Monsoons: Sheets of Rain and Heritage

This week, we experienced the first monsoon rain of the season here in the highlands of Arizona.  Drama in the sky. Billowing clouds a building, fluffy and white, turning gray and black, spreading. Nothing comes of them the first day. Maybe not the second day. We smell humidity in the air. Ahh, yes, the monsoons are a comin’. But not today.

The next morning, all is bright, clear, and cloudless, but by 3:00 the skyscape has changed. I did not see them rolling in. I’m in a store. My front car windows are open a crack to let in some air on this hot afternoon. I hear a roaring beating on the store’s roof. What is that? Yes, I’m caught off guard. Sure, I knew they were a comin’. But not yet today. Sheets of rain pelt from the sky, and I wait for a break to run to my car. Finally, I make my dash getting soaked, and I’m on my way home with my glistening bags.

Because we have little rain most of the year, the monsoon season is quite welcomed here. We get much of our water during this time. The monsoon season is like a season unto itself in the mid to latter summer season. For some, it is their favorite season here, and I can see why. The rains are fast and strong and then over in just part of a day. The drama in the skies and the shadowy play on the mountains fascinate viewers without being too threatening. So the season has begun.

Another season began for me this week, in the mid part of the summer, at the commencement of the monsoon season, before our nation’s birthday: I entered the third trimester of my earthly journey — I turned 60 years old on      July 1.  Third trimester. Ages birth to 30 equals the first trimester; ages 30 to 60 equals the second trimester; ages 60 to whatever, possibly 90,  equals the third.

Yes, I could say I’m in the last year of trimester 2, since I have the ending and beginning years overlapping. I like the overlapping, the connectivity between periods, versus hard separations. So, yeh, I could say I’m completing trimester two and beginning trimester three. You get it.

My husband’s parents and mine lived to somewhere between ages 86 and amost age 91.  People in general are living longer. Therefore, I decided that 90 is a good approximate lifespan nowadays, so I’m dividing the years into sets of 30’s or trimesters.  Of course, I’m not reaching for that long of a life except that I’m  preparing as best I can for what journey I do have ahead. I’m supposing a premature delivery into eternity (way under 90), but then, I’m not the author of my story or of those stories that intersect with mine. Infinite Wisdom is weaving stories together (Romans 8:28-29).

Preparing for the future means, for one thing, learning from the past, and for another, leaving a fingerprint uniquely Christ-me-ish.  I remember reading some 25 years ago of a study done of 50 people who were ages 90-95. Everyone was asked,

“If you could live life over again, what would you do differently?”

Three main answers emerged:

1. I’d reflect more; 2) I’d risk more; 3) I’d invest more in what would live or last long after me.

So yesterday morning, I collected some of my journals from year’s past and read a few pages. Reflection. Then I opened a new journal with a brown, leather type cover and cream colored, lined pages. Investment.

“To Aiden from Nana O,”

I wrote in the front cover.  Then I wrote two pages.

 “Aiden, you are nearly 5 1/2 years old now… and Nana O just turned 60 years old.  When you first see this journal, you’ll be a young man — I don’t know how old because I don’t know when I’ll give it to you.”

The next day I wrote a few pages about when I first met him as a newborn in the hospital. And so it will go.

In time, I’ll start a journal for his little brother.  Why am I doing this? The survey of elderly people says it: invest more in what lives long after me.  Right now, I’m thinking of Aiden as a young adult in the journal rather than the 5 1/2 year old he is now. I can share my memories, my beliefs and perspectives, and my heritage with him.  What he does with it is for him to decide.  In time, I’ll start a journal for his little brother.

As the monsoons provide moisture for the coming dry season, so I hope the mental monsoons pouring onto journal pages will become resourceful reservoirs for my progeny — those boys living 1800 miles from their Nana and Papa O.  May God protect them and guide them and enrich them with godly understanding, strong values, and thankful hearts in love with their Savior. May my pen speak this heritage, which is already being sown into them, deeper into their identity. May they shine as lights, no matter the weather or season.

Please respond: Journaling is just one way of  “passing the baton.” You don’t have to be a “writer” to write; look at St. Peter, the author of I and II Peter!  What are some other ways you can pass on your heritage?


Categories: Parenting, Spiritual Growth | Tags: | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Monsoons: Sheets of Rain and Heritage

  1. Martin Zuidervaart


    Oops, I forgot to respond to Paul’s email invitation to send you greetings on your 60’th birthday. So, here’s my belated birthday blessing: God, continue to speak through this gifted and beautiful woman of God as she pens out of the rich depth of her growing heart for the growth of others.

    Karen, your integrating the monsoons of Arizona with reflections on turning 60 and then moving towards a challenge for your readers to pass the baton to others like grandchildren illustrates the beauty of your giftedness with the pen. Keep sharing this gift from God! Marty

    • kltolsen

      Thank you, Marty, for the birthday greetings and for your gracious words of encouragement!

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