A Memory for a Lifetime

I’m surprised by how difficult it’s been to re-enter the ‘normal’ world.

We had an amazing trip. New Zealand is a beautiful country and it was beyond wonderful to spend time with Gabriel — to have our little family together again. Here’s a photo from our very first day in Christchurch:


So great to see my guys together again — and Gabriel smiling back at me.

The ocean backdrop’s not bad either!

We took so many photos that we blasted through three cameras! The nifty little camera I bought at the Christmas Concert silent auction ran out of juice at the end of week two. I had forgotten to pack the charging cord so I started using Stephen’s camera which wore out with four days to go (honest, it did! even charging the battery didn’t help) so we got Jacob to take photos for us using his phone and he ran out of space!

There were so many wonderful things to see and do and it’s nice to have the photos to take us back to particular moments, but my best memory is recorded nowhere but in my heart.

We had arrived at our last destination — a beach house in Raglan, which is a surfing town on the west coast of the north island. For 2 and 1/2 weeks we had kept moving, spending one night, occasionally two, in places along the way. We ended our trip with four nights in the beach house.

It couldn’t have been a more perfect ending to our adventure. Amazing ocean views out of almost every window. A wall of windows leading to the patio that could be removed altogether to let the ocean breezes pass through. Surfing lessons and playing in the ocean, walking the beach, soaking up Raglan’s hippy vibe, staring out to sea. The house wasn’t what high-rolling people would consider luxurious, but to us, it was heaven. Not only to be in such a beautiful space, but to have four days to luxuriate in it.

The very first night, after the oohing and ahhhing had worn off, I made supper, we ate, and the guys started to do clean-up. Gabriel hooked up his i-pod to the sound system and started taking requests. And we danced. It was magical. Even now, when I close my eyes and return to that memory, I feel my bare feet on the wooden floor . . . the breeze from the patio . . . see the breath-taking views . . . the joy of having my family together to share this space and time . . . I feel my hands clasped by first one son and then the other as they dance me around the room . . . their exchanged looks of glee as Gabriel brings up the one song they know is guaranteed to send their mother dancing like a wild woman.

I was filled — OVERFLOWING — with such sweet well-being. It saturated every part of me — body, mind, and soul. The most precious moment of my holiday, captured forever in my heart.

Success mentors suggest visualizing what you want, imagining it in miniscule detail, feeling grateful ahead of time for its presence in your life. I’ve always had a hard time visualizing things I might want — although now that I’ve experienced that beach house, I have a clearer picture of a possible location. In truth, there’s not a whole lot of things I want — other than that elusive piece of land I’ve always dreamed of living on one day.

Now I know I don’t need to imagine owning material things — even that land. I have had the priceless gift of experiencing top-to-bottom, inside-out well-being. And I have the ability to return to that feeling instantaneously, just by closing my eyes and reliving every detail of that magical evening.

I’m going to return to that moment again and again and again until it has expanded to fill every crevice of my current life . . . until that sweet, wild feeling is not one fleeting memory, but a constant in my world.

That feeling is what is important.

Everything else will fall into place around it.

Funny, it’s the same feeling I experienced in the moments immediately after the birth of these two amazing young men.

That was a whole other kind of sweet, wild dance.


Post bungee-jump smiles.

(How is it possible for one heart to accommodate a love this vast?)

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9 Responses to A Memory for a Lifetime

  1. cydragonfly says:

    No words, just a puddle of mush. Thank you for sharing that moment.

  2. Lorien says:

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! Just so beautiful and so touching and so so so so so…..HAPPY! I loved reading this. Thank you Maxine. And yes, how is it possible for one heart to accommodate a love so vast? Mothers’ hearts expand into infinity. They expand as the love expands. ❤

  3. maxinespence says:

    Lorien, are you there? I changed my email address and was not getting notifications of your posts. I just resubscribed, hoping it would take my new email. It’s maxspence4@gmail.com in case there’s a magic wand you can wave at your end.

  4. whoist says:

    Your boys have such love shining in their eyes for you behind the camera. Lovely post, I could just imagine the wonderful evening you describe. Would you mind sharing which song it was? x

    • maxinespence says:

      Absolutely! It’s Michael Franti’s song ‘Say, hey, I love you!’ You can easily find it on YouTube.

      • whoist says:

        My dear friend Kerry posted a clip on Facebook yesterday of her dancing on stage with Michael Franti this weekend at a festival. Kerry has advanced cancer and had been invited up. She danced to “I’m alive” with every ounce of her being. I had forgotten about looking up your favourite song (Michael Franti is not well known over here) but this reminded me and I love that my two favourite Canadian friends (okay my only two Canadian friends) are both fans. I can see why you both love him! I have therefore bought his albums and will feel the love whenever the songs pop up on my iPod!!

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