Two boys, two birthdays, two days apart. Each deserving of their own space here on my blog...two boys, 35 years apart but so similar in so many ways...both gentle, kind and loving.
The one difference here is that you all know so much about Liam and Jaxson and also, on a smaller scale you know of my daughter Jenna..Chris, well he has never gotten very much "air" time and so today is his day.
His journey in life has been varied. He has experienced many unique jobs along his path to find himself and his work of passion...at 40, I am comfortable in saying that I think he has arrived and his life choice is a great gift to so many. Along the way he was always growing in the direction of teaching, writing and living a quieter, more gentle life than most of us...at least those of us in his family...While he was plotting his way, I was always amazed by his dedication to whatever he was working on at the moment..and his dedication has paid off. He now owns his own Yoga and Meditation studio. Harbor Yoga was born almost two years ago now and it has grown and expanded with wonderful programs under Chris's leadership. It is truly a most amazing gift when someone comes up to me and tells me how much my son has helped a child of their's come out of their dark space into a beautiful light...he is a mentor of the finest degree.
Of course none of this is really a surprise to me as I have been watching him grow and change. I live with his love and compassion on a daily basis...even when he was a young boy he was kind and gentle to most everyone...and there were times when I wished he would have bopped a few kids on the head...but he always did it his way. His love of animals follows him around, leaving tracks behind him. Family is important to him as well as nature...and together we have spent many hours in the forest collecting, both memories, sounds, sights and stillness. So to be doing the work he is now doing feels right and fitting. I have learned a lot from Chris over these past few years...and at 40 he is his own person, living life on his own terms and really getting it. He gets that life is meant to be lived in the moment...and he understands why "being still" is important..and healing. He's built a practice on these principles and it's working, even for a fast paced person like me.
What I love most about Chris is that he gets me. Most people never really have someone that knows their core. Most parents I think, never really know what a child thinks about them...and if they do, rarely do they express it..it's a difficult process I think. I have two children, a girl and a boy...they both get me on a different level...but with Chris it's more personal I think...he sees the inside and is able to communicate it in ways that make one understand that he is paying attention..his thoughtfulness in words and gifts are stunning. Never one for commercialism for the most part..often times his gifts are handmade, with deep thought for the receiver...
Two years ago for Christmas I received this print from Chris...I opened it and thought it was gorgeous and thoughtful. A very nice print of a teapot and some Chinese writing...what I didn't know from the start was that Chris found the print somewhere, thought of me, and from there the gift grew in his mind, hands and heart. He brought it home and working in the workshop with his Dad, they matted it and then made the frame out of beautiful wood..a semi-home gift. The writing on Chris's card though it what made me understand that he see's me in a way that I didn't see myself...an awakening for me.
The story goes...a Chinese folk-tale: the man loved tea so much he decided to live in a teapot! His story symbolizes the importance of doing what we love. "If you find something that makes you happy, do that." The deeper meaning of the man's decision to live inside the teapot is simply to do whatever makes you happy, make such things the focus of your life. I see you living this way too, Mom, "inside the tea pot." Two things...I was blown away that he saw me in this way...but when I thought about it...most days it's true..and secondly in these years of retirement, I don't want to waste a minute, so I read this note often...to remember that it is ok. to do what you love..to do what makes you happy. There are days when life is not so gentle with us..but we have to be able to push on...and this Chinese folk tale delivers that beautiful message...and of course the tea pot...was perfect for me.
I think one of the reasons I am grateful for being given these early golden years, is to see the fruits of our labor with our children and grandchildren...there really is no greater accomplishment to me...than to know that my kids are well and compassionate and know their own minds and hearts...that they go out into the world each day trying to do good. Beyond that if you have a few times when you know that your son or daughter "gets you" and approves, now that's a gift all in itself...
So as Chris is now on his own path...like Liam, I will continue to watch over him, support him in all he does, laugh with him and enjoy his adult company. From the day he was born he has been finding his way...and finally, he is there...Namaste Chris...Happy Birthday....Love Mom
"Goodness is the only investment that never fails." Henry David Thoreau
"A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and
who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all knowing and
therefore all of us need both love and charity."...Eleanor Roosevelt