I read a beautiful post on Sarah Bessey’s blog about what was saving her. She invited everyone to participate, and I am late to the party, because I always am what with one thing or another, but here I am at last, and I bear cake.
What is saving me is this: wonderful blogs, and finally having a space of my own on the internet where I can say what I’m thinking and think what I’m saying and somehow align the two. Wise words, beauty in life, small moments captured in the hecticness of life. A husband who can cook and clean, who rides out my exhausted tantrums, who is God’s love incarnate in oh-so-many ways. Books are always saving me, and at the moment it’s Dresden Files and Kate Daniels, new short sotry authors, and thinking of new texts for school. It’s the people who surround me in my day-to-day moments, the ones I’m blessed to share my minutes with, the ones I love, who let me be me, who take my quirkiness in their stride – it’s you, because you’re one of these people, sharing my life with me, laughing with me as I sometimes stumble.
But mostly – oddly – it’s dog poo, and putting the small person to bed. Because he’s been crying and fussing and not wanting to leave my side, and so to clean up the yard I strapped him on and wore him until my back muscles cried, and we worked in the warmth of a pre-spring afternoon, sunshine gilding his hair, like yellow labrador hair, and the smiling eyes of our dogs. I moved, and used my body in the way it was designed to be used, and carrying a child so close felt like the small heaven of quiet-soul moments, felt like the sunbright warmth of connected people, felt like happy dog fur, which is both happy-dog fur, and happy dog-fur, tumbling freewheeling spiralling in the breeze as I scoop and shovel, scoop and shovel.
No one knew that dog poo could be spiritual. (Well probably they did, but my soul had never heard it.)
It’s putting him to bed, forced into slower rhythm of twilit rooms, of soft white humming of the washing machine and droning from a far-distant tv. It’s knowing I can’t leave because he wants me close, it’s realising that I need him close, and learning to enjoy, to stop, to not be forced, because when I have nothing better to do I love these nighttime rhythms, and I have nothing better to do, because he is a priority. So I sing into his forehead as I lower him to the mattress, pat his stomach, smooth his hair, give him Eeyore and drap myself along his cot like a swooning maiden made kneeless by sighs of love, and my heart swells, and I remember dog poo, and how soul-quiet comes when we let it, not when we demand it.
I lie on the floor, still singing, still humming, and for the first time all day I let myself relax, and putting him to sleep is no longer hard, draining work, but my solace in a frantic day, and I thank God for a small child who needs me, even though I am tired of need, because I need need, and he needs me, and it because of this that I am lying on the floor soothing myself as much as him.
One day, I will remember lessons learned in soul-quiet moments, and the moments will come thicker – like honey, maybe, the sweet glaze over a life well lived, slow and luscious and dreamy.
I wrap my smile around the thoughts of honey, and take my saving thoughts to bed.