God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.
An Affinity with Kindergarteners
I came home from work on Friday afternoon, laid down on my bed, and didn’t get up for 15 hours.
It had just been one of those days…
a difficult (coffee-less) morning beginning with a phone conversation for which I wasn’t prepared. No time for prayer, no time for packing lunch — just out the door. Barely catching the train, slipping through, breathless, as the doors close.
a headache and sore throat (clear signals that my body was through being polite with me) were constant companions throughout the day. but my boss’s boss’s boss (or something) was visiting with a new hire from DC, and I can’t just go home sick. of course, by the time they arrive, it’s raining (unexpectedly) during recess.
and none of this is to mention the fourth-grader who ran into a fence and had to be taking to the hospital with a bleeding head.
and the kindergarteners! half of them crying because of bumped heads and skinned knees, the other half sulking or wandering off to sit in a corner because of hurt feelings. and me yelling (!!) because one of them wouldn’t put down the rocks in his tiny hands.
“I’ve told you FIVE TIMES to put down those rocks! HOW MANY times do I have to ask you to put them down?!” I asked in my mean voice, my eyes stern.
“Five times,” he answered, matter of fact. His eyes were open and honest behind his glasses.
I laughed, later, telling this story to my boyfriend. Children just want to be safe. They will say what they think you want to hear, even if they don’t understand the question, just to make you happy with them, to make you stop looking at them with anger.
That’s one thing (of oh-so-many) about five-year olds to which I really relate. I just want to be safe, too.
Something Big and Lovely
After an evening of fantasy reading (I’m onto Elizabeth Moon’s fantastic series, in case you’re curious) and a full night’s sleep, I was feeling much better. And I remembered one of my favorite pieces of wisdom from Anne Lamott:
I’ve been on the lookout for something wonderful to happen, because of this story I heard recently: Carolyn Myss, the medical intuitive who writes and lectures about why people don’t heal, flew to Russia a few years ago to give some lectures. Everything that could go wrong did – flights were canceled or over-booked, connections missed, her reserved room at the hotel given to someone else. She kept trying to be a good sport, but finally, two mornings later, on the train to her conference on healing, she began to whine at the man sitting beside her about how infuriating her journey had been thus far.
It turned out this man worked for the Dalai Lama. And he said – gently – that they believe when a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born – and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible. (Traveling Mercies, 107)
Thank goodness for weekends, for strong cups of coffee, for a sweet and attentive partner, for friendly neighbors, for lemon throat drops, for home-made banana bread, for a new hair cut, for so many signs of hope and goodness in the wake of exhausting weeks.
Here’s to big and lovely things being welcomed into the world!