The roles we choose.
The roles we take on.
The roles we cover ourselves in without ever realizing we did.
The chores we rack up, day after long day and into a cooling night; making us roll restless beneath the sheets, awakening confused and headachy; more tired than we felt at bedtime.
We’re born into this family of ours, whether we like it or not. Whether at nineteen or twenty-nine or ninety we shake our fist, glaring into heaven with furrowed brow, angry or teary eyed, beseeching or raging with shaking voice Why am I here?
Who chose this? For what?
Close those eyes, think hard, squeeze that pain up and in; forming a stone in your middle asking Is there a purpose to this and do I even care?
I still wonder where my purpose lay in the family I was born into.
Wondering, even now after so many years of living (creating) my own home; for I’ve been married and gone far longer than I was a girl at home.
The girl I was Grew Up Here. This is Home. I can’t imagine anyplace else but Right Here.
It’s as if there really wasn’t a before. Nothing until that ring was slipped on my finger and I was gone gone; and later, (isn’t this a miracle?) just at the perfect times was graced with five babies of my own.
I know my role now, though I wonder what those babies (grown up some of them. Grown up and taller than me, with deeper voices and stronger hands, though children still if they could but see what they will see one fine day…)
Watching silent; I envision their roles in my mind’s eye. Seeing their chores fold over and over into soft sweet piles. Sheaths of satin and smooth cotton, thick tapestries (fulsome, delicate and interwoven), bright damask, tea stained linen. I watch as they cast first this, then that role cloak about strong shoulders with casual disdain, worried concentration, bright easy smiles.
I wonder if they ever see themselves as I see them; if they ever will.
This oldest child of mine, she who put my feet firm upon The Wilderness Path, never allowing me to look back: her role is one of Eternal Life: The honoring, the recognition, the sharing of that forever glow.
Just a year after her arrival her first brother joined us, and he grew into the one who would Honor What We Wanted to Be. Because he doesn’t forget; it’s engrained deep – that remembrance.
Middle child Honors Empathy. Soft heart, conscious firm; his is a spirit of chivalry and service and kind pride. He knows the right thing certain, and holds it fast.
Next youngest Honors Joy. Joie de Vivre is his; shinning bright from dark eyes, that laugh, the wit and (oh so possible, so hard to control), oh so scathing tongue.
Reminding us: Never wander far from the wondering.
Have you glimpsed your role? Recognizing it beneath the disguise cloaks; those bright fabric remnants whirling about you: bright, grey, translucent, hidden from view.
Have you discovered your purpose, or do you wander estranged and confused. Feeling that stone in your middle, searching aimless, shaking a fist toward a heaven unknown.
Do you watch your children as (perhaps perhaps) you so wish you’d been watched. Kind words, gentle prodding’s, smiles, and hugs, and Go ahead – I’m right behind you.
Quick to pick up this or that cape fallen behind, left along the path; folding it soft, tucking it away safe and tight.