Yesterday offered an unanticipated free moment to STOP and do nothing more than sit on my back porch. So, I took it. Because when the universe opens her hands and says “here is a quiet minute just for you, my dear,” always and forever SAY YES. And, guys, it was glorious. I admired the sun as it slowly melted behind trees and I took deeper breaths and I closed my eyes to soak in all the familiar. It sounded and smelled like summer nearing and even now just reflecting on it I can’t stop with all the smiling. Has anyone ever dumped a warm load of bath towels fresh from the dryer over your body when you were feeling chilly? Yea, summer’s big return is JUST like that to me. Warm and comforting and cheerful and GOOD LORD SUMMER DON’T EVER LEAVE US AGAIN. *Pretty please*.
As I sat there fading in and out of my rock solid intent to meditate, my mind stumbled onto this whole mothering journey. It is also one of seasons, right? But, instead of roughly four there are, let’s say, THOUSANDS of them. I mean, give or take. Many, many seasons. And higher tides to weather and more storms to wait out and bigger sunrises to marvel at and don’t even get me started on the earthquakes and toddlers, er, I mean TORNADOS, you guys. And all the marvelous and humbling and blissful and sometimes agonizing ways that these seasons intersect, often moment to moment.
Do you feel it, too?
Calming breezes can sit in the same space as cold and murky waters, uplifting bud-covered trees can stand tall next to tumultuous storm clouds. Our hearts can simultaneously explode with an overwhelming love, like doves cooing on rooftops, and be ripped in two by the brutality of loss, like a harsh and unrelenting tsunami that leaves us tattered and gasping for air.
Mothering isn’t static. Ever. It is the sum of many moving parts, endless shifting and changing seasons. It’s the toddler gently rocking a baby doll and the teen caring for younger siblings and the college student helping a roommate who desperately misses home. It’s mothering at the vet’s office and the pediatrician’s office and the nursing home and the rehab facility. It’s the elation that accompanies those two pink lines and the shoulder that supports tear-stained cheeks when the heartbeat is lost. It’s the magic marker line inching up the garage wall and the I-cannot-BELIEVE-how-much-you’ve-growns and the denial when your gaze must now point north to meet the eyes of that baby you once carried in your arms. It is feeding hungry tummies at 2am and healing scraped knees with magic kisses and cheering from sidelines and clapping-above-head standing ovations in auditoriums and letting go of hands and bike seats and car keys when it’s time for wings to be spread. Mothering is glorious and POWERFUL and warm and unpredictable and HAAAAARD and authentic and intimidating and sometimes brutal but also awe-inspiring.
That adorable artwork below was on the card my ten year old made for me today, guys, and like a crisp fall breeze it momentarily took my breath away.
Mothering is seasons. It is life. It is ALL OF US just caring for one another.
Mothering is AS BIG AS THE WORLD.
I hope the sun shined brightly on you today, friend.