Saturday, June 7, 2014

My Tide

I woke up at 6 am on a Saturday morning to write.  Naturally, Little Lady woke up screaming for mommy at 6:10 and had a 45 minute tantrum about which bed she wanted be sleep in, how I wasn't wiping her nose the right way, how she wants milk but not in a cup.  Ah.  She finally calmed down as long as I was lying next to her in my bed.  I laid there watching a spot of light on the wall fading and getting brighter as the curtains swayed, thinking about my coffee getting colder, the story I wanted to write running away from me once again, and how absolutely impossible it is to accomplish anything with kids. 

I get frustrated easily.  My Italian blood, maybe.  But I was lying in that bed watching the spot of light on the wall and listening to her breathing getting slower, knowing that the good writing wasn't going to happen anymore.  Just like folding the laundry doesn't happen because her goal in life is to undo everything I do, it seems. I fold three shirts and five seconds later the pile is hanging from a lamp, now not only unfolded but also covered in dust and/or dog hair.  Lovely.  Why do I even bother?  I wash the floors and I can't even turn around to see how nice they look before I can hear the splash of milk splattering across them.  Cleans sheets automatically mean someone will either wet the bed that night or vomit or sneak in a bucket of sand from the sandbox. 

And I'm still lying in bed listening to her breathing, and as she's getting calmer, I'm heating up inside thinking about all of the stuff that goes wrong and what's the point in even trying to make anything nice when every effort seems sabotaged every.single.time? 

But that spot of light keeps coming and going, and it reminds me of the beach and the waves that come and go and the tide, how it goes out and gives us this great place to be.  And we make our castles and digs our holes and leave our footprints in the sand.  And then the tide comes back in and tears down the castles and fills in the holes and leaves the beach smooth and seemingly untouched once again.  And where the tide doesn't reach, the wind does.  And every morning looks different than the night before, after the wind and tide have had their way with the coast.  There's always new beauty to behold in the way the wind and waves shape the sand, what they hide and reveal.
And isn't that really the way life is?  We build our castles and the world tends to level them.  Yet, we also dig ourselves big holes and they get filled in, too.  And maybe it's all as beautiful as the sand, this windswept life of mine.    

Maybe it really can all be beautiful.  The messy stuff.  The cold coffee.  The crying toddler.  The never ending laundry.  The tempers that flare so often.  The list of messy is long and ugly.  But maybe this world pushing against my every move is just my wind and tide.  And maybe when all is said and done, maybe after I've been worn in all the right places, maybe what's left can be beautiful, too.  Maybe it already is and I'm just not seeing it right.  And I once again find myself asking, what is it that I'm seeing?  Am I always overlooking the beauty in order to see the mess?  It's like adjusting the focus on camera, this joy seeking I try to live.  It's all always right there, but what is it that I'm putting the focus on?

The house is quiet now.  Now she sleeps.  I look out my hand-print covered windows and I see her life all over mine.  And I see now that it's not a mess at all.   There's a wind-chime ringing somewhere and the breeze is blowing the leaves.  The birds are singing good morning and all I can think is that she's just my tide.  Leveling me out and making my world more beautiful than I could ever do on my own. 

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