This isn’t a ‘travel’ related post, in the literal sense. It certainly is one in the “real” sense, however; at least the way that I view travel; i.e. as journey that occurs sometimes in the world, sometimes in the heart,sometimes in the mind, and sometimes in the spirit. The best journeys, of course, incorporate all these. The journey I document here took place when I was taking a rest in a rocking chair in my own home, yet it stands as a 'best journey' for me.
Recently, I have been working on turning my older daughter’s childhood bedroom into an office. Mine. Green. Soothing. Full of books, pictures, and favorite mementos. It’s a project I have had underway since 2006 when Sinead moved to the West Coast. It’s been a difficult transition for me. I didn’t want her to leave. Although I moved in my desk and some of my books, I kept most of her room as she left it. Did I somehow think that she would return? I long for her, and I sorely miss her presence in my daily life. But she’s an adult, and she has to follow the path she sees before her. I want her to become the person she is meant to be. In short, I love her beyond measure, and I try my best to give her that freedom, even though it’s hard to let go – both of the little girl I remember and the room that held so much of her presence.
So I sift through the boxes of middle school mementoes, and I pause and sigh over her riding trophies, her books, her Breyers’ horses, her drawings and her collection of Grandpa’s swords that she brought from my childhood home in Western New York. I take photos of her wall art and gently cover it with the soothing green that I need to make my own place in which to write, to read, to work. I look forward. At least I try to.
In preparing the ‘next’ wall for painting, however, my eyes light on my favorite Orthodox icon, Theotokos, depicting the Blessed Virgin holding her Christ Child. Her eyes meet mine, full of pain and resignation, as though she knows what will become of Him. And she misses Him, already, although He is just an infant. He, a babe, clasps His arms around her neck and gazes at her with love. “It’s all right, Mom. It’s meant to be. I love you, so don’t worry.”
What a perfect message for this ‘empty nest mom’!