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Friday, July 24, 2009

ripe

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The time has almost come. One week from tomorrow our first child will be married.

The second she was born 28 years ago, her eyes shone big, round and clear. They say newborn eyes can't focus well, but whatever the birthing room's morning light fell upon, she seemed to absorb and approve of through those little portholes of hers. She has always been ready to take in as much of the world as she can fit.

Before she learned to walk, she learned to run. We never used a leash, but maybe that would have preserved a year or two of our lives.

At age 6, shortly after we moved to Istanbul, she corrected my halting Turkish when I misunderstood our door woman - stating sweetly, "No, mommy, she asked if you wanted bread delivered today."

When we returned to the U.S., she fell in love with Elijah Wood and decided to become a marine biologist after seeing "Flipper," maybe hoping that would get her closer to him.

For a while she preferred her hair pink or blue to its natural medium brown. She wore army boots with skirts. I'm ashamed to say I was embarrassed when people stared at her extravagantly in our conservative town. That embarrassment was so much more about me than her. But I did let her have pink hair.

She dove into mosh pits. She totalled a car. She changed majors at community college until she found Design. She exploded beauty out her fingertips, and Art School sent her to the Furniture Design show in Milan. She got a job and moved to New York.

She fell in love, this time with a Philosopher, not a Movie Star - thank goodness. We fell in love with him too. With our family and friends we will witness their vows, toast their long happiness and dance until midnight. The fireflies will watch us from the tops of the black locust trees, and I will watch for your eyes too from the lower tree limbs of the orchard, you enthusiastic friends who have touched me with your interest and support. And then back to real life - the work of taking in the world as much as we can fit.

I will see you after the wedding and share moments of the day - of course!

All my love.

99 comments:

VioletSky said...

All the best for a perfect day for Lesley and Brian.

amuse me said...

"Exploded beauty out of her fingertips" -- love, love, love that description. Have a wonderful day at the wedding. :) M

J.G. said...

Such a joyful celebration! Try not to get so busy with the details that you can't step back and take it all in.

Wishing you (all of you!) perfect weather and much happiness.

Kat said...

Enjoy. I wish all the best for all of you. What a wonderful missive about your daughter. My only daughter was just married and she is 27, so we have been through a lot of the same experiences!

shicat said...

Blessings,what a beautiful tribute. Tears of joy,to you and yours.

Susan said...

Beautiful daughter, beautiful words. You brought tears to my eyes for your joy. Blessings.

Julia said...

Is it our goal to cry every single day between now and the wedding? Your blog did it to me this morning. When Brian was little, I used to sit by his bed and pray for the girl he would marry, that she would be sweet, tenderhearted but adventurous and brave. Lesley is such a gift to my son that I will never be finished thanking God for her and for the fact that she's the one who loves my son. Thank you for describing the evening that awaits us. Let's see how much crying we have left in a week if this pace continues.

The Bug said...

Ok, the post was lovely, but I didn't start crying until I read Julia's comment. Sigh. Both of you have a great time - it sounds like the kids already plan to. Can't wait to hear the recap after it's all over!

NJ said...

Ruth, what a lovely tribute to your beautiful daughter. I think she and my daughter may have been cut from the same cloth. Mine died her blonde hair fire engine red in grade 9 which faded to pink and took 2 years before it grew out. She at 23 still wears high top runners. Went to art school. She is still looking for her nitch in life and your words assure me that it's just part of the life process and she will one day find happiness with the boy of her dreams too. Cheers! I know this will be a wonderful wedding. I can just tell from what I've read from you.

Jane said...

How wonderful that your daughter has met her love so young. I met mine when I was 47. Better late than never eh? I wish you a magical day as I know it will be from all that you've shared so far.

Loring Wirbel said...

I bet you had a good cry finishing this post!

Oliag said...

What a gift you have for writing expressively enough that those of us who have never met Lesley will now feel close enough to also wish her the very best in life, love, and marriage...as though we have known her well...Tears indeed...and what a wonderful tribute from Julia!...Have a wonderful, busy, fun week!

Dakota Bear said...

Ruth,

Such wonderful thoughts of your daughter.

Enjoy one of the most important days in your life. You will experience many feelings, but joy will be foremost.

Nancy said...

Enjoy this beautiful day with your daughter. I have one of those "unconventional" daughters, too. Her current thing is to not comb her hair - just run her fingers through it and call it good! Well, at least she's a clean hippie.

Congrats!!

Vagabonde said...

How exciting – will you post some pictures on your blog? Will you read something at the ceremony? My daughter was married in 2005 to a young man whose family is very religious (we are not). She wanted me to read something in the cathedral, so I read a poem by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk who lives in France, Thich Nhat Hanh (I did not say that he was Buddhist). All the Indian relatives of the groom liked the poem, but I was on stitches, high up there in the cathedral of St John the Baptist in Savannah. All my best wishes to the happy couple.

lesleyanne said...

thank you for the beautiful post, my sweet mommy. i am so happy that we are able to share this day together, and just moved by your words.

i can't believe that it is only a week away! just think, one week from now we will be celebrating at the Red Cedar Grill, toasting to wonderful days ahead.

i love you with all my heart. and this post (and the comments too, of course) have completely touched me. thank you, to everyone! can't wait to have photos to show off! :)

C.M. Jackson said...

blessings to you and yours--happiness,health,love and magic-c

Leena said...

Best, most beautiful - as this post of your mother was - day to you Lesley, your parents and your fiance - of course to everybody there too :)

With love Leena from Finland

mystic rose said...

Reading about Lesley growing up makes me smile. I still remember you telling me about her energy. She has an amazing spirit.

Just one more week left... and its going to run by so fast :)

Best of luck with everything, and hope all of you have a most lovely weekend.

shoreacres said...

Nothing here but smiles and more smiles and just a touch of "we-can't-possibly-get-it-all-done-were-we-crazy-to-think-of-doing-this?"

But in the end, just smiles and joy.

shicat said...

Hi Ruth, I have a blog question,maybe you could answer after the wedding. How do I control the size of my image? I wonder why sometimes when I click on some images they enlarge while other images don't? I would like to know how to control this other then just using the small, med,large option?

Barry said...

Congratulations both on having such a beautiful daughter and on her wedding.

Congratulations to on being the kind of parent who created the environment in which such a wonderful child could flourish.

Arti said...

What a beautiful toast to the bride! All best wishes to daughter and mother... I'm sure it's a new page for you too!

CottageGirl said...

You were a smart mom!

You didn't sweat the small stuff and your daughter found her own way to happiness! Good for both of you!

Good thoughts are sent your way! I'll be picturing you all week on the farm getting ready.
Next Saturday, if you look look up, I'll be the little sparrow chirping her little heart away!

Best wishes to the wedding couple for a wonderful day as well as a long and beautiful life together.

ds said...

For one night, I should like to be a firefly, shimmering with joy.

For Lesley and Brian, for you, and for the rest of the beautiful extended family being created next Saturday: love, luck, and laughter. Always.

PurestGreen said...

What a lovely post. Happy, happy day to you all!

Babs-beetle said...

I am so happy for all of you. What a wonderful day it will be, and so romantic, to have the wedding on your farm. I look forward to your post, with photos of the special day :)

rauf said...

My father had a Turkish cap, thing dangling from top. Silly.
What is Turkey ?
i never knew about Thanksgiving.
Turkey is a place in the world.
'Turkey is a Country ??' is a famous quote Ruth.
i din like the stupid cap, i refused to wear it when my father bought one for me, and i din like Turkey bikkaas peepal there wore a silly cap
What ? the whole country wears this silly cap ?

My nephew and niece speak better Tamil than me Ruth, after 55 years of living here my Tamil is still rotten. Children pick up foreign language fast. Tamil was foreign to me.

You and Don would like to do everything yourself but please don't allow stress, allow difference of opinion, just say yes for a week. And please don't walk in the rain if it rains.
Lesley would not like a sneezing mom at the wedding.

Here in India Ruth, when something good and auspicious is happening people don't like to hear any one sneezing.

Please keep taking pictures.

Merging Point said...

There was so much beauty reflected in your writing. wishing them both the wonders of union bestowed by the Divine grace. have wonderful blissful moments....

freefalling said...

WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?
WHERE HAS THAT TIME GONE?!!!
ONLY ONE WEEK TO GO??!!
How thrilling - how exciting!
I feel excited all the way over here in Australia for you and Don.
Go and organize and do last minute stuff and then come back and bring us lots and lots of photos!!

♥ Kathy said...

Congratulations Ruth! I hope the day goes well :)

California Girl said...

How wonderful for you. I love the simple caring way your describe your daughter. Her delightful character comes through your words.

My youngest turns 21 next week and I keep hoping he'll find his way as he's confused about what to do with his life.

It's nice to read about a pink and blue haired child who figured out what to do with hers.

Congratulations!

Claudia said...

Oh Ruth this post really touched me. They grow up so fast, don't they?
I wish you and your family all the happiness in the world!

kenju said...

Such a lovely post! I hope that you and your family have a wonderful time at the wedding and that all goes well.

Annie said...

Looking forward to seeing pictures. I'm glad your daughter found a good man. :-) I don't even dare to think about my children growing up and leaving home. ;-)

renaye said...

this kind of tomato is very expensive in Malaysia!

gemma said...

My first daughter married 2 years ago at age 28 as well. Marrying after education and some life experience is best. Best wishes to all including Mother of the bride.

Bob Johnson said...

Been there done that,lol, both in raising girls and going through a wedding. take care and good luck, take lots of pics, it will be a memory to last a lifetime.

Moi said...

such a sweet post, Ruth.....congratulations to Lesley and Brian......have a great time and yes, do come back and share some pics with us ......:)

Anna said...

Ruth congratulations for your and your husband, and congratulations to your daughter. She sounds like a very exciting and outgoing person. Anna :)

Sandy said...

What a great post and gorgeous gorgeous photo. I so wish I could be there to see her special day and the farm in all its' glory. Loved reading about the younger Leslie.

Can't wait to see photos and I hope the fireflies enjoy the wedding as well as everybody else ..well heck I'm sure they will!

alice said...

What a beautiful post, again!. I imagine how you and all your family must be busy and full of joy around this great day. Can't wait to see and read more. I hope the weather will be nice. Love from France.

carl h. sr. said...

Dearest Ruthie!
I am happy and excited for you ALL from many miles away here in Florida.I too have been looking forward to this time of great joy for you and yours.
I will try to check back at a later date.
There are many more good things in the world than bad.Sometimes all you can change are your immediate surroundings,which turn change everyone who experience them,and carry that inspiration with them on to others.Like a ripple in a pond.Peace and Love to you,carl

Christina said...

I am so thrilled for you and your family. I send you wonderful thoughts and the sweetest of wishes, dear friend.
xo

Peter said...

A wonderful tribute to your daughter and so nice to feel the tolerant and loving parents you are!

I wish you all success with the wedding; it must be fantastic to celebrate it the way you have planned!

Looking forward to see the post(s) you will make around it!

Judy - So California said...

Oh Ruth - what beautiful writing to share about Leslie as you all approach this very special day. We will be thinking of you and sharing your joy from a distance. Looking forward with great anticipation to seeing loads of pictures. Our love and best to all - especially Leslie and Brian! Judy & Dave

CottageGirl said...

Thought of you all day today! Joyous day!

caroldiane said...

thank you so much for your lovely blog about your daughter - it echoes so beautifully my feelings about mine who just gave birth to my first grandchild. Hope the day was truly magical for you all!

João said...

Congratulations, Ruth.
Thank you for sharing the love.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Sanna. It felt perfect to me.

Ruth said...

Hi, Marion, it was a terrific day, I'll post something about it soon. Thank you for your well wishes.

Ruth said...

J.G., I reminded myself of your advice often in the last week. There were many tasks I could do meditatively, and I enjoyed that very much.

I will share some of the details of the day soon.

Ruth said...

Kat, wow, yes, I hope your daughter is very happy too. Our day was wonderful, I am trying to absorb it.

Ruth said...

Cathy, your tears watered our garden wedding, as did the sky. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Susie, your tears are a treasure. A lot were shed this week, and the sky helped too. It was a big comfort, even after all the blue sky prayers, strangely enough.

Ruth said...

Sweet Julia, now I have met you. You are even lovelier than I expected. I didn't cry as much as I expected to at the wedding, but I had a sudden rush today - two days afterward. Probably letting down slowly and the beauty is sinking in.

I wish you lived closer.

Ruth said...

Bug, hello. I will write soon. I'm still trying to absorb the moments, people, love, joy, and all of it as we clean up and put away the piles that remain. It's good to have these tasks while letting the event sink in. I'll try to post something soon.

Peter said...

I just came back here briefly to check if there was a report of the wonderful day! I'm leaving southwards for a while, but will try to have a look now and then if I find some connectivity!

Ruth said...

Hi, NJ. Our kids need encouragement to find their way in their own time. It takes a lot of space for that to happen, not breathing down their necks. Lesley is still edgy with her style, but she has mellowed. She is a very responsible woman.

Parents who consider alternate hair color risky behavior just make me crazy.

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Jane. The magic happened. I felt the farm's spirit as a real presence. I'm trying to let it sink in a few days before writing and posting.

Ruth said...

Loring, and more after reading comments. Thanks, Bud.

Ruth said...

Thank you for that, dear Oliag.

Meeting Julia was one of the supreme highlights of the event. She is a treasure. When you get terrific in-laws along with a new son-in-law, life is very good indeed.

Ruth said...

Dakota Bear, you were right. There was no way to contain the joy, so I didn't try. I just kept running around from one person to another, and danced my fool head off too.

Ruth said...

Nancy, ha, well, there is always something to be grateful for. My friend's daughter wore her hair in very very long dreadlocks for some time. So she didn't even put her fingers through her hair. Eventually she clipped it all off. It's best just to keep quiet and enjoy the real person inside those sweet heads.

Ruth said...

Vagabonde, that was a good way to respond to your situation, I admire that.

I will post some photos soon. Since I didn't have my camera in my hands, my sister and nephew have said I can use their pictures, which is quite wonderful for me. But I really miss having taken my own. However, it was more important to experience it and absorb the joy and love.

Ruth said...

Sweet Lesley, it was everything we hoped and more, wasn't it? You can't plan some things, and those are the things that maybe mean the most. Like little Aleiah saying to her mom "Mom, I like this marriage." I think she danced for an hour solid!

Ruth said...

C.M., the magic was the extra ingredient that happened. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Mystic, everyone contributed to the wedding, every person there. Most importantly Lesley and Brian contributed their great joy, happiness and love. That set the tone, and the rest of us contributed similar spirits. What astonished me was the magic the farm contributed, and the rain, and how welcome it was.

Ruth said...

Linda, you got that right! At about 3 o'clock on Saturday I finally started to let my breath out. Now, as we clean up, we move into the real stuff of life and treasure our memories of a very romantic wedding, thanks to soft rainfall.

Ruth said...

Cathy, I hope what I explained in a comment at your watercolors blog will help.

Ruth said...

Thank you for that, Barry. You wrote about happiness today, and the data are so right - when you're surrounded by happy people, your happiness increases. It was so big at the wedding I couldn't contain it.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Arti. It is so strange to think about Lesley being married!

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, CottageGirl, you touched me. I hope you enjoyed your view from the branch, did you get wet? There was such a lovely rain during the ceremony, then it cleared up so we could run around the farm and greet one another (and the chickens and turkeys).

The couple is off to Scotland for the honeymoon - arriving sometime later today. Lesley was there once before - inside me. :)

Ruth said...

Dear DS, I feel your best wishes, and I am touched. There is an awful lot of goodness in the world, and you contain a good part of it.

Ruth said...

Ah, thank you, PurestGreen, it was among the happiest days of my life - maybe the happiest yet.

Ruth said...

Babs, thank you so much. Your prediction was correct - it was a superb day, full of joy and love, and I just couldn't sit still. I will post something soon.

Ruth said...

rauf, Lesley has a knack for language, she imitates all sorts of voices, I thought she might be a cartoon character one day. They say six years old is when we have the peak ability to learn a language. That is how old she was in Istanbul when we arrived.

I thought of what you said a few times, saying yes and not saying no. I especially thought of it one time I said no and regretted it. It turned into a conflict, which thankfully turned out fine. But I instantly said to myself: "Stupid woman! Why didn't you listen to rauf??"

We did a short walk in the soft rain from the house to the tent under a big golf umbrella. The moisture in the air that night did get to my throat. Oh! And someone said when it rains at a wedding it is a blessing.

Ginnie said...

It happened, Ruth. Our little girl grew up and became the charming woman she is. I can hardly wait to see what you do on your post of the grand event. :) I am so glad I was a part of it!!

Ruth said...

Merging Point, thank you. It was blissful.

Ruth said...

Letty, gosh I love you. Soon, soon, almost ready, the post is coalescing.

Ruth said...

Thank you, ♥ Kathy! We loved every minute.

Ruth said...

California Girl, Happy Birthday to your son.

Life is life. Living life is full of errors, strikeouts, foul balls and beaned noggins. It's also full of base hits and home runs.

I have no idea why I'm writing in baseball metaphor after reading your wonderful post.

Ruth said...

Sweet Claudia. Your girls will also grow up and move into a life of their own. They become fascinating people, it's a joy to learn from them.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Kenju, very much. It went better than expected, and I am still laughing at your assicons!

Ruth said...

Renaye, yes? They're not cheap here either: vine-ripened.

Ruth said...

Thank you, gemma. I agree. I was married at 21 and there is no end to what I didn't know.

Ruth said...

Bob! Welcome back, buddy! I am dying to hear all the China adventures. So far what I've read from you is not disappointing.

Yes, you did an adventure like this one just before your China one. Wow, am I ever glad I'm not flying anywhere anytime soon, let alone there - so much cross cultural stretching!

Ruth said...

Moi, thank you, my dear. I will post something soon!

Ruth said...

Anna, once she was like your little Matthew, learning to eat with a fork. Now she is a responsible woman. Quite astonishing.

Ruth said...

Auntie Sandy, ohh it would be fun to have had you here. You would fit right in. My family is very artistic and fun like you.

I saw just a few fireflies. Were you one of them?

Ruth said...

Alice, my dear. You will hear about it soon. I think you are en vacances - I hope you enjoy.

Ruth said...

Carl, my friend. I always feel such peace from you, and love. How touching that you remembered our day, I will post about it soon. Many, many people passed by your shells on the gold chest in the room where the ladies got dolled up for the wedding, and commented. I said, "oh, those are Carl's shells."

Ruth said...

I felt your wishes, dear Christina, and all your love.

Ruth said...

Peter, we needed all the good wishes along with our planning and good hard work. Now I will look forward to seeing you when you return from les vacances!

Ruth said...

Dear Judy, oh it was so wonderful, thank you. And we loved seeing Dennis and Amy and Nicholas at the farm - Dennis and Amy for the first time of course. I hope if you and Dave ever ever get to MI, you will plan to visit us.

Ruth said...

Yay, CottageGirl, how thoughtful of you!

Ruth said...

Ohh, caroldiane, I look forward to that milestone, um baby. I can hardly not think about it.

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, João for also sharing it.

Ruth said...

Boots, thanks to you, many many things got done that would not have. And thanks to you, I have photos to publish!