Monday, April 6, 2009

Michigan Spring Renewal

Yesterday at my home, it looked like this:

... and today it looks like this:

I was always taught by the elders who knew, the folks who were elders, not just old folk, that flexibility is the #1 skill for aging successfully, for livin' on an insecure planet. Michigan spring gives one opportunity for that. Don't get too stuck, 'cuz life will come along to unstick you. Sometimes it's two steps forward, one step back; sometimes it's two steps forward, a hundred back; sometimes it's an unexpected leap forward. It all takes a certain flexibility - not holding on to what was, yesterday.

One week ago, I was busted. Not by the law, I'm talkin' in my soul. Bad health challenges keeping me down with pain and hurt; bank account slippin' down lower and lower; hole of debt gaping larger; discouraged from shoveling the mountain of social security disability process/cruelty machine for the past two years; and then as we laid our heads down in bed to listen to the thunder of the first spring thunderstorm, through the thunder we heard: drip-drip-drip as the water broke through the old tired roof. Talk about your low moments. After a half day of allowing the luxury of wallowing, it's either let yourself go down or get to working, which in my metaphorical world means get the shovel out; call on the folks who remind you that you're not a worthless piece of shit running down the gutter with the spring rain into the sewer. Get to work.

And be flexible.

Remember who you are, what you're made of, who's got your back.

Three days later....

In the early morning of April Fool's Day, a special day for all clowns, sacred or otherwise, such as el poquito - the Social Security Easter Bunny dropped chocolate eggs into my basket, i.e. all the hard work of enduring a cruel, cruel process and not giving up or dying from frustration, fear or worthlessness - outlasting them and their 500 flaming hoops - shoveling endlessly till finally I can claim the money that i have put into their insurance program all my working years, just in case, someday, I might find myself living with disability and just might need some insurance to survive; it finally paid off. Did you hear the sigh of relief over your way? Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh........ The sound of financial relief.

And if that wasn't enough...

Three hours later at my door arrives my eldest son - "The Lowrider" with five other young men, bundles of shingles, tools and equipment and all their strong hard labor for free. That's how these young men roll. Now, if you saw them on the street, you might, like some others, judge them on appearance, cross the road, maybe even be a bit afraid. Why, you ask. Simple. It's called prejudice, or pre-judging - big, strong, slightly rough guys -with hearts of gold. So there they are, six men throwing a new roof on my house, donating their beautiful sunshiney day to the parents of one of their own, and by early afternoon the job is done, they're eating pizza and I'm lavishing praise and gratitude for what they've done and for who they are.

They're the ones who give me hope. They're the living demonstration that sometimes being challenged under the weight of trouble can be endured when people band together, give the best of themselves with no strings attached, out of pure love. They restore and give me hope.

They remind me to keep it flexible, not just because I might need to brace myself for the storm, but also so I can be open to receiving the gifts of so many good things, good will, good intention. And when I thanked Lowrider for him and his friends he simply said, "Dad, you know we wouldn't let you go down." And they mean it.

Sometimes it's the elders teaching the young, sometimes it's the young teaching us.

Flexibility. Don't ever lose it. Practice it. Remember it. You remind me and I'll remind you.

in the spirit of love and renewal,
el poquito


Heather said...

so great to hear that you have encountered brighter skies (well with some snow). and i can definitely relate to the SSA victory-it feels great to have the hard work rewarded-congrats! make sure to do something special for "you" when you receive your back pay!

Sandi said...

This made me smile and made me cry, sometimes both at once. You and yours are very special, indeed. Flexibility...reminds me of all the yoga I attempt, with flexibility being my goal. But as we are guided through the positions we are constantly reminded to "open the chest". And this always seems risky to me. Open my chest and expose my heart? Why not just beg my enemies to pierce this tender organ? Still...if I do not expose my heart, how will my friends find me?

Congratulations on getting a bit of financial relief and on having such a great kid!

Stella Magdalen said...

Oh hell yah!
What did I say earlier about how ya done good?
BTW it's safe to go back in my pool. I think I too am done drowning.

el poquito said...

Heather - hey! nice to see ya. thanks for stopping by and for your well-wishes. Keep the fire burnin' over in WM - ok? Throw a log of poetry on for me and think of me when the sparks fly to the night sky.

Sandi - i hear ya about the exposed heart - you made me laugh and feel a little tender there also.

and Stella - nice to be done with the thrashing about, eh? one more michigan winter under our collective belts - once again - we're tuff! And now we'll take our spring award, thank you very much.

happy spring all (even if we're under the snow again - we'll outlast it, again and again and again)

Claudia Makowski said...

So Awesome that you finally got your reward that you were waiting for so long ago and Congrats on having a child such as your to help you and do for you like you have done for him. Your son grew up learning all about love and caring from his wonderful father and mother, but it takes a real man to show another what this world is really all about, Giving. Have a great holiday weekend and enjoy life to it's finst potential, you so deserve it!!!!!