those few radiant threads…
it was a whirling dervish of a week. a week that pulled me this way and that. that drew me far from home, for long stretches at a time. and when the ground beneath me slip-slides, when the air around me begins to thin, and i find myself dizzy from the pace, the worry, i find myself reaching for holy mooring.
holy mooring to me looks like this:
i reach out and cup my palms around the beauty and the blessing, try to hold it there for just a moment. drink it in. let it sink into my pores. behold would be the verb.
more often than not this week, i found my mooring not in grand sweeps of majesties but in the tiniest radiant stitches, in unnoticed, barely whispered acts of loving. when my heart’s aquiver, i find it musters muscle when it’s called beyond its own walls. when it reaches out to shove away the jostle that stumbles the ones i love. especially the one i will secretly, always, call “my little one.”
his week this week made his shoulders slump — under the weight of a backpack that must weigh 50 pounds, and another one filled with soccer cleats and stinky goalie gloves, the one he left at home by accident, necessitating an indy-500 dash from the school door back to the roost, lest soccer coaches scowl.
i found myself soothed — oddly — in the moments when i was buckling my seat belt, jangling the keys into the ignition slot. when i was waiting for him to lope out the door and down the brick walk, juggling backpacks and the red plate that held his breakfast. i found myself soothed knowing that for the next maybe seven minutes he and i would be ensconced in the metal cocoon we call our old red wagon. the easy flow of words, of question and comment, might be our longest, deepest anchor in a day of rushing. i found myself soothed rinsing clumps of grapes, slicing chunks of cheese, laying out an afternoon’s snack on the rare day he had no soccer practice, but was due back at school for an evening assignment, one that once again would shove dinnertime nearly out the door.
maybe it’s transference — in missing his faraway brother, in knowing i’m no longer an actor in his brother’s everyday, i’m inserting myself in the only one whose day i can tangibly effect. maybe it’s anticipatory grief — a visceral knowing that his years at home are drawing toward a close (this week the high school convened a parents’ meeting to begin the college conversation for the flock of brand-new juniors), and with it this stint of mothering that has been my holy salvation, and i can’t bear for it to end. and so i indulge and relish every drop — folding the sweatshirts i find clumped on the closet floor, plucking favorite things off grocery store shelves, tucking love notes under pillows.
amid the whirl and pull of another overloaded week, holiness seeped in. oozed in through the cracks and crevices of the hours — in basking in the diluting rays of autumn sun. in wandering a meadow, beholding dappled golden light in woods just beginning to ignite into autumn’s fiery colors. in loving, always loving, the one sure mooring that will not, cannot, be submerged.
it is, as it always is, the tiniest radiant stitches that keep me whole, that keep me from fraying into tatters.
what keeps you whole? what were the radiant stitches of your week?
all the loveliness above (the pictures, i mean) comes from tumbledown farm, a magical landscape of barn and silo, chicken coop and pasture, where i got to amble this week, teaching an all-day writing and slowing time workshop. i’m still too shy to ever broadcast these adventures ahead of time, but i’m working on it. and one of these days i might boldly put out the word in time for anyone who’s interested to sign up. and yesterday — all day and into the night — i was leading a “spiritual spa day” for a host of magnificent women at an old and beautiful convent in chicago. september seems to have come on with a cymbal clang.
College?! Junior?! This seems impossible, but of course it isn’t. They just keep growing and going. Savoring every moment is the only way to survive. On my end, summer is done and fall begun, but in a wholley holy new way of being, as in retired! That is the new stitch I am working with. Put out your clarion call for any workshop you are doing…time is my gift and I plan to spend it well. xxoo
i love watching you dive into the deep end of life without restraints. you teach us well, dear lamcal. i’ve missed you — much. my heart is savoring the return of you, the spotting of you here at the chair. sending love. and, yes, you would LOVE tumbledown. i promise, next time. promise, promise, promise. you’d be so embraced there. you’d swoon. i do every time….
“. . . [L]oving, always loving, the one sure mooring that will not, cannot, be submerged.”
These words in particular leapt off the screen for me this morning, and now they echo like bells in my heart and mind. Bless you for finding time, in a week fraught with worry and a bit too-rapid pace, to write this beautiful post.
The participants in your workshop this week were blessed. I can’t think of a lovelier setting for the topic of slowing time than the serene, rural loveliness of Tumbledown Farm… You are a mooring for many, including me. Thank you, sweet friend. xoxo
dear darling, i felt a bit sheepish with my humble humble offering this morning. nearly deleted once again, but forged on anyway. i let the pictures do the talking. those frames of beauty, from which i can still feel the september sun’s radiance, they’re the ones i deep breathe as i step into this day. sending love from my edge of the lake to your edge of the great and winding river…..xoxoxo
Oh, yes, please, bam, let us know about your next offering at Tumbledown Farm. Maybe, just maybe, I could take a day off. I’m in one of those stretches of perpetual motion–like your “whirling dervish of a week,” but with no end in sight–and I ache to slow down. I was vicariously soothed by your meandering this week. Many thanks
oh, dear karen, and i ache to read that you can’t yet slow down! shall we come and rescue you??? i am thankful you were soothed vicariously. i think we all just need a big push of the re-start button. may this weekend bring all we need. or at least a teaspoon of it…..xoxox
Beautiful pictures, and lovely words. And it is comforting to know others juggle and balance and make mad dashes as well (while still giving thanks for it all at the very same time) 🙂 As I sat with your book and a hot cup of tea on the Cape May house porch, I wondered what it might be like to gather a group together… And I’m thrilled to read about the soccer cleats and gloves. This sounds like a wonderful result of hard work and sacrifice (I’m sorry if I missed that update along the way the last few weeks). Wishing you much joy as we move into Autumn…
oh, if only we could all gather with our cups of tea on porches overlooking vast expanse of meadow or mountain or sea. or, perhaps, even a lily-pad-carpeted pond…
yes, yes, there are cleats in our autumnal landscape. and welcome to autumn, indeed. such a blessing to know the breadth of this old table, from shore to shore…..
So often my radiant stitches come in the kitchen. Baking, cooking, taking care of others with food 🙂 This month has taken me all over the country (IL-CO-NM-AZ-PA-DE and soon circling back to home sweet home IL) so I haven’t spent as much time cooking as I’d like to. The best news came on the trip, my sister & her husband successfully adopted their 2nd daughter! Sweet baby Neva is a radiant stitch for my whole family. She makes my sister’s family whole which makes my heart ache with happiness! She & my little one are only 4 months apart, we are already planning their cousin adventures! Thanks as always for a soothing post & a very mild shame on you for not shouting about your workshop from the rooftops! Though I know that’s not your way 🙂 I sincerely hope to be able to attend a future one!
welcome to the world, baby Neva. it’s our job to make this a kinder, gentler place for you. and we will set out to do that, while your aunt lizzie cooks up a storm for you. xoxox hearts aching with happiness are a very fine thing. and i promise to whisper the next time i amble up to the farm. it’s a spectacular place — one that just might swoop your heart away……(always to return, of course…)