Friday, 11 February 2011
Now is now
It’s all been too much lately. Deadlines, a slumber party tomorrow for our sweet oldest (8!!) a trip coming, school committee responsibilities, a post-placement report due to Uganda, I could go on with all the boring busyness but it doesn’t matter. We all get tired, and I’m tired. It makes me sad-smile in recognition when people go on and on about how busy they are like they’re building their altar to sacrifice. All we’re doing is saying notice me. Do you see?
I wish for simpler days with fewer responsibilities and busyness is a bully and this doesn’t feel good, or life-giving, or kind to myself. And I wonder what will break, which dream or ambition I’ll have to surrender so that I can live, so that I can be present again, so that I can see the now in its full color without the weight of the checklist bearing down on me.
Instead, my body seems to be unilaterally deciding to pace itself, even if I’m trying to burn both ends.
I slept through my alarm the last two days. Actually, I woke up briefly to turn it off, then bent to the will of my body by dropping back intoto sleep. I’ve missed my writing time for two days going, which I tell my body (in our morning meeting) that I need for my health, too. Sleep is body restoring; writing is soul-restoring.
But my soul can’t sustain my body like it works in reverse. And so I sleep and I don’t feel much guilt or regret. It’s a gift that will carry me through this day.
I just finished reading Little House in the Big Woods to my daughter last night, and have you ever read such a perfect ending to a sweet book like that one? It’s in Laura’s voice, and Pa has just finished singing “Auld Lang Syne.”
“She thought to herself, ‘This is now.’ She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the fire-light and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.”
Because I will inevitably slip into the mental checklist, because I’ve never been able to resist the pull of the future on my own strength, this morning I pray. I beg for eyes to see the now. Give me pause, slow my breathing, help me see color and life and need and hope. Now is now, and I won’t remember the deadlines or what seemed so urgent, but I will regret if I miss now.
This is now:
– Daughter, nearly 8, little lady, wanting her pasta fairy tale project to be perfect (oh so like me)
– Baby still slumbering in his crib
– Son going downstairs to get dressed, still down there, probably on his 7th distraction
– Birds chirping, welcoming the sunrise
– Trees budding earlier than ever
– A warm, messy, real house to be our home base for these kids, this life
– Time to write even after waking up late for it
– Grace, grace, grace
How do you stay in your now?