I read Tim McGraws book “Grit and Grace” in the last few days. It has re-kickstarted my health and exercise resolutions.
Those sort of resolutions have always been six months on two months off for me – I think I have it sorted this time though with that books help.
Yesterday I was travelling.
Tim’s song Humble and Kind (you can find the lyrics here) came on
Ever been driving and crying at the same time? Of course you have, you’re human – it’s what we do.
I used to leave after seeing Mum and Dad and always be bawling my eyes out by the Horse Paddock Grid.
Not much to look at is it? But this grid marked the boundary between our property and the real world.
I left it every Monday morning as a small child and returned every Friday evening. Like clockwork.
I returned as I grew older and kept returning and leaving until Mum and Dad moved away retiring in their old age.
There’s something about returning to your roots that resets you. I thought it was this grid, this land in the middle of nowhere with its red dirt and blue skies that stretched forever.
I always thought of it as home. My spirit home.
I returned “home” a year or two after Mum and Dad died. Looking for that connection. I am lucky as the property is still in the family and one of my older brothers owns it.
We took the bikes, another brother and I and made a great little adventure out of it.
Seven hours later with tired butts and big laughs we rolled over the grid and I waited for that feeling to begin kicking in.
We had a great time and it was lovely catching up.
But it’s not the place or rather – that’s only part of it.
My Parents were the connection not a bit of red dirt in the middle of nowhere.
They were humble and kind. Returning to them was the difference.
The house wasn’t much but the beds were made with military precision and almost crackled as you pulled back the covers to get in.
The towels smelled of sunlight and Omo (washing detergent). The food was lovingly prepared and simple. Mutton and veges. Scones. Desert nearly always. All delicious.
The pace was slow and gentle. A lot of talking and wandering and meandering. Whenever I first arrived home it would be with a raised heartbeat and a jumpy foot, tapping fingers and too many words.
By the time I left I was reset to slow and steady.
Most importantly my heart that had arrived covered in layers and mess would be clean. I would be healthy. I would be humble and kind again.
Just being around my Mother, who was the epitome of humble and kind, made me a better person.
How lucky am I to have grown up with such a store of spiritual example.
In later years when Mum developed Alzheimer’s her spirit never changed – it shine out of her eyes like a beacon.
She truly was my church.
I miss the effect she had on my spirit. I don’t have anyone in my life like that anymore. I see glimpses of her in my brothers, my sister, my sons. Sometimes if I’m really quiet, I find her in myself.
But there is no one that provides that deep unconditional love for all things and persons that Mum did.
These “influencers” of today are laughable. You want to feel what it’s like to have someone so solid and strong they can pull you into their orbit of calmness and love.
That’s influence. Mum could do that to me with dementia. So it must be a heart thing. Not a brain thing or anything you can see with the eyes.
You feel it with the heart.
I’ve realised that now she is gone – no one can provide that sort of thing from the outside – I was lucky to have Mum and Dad but even they could not reach the depths – it’s an inside job.
But this song offers a pathway into that state of mind.
This song reminds me. It recalls me. It resets me. It is my new morning ritual. I listen to it the way some people start their day with affirmations.
This is all I need. If I can exemplify this behaviour in all that I do or try to – then I think that’s a goal worth achieving in this life.
Header picture chap is no relation to me but he has a face a little like Mums – strong and beautiful. She had a face like a holy woman – strong cheekbones and chin, gentle eyes with a twinkle – silver grey hair like a halo. Her laughter gurgled like water out of the ground.
I would love to show it to you but it’s probably not worthy of this blog.
The video and song are below. Take a listen with your morning coffee – it will shift your behaviour all day. Perhaps. It does mine anyway.