Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rough patches build character

It's a bedspread, lily white, with endlessly fascinating loops, pleats and purposeful wrinkles. The antique edges are a photo editing trick courtesy of I snapped this picture inside an Anthropologie (home decor & clothing) store early in November. The hubs and I were wandering around Berkeley, California, retracing our first date 27 years ago as part of our 26th anniversary observance.

It's too tempting not to give in to the metaphor. A bed of roses, which life isn't. Rough patches, which we pass through like so many cobwebs in an abandoned house. A textured portrait of a real marriage and a grounded life.

Some folks like pristine, minimalist design and an orderly life. A starched white bedsheet comes to mind. I think the only use I might think of for that would be to tie it to the bars on the window and attempt to climb down from the prison of perfectionism.

The photograph reminds me of the many terraced rice paddies in the Philippines, where I grew up, and the acres and acres of pasture and farmland in California's Central Valley, where I've lived more than half my life.

All those furrows nestle spaces for growth, for pausing to reflect, for producing your life. You can tug at the bedspread and come at it with an iron to smooth it out, but it would be futile. You might even destroy the fabric you are working so hard to pretty up.

I told my husband, "I am SO ready for 2012 to be over." It's been a rough year in some ways but also a year of breakthroughs, hard-earned lessons and the squeaks of windows opening ever so slightly.

I haven't lost my taste for whimsy. I haven't surrendered my core belief that we have been gifted with a life of abundance. That abundance is simply manifesting in many other ways we would never have noticed had we not turned a corner and come upon "the new normal."

From wherever you are reading this, in whatever circumstances you find yourself, I am sending out goodwill and requests for blessings on your behalf. Let's face 2013 together.