barnacles at nautilus teachings

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“it looks like a barnacle.
yes, you have a barnacle
on the side of your head…”
these,
the words from my
dermatologist
this past week…
i begin to giggle
then i belly laugh
then she laughs
and her assistant laughs
as i say, “i have a barnacle?
wow, that is so cool, i love barnacles
i write about having barnacles
all the time…”
and now
I HAVE ONE…
i feel like a little kid at Christmas
“i have a barnacle…
nananananana…”
now i know this may seem silly to celebrate
but i embrace aging
i find it rather fascinating all the changes
in and on my body
that i GET TO go through…
the slowing down of
of the soul,
the every moment given
of taking in of beauty
simplicity
calm
silence…
i feel like wise old Mr. Hawksbill
with his gentle lapping
flippers…
just hanging back
feeling the groove…

wise old mr. hawksbill
wise old mr. hawksbill

it’s funny that my barnacle appears
as my son is about to get married
my youngest graduates college and looks to start a new life
and my middle child and i have chosen different roads
God
gives me
a barnacle…
i place my
finger upon my
barnacle
and rub it…
it’s really
just a bump on the side of my left temple
about the size of a pencil eraser
it’s soft
like my aging body
it has one tiny brown dot
like all the “big freckles”
i seem to be getting more and more of,
and once in a while it itches
just like my
“you have sporadic psoriases on your knee, too…”
which of course requires a special cream…
i massage the ointment into
my barnacle
and upon my hived knee
then i rub my aching feet
left shoulder
hop onto my back machine
and i lay for the 20 minutes cycle
i relax
and think about all the barnacled shells i pick up
when i walk on the beach
and all the tiny barnacles on the wood of our dock
which are underneath the water

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i rise up feeling relief as my
grown son says to me,
“hey mom, wouldn’t it be cool
to submerge a wooden cross and
have it hanging at our wedding
all full of barnacles…
then it would be like a message to Jesus
to thank him for carrying our sins
symbolizing forgiveness…”
my mouth drops open
and i think, “wowza!”
we give birth and raise these
beautiful souls
God has given us…
we live through potty training
school meetings, sports, scouts
teenage years, first dates, driving
rebellion, shouting,fights
college admission, graduation
differences of opinion
and still we come back together…
we watch them
as they begin embracing
living, struggling, learning
and accepting
adult life is full of
barnacles
and we are all forgiven
and loved unconditionally
by God.
and our parents too!

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