Friday, May 04, 2007

Back to Basics

In my favorite photo of myself there I am, gleefully hugging my three year old knees while sitting on a slatted wooden bench on a dock which floats atop a pristine lake. Priest Lake. I’m wearing my brother’s hand-me-down jeans, rolled at the cuff, and held up with a tiny, brown, leather belt. A red tucked in t-shirt, under a little unbuttoned brown corduroy jacket, comfortably hugs my petite body. Red-plaid canvas Mary-Jane style shoes cover red socks which keep my tapping feet dry and warm. A ‘swimmer’s cut’ bob of naturally red and gold highlighted brown hair is lifted and mussed by the wind which also whips the water into white caps.

Dark, heavy, gray-black clouds advance toward the pebbly shoreline casting asymmetrical black shadows across the clear lake. Rain is imminent. The water is cold, but I am not.

My dimple-cheeked face wears the most free, wide, happy, excited grin imaginable, most of my perfect pearly-white baby teeth showing. My eyes are full of ecstasy! My countenance wears the look of exhilarated watchfulness. Pure joy and freedom.

This is the true me.

I haven’t been me, since I was three.

But I’m on my way back. And the way back is forward. And the me I am becoming knowingly appreciates the me that I was, far deeper than a three year old ever can.

Life is full of wonder in its inner connectedness.

"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." ~~~~~T. S. Eliot  


Lisa Smith said...

"Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will not enter it." Luke 18:17

We must mature to become like a little child.

There's a pondering statement.

May your journey to restoration be filled with His grace.

Cherie said...

A profound statement.

So true.

His grace is the only reason I seek Him. Without it, I would never know.....or care.

Thank you, Lisa, for your kindness.

Anonymous said...

It is a wonderful feeling when you feel like you are reaching your true self, but it's so easy to get lost again.

This was a beautiful post!

Wandering Coyote said...

I have a great picture of myself at 11 in my Easter outfit. It's a long story, but I keep it in a frame by my bed so I can be reminded of the little girl I once was.

Great post, Cherie.

Cherie said...

Yes, Sandy, it's easy to get lost again. But at least in each lostness one is closer to the goal, and usually comes out of the darkness closer still.

WC, I am not surprised that you and I have this in common, this living forward but understanding backward.

Thanks to you both for sharing. Encouragement in a comment box!

Pam said...

I read this post this morning and tried to post a comment but I couldn't. It reminds me so much of the emotions I have about pictures of myself as a very little girl and how that same little girl disappeared way too soon. Someday maybe I will be able to blog about it... Still, it IS nice to look at those pictures and see what I was -- what God intended.

Another great post.

Cherie said...

Hidden pain, kept deep inside, for decades. Even that pain is doing the work of God in transforming us. It is not wasted.

And we never lose who we were - that part is still there, still precious, and still having its effect on us, to some degree.

Thanks, Pam. This post must have been hard - I admire your progress in your personal journey. You are faithful and wise.

Elizabeth said...

Dear Cherie, I was free for a few years but then I had to face ambivalence on the part of my parents. I was strong and willful and did not seem to let my predicament bother me much but I had always to be alert and prepared for I knew not what.
I had a knack for looking on the bright side if there was one and letting go of yesterday's hurts. But I did have to be careful.

The last photograph in which I am smiling is a crazy one where I, with my naturally curly brown hair, round little belly, arms akimbo, wearing a wool bathing suit and a marvelous terry cloth cape am grinning at the camera. The cape was a cover up for the beach, It looked like Joseph's coat of many colors.

But that was the last smiley photo from childhood.

It's okay because I sought God and maybe I wouldn't have if things had not been challenging.

Elizabeth said...

Loved your beautiful post.

Ann said...

Such a tender evocation of childhood, nature and you. Your recognition of the beauty and value that exists in all three is inspiring.

And I love the Eliot quote.

Marianne Elixir said...

Fun and ponderful. I love reading your posts!

deanna said...

Lovely. That tinge of the bittersweet you add is like the black cloud shadows in your picture. Good contrast.

Cherie said...

Lizza, I can picture you with your wool swimsuit and cape! Thanks for the description of your childhood 'smiley photo'. And for your wise words, with which I agree wholeheartedly: the challenges of life are the ones which teach us. Thanks for your words and wisdom.

Ann - I love your perspective on this post. Excellent! Glad you like Eliot's quote. It's a good one.

Elixer - Thank you, Marianne! I'm so happy that you enjoy my posts! I write them for me - and share them for whatever they may worth to others.

Deanna - High praise coming from a published author! Thanks, friend!! ;-)

tshsmom said...

My Mom was so right when she said that youth is wasted on the young! We spend our childhood trying to escape our innocence. Then we spend the rest of our lives trying to recapture that sense of wonder that we carelessly tossed aside.

I think this is the main reason we have see the wonder of life through their eyes...and hopefully through our grandchildren's eyes.

This was a wonderfully descriptive and thought provoking post Cherie. You have a knack for turning my thoughts inward. Thank you!

Cherie said...

Insightful comments, tshs!

"...carelessly tossed aside." So true.

Marvelous the second (and third) chance we are given, to see life from the eyes of our kids and grandkids. You are completely right about that. That view from the little tykes changes us somehow....for the better.

Thanks for commenting from that perspective!


Anonymous said...

My childhood seems such a blur of indistinct memories. I have a few things--mostly related to the things my grandmother would do--bake bread so that we could have some fresh coming home from school. But I guess I've never thought that my progress forward in life has anything to going back to something I had as a child. I like your phrase "inner connectedness" although I have a different context of what that means--but I suppose that's the way for everyone. Thanks for visiting my blog. How incredible that your grandparents are buried in the same cemetery as mine. (same grandmother as above, btw) Are you from that area? I grew up in Santa Clara.

Cherie said...

Hi, Patti! Glad you could stop by.

I spent the first 13 years of my life in Los Gatos. It has changed quite a bit from those years. Good memories, lots of sun and swimming! Glad we moved to Oregon, though. ;-)

Thanks for commenting!

Angela said...

my little baby love is three. sometimes i take pictures of her, or pause ina moment and realize - THIS is her childhood, right now, this memory is shaping her. powerful stuff.

your blog is a delight. thanks.

Cherie said...

I know how you feel, Angela. It sure IS powerful - such responsibility...and awe.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Deadmanshonda said...


Cherie said...

Leisel : :-)

Anonymous said...

My sentiments are the same as Angela's. I realize my children are having their childhoods right now. Stunning thought.

Beautiful post, Cherie. Vivid and wonderful.

Anonymous said...

You write so well that I can see the photo in my mind!!!!!!! Thank you Cherie. I love this post!!!!

Cherie said...

Annie and Ashley, thank you kind ladies for these very sweet comments. Life is good. :-)