Saturday, May 7, 2011

Measuring Time in Spring

Spring evening -  at 8:30 PM  -  2011

It is light until almost 9 PM.  Before long we will have light until nearly 11 PM.  The sky is light again just before 5 AM.  My favorite time of the year. Makes the winter rain and darkness seem very far away!  :-)  Okay, the rain is still here but not for much longer.  Brilliant flowers are every where and trees are completely leafed...these are the content recipients of the deluge.

"We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies."                       ~Shirley Abbott

So much has been going on that it has been difficult to sort through much less note on a blog.  Violin practice continues a pace but am thinking of changing to the Irish whistle or perhaps the banjo (for all things country).  Arthritis is such a nagging drag ~ my neck complains about leaning to the left (so does my family but that is another story).  However the stiffness keeps my massage therapist gainfully employed.  Speaking of violin I should add here that I began learning this wonderful instrument because I so enjoy Celtic fiddle music.  To make a long story short, I've been on a journey of discovery about my family's genealogy.  It seems I have deep Celtic roots.  Ferguson's from Dundee, Scotland, Gavin's from Ireland and the Reynolds' from St. David, Wales.  Are those the strands of genetic code that whisper a love of the jig and reel?  I found relatives in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts back to the founding of the country...perhaps that is why I felt instantly at home in those places. Found one soul who fought the British  long ago and died doing so.  These generations of cousins were not nobleman but hard working folk who helped build a nation: mainly farmers but also miners, laborers and builders of homes and towns.  I've found myself reading some of their stories from letters and family histories as relatives moved across this nation. I've felt very proud of their courage and strength.   I also found Mormon and Catholic roots and two male cousins many times removed who were polygamists.   A female Scottish cousin married a Mormon minister after she converted in Scotland and followed him to the States.  Her first husband was a sailor who died at sea.  There are two cousins from almost 100 years ago who were nurses and midwives.  One of those brave women served her community in Utah when that state was a territory and her people live in dugouts.  She also cared for some of the Ute tribe and her husband's cattle and farm were never scarred during the war between the Settlers and the Ute...even after her husband died from wounds he received in those battles her home remained intact and cattle left alone.  She like so many women buried most of the children they birthed.  There are long lists of cousins who did not live beyond their first year.  One grandfather remains a mystery.  He was an orphan. He died in a mining accident in Utah.  He was possibly Navajo or Mexican or Portuguese. I know only that his father was from New Mexico.  His mother from Arizona but to date those great grandparents remain nameless.  If my half-brother were to decide to have his DNA tested we might be able to find out which human migration that side of the family is followed - for now that greatgrandparent's story is encased in silence.

The genealogy search was rekindled because I have been traveling back and forth between the Northwest and the Southern Utah desert to check on my aged Mother.  Her energy, memory, and heart are failing her.   Sometimes she can not remember why I've come to see her.  Sometimes she is angry that I'm helping her pay her bills.  Sometimes she is mellow and full of old stories.  She will not leave her home - she is frail but the whole of her being wants to be fiercely independent to her last breath.  Managing fiances and health care from 1000 miles away is daunting.  Have even driven down once.  I have to admit I love to drive and eventually will get back to editing the photos taken on the journey.   So my own mother is failing.  My children are developing their families and careers.  The youngest son completes graduate school in June and the eldest is teaching English as a second language at a university in Texas.  We are  living life as it unfolds.  For now life continues to be relatively calm...not without its sorrows but that is to be expected.  The ebb and flow of each day feels connected and 'normal'.   There is a pleasure in knowing I am moving through my 60s with family secrets unlocked.  I now hold information about my connection to the generations who went before me.  There is a promise in it all.   It all seems appropriate to the season. 

"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day."  ~Elwyn Brooks White


Donna said...

The violin plays havoc with the neck!
Sad to hear about your Mom... By itself it's hard enough but having to travel that far very often is harder... Bless your heart! I'll be praying...
What a wonderful family history! Now you know why you were drawn to the violin!!
Have a Wonderful Day tomorrow friend!

Out on the prairie said...

you have been very busy, it is nice to hear what you have been doing. Your mom is staying above the waters the best she can.There are tons of agencies to help around the home if needed.Have a beautiful Mothers Day.

Donna said...

I am sorry to hear that you Mom is ailing a bit. God bless you for watching out for her and taking care of things as best as you can. My mom is getting up there in years too. Either 83 or 84 now.

Best wishes to you on this fine Mother's Day!

Dr. Jay SW said...

The past is never dead, it's not even past. William Faulkner