The sun emerged yesterday and as the kids filed out the door, I bundled Mabel and followed. I listed to their talks and laughter. I watched as Mabel wrestled with herself to free her hands from the blanket covering her. Unaware of her motions or movements, she succeeded and her fingertips went directly to her mouth. She still hasn't gotten a single one of her newest molars that are causing her so much distress.
The kids begged that I jump with them on the trampoline. In PJ pants and a winter coat, I laughed as chocolate chips bounced between us. Nora had dumped them just minutes before and I couldn't help but be caught up in the minds of my children, drizzled with chocolate dreams. Nora's hair was literally glowing in the sunlight. It's long now as she's letting it grow for a sweet donation to children who have lost theirs to sickness. She noted proudly that there probably aren't many redheaded wigs available.
Her heart is so giving.
I looked over to my girl in the bouncer seat on the sidewalk. There she sits, as she has for her entire little life. She sits in the sunlight and open eyes meet it faithfully. She stares and in contentment, smiles at nothing. She is pleased just to be. I projected that spirit into me and prayed that I, too, would feel the endless peace of just 'being.'
This week has been one of the hardest of my life.
Little minds asking hard questions-ones that I have no true answers for.
Physical reminders that death is so intricately wrapped in this life.
Hearts have been tainted, minds have been afflicted and many have lost sight of truth.
My truth, the only thing that stands is both right in front of me and wildly inside of me.
A little girl whose life is altered by disease and whose days are unfairly numbered.
A sister and brother who know far too much about life and deserve to be sheltered and protected.
And a God who both forgives and releases and allows me to do the same.
Sometimes validating things in our humanness makes it easy to justify actions. For many years I have tried hard to make sense of things that are hurtful based on my own assumptions or by forming an opinion that helped things make sense in my mind.
Yesterday as I looked up at my favorite tree that covers our big white house I thought back just a couple of months to my favorite season, autumn. Usually the ground is covered in walnuts that fall from it's branches. They hit the house as they fall and with every thud and crack I am reminded that winter is settling in. This past year as I unfolded my quilt day after day to sit with Mabel under that tree, sunlight sprung forth but walnuts did not. The ground was not covered and there was no need to duck for fear that I would be hit. It was pleasant and at the time I didn't give much thought to it.
But yesterday it seemed to all make sense to me.
Sometimes there is no way to see that winter is coming.
The walnuts do not fall and the signs are just not there. Everything seems beautiful and your heart is content. In that moment, on that quilt I was thankful that I could be in the wide open without fear of being hit. And yet now, I wish more than anything they would have fallen so that I could have had that perfect warning that there is always a chance of feeling the impact. Winter comes and we are not exempt from the cold, bitter, seclusion that it brings. In fact we must endure it because there is often no other choice.
I held Mabel. I pressed her cheek firmly against mine as if it would be the very last time. I listened to her little voice that has never muttered a single word and purposed to remember.
I watched red hair bounce up and down their driveway, oblivious to the winter we just experienced and the one yet to come.
I thanked God that we have breath and another day on this earth, for this journey, together and I asked Him to simply be here.
I trust Him.
With my life and with theirs I trust Him.
So walnuts or no walnuts, warning or no warning-I know that He knows and in it I rest.