the mothering arts

Smack in the middle…

Pardon me while I wipe the salt play dough off my hands.

Sit down, grab a cup of lukewarm coffee. It was hot, I promise.

Ann sent me looking for beauty yesterday. I'd show you what I found, but my camera is having a "moment". Honestly, I'm not sure I'd have had the time to press shutter and catch it.

My head quakes with pressure- this ache has been playing around my temples for days- and the noise! Oh, the noise! It burns around the edges and sets me so close to fuse, explosion waiting on tip of tongue.


That's pretty much it. Nutshell, crisp and clean.

Daylight Savings Time has played mischief with sleep, children rising grumpier, and I know a week will pass until it calms down again. We've been at the learning, pushing, counting, wondering at facts, and while I enjoy that, the questions, endless round, come five o clock and dinner pushing on, tear at the fabric of my sanity.

I'm smack in the middle of everyday life.

I pause, hard stop, and shift.

Email clanging gives reminder that I am privileged to pray for others, with praise, with concern, with care.

The laundry is full to brim because of a little girl who hasn't quite managed the whole process yet, but oh how close she is! How she tries! And how proud I am of her…

(but if the boys could kindly keep their socks some vestige of white, the muddied washer and I would thank them. And don't get me started on their bathroom…)

And all the salt dough crumbles scattered across the floor mean we had a wondrous adventure across Mercury's skies…

I'm smack in the middle of everyday life.

Outside, storms threaten. Elections, votes, causes, concerns, illnesses, economies, lost jobs. How I know the face and color of the recession storm so well- have I not lived it these last fourteen months? The squalls, they crash and buffet.

I took the kids to find some beauty yesterday afternoon…to scramble over the hills and dales of an Appalachian fall in full bloom. I don't remember much of it. I wanted to snap pictures, gather a bit of scarlet and gold, find a snatch of beautiful. But Josiah, dear heart, had gone all day without napping, fussy as could be. David had somehow managed to remove both shoes and sweatshirt before sneaking into car, and barefoot and bare headed, came bounding out of car at the park. A return home for needed articles, and back to the park. The bigs were in a veritable grump. Nothing pleased, nothing soothed. Wild things, indeed, tromping angrily through the forest.

A sigh bubbled up.

Over in the corner, my husband was showing the children this wizened old tree, where some of the roots were showing. The detritus of autumn was all about, red, gold, green, brown, thick and fragrant. I paused to listen as he said told children how the roots went as twice as deep and wide as the tree above the earthen floor- I could see the truth of it in the gnarled roots we could see, maybe a quarter of the trees root system? It was a scattered conversation, and then the kids went crying and wilding again. We didn't stay long.

But for some reason, that tree has stuck with me all day to day. That tree, smack in the middle of the hill, the chunk of earth worn away from a side, but still standing tall and straight as the day is long. Holding against the storms that washed that chunk away.

Do I have that kind of root system?

That's why we search after beauty. That's why we count His days. So that we can dig deep and stand tall. Smack in the middle of our chaotic days, right where God wants us to be.

With salt dough mess on our hands and lukewarm coffee.

Blessings to you, dear friends, smack in the middle of life. May the Lord strengthen and keep you!


Tell me what's on your heart~

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