Gran's Apple Butter Blog

October 4, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Fog Banks (7/III)

Chapter 7 – Fog Banks

It’s a good thing our hearts have such clear vision, ‘cause sometimes it can be hard for our eyes to see, particularly when the weather turns while we’re out and about. It does that, you know: Weather happens. Like fog. Fog settles on mountains highs and valleys low, and Gran said every road crosses a few of those.

Fog rolls in other places too, usually where the tide and our emotions are running high. In those moments we may feel like we’re lost in that grayness. Sometimes we’re standing way out on a pier, sometimes we’re sitting in a boat, and sometimes that boat has sunk beneath us and we’re floundering in the waves, treading water in soup so thick we can’t tell up from down.

I learned what this felt like, as Gran knew I would. I found myself in those waves not just once or twice, and I didn’t know how to save myself. Not until I ran into someone else who was also lost in that fog. From my vantage point, I could see that all my new friend needed to do was to stop fighting, to simply stand up and step out of the waves, like turning on a light in a dark room.

What my friend couldn’t see was that the water was only waist deep and the clouds were just a paper-thin veil in front of her eyes. She was already on the beach, she could feel the sand if she’d only put her feet down and stand up. Just one step forward would take her through that haze.

But until she could let go of the fear that kept her treading water, terrified that the next wave would be her last, until she could find the trust to put her feet down and know she would be taken care of, like Gran’s sparrows, well, all I could do was watch. All she had to do was straighten her legs and shift her weight to her own two feet. That’s all.

She even had helpers, although she couldn’t see them. Remember the ones who stayed on the other side? I could hear them calling from where they stood in the sunshine – “You’re here, you’re safe. Stand up!” But in her wild thrashing, she couldn’t hear them. They held out branches and threw ropes, but with her eyes closed she didn’t see those lifelines. She almost seemed determined not to see them. And that was all her helpers could do, because they knew these were her waters to conquer.

She had a choice. She could stand up by letting go, which would probably be the hardest, bravest thing she ever did in her life. Or she could stay at the edge of the waves, struggling until she was too exhausted to fight anymore, until the waves of her own emotions would take her under one last time. Even then she had a choice – to relax and float calmly to the surface, or to keep thrashing about until her lungs filled with water. She had a choice.

We always have this choice, Gran would remind me. But it’s up to us to make it. No one else can do this for us. It’s ironic how true that is. Even having seen the other side of my friend’s predicament, in my own fog banks I’d fight to the finish, choking down water and spitting out seaweed. Yet somehow, in the end, I always made it through. Just in time I’d catch hold of a branch or a rock and pull myself to safety, almost in spite of myself. Almost like I had my own helpers.

It’s like driving on a foggy night when your defroster isn’t working. You know what Gran did when that happened? She’d roll down her window, stick out her head and keep going, slowly creeping along. As long as she didn’t drive too fast, she could see each little yellow stripe at the end of her headlights. One stripe at a time, she always got home through the darkness, and bed never felt so good.

—–
© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010-2011. All rights reserved.
Come visit: http://www.facebook.com/marybatson2 | http://www.frontporchrambles.com

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August 9, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Wings (6/IX)

Chapter 6 ~ Wings

     When it came to marriage, Gran could speak from both sides of that coin. She’d married and divorced young, learning more about herself in the process than she really cared to. Those lessons took a while to sink in, but eventually she felt ready to try the world of relationships again, this time more aware of what it took to build a happy, healthy home.

     Learning to balance the healthy needs of each individual and the relationship is quite an exercise in character building. For one thing, Gran had learned that the first rule for a good marriage was “Get it in your head: It’s not just about me anymore!” If we want to live a life based on our needs only, we’ll do everyone a favor by staying single. It isn’t fair to add that weight to this experience. On the other hand, a good relationship isn’t based on giving up oneself either. Instead, the road to marital bliss curves somewhere between the two. 

     A key word there was “healthy.” We bring all kinds of needs into our relationships that don’t even serve our own good, much less anyone else’s. Half the expectations and projections we haul in aren’t even related to this new chapter, they’ve just come along for the ride since we never unpacked ‘em from previous journeys. Gran laughed about this. She’d heard somewhere that you marry a family, but she thought in some cases it was more like a small country in the midst of civil war. 

     Gran had her own ideas about relationships. She didn’t believe they required legal tender, for one thing, or that “til death do us part” was either healthy or wise to insist on. Instead, she thought people came together for specific purposes. Once those purposes were served, whether that took one year or fifty, both people would know it, at least if they were being totally honest with themselves. And of course, maybe some couples are supposed to show that life-long commitments really can last in a healthy way.

     Either way, Gran didn’t recommend turning tail as soon as things got hard, ‘cause that’s usually when you’re just starting to work on the relationship’s true purpose. If we run away each time we reach this point, wherever it may be, all we’ll do is find someone else to study our homework with, and the cycle will repeat itself.

     Gran knew the sting that came with all this learning, but she also understood the growth spurt all that pain can spark. Everyone has to make their own choices, she said, realizing that all choices have consequences. Sometimes simply making these choices ourselves, rather than letting them be made for us, is one of our first lessons.

     Regardless, true love doesn’t mean desperately clinging to each other, especially not when our grasp is only a clutch of fear of the unknown or of being alone. True love can mean letting go for the good of all involved. Sometimes we’re just not ready for all the work and growing up a relationship requires, although it’s better to find that out before we get into one. Or maybe it’s just not part of our path right now – maybe we’re here to do something else – and that’s fine. Relationships are only an option, Gran said, and only we know if one feels like highest good.

     Gran had counseled a lot of marital problems on all her Sunday picnics. Most of them came down to communication and power. Each has a flip side – we learn about power by abusing it and being abused by it, and about communication by over- or under-expressing ourselves and our needs. Gran had learned she couldn’t expect someone to meet needs she wasn’t willing or able to express or even to admit to herself. Of course, it was then up to her to figure out what those requests were and why she couldn’t share them – and then to learn how.

     It’s complicated, Gran said. We have so many lessons to learn about what true love is and about mastering our mind, ego and emotions, instead of being mastered by them. Luckily for us, sharing a sandbox provides plenty of opportunities for practice.

     On the upside, Gran said these lessons didn’t take nearly as long as she’d expected. One passing grade at a time her learning progressed, ‘til suddenly there she stood, a fledgling butterfly, wings still crimped behind her back, fluttering in the breeze as she began to flex them. She had finally reached the place where she could fly.

     Of course, that didn’t mean all the work was over. Just as Gran had learned to dismantle her walls, on the other side, she had to learn how to set healthy boundaries and how to invite someone in without letting them take over. For that matter, she had to learn whom to invite in, and how to go visiting without trying to take over herself. Even butterflies have to earn their wings.

—–
© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010-2011. All rights reserved.
Come visit: http://www.facebook.com/marybatson2 | http://www.frontporchrambles.com

April 26, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Voices (5/VII)

Filed under: Books,Emotions,Front Porch Rambles,Going Home,Gran,Inner Child,Packing,Planning,Preparing,Self-sabotage,Voices — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 10:35 am

Chapter 5 ~ Voices
from Going Home, by Mary Batson

This is also the stage in our journey when we integrate all those voices in our heads that drag us first one way and then the other. Gran said this can be such a big job it almost counts as a whole trip in itself.

Our lives will show us if we need to dig for these voices, Gran said. Maybe we do things we don’t understand, that contradict other things we want to do, or maybe we feel empty inside, like we can’t connect with anything or anyone around us. Maybe we get close to reaching our dream, then at the last minute we pull our punch and walk away. 

If we could hear those voices outright, we could tell them they’re wrong. But until we figure out which voices our subconscious is listening to, where they’re coming from and what they’re saying, we’ll get closer and closer home, Gran said, almost there, and then they’ll yank the rug out from under our feet. It’s called self-sabotage, and we do it all the time, at least until we get those voices figured out.

I didn’t think I had any voices in my head, but Gran said everyone does. They get stuck in there as we grow up, listening to everyone around us talk about how things should be, how we should be, how life should be. They come from our families, our teachers, our friends, headlines at the grocery story, late night TV, and even people we don’t like very much.

Blowing through our minds on whatever wind happens to be prevailing, these voices don’t all agree. One says Go to work, another says Stay home, one says Be a star, the other says Stay small. It’s a wonder we don’t go crazy listening to all that. Generally, we think we’re balancing them quite well, if we’ve even aware of them at all. We’ve listened to these words for so long we start to think we said them – that’s the tricky part.

We work hard to meet the goals of Mr. Over-Achiever (Do more! Do it better! Do it now!), then right as we get to the door of success, something trips us up, and we topple over into the Slough of Despond, never knowing why.[i]  Gran said that’s because we didn’t notice the second voice, Mr. You’ll-Never-Make-it, who snuck in with Mr. Who-Do-You-Think-You-Are and tipped over the ladder we were climbing.

Some of these voices tell us things we needed to hear at one time, Gran said. Some carry beliefs we no longer hold. Others weren’t even meant for us – we just overheard ‘em and invited ‘em in. And some of the voices that were meant for us weren’t necessarily meant for our highest good, or maybe the person behind that voice didn’t really understand what he was saying.

One voice Gran discovered came from her parents. Well-intentioned but wrong, they were teaching her that her body was something to hide, to cover, to control. Gran didn’t remember this as a grown-up, but her inner child sure did. She was still crying about it years later until Gran unlocked that door, rocked her tears away, then took her dancing to celebrate.

Just like our memories, we can’t let go of these voices until we identify them, Gran said – each and every one of ‘em. She’d found three-hundred-and-seventy-two at last count, including some that totally surprised her, and a few that were pretty shocked when she showed up.

Each time we find a new voice, we get to choose whether it rides in the front seat where we can hear it, or in the back, where we can’t, ‘cause you can be sure it’s going to tag along. If we’re smart, we’ll put the helpful ones up front and let the others know they’re on permanent hiatus. They can talk all they want, but we’re not listening.

We can also decide how much room in our suitcase each voice gets. We want to be discriminating, Gran said, ‘cause that suitcase can get awfully heavy when we’re packing for that many people. And if that wind keeps blowing, just roll down the window and let it on through.


[i] One of the traps in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

© 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! www.frontporchrambles.com/store

April 13, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Patches (5/VI)

Chapter 5 ~ Patches
from Going Home, by Mary Batson

Remembering our early years was a bigger loose end than she’d realized at first, Gran said. Then she’d remembered those words about becoming like a child to enter the kingdom, and it all made sense. [i]

We want to take our inner child with us on this journey, so we can see through those eyes and love with that heart. At the same time, we also need to parent that child in healthy ways, to meet our emotional needs and make ourselves feel safe, and to encourage ourselves to have fun just because we want to. [ii]

Of course, we also need to be able to say no when our inner child wants a few too many popsicles or decides the road makes a good playground. Sometimes we may even have to give ourselves a time out, Gran said, but before we do that, we need to figure out where these urges are coming from, which ones are fine and dandy and should be honored, and which ones are just a little too ego-based for our own good.

Some of us have maintained this inner connection, and some of us have lost it. Gran’s inner child wasn’t even on speaking terms with her for a long time – wouldn’t look her in the face, that little girl was so angry. She was mad ‘cause Gran was giving all her attention to everyone and everything else in her life – and keeping none of it for herself. Little Gran was determined to make those feelings known in one way or the other – stepping in at all the wrong times and the worst ways, trying to get that grown-up’s attention.

You know kids, Gran said, they’ll do just about anything to get attention when they need it, even hurting themselves in the process. Until we give them that attention, these children within will try to fill this hole with all kinds of things, from big screen TVs and thirty pairs of princess slippers to unhealthy relationships and even unhealthier habits. We try to patch our holes this way, but it only holds so long, ‘cause this isn’t what we really need. Sooner or later that patch will fall off, and we’ll start trying to fill that hole again.

Eventually it may occur to us to look inside, and when we do, we’ll find the perfect patch kit waiting there. Gran thought that’s one thing our imagination was for, to help us fill those holes. We can get really creative with this – there’s no end to all our options.

Gran’s favorite way to make a patch was to go outside to walk in the trees, listen to the birds, and talk to the flowers. Sometimes I’d walk with her, just for fun. She’d talk to a little flower, then she’d stop for a minute with the strangest look on her face – almost like she was listening – like the flower was talking back. I’ll never forget that look.

One of our favorite ways to make a patch together used our ears: We’d listen to music and we’d dance around and sing as loud as we could, whether we knew the words or not. No matter how big that ol’ hole was, before long we’d have a perfect patch glued on, guaranteed-for-life. Of course, if that hole came with a sniffle, sometimes Gran would have me drink some fresh lemon juice or eat a raw onion. But most times plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and good music would work wonders.

For the biggest holes, Gran suggested I try some Serious Breathing, the long, slow, deep kind. This sounded like napping to me, but even that can be pretty good when you need it. Gran practiced her breathing every day, just a few minutes at a time. More than that interfered with her gardening. She’d light a candle to help clear out the cobwebs, and then she’d just breathe and breathe and breathe. She did admit there was a possibility she was napping here and there, though, ‘cause sometimes she’d wake up with beautiful pictures of home in her head.  

Gran’s friend Marnie said that knitting did this for her, while Uncle Bob used tennis shoes and a long straight road. Gran said anything that let you sink down into yourself in some way would work, just like when she and I would fall into a song and be the music.

To me this sounded a lot like prayer, and that was good, ‘cause I had a lot of practice with prayer. I even had a little book with all my favorite ones. Gran said that little book and the times we sang together and talked to flowers was the best cure for a tummy ache and a very good way to tempt your inner child out of the corner she’s had her nose stuck in for so long. And so far, Gran’s usually been right.


[i] Matthew 18:3-4, KJV
[ii] Think about it: When was the last time someone told you to “Go have fun”?

© 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! www.frontporchrambles.com/store

April 5, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Loose Ends (5/V)

Filed under: Birth Home,Book Series,Books,Dreams,Emotions,Family,Front Porch Rambles,Going Home,Gran,Life Journeys — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 9:30 am

Chapter 5 ~ Loose Ends
from Going Home, by Mary Batson

Part of preparing for any journey includes wrapping up the loose ends of the one we’re on.

This step comes with its own form of guidance: Dreams. When we pay attention, our dreams serve as road signs, pointing the best direction, cautioning about bumps in the road and construction zones ahead. When we’re just getting started, these bumps can have a stronger effect, so it pays to be extra vigilant, to make sure we’ve got the best equipment possible and the best support team in place. This is not the time to skimp, Gran said.

Some dreams speak in symbols, but we know that language, if we’ll let ourselves remember it. Others are more concrete. Gran remembered when snippets of her childhood began bubbling up. A memory would rise to the surface and pop in her mind and all of a sudden she’d be back there somewhere. One morning she woke up remembering playing in front of the refrigerator. She could hear the hollow clang of the metal when she struck it with her toy, the thud as the fan kicked on, feel the cool door, the sting of the hot vent. Mom was sitting nearby, writing a letter. It was a cozy little corner, Gran said. Such a nice memory.

Our dreams point out things we’re ready to process and let go of, things we may have been holding on to or blocking out for a very long time. These memories will rise to the surface like beans in a big pot of stew. You know, the ones that stick to the bottom at first, then float to the top as we turn up the heat. We don’t need to worry about this ‘cause it’s actually a good sign that everything we’re doing is working, Gran said. Change is happening and we’re growing – and it’s almost lunch time.

Just like maps, Gran cautioned me to not to get too attached to any particular bean, ‘cause that could end up distracting me to the point I’d burn the rest of ‘em. But if I’d keep a watchful eye on them all, just stand back and let ‘em pop up, saying hello and goodbye as soon as I had a good idea of what each memory was all about, those beans would be done in no time.

When we’re ready to move forward, Gran believed we’d be guided in gently processing these memories. We don’t have to know how to do this ahead of time, we just have to be willing to do so, and the ways will present themselves. Most importantly, we want to welcome these dreams, because they’re part of letting go – we can’t let go of something we won’t even let ourselves remember.

Life is funny, Gran said. It’s almost like there’s Someone up there – or maybe even more than one – trying to help us on these journeys. Then she’d laugh. We all knew Gran didn’t think it might be that way. She knew. And that was pretty comforting.

—–
© 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! www.frontporchrambles.com/store

March 29, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Modes’n’Maps (5/IV)

Filed under: Book Series,Books,Emotions,Front Porch Rambles,Going Home,Gran,Life Journeys,maps — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 10:20 am

Chapter 5 – Modes’n’Maps
from Going Home, by Mary Batson

The rest of planning involved the when, where, and how questions. Gran said for the first, she always just went with “Now.” We can try to schedule around vacations and school and work and dog shows and the local county fair, but this usually only delays our journey, ‘cause we rarely find that perfect chunk of time without any competing demands. If the timing seems impossible, we can refer back to our reason why, to remind us that this journey is now a top priority, and like they say: “Be assured that you’ll always have time for the things you put first.”[i]

As for the question of Where, that varies. Maybe we’re coming home inside ourselves. Maybe we’re starting a new family or visiting an old one. Or maybe we’re just plumb tuckered out and ready to go home in a big way. Only we know which journey we’re on, or if we’re taking three different ones all at the same time. That takes a lot of energy, Gran said, but it can be done. She’d seen it happen. The intricate dance that emerged was a sight to behold, and a true source of inspiration for other travelers.

The answer to How had two parts: We get to pick our mode and our map, and each option has pros and cons. A plane might be faster, but if something goes wrong you’ll be up a creek unless you’re a pilot. Going on foot took that out of the question, but it also slowed you down. Not being one to reinvent the wheel, Gran preferred travel by car. She could drive whatever speed she liked, see out every window, check the oil and fill the tank herself, and she had a handy-dandy 800 number to call for roadside assistance when need be.

Not only that, driving gave Gran the freedom to pick up the occasional hitchhiker, to head down whatever road took her fancy, or to stop and smell the roses whenever she felt like it. She liked those new little gas-sippers – they were better for the planet, and one thing she was into was sustainability. Besides, Gran felt that car was like her – still room for improvement, but they were both taking steps in the right direction.

After Gran chose her car, she got to pick out her map. In that day and age, this took the form of her tried-and-true atlas, along with a quarter (for flipping) and her heart (not for flipping). Gran’s quarter compass catered to her daredevil side – she was nothing if not an adventurer. Those of us not inclined to follow the toss of a coin can choose to follow our hearts, to rely on our memory, or we can pick our own map.

Of course, we can also just hit the road, planning to watch for signs or to ask directions along the way. For thousands of years seekers have made these journeys this way – if it worked before, it could work again. Each set of directions also comes with pros and cons, but Gran said we’d get into that once we were on the road, ‘cause we can’t really see what those are until they start presenting themselves along the way.

If we pick a map, it’s a good idea to stick with it, Gran said, as opposed to switching it out every two blocks. Changing routes too quickly can make your trip last a lot longer and lead to lots of dead ends. Besides, if your map is wrong, your heart will let you know about it soon enough. In the meantime, how well can you read maps? It might not hurt to brush up on your navigational skills.

Regardless, Gran said we wouldn’t want to get too attached to any particular map. “The finger that points to the moon is not the moon,” she’d say.[ii] When our map leads us around the same block for the third time, it might be wise to concede that something is a little off. Maybe it’s time for us to forge ahead and make our own call. After all, that map was drawn by a human being just like you and me, so if something got lost in the translation, there’s no telling where it might lead.

Most importantly, never forget: The map itself is not where you’re going. It only points the way, like that finger. It’s just a reflection – a reflection of glory.


[i] Liane Steele reminds us of something we might sooner forget
[ii] From the Lankavatara Sutra, a sutra of Mahayana Buddhism
—–
© 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! www.frontporchrambles.com/store

March 22, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Drowning (5/III)

Filed under: Books,Dam,Emotions,Front Porch Rambles,Going Home,Gran,Packing,Planning,Preparing,Self Development,Walls,Water — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 12:48 pm

Chapter 5 – Drowning
from Going Home, by Mary Batson

There are many reasons we’re afraid to open even a crack in our walls, Gran said. Like drowning. You see, emotions are like water. You can let them flow or you can dam ‘em up. When she was younger Gran had done the latter for so long she began to think she didn’t feel emotions. But this was just an illusion she’d concocted to protect herself, hiding inside a wall of numbness. Gran was thankful for the shelter this had provided, but eventually she felt ready to move on. That took some doing, though – it didn’t just happen.

Gran said the walls we build around ourselves can be like the Hoover Dam. Except instead of standing on top and admiring the view, we find ourselves standing at the bottom on the dry side, looking up at a vast expanse of concrete holding back a sea of unexpressed emotion. In blocking the water out, we’ve blocked ourselves in, and there doesn’t seem to be an emergency exit.

We stand there frozen, brave on the outside, terrified within. That’s a whole lot of water in there, and we know how powerful water can be. Shutting our eyes, we strain to hear any noises that might mean fingernail cracks and shoo away the carrier pigeons that circle above. Even if they had a message for us, we’re too afraid to let ‘em get close enough to deliver it. We’ll protect that dam with our lives, ’cause we’re pretty sure that’s what depends on it.

If we’ll let go of this fear long enough to open our eyes, Gran said, we’ll see several ways to improve the situation. There’s an exit sign just over there, and a ladder along the side, if we want to climb out. If that’s too strenuous, way over in the corner is a little water faucet. Don’t worry, it’s adjustable.

If we turn it on just a hair, the drops of water can be absorbed into the ground. Or if we’re feeling brave, there’s a big hose hanging nearby. We can ask the fire department to help us hook it up, to direct a jet stream far down into the valley. Or we can set up a sprinkler and let it gently feed the land, watching the little flowers that pop up to tell us the long, cold winter is over.

Of course, all these options require us to do something, Gran said. We can also walk away and go down to live in the valley, convincing ourselves there is no dam. Sure, it’s dry and dusty, hard for anything to grow in that desert, since the stream that fed the valley got dammed up along with all the rest of that water. But it feels safe.

We convince ourselves we’re safe, forgetting all we know about water buildup and preventative maintenance. If we sometimes remember that wall with a smidgen of concern, we sooth ourselves with the idea that if a leak springs all we have to do is plug it with our finger and all will be well. This might have worked for Hans, Gran said, but she wouldn’t recommend anyone try this at home.

We can go on like this for years, dancing in the valley with unseeing eyes, unaware of everything we’ve shut out. Unaware, that is, ‘til we begin to hear ominous creaks and groans in the night. We try to shut them out, too, pulling a pillow over our ears. If we do that long enough, Gran said, this problem will take care of itself, and us along with it. Or, if we choose to wake up, to remember the dam and all those tools lying next to it, we can hike back to the head of that valley and start the work we weren’t ready for the first time.

This task can seem so daunting we may try to convince ourselves we don’t really care what happens anyway. This is always an option. But there’s a neat trick to this, Gran said. We have help, although we may not realize it. Like the shoemaker’s elves – the ones who did his work when he got too sick for it. But first he had to ask, Gran reminded me, and that’s a lesson in itself.

Being a fan of both gardening and the slow-but-sure method, Gran’s favorite approach involved that sprinkler. She was a bit of a country girl, you know, and she knew a thing or two about the power of water, especially in its flood stages along Deer Creek. Gran ran that sprinkler for a long time, gardening away, growing flowers and vegetables and all kinds of good stuff.

One evening she noticed water pooling in a corner of the slope, the ground sinking a bit. The next morning when she returned, she found a great big hole where that depression had been, with a spring at the bottom where the valley stream had originally burst through from higher up the mountain. There it was again, bubbling merrily along.

As the water level lowered, Gran dismantled her dam, one layer of concrete blocks at a time. Finally the way stood free, wind blowing gently past, sun falling on sparkling waters, all back to center, and this time it held.

That, Gran said, was a beautiful day, and some excellent motivation for planning her next trip.

—–
© 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! www.frontporchrambles.com/store

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