Those sunny fall days. I couldn’t help it. I had to skip class, get out of the dorm room, leave the library. Find a place to lay out a blanket, and just lay down. All I wanted to do was to breathe in the sweet smell of autumn, watch the clouds float along in the cerulean sky, and just be. Pure, sweet rest. No thoughts in my head, no worries to drag me down, just peaceful being.
It’s not that easy to get away now. I have more responsibilities, I have more interruptions, I have more to juggle. But sometimes I still catch a glance of those clouds floating along lazily in the blue autumn sky, and I take a deep breath, and I have a moment of rest in the busy tide of my life.
The little ballerinas were all chatty, getting ready for their teacher to call them to attention. It was observation day, the day when parents get to sneak in and see what their pink-clad girls have been doing for the past 12 weeks. They are called to the barre, they line up and stand in first position, and the teacher begins their exercises.
“A little bit more turned out with that left foot,” she says to one student. “Be sure to keep those knees straight when you move in from tendu.” The correction given to each student is minor, but it makes a great difference in the final outcome of a dance. Now, in their first level of ballet, they are refining their movements – working on the little things to make the whole better. Getting the foundation right so that what’s built upon it will stand strong.
They are riding their bikes. I am following behind. I hear their laughter. They race each other, weave bikes between one another. When someone’s training wheels get stuck in a rut, another of them is there to help out. When someone gets tired, another one cheers them on.
This is what it means to be siblings. This love, this care, this laughter, this fun. They are a herd, a group. No matter if they fight all day long, we eventually come to this – having fun, loving each other, playing together. It may not be like this always, but right now, they are best friends, and I treasure that. And as I follow, it warms my heart.
Inspiration. I have been reading a book by one of my favorite mama authors, and she inspired me to be intentional about spending one on one time with each of my little people. As a homeschooling mama, I am always with them, but that doesn’t mean that I am always WITH them, if you know what I mean.
It is so easy to zone out – think about the next thing to do, the next place to go, the next meal to make. And in doing that, I miss out on the little things – the funny sayings, the thoughtful questions, the inner workings of their little hearts. And I am done missing out on those things. All that I have to do, all that I have on my list, is nothing compared to being privy, connecting, to what is in their hearts.
I knew it would be a long hike. I had just gotten the cast off my newly healed wrist – the wrist I broke while on another hike in these New England mountains – and I was a little bit wary of hiking over rocky terrain again. But the lure of the perfect blue sky, my friends, and the first autumn leaves won me over and I went.
Using hiking poles – which were new to me, but seemed necessary to prevent more potentially broken wrists – I started up the trail. It was seemingly benign at the bottom, but as we climbed higher, the rocks grew in size, and eventually we were hiking up what felt like cliffs.
That day, it was my mountain – I would overcome. And, with a little help from my friends – and my trusty hiking poles – I did. The reward was a view all the way to the ocean. The journey was well worth it.
Definitely not the hike I wrote about, but a beautiful view nonetheless.
Oh, I make plans. I plan with the best of them. I know how I want my day to go when I wake up. But inevitably, plans change. Three kids need different things. Friends call and need to chat. Something happens on the farm and causes all other things to take a backseat.
Days like that, I can feel my resistance mounting up. I want to make this day fit my plan, my goals. It was so nice and planned. But, those rare times when I don’t fight, when I find the flow and join in, I come away blessed. Blessed by a conversation with a friend. Blessed by seeing, really seeing, my kids. Blessed by neighborly help on the farm. Change isn’t something I enjoy, but often, it is a means of blessing.
Because I missed a day blogging yesterday. Because I have been going and going for weeks now. Because I needed to just stop. Because I went to bed early.
Sometimes, you need to take care of yourself just because. Yesterday was one of those days. Obviously, it can’t be that way all the time – but sometimes it has to be that way and when you know, you know. So I took a nap and I went to bed earlier and it was glorious.