Now just how would you define a picnic? Let’s check it out together…
The dictionary meaning says it is ‘a pleasurable excursion including an outdoor meal, something agreeable and easily accomplished’.
Yes…that concurs with what I considered a picnic to be from my growing up years where we took sandwiches and cake and the thermos flask for Mum and Dad …plus the cordial for me (that warmed up horribly with the day) and set off for a drive.
Later with my own family we would pack a picnic, ‘all bar the kitchen sink’ my beloved used to say…to which I would retort…’tell me what you don’t’ want and I will take it out’…that kept the darling quiet, he never did come up with an effective reply…and I never took anything out…but I digress.
Off we would go to the beach, the boys off fishing, the girls playing, me reading and sipping a wine, all of us having a swim…a BBQ, food, sunlight and activity.
They were great days, in time, in place, the family playing together and for that time in my life. It was simple entertainment…it was what you did on Sunday…as opposed to going to the shopping centres and wandering about –oohhhhhhh of course there were none and Sunday trading had never been heard of in north Queensland…
Where am I going with this? I am reading ‘A Woman’s Worth’ by Marianne Williamson at the moment and the author is talking about our being our authentic selves, knowing our worth as a woman, connecting and having someone with whom to connect.
Marianne has a different kind of a picnic…she has ‘picnics on her bed’…it is not about food…it is ‘picnics with fun and talk and feelings and friends’. Her king size bed is a meeting and sharing place for family and friends alike…
Where have you had a ‘picnic’ on the bed…just for fun and talk and feelings and friends?
That got me thinking…when you were little wasn’t it wonderful to have someone snuggled up in bed reading you a story? It was for me… they are powerful and wonderful memories which I hold dear.
Then with your girlfriends… how many problems did you solve sitting on each others beds …whispering, sharing, learning and giggling. About life, boyfriends… how to get them, how to keep them how to get rid of them…girlfriends…who said what to whom and why…clothes…can’t you hear the “I’ve got nothing to wear… Makeup…how does she do that?…let’s experiment…You know all those important girlie issues…
Ahh and I clearly remember the first time I shaved my legs…after a long discussion with my girlfriend aka ‘picnic on my bed’…and just knowing that her advice was always best. She said you do it first…then I will go next!
At all of about 14 years of age…I waited till Mum was out…went into the bathroom, closed the door. Knowing I was being daring…I took Dad’s safety razor, used his shaving brush to run it all over the shaving stick (do they still exist…they are probably a museum piece by now). My mistake was in then running my hands over it to make sure the bubbles were evenly spread.
With wet hands I picked up the razor and…you guessed it…the razor slipped sideways and left a very creative curved slice across the calf of my leg. Have you any idea how far a small amount of blood can spread? It went up the wall. All over me, in the sink, over the floor…just everywhere…I panicked!
I am dying! ...drama queen activated.
Mum will kill me!…drama queen cranked up a notch …with a grain of truth.
How can I cover up?... drama queen trying to be creative and failing.
As I frantically tried to stem the flow of blood, grabbing at anything towel, bathmat, clothes…sobbing… very loudly by this time…I burst out of the bathroom to find Mum standing there…HELL SHE IS HOME AND HOW DID SHE KNOW?
I always said mothers know stuff…She was home, she knew what I had done…she was waiting…
Contrary to popular belief the world did not end that day and I lived to tell the tale…after much berating by my long suffering mother. So much for my girlfriend’s teenage advice…and letting me go first.
My next recollection is from nursing days…now I trained back when nurses had to live in the quarters. Matron took it 100% to heart to keep us ‘safe and protected’! It was the 1960’s. Those words are euphemisms for control, power, punishment, deprivation and manipulation. OK I exaggerated…only a little bit!
We would spend countless hours sitting on someone’s bed having our ‘mind picnic’ and discussing the ups and downs of nursing, the patients, the sisters, Matron, the Doctor’s, each other…..it was what I would now call ‘stress relief ‘.
Now my youngest granddaughters aged 5 and 18 months enjoy that ‘picnic on my bed’ when I stay. They both come in and lie and share, giggle, tell stories…and how much they teach me…the wisdom of children never fails to astound and delight me.
And finally going to Conventions with groups and that fabulous time when a few friends gather in someone’s room...on the bed, floor and talk about the wonders of life… a little wine helps lubricate the conversation.
What I love is the communion of women, particularly across the generations. As I sit up in bed all alone (but not lonely) today, I reflect on the beautiful life I have, the amazing friends I have… all the sharing that has happened with someone who cares while sitting on someone’s bed… that is when our authentic selves appear, we recognise and acknowledge our worth as a woman, we connect and share love, light and laughter.
Maybe it means taking a brush and painting your thoughts and feelings...
Or Maybe simply laying back being supported by the universe with butterflies as a symbol of transformation around you.
I invite you to reflect for a moment and think about how you have taken ‘having a picnic’ to a whole new level? I would love to hear!