As Jessie gets older and matures and creates her own life, she doesn’t quite need us as much (or, some days, THINKS she doesn’t quite need us as much) as she used to. She gets to classes and appointments and events on her own; she wakes up on her own; she makes decisions about the courses she will take or the movies she will see on her own.
She still, however, sometimes needs me to drive her to performance or workshop commitments with Propeller Dance or the Down Syndrome Association. And while I sometimes grumble about the time it takes away from my work or the way she often just expects me to drive her, I am learning to be graceful about the interruptions and to enjoy the forced space they create in my life. Space for God and friendship and beauty to break through, if I let them.
Yesterday, for example, Jessie had a gig in Richmond, about half an hour outside Ottawa. As we turned down the back road that crossed over the Jock River and ended at the school where she was giving a workshop, I noticed a maroon and gold sign with an arrow. It read “St. John’s Quiet Garden.”
An invitation. Which I accepted.
l left Jessie at the school, zipped up my coat and stomped through the mud to the garden that was, indeed quiet in its blanket of white—with not yet budding shrubs poking through the deep snow. There was a sign indicating that there were two labyrinths buried somewhere underneath. And while I fear I have become a bit of a loose woman around labyrinths, I did not mind just wandering over the promise of a mindful way in to the centre. And I did not mind walking slowly around imagined perimeters or stepping gently on the untrammeled snow—there is not much call for outdoor labyrinth walking in a Canadian winter.
And I remembered that I had a camera:
So I am thankful for what I saw, and thankful too for these spaces between mothering that Jessie’s growing independence is gifting me.