Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This Moment

     Hit the floor running in the morning, and rush headlong through the day.  It's easy to do.  It takes effort to stop, pay attention, to notice the beauty moments and the young people filling our home - young people growing and changing faster than time itself.
     Boys and a daughter, gathered around the table, each working with their own schoolwork books, notebooks, computer, papers, pencils.

One dog snoring, the other crunching on her rawhide bone.  The cat meowing at the back door, "Let me out," and he just came in two minutes ago, meowing outside the door.

The phone rings.  A lady machine wants to clean our air ducts.  I could stay on the line and wait to talk to a real person to tell them we're on the no-call list.  Or, just hang up.  The timer goes off.  The rice is done, let it sit for five minutes.  The gardeners arrive, get the cat  back inside, quiet the dogs from barking.  There are "strangers" in the yard, can't blame them, but we did tell them to stop barking.  The washer and the dryer hum, someone's buckles clang in the dryer. Write lists: packing plans for a trip, for the son's next essay ideas, for another son's multiplication practice.  Think of an item for the grocery list, jot it down. Sirens off in the distance, someone having an un-ordinary day.  A question, "What does this assignment want me to do? I can't figure it out."  Read the computer page, try to understand, together.  Timer goes off again,  move the rice off the stove.  My planner sits open with today's list and space to write in more as it comes up.  Another cup of coffee, get out the creamer.  Something is dripping in the refrigerator.  The package of chicken is leaking down through two shelves. Gross. Add clean the refrigerator to the list (needed to be done, anyway).  And it's not even the middle of the morning.
     This moment. It is all we have. An ordinary morning, nothing spectacular. Or, is it?
     Being together.  Being home.  Being home together.  This is one of the key reasons we teach the kids at home.  To be together.  To be with them in the myriad light bulb moments.  Not just as they learn to crawl and walk and talk, but when they see multiplication as a shortcut to adding, or the construction of an essay with form and pattern, or a tough solution becomes clear.  "Oh, I see!"

     There are the spectacular moments.  Our son and his wife are visiting the Grand Canyon this week.  That is spectacular.  There is art in finding the spectacular in the common, ordinary everyday. Ann Voskamp, in One Thousand Gifts,  A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, does a beautiful, sometimes heart-breaking job of delineating the ordinary beauty in a day, even under painful circumstances. She is willing to face the tough questions head-on and look, really look, at life, and with vulnerability, stand her claim that grace is always there.  With a heart open to see the grace, we will find it.
     Her book is number nine on the New York Bestseller List this week. As she wrote her own list of one thousand gifts, and wrote her journey into a book, I don't imagine she had any idea how hungry the world would be for her message of beauty.  Her words, sometimes difficult words, of light shining into dark days.  Her challenge to live fully among the dishes and the messes and the clamor and the conflicts. The blessings she discovered along the way.

     This moment.  It is full and rich, if we have the eyes and the heart to see it, really see it. Does our heart have eyes?  I think so.  How we perceive, is skewed by our heart - with bitterness and regret and resentment, or with hope and love and acceptance. We can learn to perceive with love and grace, find the gifts and the spectacular in any moment. To see with our hearts, the beauty in this moment.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Maureen,
    I'm really enjoying your word pictures and photos. You've described a day at home I can definitely identify with. Thanks!