renewal |riˈn(y)oōəl| noun
the action of extending the period of validity of a license, subscription, or contract : the contracts came up for renewal | a renewal of his passport. • an instance of resuming an activity or state after an interruption • the replacing or repair of something that is worn out, run-down, or broken
One evening when I was a little girl, like four, I became angry with my family. They were tickling and teasing me and I hated it. Cried. Packed my little pink suitcase and ran away from home.
I rang the doorbell at the neighbor's and the mom came to the door. I told her I was running away and asked if I could stay at her house. I remember her standing there, probably holding back a laugh, and saying that it wasn't a good night for her. She had company. That maybe if I came back the next day, there would be a place for me then.
That rejection only offered one other door to approach, one other home where I would have chosen to reside. Certainly not to the Greenlee house as they had a bunch of boys, and I couldn't cross the street by myself. I walked back past my own house to the Dunfee's on the other side. I knocked and knocked at their back door. No one answered. No one wanted me. I had to go home.
I don't recall what happened after that nor anyone teasing me for having run away. I imagine my humiliation of having to come home offered them an opportunity to let me return in peace. Or so I hope. But with my running away at that age, I set a course for myself. One I've come to depend upon.
Yesterday, I ran away from home. All the years of occasional upset with my husband, or needing to breathe while caught in the mire of raising three kids, or just life itself, an escape plan became necessary. Often a walk around the block sufficed, or a trip to the library, alone. Maybe a visit to the greenhouse to finger the delicacy of a new plant.
Often times I escaped to the safety of my women friends, to the comfort of their kitchens or conversations, sharing our woes or asking unanswerable questions about why life makes us have certain feelings at uncertain times.
I did that Thursday afternoon. After a sluggish swim at the YMCA, I gave up on attaining my normal mile and quit at 3/4 mile. While making phone calls to several friends to meet at the bar in 45 minutes, I knew that wasn't what I should be doing. That I had projects going at home that required my attention. But I simply did not want to do them. So I ran away to the bar to join four friends who all in a small window of notice, showed up for the companionship also.
I am most grateful for those women, but there is something in me when I get in these moods that also requires solitude.
Yesterday afternoon I ran away to my cabin at the lake -- a much appreciated haven for this soul of mine. A settling place for my wits, a privacy I seem to require every now and then. Should I have been at home to cover what was needed there in terms of motherhood and wifedom? Absolutely. But I wasn't.
Last night, I sat in my blue chair, cranked my Ipod as high as I wanted. I stared out the window at the lake, a few lights across lighting the water's edge. With a glass of wine, I sang out loud to my heart's content. Brown Sugar, The Freaker's Ball, Songbird, Dream a Little Dream of Me, Brand New Day, Field of Opportunity, Shining Star, Green River, Hernando's Hideaway, The Trouble with Love is, Revolution, Amie, The House is Rockin', Give up the Funk, I Wish, Highway to Hell, Voodoo Cadilac, Twist and Shout, Freeway of Love .... and on and on. Name that tune. I sang it last night.
I finished the evening seated in my chair with eyes closed. In my mind's eye, I wore the white satin ballerina outfit I wore when I was 12, complete with the flowing net of a long tutu , the music of Frederic Chopin's Les Syphides filling the cabin. This ballet has no plot - only the mystical movement of white clad dancers floating in the moonlight, just like me. Sleep arrived.
Never would I do that with others in the house. But, now I'm sung out, danced out. Need to pack my stuff and head home as soon as I finish this rambling post. We will gather as a family (less the Arizona boy) tonight to celebrate my oldest son's birthday. I will attend, truly happy to be with all of them. For the time I've spent alone has proffered the privacy I required. I've become accustomed to gathering it as quickly as I can.
This morning I made a new list in my journal of things I need to do, goals I need to set -- become more organized, better read and more rested. I have a plan. That's what running away does for me. I am thankful not only for those friends and the cabin which offers the solace, but for the night.