With three kids, I’ve often heard the saying that children are like sponges. Absorbing everything around them.
Like sponges. Dry until wet with what life exposes them to.
It’s funny to me that we say this as if it only applies to children.
Yes, I agree. Their brain is changing like the tides and swelling with more and more liquid knowledge and experiences each day.
But I’m pretty certain I’m a sponge too.
Always absorbing. Soaking in. Squeezing out. Drying out. Drowning. Moistening. Wiping. Wearing out. Ripping.
Life has thrown our family a fair share of curveballs lately. Honestly, if I list out (and I do love lists of all kinds) all the adjustments and expansions and contractions of our life over the last year it’s rather startling.
The two that got this ‘new year’ rolling, back in August a year ago, were buying our home and my youngest daughter weaning – marking a new town, new land, new energy and the closing of over a dozen years of pregnancy and breastfeeding combined.
I find these transitions highly spiritual shifts in the life of a woman. A person. A family.
This past month has uprooted our recent and familiar routine with a combo of ‘what the fuck’ and ‘wow, life is good’.
It’s felt like a mix of a big mean joke and a genie blowing our wishes to life.
Yesterday, I found myself in a true moment of grace when I felt the exhaustion of this past month suck the marrow from my bones.
The exhaustion of holding space for dreams and holding space for disappointment.
The beautiful thing is that I’m sponging it up, wet with the weight of a lot of mental focus, while wiping away the not so sexy stuff so I can see the shining dream below it all.
Stress keeps trying to pour itself a cup, but we are mostly just dumping it out and brewing what we enjoy (with a couple primal screams on the side).
Because it’s life and in the scheme of life it’s little.
Sometimes we must pour grace on that which we wish to wallow in. We must handle things with as much finesse as we can rally, without complaining or floundering in feelings of unjust or bitterness or unfairness. Because not one of those curveballs has come as death or cancer or incurable illness. Nor divorce or homelessness or car accidents.
Nor at all from the things that strip you of your skin and make you bleed mourning.
Nope, just random turns in the path and fallen trees slowing your pace and complicating your plan.
Things that make you sigh, things that make your belly turn a bit, things that make the rotting rage come undone and make home in the forest floor to grow you into something more beautiful. More stable and strong. More malleable and flexible.
It’s awkward to admit that many of us often hope life will lay itself down in a clear cut line and let us walk it smoothly if we plan it first.
But, rather, life is a spiraling mix of pain and beauty – no different than the daily dance of this earth we walk on.
I’ve felt unmoving in my writing lately.
But, now, today, I feel words could squeeze from my skin like a sponge that never dries.
I’ve had fantasies to give it all up and delete the words I’ve shared here. Not being sure I’d find myself in them anymore.
But today I wish to keep going.
I’ve stayed quiet, wondering if words are mine to speak beyond the inky and lined pages of my privacy.
But today I know they are.
I’ve kept running my hand around the rim, afraid to reach in and feel how deep the hole has gotten from not filling it with my words.
But today I’ve filled some of the hole.
Maybe I’m unmoving because I know I have stories to tell and I’m afraid to tell them.
But they want to be told.
Lately our life has been changing, fast. Because he’s changed his mind.
“Change your mind to change your life.”
Who said that?
It’s so true.
We all need to change our mind about something.
I wonder if I can change my mind to believe that I can write and mother. Both. Fully.
The tasks of home and life swallow my days sometimes. Oftentimes.
Stuff feels like an insult to my soul and I can’t get rid of enough things.
Stripping, shedding, exposing and eliminating.
Wondering if I can free myself of the outdated, used up and out grown parts and bits of the self and life, like wet herbs left behind in the strainer. Letting the infused rich collect in the jar that holds. An elixir of all that nourishes and matters. Taking away what is no longer me or mine and composting it into the layers of life I call and claim as mine, to decompose and then nourish the next phase of life.
Marriage has felt smooth like grassfed butter, rich with sustenance after a spell of struggle. Even with the curveballs of knives stealing thick pats of that butter we are still tasting rich and spreading thick.
I’ve been moonstruck on magic lately. Signs and serendipity and synchronicities are spooning my parched mouth with honey. There is certainty that life is unfolding in no other way than it is meant to, so magically it feels like you’re making love to the world.
I’ve been staying open and watching for all the ways to give, bring joy and show gratitude to those around me. Homemade soup and cookies to a healing neighbor. Flowers and homemade caramel corn to a sister-in-law who is there when you need her, treats to the sheriff who helped as a middleman, a homemade creation to friends who offered kindness, handwritten letters to friends in deep grief…it feels so good to source someone a smile. And reminds me how big and beautiful and connected this world is.
I’ve came up close and personal with trust, staring it down the long and curvy path only to watch it straighten right before my eyes.
Trust – the proof is there when we believe.
I feel, like always, really full and empty. But mostly I feel grateful.
Life is good. Life is a curveball. Life is magic.