Rita grew quiet, sinking into deep examination. She remembered yesterday that she had given up on her dream when her dad told her she could not succeed. Ugh.., that still stung! Why in the world had she ever allowed anyone, even if it was her dad whom she loved and adored, control her life. Her thoughts were interrupted by the emergence of words.
“Be patient with yourself, be kind, loving, compassionate, supportive and encouraging. You would never be so harsh with your children if they were sitting in your shoes. You would tell them to go for it, to not give up, that it is never too late. Right,” presented the magazine
“Yes, that is true,” she quietly relaxed.
“Rest now. Let yourself release the need to fix, change, or understand why. It has all happened perfectly. Tomorrow is a brand new day, with a beautiful fresh start. You are worthy, you are enough and you are perfect, right here, right now and always. Good night,” floated the words.
“Good night. Thank you,” she replied as she closed the magazine, a wee bit sad that tomorrow all the words from today would be gone. At the same time she found herself excited to see what came up next. It had been a long day full of emotions and confusion, sleep quickly overtook her conscious meandering.
Rita loved Saturday mornings. The pure joy of waking up slowly, letting herself linger in bed, stretching as she listened to the silence of the house interrupted by the outside sounds. The small back yard had a stunning maple tree, it was just starting to bud with new fragile leaves. Today it seemed to be the perch for many singing birds, she loved hearing that sound, it was like they were inviting her to come and play.
As she relaxed into the warmth of her covers, listening to the melody of the morning, her thoughts drifted off to the previous couple of days and her interactions with the magazine. There were definitely moments when she expected to open the cover to merely see a page size ad with brief articles spattered throughout the rest of the pages. Magazines had really become quite the joke, for people’s attention span had shrunk to a point that anything longer than a half page seemed to be too much to read.
Today she had brunch plans with a friend. It would be fun to catch up with Maria, for it had almost been a month since they last got together. Maria was a long time friend, they first met when Rita moved to Seattle after college. Ironically, it had been Maria who convinced her to create the art piece she shared with the magazine yesterday. Unlike Rita, Maria did not have kids, she had decided that while she enjoyed children, she did not want any. Her career, hobbies, boyfriend and dog seemed to be enough for Maria to have in her life. Rita smiled as she thought about how important “Aunt Maria” had been to her and the kids through the years, especially during the divorce.
Stretching one last time, Rita climbed out of bed to go to the bathroom and then make a cup of tea while she got ready to go out. The kids were still in their bedrooms, neither of them early risers. They used to be when they were younger, but like most youth, that changed when they hit their teens. Now, they could be awake, but sucked into some video on their phones. Rita had given up a long time ago trying to limit and control their technology devices, she decided that eventually they had to figure out that balance for themselves.
Walking quietly to the kitchen she put the kettle on to boil. Placing her favorite loose leave tea into the wire mesh strainer with some honey, she stared out the window while she waited. Scanning the room, her gaze got caught by a painting that hung in the living room. It was a large canvas, filled to the very edges with bright colors and playful form. Stepping into the living room, she walked to the painting, “RS 1992” sat in black acrylic on the bottom right corner. Reaching out her hand, she felt the painting. Running her fingers over the bumps and curves that brought the abstract piece to life. It was one of the few paintings she had actually hung up for people to see, one of the last pieces she had completed just for fun. Then she got her first job out of college, started to date and “do what people do” in this world, settle down in a relationship, buy a house and accumulate stuff. Staring at the painting, she could feel how free and alive she felt during that time in her life. It seemed so long ago, as though it was someone else’s art piece, she didn’t even know that woman anymore.
Behind her she heard the door to the bathroom shut. One of the kids was awake. Stepping away from the painting she walked back into the kitchen to pour the water over her tea leaves. Taking her tea to her bedroom she let it steep while she made her bed and got ready to shower. Gratefully this house had two bathrooms, so she did not have to share with the kids, which was such a gift. Every time she passed the magazine she was tempted to open it, but she kept herself away from it until she was ready to go out. She had decided when she woke that she would give herself ten to fifteen minutes with it prior to leaving, otherwise she knew it could suck her in for a long time.
Sitting down on the edge of her bed, she picked up the magazine. Inhaling she opened to the inside page. Blank white greeted her, “yep, a fresh new day and page,” she thought.
“Good morning, how are you,” typed the magazine.
“I am good, quiet and still in deep thought about all that you have stirred up the past couple of days,” she gently stated.
“That is wonderful, you are waking up to the inner self,” shared the page.
“I’m not sure I like it, for it makes me question things and intensifies my unhappiness with what is,” she replied.
“Discomfort is not a bad thing, it is just helping you to see what you would like to change, shining a light on the parts of your heart and soul that wish to be felt and experienced,” replied the magazine.
“Yeah but, it makes me feel like I have to change things. That I did something wrong, that I made mistakes,” she exhaled with deep sadness.
“Why,” was the quick response.
“Because I’m obviously not happy. That means something is wrong and the only one who can change that is me. I don’t even know how to begin that process, unclear what I truly want, it just confuses me and stirs up such intense emotions,” exclaimed Rita.
“Relax, the answers are within you, however, if you are battling yourself, or trying to force it, you will just feel more and more frustrated. In the quiet, peaceful, accepting space you can hear your heart and soul more clearly,” cooed the page.
Glancing down at her phone, Rita realized that she needed to go. The conversation would have to wait until later today.
“Thank you, for visiting. I have to go meet a friend,” she told the magazine.
“Have a wonderful time,” came the reply.
Closing the magazine Rita gathered her jacket, for it was still a bit chilly in the mornings. She stopped at the kids bedrooms to see who was awake, so she could tell them where she was going. Francine was sitting in her bed staring at her phone.
“I’m going to meet Maria for brunch. I’ll be back this afternoon sometime, you know how we can talk,” she smiled at her daughter.
Walking in she kissed Francine good morning on the head, reminding her what was in the fridge to eat.
“Have a good morning sweetie. Your brother is still asleep, so please let him know where I am when he gets up, thank you. I love you,” stated Rita as she left the bedroom.
“Thanks mom, you have fun with Maria, tell her I said Hi,” called her daughter
To be continued… 5