You’re probably rolling your eyes at me right about now.
Another cooky post about pace and change and finding that zen still point that lets the ragged world rage on without disturbing inner peace?
I find repetition on this theme extremely helpful. Especially in May and June when so many different things, most of them wonderful and completely voluntary, vie for the spotlight. By spotlight, I mean that sacred peace during afternoon nap-time and after bedtime. It’s an awfully small amount of time to squeeze in the garden, my contributions to Doing Good Together’s exciting new project Big Hearted Families, and prepping for three consecutive weekends of party-planning and or traveling (and next weekend both!).
I hate to shout “so busy!” when I initiated many of the things on my list. The problem isn’t the length of the list but the hefty portion of mandatory “laziness.” At least it feels like laziness, as the kids and I take long strolls through the park or teach Max how to play with sand in the back of his truck. I can’t make progress on the “work” in my life when Max so clearly needs constant protection. So instead, we play.
I spend many afternoons with an unfinished sentence waiting for me in a word document while I chat with a friend, shadow Max, and watch our kids put on epic performances. Never mind that I don’t sit down.
But this is the work of parenting. Just as much as dinners and dishes and laundry and “straighten up that room so you can find your shoe for the piano recital!”
New friends brought a pair of monarch caterpillars to our home a couple of weeks ago, and lately I’ve been trying to channel the monarch sensibility. They have looked so, well, lazy. They just sit there and eat.
And double in size.
And eat some more. I’ve never been so thankful for all the milkweed in my flower bed. It’s not a weed. It’s habitat. And for these little guys, it’s lunch.
The girls have learned to find the milk weed themselves. They add a few leaves each morning.
I’m going to venture a guess that these caterpillars aren’t chomping away with the frantic sense that they must eat 5 leaves today and 8 tomorrow and then by next weekend they’d better start constructing that cocoon. Nope. Their obligations don’t rattle around distracting them from the deliciousness of their leaves.
And I’m, as always, trying to tame my own rattling thoughts, to focus them on the moment at hand. Like fishing with Joe and Uncle Shaun this weekend. The girls had such fun. I did too, when I could let myself sit and enjoy Aunt Jess’s help, shadowing Max up in the cabin.
Change nothing. Focus on the thing at hand. Do it well and before you know it, everything will have changed. Like our little buddy. Yesterday morning. Here he was, curled up at the top of his container.
We suspected he was up to something, but we moved on to our own activities. Making a banner for Maya’s birthday. Reading to each other. Cleaning the kitchen.
Before we knew it, Maya was home from school and we all raced to look at our caterpillar. The hard work of construction was already done. All those leaves, all of that growing, and one hard day of building, and he’s changed.
Change nothing. Everything changes. If I can just do the next thing without my own endless inner commentary, these weeks will be exponentially more enjoyable. Forgive the rambling. I’m typing with a fever… now, forget the work. I’m off for a nap!