I am eating a bowl of cereal, standing at the counter watching the sink fill with soapy water. The dishwasher I have just loaded is humming, and the ingredients for my son’s birthday cake await at my elbow. There is an article waiting to be written, company to prepare for, and all my “wanna-do’s” (paint my toenails, push through to the next step on the novel, play with my art & craft arsenal) whispering “pick me! pick me!” I don’t even realize how tight my breath has become until I glance up from the sink and see the maple trees outside my window, leaves dancing in the sun. A hundred shades of green flicker and lift in the light. A deep breath of appreciation slips in deactivating the taut muscles holding me at attention. Right, breathe. As easy and as difficult as that. Lift your eyes up and out. Breathe.
It feels like a day to clean out, reorganize, and start fresh. I have a boatload of photos that I need to categorize in a sensible fashion. I want to redo the categories here on Wordtabulous. My projects remind me of how, a few weeks ago, I watched some chickadees working on a nest in a tree in my backyard.
I love their little black caps!
Then, after last week’s snowstorm, the nest looked like this:
This has nothing to do with the post, I just like how it looks like an ice cream cone.
Today there is nothing left of that nest but a few scattered bits of grass on the snow beneath the tree. What I hadn’t realized is that the birds weren’t building a new nest, they were demolishing an old one for scrap to use in a new location. Talk about green construction.
It isn’t healthy to cling to stuff that doesn’t work anymore, be they ideas, systems, behaviors, or old ball point pens, but taking the old stuff apart, learning from it and reusing what is still good appeals to me. Do you have a closet, a desktop, a lifestyle or something else that needs a fresh start?
This morning I pulled on my snowshoes and trudged to the park near my house. It was still and warm (in the low twenties) with sunshine that varied from comfortably diffuse to cheerfully and painfully bright. For forty minutes I dodged yellow snow by park paths, tried to find new paths through underbrush around ponds, and deliciously broke through wide, unmarked fields.
I laughed because it felt like I was breaking a rule—don’t trek through that pristine snow! HaHA! I broke a rule! Okay, I broke a rule that isn’t a rule and if it was a rule it would be stupid, but the paralyzing good girl craziness I struggle with lost some ground today. I was tired and thoroughly warmed up by the time I got home with forty minutes of movement behind me, two pieces of garbage I picked up along the way (this is not good girl excessiveness; litter is gross,) and a huge cramp in my right hand (what in the world?) I was warm enough to sit down on my patio and reflect on life a little. Stay tuned for an upcoming essay on how writing is like a bad boyfriend.
I may have neglected to mention that I am between jobs right now. I was…released from my schedule (?) last month when I simply ran out of things to do. With the agency change and move, my workload went from insane to nothing in three months. I am assured I will be called back as they need help, presumably with large projects, but was told “if that is too loosey goosey,” for me in terms of employment they would understand if I needed to look elsewhere. Waiting by the phone is not my thing, so I am looking, and writing…and snowshoeing. Today’s revelation is that taking a moment now and then in the fresh air has a way of helping you stay grounded, and feeling anchored makes it easier when life is changing around you. Peace.
There is always a sunrise, even after the longest night. I am glad we made it through the darkness.
Facing east for a moment of daydreaming, my eye is drawn to my favorite tree. Three seasons of the year she and her neighbors are uniformly robed in leaves, but in winter she is revealed. The curve in her spine and a raggedy squirrel’s nest tucked behind one ear do not deter her. She is dancing.
I do not know why the city curved for my camera, but I love that it made the effort.
Taken with the camera on my HTC Evo smartphone. (Pretty good, huh? Don’t hate me.)
I don’t believe God lives in the clouds. I have, however, come to think that there is a hatch in my soul that is shut most of the time and the key to cracking it open is the sky. Strata of color at dawn, clouds ablaze with the light of a descending sun, sister moon rising majestically, fat rainclouds bumping shoulders and gaping just enough for glimpses of the richness and bright up above, falling stars and the bottomless black night with remote suns and galaxies and neighbor planets blazing: all of it can stop me dead in my tracks. When I am captured by the sky, I stop and see. I don’t just look, I see. For a pause, I am in the moment, and in that moment I meet God. In that moment, I am sane and all the screwed up ideas and guilt and pressure roosting in my brain fall away and there we are, God and I, admiring the sky and being.
Be Still and Know That I Am.