Thursday, April 4

nature and nurture

It's been a bountiful week at OneArmGirl.

Mom arrived for a visit early last week, preceded by a
whirlwind of spring cleaning, ending just minutes before her appearance in our living room. I still had dirt under my fingernails from re-planting Moses the palm tree in a more roomy pot.

She promptly took over our kitchen, to which we hardly put up a fight. It's hard to be cross when someone is peeling and cutting oranges for you every morning.

Keeper the dog was, of course, leery of our new house guest at first, but her requirements seemed satisfied the next morning when it was discovered the additional family member meant more pats and scratches and walks to the park.

And walks we have been taking a plenty. For months I've been looking forward to introducing my mom, a great appreciator of the natural world, to the trails Keeper and I frequent. I was delighted to find that the normally dry ditches I've trailed for months have just filled with water from the river, in accordance with the old farmland irrigation system.

Even Keeper partook of the new flow, jumping into the water and walking slowly upstream, opening her mouth for frequent gulps of refreshment. I found this so enjoyable it was difficult to be mad about the mud she collected on her underside.

The advent of Mom brought a nice handful of loved ones in and out of our days, with coffee dates and more walks. On Sunday morn, Easter dresses [which are actually just dresses we never get to wear because we live amidst a terminally casual demographic] were donned. At service we were reminded that faith is a gift given and not conjured. Why does earning seem second nature, and we must be taught to receive?

Receiving certainly does not come naturally to me. It's taken years for me to accept a vendor holding a receipt steady for me to sign. A receipt: the very thing documenting that I have received.

It's easy to notice what we don't have, but how unnatural to stop and observe what we do. If I were to write a receipt right now for my life, it would be itemized thusly: my dog, new green on the trees, opportunities to love and be loved...