and help those I can.

There are hundreds of children in my life. Each one is so precious and has settled into my heart. Some have grown up and have children of their own now, others are still infants. There are also those who, no matter how much they grow, I still see them at age 1 or 2 (sorry Calvin) with their cute little faces and adorable laughs. Their voices change, and their bodies grow, but when I look at them I can't help but see the little child I knew. (I feel kind of like that commercial where the dad is looking at his daughter as she asks to borrow the car and then his son is leaving for work.)

Joy in others' children is not quite the same, I imagine, as joy in my own children. But that is the joy I have been given for now. So I will relish it and glory in it and find the peace that comes from loving those I have rather than mourning those I do not. There is joy in the moment that can heal the hearts of those yearning for children of their own, if they want their hearts to be healed.

As for me, my heart has healed. It took more than I thought it would to heal me, and far less than the price I should have paid for it. There is nothing more amazing than a gift received when it was most needed, even if I did not know it was needed until I received it.



2 comments:

  1. Joy comes to those who truely seek it. Too often we let our lack of self control take over by indulging in temporary 'happiness' and it leaves us empty and without true joy. You're on the right track. Love ya girlfriend!

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  2. I'm happy to have found your blog. Do you mind if I put a link to it on mine?
    And by the way, there's something about you. You are someone I enjoy remembering. I'm so thankful for your friendship.
    Love ya!
    Christine

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