Gran's Apple Butter Blog

May 10, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Right Packing (5/IX)

Filed under: Authentic self,Book Series,Books,Front Porch Rambles,Going Home,Gran,Life Journeys,Marbles,Packing,Right Packing — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 11:30 am

Chapter 5 ~ Right Packing
from Going Home, by Mary Batson

Once we’ve cleaned out everything and everyone, we’re ready to start packing. Gran put right packing up there with right living and right conduct. Her first suggestion: Pack lightly.

Gran’s routine was simple – one small suitcase and she was ready for anything. Besides, everything we need is waiting at home, and along the road our needs will be met. Gran had learned she didn’t have to take her entire closet and a gold card. In fact, the less she took, the better her trip went. It’s like dancing – you have to be light on your feet to enjoy it, and that’s hard to do when you’re dragging around a ninety-pound suitcase.

There were a few things Gran considered absolute necessities, but they couldn’t be packed in a physical sense, so she’d take along a little bag of marbles to remind her of the things she couldn’t see. The big, beautiful, yellow shooter stood for balance. Authenticity was small but solid, a soothing lavender clay, and then there was the peppermint-striped one for integration. An old brown Bennington stood for responsibility, a cat’s eye for truthfulness, and four little Peewee foils for a positive attitude and the spirits of giving, receiving, and gratitude. These also came in handy if you ran into someone ready to knuckle down for a good game.

Why were these so important? Well, Gran explained authenticity and integration by pointing out the one letter difference between the words life and lie. Those words meant plugging that F in there and making sure our life reflects our truth.

That was one reason why she’d gone back to her natural hair color, deciding to grow old gracefully. At the time this felt important, although later she realized it really didn’t matter what color her hair was. If she knew who she was, she could dye her hair bright pink and still be Gran. But if she wasn’t sure of this, she could let those roots grow ‘til the cows came home, and the only person who’d be fooled would be her –the cows wouldn’t care one way or the other. The point was, her decision felt symbolic of the changes taking place inside. She was making a statement about who she really was – and that felt good.

As for responsibility, Gran said this one was a real doozy. She believed we each have to leave home base both physically and emotionally, cutting the apron strings that helped us survive when we were short people (as Gran called youngsters, so she’d remember they were people, too). Until we did this, and processed the changes it entailed, we wouldn’t be ready to start our next journey. Gran said it had to do with independence and taking charge of one’s life.

Sometimes we detach those strings from good ol’ Mom, then turn around and tie ‘em to someone else. Not a good idea, Gran said. Once we’re grown up, like it or not, it’s nobody else’s job to take care of us anymore. Gran knew how tempting this could be – she’d been there, convinced that someone should meet her needs. She’d given away her power, played the victim, the martyr, the put-upon – this had seemed easier at the time. And yet, it wasn’t. It only meant she had to learn those lessons somewhere further down the line.

And what about the rest of those marbles? Gran said their stories went something like this…

© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010. All rights reserved.
NOW AVAILABLE: Going Home, The E-Book & Going Home: The Tour LIVE – 2 CD set – Mikey and Gran’s story put to music!


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