Outside my window, bubbles sailing past. Erin is over the flu. I hear remnant coughs, but she doesn't want to come inside. We've spent the afternoon outside, reading and talking. I came in for coffee. She grabbed the bubbles. I can hear her singing.
Giving thanks, for new responsibilities, relationships moving to restoration overnight, the wrestle and wrangle of thoughts and flesh, her phone call last night full of gratitude that melted my heart, for good friends and good neighbors. I am so very rich--and not by American standards, but by heavenly ones.
In the school room, sympathy cards stacked, lesson plans stacked, projects awaiting review, my dad's paper scraps of miscellaneous notes about crochet or knitting patterns. The room is darkened because we've spent so much time outside. When I woke this morning at 7:30 (the second wakening after making his sandwich), I felt thankful my kids could sleep in this morning after a week of illness, that there was no place we had to be, that this day could unfold by its own rhythm. I didn't mind the sun had been up longer than I had. I would take all the grace this day had to offer.
From the kitchen: taco night. Coffee. A cookie batter waiting.
I am not creating. I am observing and thinking and recovering and resting and waiting and hoping and everything else but creating. After weeks of drain and hustle, I just want to be still with the people I love. Empty and full all at once.
I don't want to forget the timeliness of song, the way she hugged me on the front step and told me about how she prays (that Daddy would say yes to a cat! And a long list of thanks.) She said I was the best mom ever because I stayed right with her while she was sick, even if it meant I would get sick too. Stayed right by her side, and that meant everything to her that she told me about it often these past days and today too, in case I forgot (and told Shane too). "Not all moms would do that," she said. I don't know why she thinks that.
I am reading The Giver by Lois Lowry for our middle school book selection. And All Who Go Do Not Return by Shulem Deen. Erin and I are reading a story about Corrie ten Boom.
Around the house, sticks to pick up in the yard, onion grasses and other weedy things to pull. Dirt under my nails. This spring teaser of a day (the last few days) awaken something deep and primal--a need for basics and roots. My dad hated winter because he was always cold, and the cold air gave him chest pains--the season was brutal. I remember hoping for a mild winter for his sake, and lately a sadness that, among all other things too, he isn't here to enjoy these mild temperatures. I got an issue to one of the Taste of Home products he sent as a gift subscription. They'll run out one day. I feel too keenly aware of that. And I got an email of a lovely hat and scarf pattern I would have shared with him. I will have to learn how to do it myself. There are moments, powerful and fleeting panic in all of this, that he's no longer alive for me to call when I forget things or wonder. Boo. I swallow it down, the panic. Down, down.
I am hearing scampering squirrels through the leaves. Bird song all around. The crackling clapping of stubborn oak leaves that hang on and on through the winter. And the occasional sound of a teenager calling out, "Mom!" because there are questions to ask and things to need. Somewhere, there is the buzz of a chainsaw. Oh, woodslife. I'm glad you're mine. This is a good life.
A view of my favorite things:
|From Valentine's Day|
|A text to him on the last day I saw him, when he taught me the Tunisian crochet stitch.|
|Video team behind the scenes with Kathy|
|Sheets on my bed, a night's comfortable sleep|
|School with no walls|
|Hanging out with this ray of sunshine|
At the table, a plan for tea with my girls. Something with scones and jam and clotted cream. And maybe something chocolatey. Something grounding, centering, on all that is simple and lovely.