There is so much I want to say and yet I sit here without the words to; just a great full heart and a whole lot of quiet and the need to whisper thank you a lot.
This time of year gets me. It always does. It reaches in and pries out my overly sentimental need to stop and look back. It makes me notice the map I had drawn for myself and the way in which I have traveled upon it. It’s like a slide show in my mind, a viewing of those few moments when I was really, truly there. Right inside them, at the centre, where the travelling overrides the map. When you realize that giving in is different to giving up. When you catch glimpses of Life reminding you that you’re not actually in the driver’s seat, and the truth of the matter is that you’re just going to have to make a mighty fine job out of being a passenger.
Motherhood is like that. It’s a constant fight to give in, to surrender control and expectation. To give in to risk and vulnerability and emotional exposure that has you loving something so fiercely that, sometimes, instead of feeling gratitude and joy, all you can feel is deep fear should it be lost. Since this was the year I became a mother, all I really DID was sit panicked in the passenger seat, clawing my way over to take the wheel, cursing my fallible power to control, while a serene woman sat there instead, smiling as if she had a secret.
There are so many things I’ve gotten good at this year. Chopping carrots single-handedly, for example. Showering in under thirty seconds. Making dinner while in a state of perpetual jetlag and having it taste okay. Doing all three things at once. I’ve become good at self-forgiveness and patience. I’ve gotten REALLY good at risk assessment. Sound. Light. Timing. Props. I have learned the precise balance of all four to ensure the sleeping habits of my overly sensitive child keep her happy and me sane. I’ve learned how to linger longer in moments, to search more deeply for those glimpses of pure beauty. I’ve learned to stay more still and notice all the small things – and they are there in abundance- that if were taken away and then given back, we would drop to our knees and kiss the ground in gratitude. We would clasp our hands to our chest and weep in joy that we, little old we, were brushed with such fortune.
No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it. The treasure we seek requires no lengthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude or special company. All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are. ~Barbara Brown Taylor
My one and only goal for 2013 is to be where I am.
Inside all of my moments.
Happy New Year my sweet Red Tenters. To all of you who read these words and keep me coming back, this place would be nothing without you.
And now we welcome the new year, full of things which have never been. Rilke