“So my question was: What, dear Lord, is your purpose for my life? Where during the rest of my mortal years, is home? Ultimately, it is with you, Lord, but meanwhile I believe I am to make a home in the strange island of Manhattan for my granddaughters, who have been so good for me as they have been in college in New York, teaching me, pushing me, not allowing me to get into any kind of a rut. I believe, too, that our home is to be an open one, so that friends that are called to be briefly in the city have a welcoming place to stay.” – from The Rock That is Higher by Madeleine L’Engle
Madeleine L’Engle was thinking back to the time after her husband, Hugh, died. I love the fact that she lived with her granddaughters while they were going to college. I’m not going to be living WITH my grandchildren, but near them, Lord willing, very soon. I am under contract for a house and am waiting for inspections and all that entails. I am so excited I found a house just 1.6 miles from theirs. I want my home to be a haven for all who enter, whether family, friends or strangers.
In Season 5 of Wonder Years, Kevin is in 11th grade. One episode refers to “The No-Man’s Land of Public Education“. Sometimes this is where I find myself when I’m subbing. I’m a teacher, but not a teacher. Many days I feel like a glorified babysitter, and that’s not what I want to be. I try to be an authority figure as well as a friend to the students. I strive to be pleasant, knowing that for some kids school is their safe place. But, some days, I just see this broken system and feel helpless.
“Nothing seems to fit anymore” – this thought from the same episode is one I can relate to on many levels. Literally, as I am fighting my clothes these days. Figuratively, as I once more face a summer with no work. My drive to be a teacher may never go away, but I just can’t see my way to going back full-time. My drive to write will never go away, but I can’t find a way to steadily earn money with my writing. Even being a mom doesn’t fit the way it used to. But, to everything there is a season.
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven – Ecclesiastes 3:1
Wonder Years Fun Fact: KEVIN AND WINNIE’S FIRST KISS WAS THE REAL THING.
One of my favorite chapters in All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is the one titled “Old Ladies’ Resistance Club”. These women were so much more the than the Red Hat Society.
“Seventy-six years old,” she whispers (Madame Manec), “and I can still feel like this? Like a little girl with stars in my eyes?”
With a birthday in my very near future and a husband who just hit 60, I have thought a little about age this week. Some say it’s just a number. You’re as young as you feel and all that. I think Madame Manec felt like a girl with stars in her eyes because she had a purpose, a renewed reason to keep going.
I hope that when I’m seventy-six I will still have a purpose; a reason to joyfully greet the day.