A long-time friend, sent me an e-mail with the attached photo:
She took the photo early one morning, on her long, long walk to her job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Getting to work is not the only reason for her early morning walks. She also uses this time to meditate and felt this might be an option for me. Something to consider. But, for now, I plan to sit on the lanai at 5:00 a.m. with the fans swirling overhead, to meditate until the weather cools down in Florida.
Let me move from walking and meditating to the photo. Having lived in Madison for more than thirty-five years, I emailed and asked, “What Lake — Monona or Mendota?”
She didn’t answer, but sent the following photos. Then, I knew the answer – Lake Mendota.
Summers 1970 – 1973
I remember, the summer afternoons, spent with our three children, in this park and on that beach. It was many, many years ago; and, I have Sad and Happy Memories
Hubby and I were both full-time students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We were living, I am certain, below the poverty level for a family of five (GI Bill, student loans/grants, and Hubby’s part-time jobs).
Mentally, I allowed worrisome and non-productive thoughts to enter my space; and this disengaged me from spending quality time with my family. Unanswerable questions controlled my thoughts. Like, WHAT IF —
- We made a mistake by returning to college at our age?
- We can’t find a job after graduation?
- Hubby can’t find another part-time job when this one ends?
- We can’t pay back the student loans?
Sadly, my WHAT IF questions were continuous and endless. And, regretfully, I was not able to enjoy and embrace what was happening in the present moment during this period of my life.
Even though I was not always in the present moment during these summer days, I know our children enjoyed the time we spent at Tenney Park.
Regardless of the WHAT IFs, I have many Happy Memories of those sunny afternoons, sitting quietly, and watching our Happy children — wading in the lake, creating in the sand, and playing in the park.
Hubby joined us for dinner at the end of his work day. Tenney Park was our evening dining place during the summer. And, we had some of our best times and meals there. Most days, I cooked something on our portable grill. And, occasionally we had enough money to treat the kids with pizza or burgers from a fast food restaurant.
Happy, that today, I am learning to:
- Let go of the past;
- Live in the present moment; and
- Accept what may happen in the future.
Postscript – Thank You to Two Special Friends
The Librarian, for the photos in this post.
Cupcake, for the photos taken in an earlier post, “July Vacation Days: Happiness in the Presence of Children.” (Special Note: We share a beautiful granddaughter, Little Cupcake.)