as one of the artsy ants is currently getting to know her baby girl and adjusting to life as a mother of two, we've invited some fellow bloggers and crafty friends to share guest posts with us all. today, please welcome gina munsey of oaxacaborn.
Hello friends! I'm thrilled to be a guest on the anthill today. Sylvia and Simona have encouraged me so much, and have been such enthusiastic supports of my blogging endeavors. I'm a very big fan of the Artsy Ants blog, and so happy to be here with you as Sylvia welcomes her second little bundle of joy and Simona becomes an aunt again (congratulations!). I currently live 2,000 miles away from my family and 3,000 miles away from my husband's family, so I can relate to the Artsy Ants sisters living an ocean apart.
"Her Paradise is Anywhere We Are Together"
It's a short dash from the store's entrance doors to the car, but a few steps in, I'm already drenched.
Aveline laughs, her strawberry blonde hair flattened, wet, against her forehead. She waves her hands wildly, squealing. I grimace and run through the rain, a limp shopping bag flapping against my leg, my purse strap sliding down my arm, and the bouncing toddler on my hip growing increasingly slippery.
This is summer in Florida.
Any Californian knows how absurd this is; summer is supposed to be the dry season. Rain is only supposed to come when the earth is parched and ready, when the strong oaks drop their leaves, when the red-streaked skies sing the dancing chorus of autumn.
Florida knows nothing of this.
Pardon my bluntness, but Florida is a swamp. From the air, looking down over the state, it even looks porous. The land is see-through, peppered with holes generously known as lakes. I sometimes stare down at this "land" and wonder how any of it sticks together at all.
And then it rains, the lawns becoming sponges and the pavement, rivers.
It's different around the edges of the state, of course. An hour's drive in one direction, and one can stare out into the endless Atlantic. Two hours in the other direction, one can take in the Gulf of Mexico. But in between, in the middle, in the green, green, twisted jungle that grows in and around and through the suburbs, it's just plain old wet.
This is what I see when the perspiration drips down my forehead, this is what I feel when the humidity makes my lungs feel as though they are drowning under the weight of all this water.
And then Aveline wiggles out of my arms, and runs toward a puddle -- heaven knows there are plenty to choose from. She jumps into the middle of the water with no hesitation, yelling as though it's the best thing that's happened to her since she pulled all the books out of the bookshelf, or since she dumped the trash basket into the toilet.
She laughs as she splashes. Little circles of mud splash up and freckle my legs as I stand next to her. She sits down in the water.
Her laughter is contagious.
In this moment, I can forget that I'm thousands of miles from family. I can forget my longing for the dryness of the California air. I dip the edges of my bare toes into the puddle, and the moment I do, the look of glee on daughter's face makes me realize that her paradise is anywhere we are together.
"'appy, 'appy, 'appy!" she exclaims.
She pulls on my hands to get me further into the puddle, and I oblige her. What is life, if not to dance in the rain with the ones you love?
Gina Munsey is a Californian in Florida, a Jesus-lover, a sojourner, and a gypsy soul. She blogs at Oaxacaborn about her journey through mamahood, moving, and being the wife of an artist. She also writes for Babiekins Magazine's Blog, and runs a whimsical children's shop on Etsy. If you want, you can chat with her on Facebook or Twitter as well.