It’s a great honor to be a part of Mindful Monday. I’ve enjoyed reading this feature on Silver Threading as it always provides inspiration for moving forward. When I was asked to participate, I leapt at the chance to put forth my own experience with finding the “silver threading” in my life, particularly right now when my husband and I are going through major changes.
I finished reading The Truest Pleasure by Robert Morgan this past weekend. This book sat on my shelf—a literal shelf, not on my Kindle—filled with books I’ve been meaning to read. The Truest Pleasure probably sat there the longest and has made five moves with me.
P. C. Zick and the book, “The Truest Pleasure,” by Robert Morgan
The book sat, waiting for the perfect moment when I needed it most, in the place where it would speak to me the loudest.
That moment came this past week after we moved—along with this book—to our new mountain cabin in North Carolina. Since Mr. Morgan writes in the very setting where I’m now setting down roots, I thought it appropriate to read after unpacking the box marked “Books to read in North Carolina.”
The new house
Set in the years after the Civil War, the novel follows the life of Ginny from girl to woman, wife, and mother. The life of mountain folks in those days required stamina and grit. Her marriage to Tom fluctuates from lust to love to anger and back to love again through the years they labor together to make their farm flourish. Mr. Morgan writes in honest, gripping prose and paints pictures of the mountains and its flora with precise detail. As I sat on my porch surrounded by those same mountains, I felt the cool breezes of more than one hundred years ago and smelled the pine sap and heard the water gushing over rocks on its way down the mountain.
The Smoky Mountains
Stress has dominated our lives for the past few months. Moving our things to three different locations as we enter into a major transition, and my husband’s struggles with his health, created more problems and issues than I’d like to contemplate right now. We’ve been in drama mode for far too long. It’s easy to lose sight of the important things as the trivial dominates most days.
It’s been difficult to focus on the positive when so many missiles come hurtling at us. I fight the learned responses from my childhood where I grew up with a mother who was certain our family had a “curse” over us. She called it just that. My husband referred to a “jinx” on us one day when everything seemed to be conspiring against our move. I blew up. My usually positive husband now spouting the philosophy of my mother, one of the unhappiest people I’ve ever known? No, I was not going back there to those old tapes.
So he stopped after my annoyed outburst. We moved forward. We really don’t have too many things going against us. We are just trying to do too much in too little time. It’s easy to let those little things become the big things of our life. It takes a concerted effort to look around and realize we’re really very fortunate in this life we’ve chosen.
“The first night at the cabin, I backed into a ditch.” – P.C. Zick
After spending almost every moment together for the past ten days, my husband and I drove back to Pennsylvania so he could return to his job while we figure out the next steps toward his retirement. We sat in the living room where he kept interrupting my reading. I hoped to finish the last chapter of The Truest Pleasure that evening before my work week began the next day.
“Where’s the remote? Where are my socks? I’ve lost my keys/phone/wallet. How do I reset the clock on the microwave?” His incessant questions and dramatic declarations jarred as I answered or retrieved each of his requests. I felt put upon at the very least.
Then I read this passage in Robert Morgan’s book:
“Suddenly I saw all the things I had hated about Tom I could just as well have loved. Maybe that was me seeing through other eyes. Maybe Locke was right about me refusing to accept Tom’s gifts. I saw what fools we had both been. All our quarreling had been such a waste.”
I looked over at my husband, sitting in his recliner snoring with his mouth open. The annoyance I sometimes felt with his loud chainsaw snorts suddenly disappeared, and I felt warm gushes of love wash over me. He woke just then, and looked at me with his beautiful blue eyes I’d fallen in love with as a teenager.
“Hey, baby,” he said. “What’s going on?”
What’s going on? A change in attitude is what is going on.
The truest pleasures sometimes lie buried underneath the leaves and weeds, just like the rich soil in the forest. We only have to push aside the debris to find the fertile gold in our lives.
P.C. Zick in her kitchen
I’ve practiced finding the “gifts” in my husband this week, and a miracle has occurred. He’s finding them in me as well, and we’re softer with one another, leaving the criticisms aside and instead finding the commonality, which allows us to work together. When fools turn wise, life becomes easier and less stressful despite the chaos that still remains.
Yesterday, yet another challenge faced us. We’ve been trying to decide what to do with our boat. After a day of struggles with loading the boat up and taking it to a boat ramp where we couldn’t put it in the water, we were hot and discouraged. But then, the most wonderful thing happened.
“It’s time to sell the boat,” I said, not for the first time this summer, but always to dissent and disgruntlement from my husband. I waited for his explosion to my oft-repeated statement.
“I agree,” he said. The struggle ended.
Sometimes it takes life’s annoyances to bring us peace. It’s all in how we view and react to them. Last night we kept grinning at one another as if we’d unwrapped a present.
Thank you, Robert Morgan, for leading us to our truest pleasures.
And thank you, Colleen, for helping us discover our “silver threading” once again.
Maplehurst – Just before our wedding in 2010
I would like to give a most gracious thank you to P. C. Zick for sharing her poignant moments of mindfulness with us all. It is sometimes the simplest of things that brings us full circle with life.
Would you like to read more from this talented author? I did a book review, of “Trails in the Sand,” by P.C. Zick and you can find that link here. In addition, you can connect with her on social media:
P. C. Zick Links:
Amazon Author Central – http://www.amazon.com/P.C.-Zick/e/B0083DPN4E
Would you like to share your mindfulness journey with others? If you are interested in sharing your goals or aspirations, I want to highlight your journey here on Silver Threading. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to feature you on a guest post. This is our journey into mindfulness. The more we share and learn from each other, the better our journey becomes.
Remember, this is not a challenge. This is an offering of support. If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making. If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary. My main aim here is to give and get support to become more mindful of the things we all take for granted in our lives.