My words have been stuck lately. I reach down deep, trying to find them, but they are not there. They have left me and I am grasping at nothingness.
This morning I woke up before the sun and took my coffee outside to listen to the birds sing this sleeping world to life. Togo came out with me and rolled over and over in the grass that has turned green again and the even greener weeds that have already overtaken the grass. The one tree in our back yard that survived the drought last summer does not yet know that it is spring. It does not hear the birds. It still has fifty or so dead leaves from last fall that forgot to fall. They are now black and brittle but they continue to cling tenaciously to the bare branches. Maybe the tree will open up its ears and hear the songs the birds are singing. Maybe new green leaves will push off the old black ones soon.
Or maybe it has lost the will to live and will nevermore grace us with its shockingly pink October leaves. Just like its fellow peach and apple trees who are now gone forever.
This week I took three days off of work and went to San Antonio with my husband of twenty years to celebrate our anniversary. It was a much-needed break as life has been eating us alive lately. We walked all over that city, with no agenda. Sometimes we would stop walking and we would sit and eat and drink while we watched other people walk. It was lovely and we had some good conversations while we held hands.
Last night my two eldest daughters sang in their school talent show. How does the world always spin us back to this point? Today Chris and I will sing at the St. Patrick’s Day luncheon at church. Tomorrow he will preach and then I will eat with my family and do laundry and make a menu and go to the grocery store and help with homework and clean and breathe and the next day I will go to work.
The other day all five of us were in the car when an old Ben Folds song played through the speakers. The daughter whose words also get stuck inside of her sang along with me while we both looked out our respective windows.
Everybody knows it hurts to grow up, but everybody does
It’s so weird to be back here
The irony was not lost on me as I caught a glimpse of her singing quietly along with me in the rear view mirror.
The years go on and we’re still fighting, and we’re still fighting it
And you’re so much like me
Both of us lost in our thoughts while we sang every word quietly, while looking at the world rushing by. The world that only half-knows that it’s time to wake up from winter.
There was pain, sunny days and rain
I knew you’d feel the same things
Sometimes I can find words in the midst of my pain and sometimes all I can find is pain. Sometimes sleep overtakes me when I’m not tired and sometimes my body feels exhaustion like it’s never known while I lay there praying for rest and finding none. Sometimes this task of raising young women in this world feels impossible and it is all I can do to keep loving them through it while guiding them gently.
We’re still fighting it, we’re still fighting it
You’ll try and try and one day you’ll fly
Away from me
We are now halfway through Lent. Sometimes I think Lent is harder on me than anyone else in the world. Maybe that means I need it more than anyone else.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Maybe the new green leaves will push off the old black ones soon.