I am sitting at my very messy dining table. It’s been over a week since I cleaned it off and it is piled high with art supplies and materials for the Being & Becoming Circle (self)care packages. There is a stack of mail in the corner, a bottle of wine in the center and my son’s bumbo chair (yes, I know) at one end. My kitchen is close to needing to be condemned and I have dinner cooking in the slow cooker. Last night after work (!!!) I cleaned off a small corner of our counter.
I look in to our living room that has legos and wooden blocks all over the floor, right next to the baby’s floor mat (yes, I know). His jumper seat, that was his sister’s such a short time ago, takes up a large amount of space, sitting next to the cradle that he is about to outgrow. The bouncy/vibrating seat thingy is sitting in there too, taking space, but now too small for our boy, ready to be passed on to one of my best friends as she awaits the arrival of her next son. Only one of the chairs is empty to be sat in, the others filled with bags and random stuff that needs to be put away.
I breathe in this chaos, this proof of our lived life. I feel both frustration and calm as I sit here in the midst of it, writing these words, sipping my coffee. I have opened our dining room window and can hear the birds and squirrels, our creek and the quiet movement of our neighbors. As I opened the window I caught a glimpse of the abandoned kiddy pool, water now black and filled with leaves, waiting to be cleaned and put away until next year. I am reminded of the art supplies that are on our lower deck, waiting to come back inside. Reminded of how the days seems to slip by without these seemingly simple tasks being accomplished.
I am sitting with sadness that sprung up from work yesterday, my own sadness about a future that probably will, though may not, come to be. I have allowed some tears to fall for this yet to be seen future and am breathing deeply in the truth that that future is not today, not here yet. I release as much of this sadness as I can right now, being grateful for the life I have, the life my husband and I have created together, the life our beautiful children bring to us every day.
I am sitting with calm and peace and humble gratitude as I think of the women who have come forward already to do this work of being and becoming with me this fall. Some of whom started with me this past spring, others coming forward to start now. All of them trusting me and allowing me to be a part of their journey.
There are days when I can’t believe how blessed I am. Days when I think back to my younger selves and wonder how they got through, how we got to now. I smile at how 15 or 25 or even 35 year old me would have reacted to being told who she would become at almost 43. Would those past mes believe that it would all turn out so lovely? Would they believe I could find this deep peace in my life? Would they shake their heads and laugh or would they breathe a deep sigh of relief?
I wonder about the women I am yet to become. Me at 45, 55, 75, 95. What wisdom will I have earned then? How much deeper will this quiet knowing I am only beginning to feel at almost 43 run? What stories will she share? What kind of grandmother, great-aunt, long-time friend, wife will she be? And more importantly, who do I want her to be right now, even knowing that too will change as the years flow.
Right now, my daughter has come upstairs and is sitting in the chaos of our lived in living room, playing with those legos she had abandoned yesterday; wanting to share space with me and giving me space to write, to express, to observe.
Tonight I will hold space for families who have lost a parent, a spouse. It is work I am called to do and am grateful for. This weekend I will begin holding space for the women who are ready for their being and becoming work and play, keeping that space safe throughout our fall season together. Right now, and always, I am holding space for my family: giving love and gratitude, taking in the beauty and truth and reality of our life together.
And I hold space for myself. Allowing my own sadness to ebb and flow, letting its lesson of gratitude for the now be heard and internalized. Grieving the yesterdays lost and celebrating the tomorrows to come. Finding my own true north, right where I am.