Monday, March 7, 2011

Bumps and Rain

Its starts with a seed
an inspiration,
and I believe it comes to more
than one person at a time,
whose ready, whose paying attention?
Whose going to run with it?

I love what the poet Ruth Stone said
about this,
"as a child in the fields of Virginia,
she could feel and hear
a poem coming at her
from over the landscape,
like this thunderous
train of air, she had one thing to do
and that was run like hell
to the house to get
that poem down on paper,
if she missed it,
it would continue on in search...
of another poet."

Having thought the same thing
since I was a child...
I had never heard it put like that!

My idea, was called Paddles and Pinwheels!
A playful (always ten)
way to not grieve but celebrate the life
of my very feisty, funny, sassy, sparkly
and missing friend Jennifer Andrews.
Who loved paddling, Easter baskets
of pinwheels, bubbles and candy necklaces.

After she left I was challenged with
the question...
how was I going to live?
Not just live but really LIVE?
That exploration turned into
a life's philosophy,
and I felt required to share it.

This would be the second annual event
of Paddles and Pinwheels
and it would bring
paddlers together,
all paddlers, for a playful event
that required a pinwheel
on all the water crafts
and a parade of 'wheees' on the lake.
Jennifer's favorite saying...
(Yes, we were 'wheeing' long before
Maxwell from the Gieco
commercial showed up!)
And a pinwheel garden of dedication!
Where a pinwheel could be tagged for
the celebration of someone/anyone loved!

So we get an inspiration,
which is fun and exhilarating...
its the buzz in the belly
that keeps you awake at night,
that universal magnet
that tugs and pulls and won't let go!
That one thought that won't leave you alone!
Yaay ...then what?

Follow Through!
The keep on, keeping on part
the research, the purchases
(like the suction cups I had to buy
that only came in a box
of three hundred and fifty!
Good grief...really?)
The social networking required,
(that some might say 'enough already'
with P nP!)
Then come the mornings
where the first thought is
Holy Crap! What was I thinking?
I can't do this,
I don't have time or the resources!

Then the spirit
of my very bossy friend, Jennifer
would come through,
not softly or subtly
but loud and clear.
"Come on girlfriend,
just get on your big girl panties
and do it."

So I did!
But not without a lot
of bumps... and rain!

The night before the "first" scheduled
Paddles and Pinwheels.
Fifteen wonderful people gathered to
assemble and tag almost 200 pinwheels.
The living room was covered
with blue, pink, and green twirly whirls.
After everyone left I sat with
my biggest supporter of the event, Mary Lou!
(She fielded a lot of panicked text messages)
As we gazed at the bouquet of pinwheels
on garden sticks she says very profoundly,
"everyone should be loved this much."

Yes, indeed!

The next morning woke up
to pouring rain...
so bummed...had to cancel that day
and the following weekend of more rain.

Evidently, I didn't get to choose
the date for this...
But March 5th was the gift
of the perfect windless calm water day
I had pictured all along.

So humbled to have forty
some paddlers show up,
grateful to my Outrigger club for all the help
and support for this silly adventure
(that requires some work and time on their part)
and to everyone who made
a donation to the Hospice!
(we also made 150. in donations)

This is part of what I said
after Jens story and 'thank you's,'

Cancer sucks! Not much more to be said

about it than that.

We have all been wounded by it

and grieved loved ones!

But if we learn to live better

because of it...

Cancer has some value! SOME!

And those who have crossed over

having fought that great fight,

have given us the invaluable gift

of their lives...

as a reminder to always

celebrate these temporary moments

with wonder and grace.

Jennifer's wish and mine would be,

to see this one precious and wild Life of yours

as a ride, an adventure,

live a BIG life

and as often as possible find

the moments that require

an impulsive uncontainable WHEEE

from start to finish,

seek the kind of laughter

that makes you stop breathing

and cross your legs just in case...

take uncensored chances,

dance on main street if you

get asked and even if you don’t,

create stories worth telling,

believe love never really leaves,

find friends you’d cross an ocean for

and hold on to miracles

and magic with an infallible faith

that never ceases to amaze!

Cause what if this IS

all we really have...this moment!

Ask yourselves will you embrace it

with a woe or a whee?

So it was a beautiful day
with hula hoops, bubbles,
lots of smiling, bright, happy people
who love a paddle in hand,
sharing stories
and a moment of beauty on the water
remembering to celebrate the temporary!

The best moment came
when a large flock of ducks/Coots
were interrupted by our parade
noisily scattering to get out of our way,
as paddles and pinwheels and 'whees'
invaded their space!
Don't think the ducks felt
very 'whee" about it!

Next year, I hope it catches on
and gets bigger
We still have pinwheels and suction cups left
and the work is mostly done
so my 'Holy CRAP' moments
will be fewer.

But what I really hope
is this idea is in the wind,
and coming across the landscape
on a thunder of air
for someone else to catch
in their net of thoughts
and pinwheels begin
to show up everywhere!
And the celebration begins!

Pam Piper Rain

Photos by Tina Benson