All day long I feel as if I am drowning.
Ella stands beside my bed at 6AM. Is it time to get up yet? she hollers.
Is the little hand of the clock at the 7? I mumble out of habit. But the clock is broken and she doesn’t know it’s still too early.
I walk her down the hall, back to her room; urge her to try to close her eyes again. It’s practically the middle of the night, I say, hoping she doesn’t see the soft blue light leaking in at the edges of the blinds.
Then the day is full of doing what must be done – lunches and sweeping up the crumbs and wiping up the mud someone tracked down the hallway.
Then it’s afternoon classes and back home to two out-of-sorts children.
Smeared toothpaste on the bathroom mirror; tiny bits of paper from the snowflake craft; beautiful symbols of my full, blessed life, I know. But the water of it is closing in around me.
There is no time. No time to scribble the story blooming inside me, no time to dive deep into the blue waters of a song I keep humming, a poem that pushes at the edges.
When do I get to stop all of this and just BE ME? I keep thinking. The thought circles and washes me away with it.
In a yoga class a friend invited me to this past Monday – a rare break I had planned in advance – Geoff, the instructor spoke about our “edge”. “Feel it there,” he told us. “That resistance, that discomfort. Watch where your mind goes. It brings up all kinds of reasons why you should pull away. Don’t. Just let it be there. Can you just be with the moment with an open heart, without asking it to be any different?”
Apparently, I can’t. Not today anyway.
So I run. I run in the evening as the light above the hills is softening to a milky orange and bubblegum pink. I run past the fancy houses along Abbott Street with their wrought-iron gates and brick and gardens, past the older, sketchy ones further down. I cut across to the lake where waves are tossing themselves up onto the shoreline. The air is full of the lilacs just open, of newly mown grass, someone’s laundry, pipe tobacco, then lilacs again.
I breathe it all in the way I am trying to breathe all of my life in, just the way it is without needing it to be anything different. This moment exactly as it is.
I run and run and run, pump my legs hard, feel that sting in my throat as I curve around to Beach Avenue, past the crabapple tree that will burst into blossoms any day now if I haven’t already missed it, past the Magnolia just finishing in the yard on the corner.
And I feel myself rising up and up and up until finally I’m surfacing.
words: Kim McMechan, Canada (website)
image: 'Vrksasana (tree pose)'
- Steve Wing, Florida (about & more)
another everyday challenge: Today More Coffee. (#21)