On Friday evening, Brandon took the older kids to a baseball game to see our local team play. The tickets were complimentary and fireworks were happening after the game so of course everyone wanted to go. I stayed home with Wren since the game would be starting at her bedtime, far too late to keep the little bird out. (I tried to convince Brandon to take my camera and get some photos but no such luck. Sorry!) After everyone left she and I went out for a long walk and I savored the freedom of walking one little baby strapped snuggly in a stroller. Able to go my pace and distance, we walked to a neighborhood close by that has a lovely, quiet little lake. It has been unseasonably hot and dry here for a couple of weeks, but this night as we were walking the wind picked up and it was cool and blustery. We went all around the lake and the streets up above it while the wind blew wild around us. I felt myself unwinding in the quiet, able to think, able to listen. It sounds odd to say, but as I thought about the people who lived in these homes and how nice it must be to live on the edge of a lake, I felt that someone there must be a writer. I could feel the words on the wind. I used to think of myself as a writer, writing words in journals (and poetry sometimes too) since my earliest years, writing and writing and writing. Yet in this season of motherhood, it all feels so muddled. Even as I type these words little ones interrupt and pull on me. There are almost no times of day without those constant needs and interruptions except for evenings, when I feel totally fried and weary. I don’t journal anymore, really. My most tidy record of these days is this blog, and it is fairly intermittent lately, too. The writing I used to do is more absent from this space. I’ve been missing it, feeling like maybe I had it all wrong and I’m not a writer at all. What kind of writer goes so long without really writing? I mourn the loss, I think maybe its too late anyway. And as I was walking along the edge of the lake, wind blowing wild through my hair, I could feel the words on the wind, flying just over my head, if only I could reach up and grab them with my fingers, but they flew by, just out of reach. Maybe I only imagined it.
With the close of May, and the close of another school year, my mind clears a bit. There is still the tying up of loose ends from this last year, testing to be scheduled, and the planning and researching that already must begin for our next year. I can’t ever really turn that off, but I hope if I get some of it done early in the summer that my mind can rest. In the space in my brain that opens up after our homeschool year ends I find myself thinking about and returning to creativity. I think I will stoke those flames a bit this summer.
June begins. I find myself standing outside our little stand-alone garage with the peeling white paint, spraying water over bare dirt. This side of the garage faces our neighbors home and borders our yard and theirs, and I imagine they wonder what on earth I am doing on this neglected side of our garage watering dirt. I feel a little silly. I defensively want to them them that I’ve planted sunflower seeds here and I can just see them waving tall in August heat, brightening up this little drab side of the building. I’m full of hope that my daily watering will bring something beautiful out of this barren dirt. I can see it just there, in my mind’s eye, and so I stand here and do this work though I look a fool.
I hope to show you those sunflowers one day, the fruit of toiling over scraggly dirt and neglected corners. For now, photos of our garden.
2 thoughts on “words on the wind”
Sounds like you had a beautiful evening with your sweet little bird! I don’t know if you’ve found the same, but my children seem so much easier on their own, when there aren’t siblings to provoke or compete with them. I’m glad they have each other, and I know they learn important lessons from living together — but I do treasure time spent with just one.
I think your words are more beautiful than you realize — is any writer ever truly satisfied with their own work? I’m right with you in that season of life where little ones seem to need more than I have to give, and I don’t seem to have the time or mental capacity to nurture personal creativity. But I think, perhaps, that these years of little output are also years of growth. One day we will have time again (I hope!), and the fruit of these challenging years will be deeper, wiser voices (I hope!). I appreciate your honesty, and I love the way you write about home and family and life. That’s why I keep coming back!
PS — Beautiful garden, by the by. I hope the sunflowers come up!
Shannon, those words are more encouraging than you know! Thank you for taking the time to write them. Yes, I so agree with what you are saying. I know that when I had just one baby I felt like it was a ton of work (and it was) but now when I have just one alone I can’t believe how much easier it is to be present and focused with them, and to enjoy them! I am totally feeling the overwhelm and distraction and weariness that comes with juggling a lot of little ones, the bickering and competing needs, etc. I always seem to forget how just a little step away even for an hour makes a big difference in refreshing me! And yes, I do believe these are deepening years, and maybe the art that comes out of them will be richer. Thank you again for reading along!