Sunday, April 18, 2010

Resonance

 Photo credit: My Mama (no really, my mom took this)

It's springtime! Cue the happy band. Having recently (re)read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (highly recommended), I'm in a gardening kind of mood. Our lovely lawn has been taken over by dandelions, and my unpruned hydrangea bush is headed for another year without blooms, but that's okay because the soil I'm digging up is destined to grow delicious, kitcheny things.

We built some raised beds to house a vegetable garden this year. CPod and the boys played with power tools while I mixed batches of peat moss and compost. As I dragged the rake through the soil, over and over, I kicked off my flip-flops and felt the good, clean squish of damp dirt between my toes. My muscles strained, my breath came faster, and I caught myself smiling.

Enjoying the moment? Happy to be productive? Excited at the prospect of home-grown tomatoes, squash, beans, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, basil, parsley? Definitely. All of the above. But more.

I had a flash of clarity, working there in that garden -- a fleeting glimpse of eternity as I felt a brief but poignant kinship with generations of women in my family who had done exactly what I was doing in that very moment. My muscles remembered, suddenly, what they had been designed to do. In that instant, I understood that it's not just my character that has been shaped by the men and women who came before me. The very molecules of my body are a reflection of who we have all been, collectively, over the years.

My mom likes to say she has always been a square peg in a round hole. And when she and my dad had children, they raised a bunch of square pegs. Try rhombus pegs. Or stars. Any polygon, really, as long as it's incongruent with Normal. But a few times in my life, I have found places, done things, met people who made me feel like my peg was just the shape that was missing: On stage, enthralled, drinking up my first full symphony orchestra experience. In front of a class, teaching -- any subject. With certain dear friends through the years. Meeting my husband. Holding my babies for the very first time. When the words are flowing, and I recognize myself in what I've written. In the wonderful church that I have embraced (and been embraced by) my whole life, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In Blogland, with all of you square pegs out there. Wandering around the medieval streets of a small European town. Exploring places, any place, indoors, outside, wilderness, city, museums, mountains. Always, with my family full of multifaceted pegs. And now, working in the dirt. (I should have seen it coming.)

I'm going to call it resonance -- a soul-deep recognition of something you were born to do. Tell me, dear readers -- what were you born to do?



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18 comments:

  1. I think I was born to help people find their potential and give them an ally when things are tough.

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  2. I was born to be a Mother and teach my children and love them. I don't think I was born to do laundry although I do a LOT of it. I feel very grateful I love motherhood and know my divine role as a woman. I hope I am a good one and teach them well!

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  3. Cuddle. NO ONE cuddles better than I.

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  4. To teach. and to snorkel. And I'm with Tillia--I don't think I was born to do laundry... ;)

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  5. To smile and savor. To snuggle and cuddle. And to learn to control my temper!

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  6. PS--didn't Animal Vegetable Miracle make you want a yard full of livestock?!?

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  7. I've been a dodecahedron shaped peg my whole life. Abandoned the boring round hole years ago...

    I've found my resonance in writing, math, science, reading, church, teaching my children to love learning.

    I know what you mean, that kinship (mentally and physically) to my progenitors. I've felt it, too.

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  8. I guess I'm round. Jack of all trades, Master of none.

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  9. Sing. Take pictures. Cuddle my kids.

    I've been wanting to read that book. I'm just a little afraid of the lifestyle changes it may force (inspire?) in me...

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  10. Write. Sing poorly but with spirit. Bake and share anything chocolate.

    PS: That book is on my to-read list. Sounds like a gem!

    PPS: Enjoyed your post on MMB today. Those pictures were breaktaking!

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  11. Beautiful post. My list is quite similar to Terresa's, except I would probably add "counseling." I really come alive when I listen and empathize with struggling friends, and gently (I hope) share my thoughts.

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  12. Still trying to figure that one out.
    We're going to do the raised beds this year too. I'd love to know more and any tips you have.

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  13. Teach, laugh with my kids, and sing. These are my strengths, at least to me. Not sure if everyone else would agree. :)

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  14. I was born to teach and to learn. But aren't we all? And I was born to meet my husband and make a family with him. I'm still waiting to see if I was born to do it right. :)

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  15. Teach. For sure. I feel nearly incandescent when I get to do it.

    I'm a rhombus. Of the diamond-in-the-rough variety.

    And I'm excited to start my very first solo garden this summer when we move into our home.

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  16. Great post, InkMom. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I've been lurking a bit on yours but some people get nervous when an unannounced male shows up. I'm coming out, though.

    I was made to teach middle school, I'm pretty sure. And to do musical theatre. And to garden. That's where I am most me, at least the best me.

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  17. Wow. What a question. I think I was perhaps born to put myself in other people's shoes and do my best to understand them. I was also born to appreciate art, in all its forms. Beautiful things, pieces of music, paintings, writing, always make me cry because they counteract all that is ugly about the world.

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  18. I think I was born to paint on walls. Now I just need some walls to paint on.

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Sock it to me!