Friday, July 12, 2013

Peak Experiences

There was a portion of my Mom’s journal I skipped over as irrelevant, but since yesterday’s post, I think I need the break. I need to remember what I loved about my Mother, how she was this beautiful person. So I’ve included in here her response to a workbook assignment.

Dancing as a Peak Experience:
After I had been dancing for about 3 to 4 years I suddenly figured out (physically) how to twirl. At first I did part of a twirl (without thinking) and then found I could not will it to happen nor could I intellectually figure out who to place my feet to make it happen again. It began to happen more often but still I didn’t know how to make it happen. I just had to let it happen and learn through my body and not my mind. Finally I did a complete twirl (my body had learned on its own). I felt exhilarated, wonderful, light as a feather, graceful, beautiful, enchanted. I felt like a queen. I felt vindicated also because I wasn’t clumsy at this. I had become a dancer!

Skiing as a Peak Experience
I got into skiing to please my husband. I always felt clumsy doing physical things. I don’t have good balance and my legs are crooked. After we had been skiing a while (about 3 years) I was beginning to really like the sensation of it. One day we went to a ski resort in Michigan-Schuss Mountain. It was like a little Swiss village. There was one run on the side which was a chute- about 25’ wide. I was scared at first and just skied the middle. I started going faster and faster (Rocket  runs). As I went faster I realized I could ski up the face of the sides and then swoop down into the chute and up the other side. It was magnificent. I could go fast like a racer and then let my speed take me uphill onto the side where I would slow down and stop gently as a butterfly. Then I could swoop down, go fast and then up the upper side. I felt free, weightless, excited (but not scared). I felt like I was a bird flying. At the end I would squat down and race through the bottom of the chute, letting my skis chatter across the bumps and my knees taking the shocks like a racer. I felt transported. I felt confident, beautiful and proud.

Jumping down Sand Dunes as a Peak Experience:
Roan and I went to the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes in Michigan. We climbed up to the top and decided to run down. We realized it was so steep that we could literally jump out and land about 15 feet down. I was scared at first but then got more confident. I started taking giant leaps and hollering “Moon man, Moon man” because I felt weightless and like the men on the moon could cover a big distance with one hop. I began to look forward to plunging over the edge. I felt no fear—only great exhilaration and fun. I felt like an athlete—not clumsy but daring.
Walking down the Aisle at my Wedding as a Peak Experience:
I felt radiant, happy and confident as I walked down the aisle. I felt beautiful and full of energy. I thought—this is exactly right. I felt like a princess. I felt full of love for myself and others. I was eager and happy.
Seeing my babies as a Peak Experience:
It had taken 7 years before Annie was born. I had a C-section after 2 ½ days of labor. When I woke up I wanted to see her. She was so beautiful—long fingers, a little hair that glinted bright red in the sun. A little rosebud mouth and tiny nose. Blue eyes. I felt awed I felt happy and ex cited and full of energy. I felt complete as a mother. I felt proud and jubilant. When Jenni was born I was awake. As they lifter her out of she was a grayish lavender color. As she began to cry she turned pink right before my eyes. I could see she was healthy. She was a beautiful peach color. She waved her arms and legs. I was enchanted, delighted—so happy. It was so awesome to see her “born”. They put a little hat on her and later brought her to me in the recovery room to nurse. She nursed beautifully right from the beginning. I felt so proud and again so complete as a mother!

Snorkeling as a Peak Experience:
We went to Hawaii and wanted to snorkel to see the beautiful fish on the coral reefs. I had almost drowned as a child so it was hard for me to put my face in the water and just breathe through the snorkel tube. I finally learned to breathe out as I put my face in the water and then the next breath was no problem. I always had that fear when I started. We went to a famous beach. We had green peas which the fish love. I relaxed and began to feed the fish. It was great~ they would come right up and look in your mask. It was like being a fish! I could swim in the middle of a school of fish. I felt joyful, exhilarated, released from being human, free. I felt sleek and silky and magnificent. I was happy, Excited.

I miss this part of you. This part that would be daring. White-water rafting, roller-coasters, laughing and delighted like a child. This is who and how you were meant to be: smiling, exhilarated, triumphant. It’s hard, when I see you at your lowest, your most beaten, to remember you on your best days. But you did have best days. You laughed and touched people’s hearts. You were kind and funny and sweet. You cared about people—all people—and they felt it. I remember  you recruiting me to make cards and decorations for the nursing home residents, because their families often didn’t. Not too many people do that, Mom, but you did.
I remember the feeling of your hugs best of all. You scratching my head when it was in your lap. Ralph does that for me now, but I think of you.
I remember.

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