Where have you gone and how did you go and can’t you come back for just a few more days? Something about this summer feels incomplete and rushed. Like somehow I missed a bit of something. I don’t know how it happened. What with all my planning and intention to be slow and quiet somehow I still rushed and blustered. So today, slowing before the rush of a crazy fall to ask the big question….what was it I learned this fast and furious month?
I learned I do jazz hands and open my mouth as one at the dentist every ding, dang time someone points a camera at me. I don’t know how it started but now I just cannot stop.
I learned how much I respect people who bite their tongues sometimes. Who might know the best answer, might have the better story, might be related to the subject but don’t feel the need to dominate and dictate. I like the quiet and the wise. The ones who tell their stories with their lives and affections not with the wagging tongues turning ships on their sides.
I learned the only garden I can grow is the kind that grows all alone. A garden that keeps growing when the sprinkler timers go out and when I don’t notice for a week. The hip kids call this planting native plants I think? Or experiments in survival of the fittest? Either way, the russian sage is doing well. Otherwise? Um…lets talk about something else…
I learned the most important lesson about living in the woods is that one must be perpetually on guard to ‘things’ moving into your house. A marmot made his home in the engine compartment of the plow truck. Something scratchy was in our drain pipe last night. The battle is on. My husband says he is really ‘manning up’. Me too I guess. I killed more wasps this summer than anyone else ever. They stung my kids ok? Wasp – apocalypse is what happens then.
I learned some people are even better in real life than they are online. I learned that community is big and expansive and ‘your people’ exist. Find them. I learned that my life is big enough to share and that inviting people in can be very rewarding. I learned it is ok to take space too…that sometimes NO is the only appropriate response.
I learned my husband can parent solo near flawlessly…much better than I can. Ten days and nobody even blinked. Everyone was combed and clean and fed…not only that they went to mountain retreats for treasure hunts and found water slides and the worlds biggest truck and “MOMMY YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN…”. I learned I am recklessly blessed by a man that encourages me to open every door and holds it open for me to walk right on out sometimes.
I learned some things I can’t unlearn. I walked the night markets of Bangkok and found I could buy near anything, save the redemption of the world. I got all righteous and angry and then I met her eyes, the huge brown ones that have not yet seen 15 years. I met her eyes and I wiped the smugness off my face and I gazed at her with the adoration of Christ. I wondered what we could change to keep more little girls singing in mirrors with their hair brushes instead of on stages with men making plans for them…
I learned I might not be able to change the world, but I can do the next tiny thing ahead of me with great love. But I learned I can’t even do that without extravagant amounts of grace.
I learned that my patience is short, and even the next tiny thing (like a bedtime without drama) might be too much for me. I learned I am immature sometimes and I still feel that repulsive need to prove myself to you. That compulsion to defend and insulate from your critique. Even if I know the axe you grind is your own insecurity, I will still need to claw my way out. Barf.
I learned one cannot take ten days off from half marathon training and expect to feel good upon return. Especially after eating curry for breakfast for 7 days… Lets just say Saturdays plans feel a bit grandiose.