Slowing Down, Choosing to See and Embrace the Moments

This morning I wake and get to choose again:
will I wake to the rush and the long long list of things I should get done, and will I listen to the ticking of the clock that whispers “hurry, hurry, so much to do, you’re getting behind…”
or will I wake to the chance to:
listen to my children’s hearts when they start their words with “Mama,”
hear the words of life as they dance before my eyes on the page that I am so privileged to own, and let them mold me
speak words of “I cherish you” instead of “this toilet needs scrubbing more than you need listening to”
ponder this gift called Life and all the rich depth it contains, which becomes emptier yet heavier when we aren’t looking into what it *really* is underneath all the dust that is layered on it by the daily bustle of carrying it around?
Today, I will keep my list up on the whiteboard in the kitchen, and I will work my way down it with the marker, putting that nice line through the tasks I have tackled and conquered (for a week, or a day), but I will let the children’s voices drown out the clock (which really is dependent on us, to wind it, or plug it in, and set it, however much it tries to deceive us that it is we who must be controlled by it). I will stop when a shaft of light falls from above on a word I read or hear, illuminating it from an angle I haven’t seen before, or even when it falls from an angle I have seen before, I will look again, and see the Life that goes on *inside* and *underneath* all this busyness that we keep ourselves juggling.
Yes, the dishes need to be washed, the clothes should be hung and taken back down all sweet smelling and crisp to be put ready for service again. But it’s for their service to us! But beyond that, the *real* “needs” and “shoulds” are the things that the clock and the list try so relentlessly to convince me I don’t have time for. And if I believe their pounding whispers, I will become their servant, allowing them to make my life driven and pointless and filled with regrets of wishing I’d done things differently once it’s all done and too late to change.
Today, I will remember that they are my servants, and that the tasks (that I will still try to get done) are for the purpose of blessing those who are in my life: the bathroom should be cleaned because I want to give the pleasantness of a clean bathroom to those I have been given, not because there is a fly on my wall who will go and buzz the news to those who really don’t have much to do with it anyway.
There is a fly on the wall, in my mind, and I’ve been realizing lately that I do things for it, forgetting that I have an audience of One, only One, to please and serve, and that the ones he has given me to bless and enjoy do not include that fly.
My mind is rambling a lot this morning, picking up and turning over the stones and twigs, the bits of moss and broken bird eggs that it’s picked up in these last few days that I’m beginning to open it up to remembering that life is a gift to be **lived**, not mechanically chugging through the tasks hoping to do them fast enough and well enough to earn time to stop and enjoy. I will never get ahead enough, I must stop and embrace the NOW, because it does not wait for anyone or anything.
When my skin sags and my hair is faded and there is less to do, and I have time to do all the things I wish I could do now, I don’t want to regret missing all the beautiful little moments that can never never never be replayed.
And I want to somehow record the ones I catch…
(the wrinkled-nosed freckle-cheeked funny gap-toothed giggle with that one lonely tooth still hanging crazily in the center, abandoned on both sides be teeth that have left room already (!) for the “grown up ones” to come. No! not grown up anything already!?)
(The words I read that make me stop everything for a few seconds- stop reading, stop the litany of “what’s next”, stop breathing even, while I can actually feel the world shift around me a degree or two (or is it really only my perspective that’s shifted, as I move closer to standing in the place I was meant to stand and new things become visible to me that were hidden behind others before?) and I feel the dizziness that I didn’t really know was upsetting me settle down into more peace and clarity.)
(the shy moment of a mind and heart, pulling aside the curtain and  tracing the thread backward through the beauty of the lace of their ideas for me to follow)
(the discussion around the schooltable with my teenager about discerning inspired words, and whether God contradicts himself or only our love of pigeonholing and confining “if-then” conclusions)
(the sudden illumination on that question that been niggling at the back of my mind for years now: just what was it about the tree of  the knowledge of good and evil; that maybe it wasn’t the knowledge of good from evil, but the knowledge of good and evil)
So many things. Each so full. Each so precious. And each forgotten, if I am not careful. The recording isn’t the memory, but it is a record, and prop and strength for the memory and the sharing.
So many of those things,so dear and precious, and I don’t record them precisely because of that: “I’ll never for get *this*.” And then, when I am reminded by a shadow, and try to recall them, and lift them from the fragile memory that’s only pressed into the dust of which I am made, they crumble, or are blown away by a breath.
So, I resolutely put down the image of the blogs and books of those who have inspired me, taught me, moved me, challenged me, blessed me… I put it down, because when I hold it, it fills my hands with a pattern that I cannot compete with or attain to. And once I put it down, I realize that I’m not *supposed* to compete with it or attain to it. The purpose is not to have a scrapbook, or a journal, or a blog that looks like “hers”. There isn’t a “right way” (Oh, how hard that is for me to grasp, I who love black and white, and categorization, and wanting to do it the best way) to do *these* things.
And as the dust-memories fade or crumble already, while I and those around me are still so young, I can see very clearly that being too busy to record them is one of the things I will regret, bitterly. So, I will let the door be smeared with the stickiness of summertime popsicles for an extra day or two, and I will let the dust (that no one but me and my fly notices) lay for a few more days, as I change around my schedule of doing things, and let jobs repeat every 10 days instead of every week, or every month instead of every 2 weeks, and I will thus make time (Make time!!) to first SEE these beauties that are, after all, what life really is – the clean house and tidy yard are just the background – and then record them, in pictures, in journals, in scrapbooks, in a blog… and in the recording, besides having then something more than the dust that I call my memory in which to revisit them when they are gone and share with those who want to see, I will develop an eye to see, and the habit to slow down and look, and enjoy.

Posted on July 29, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. ok, i’m crying… but it’s a good cry. it’s a realization and an awe inspiring blubber of “i wanna get there” and “WOW!! that’s my sis!!!” just… wow….

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