Today it is hot. Again.
For some odd reason, even though the burrow is full of big beautiful windows, it is impossible to get a draft through. We’ve tried many different fans to no avail. Until the late evening we are not able to get any cool air into the house, especially our bedroom.
Last night I imagined I was in a sauna at the spa so I could to go to sleep. Doing so made me intensely irritated by the traffic noise. Opening all the windows to let in air, while only allowing in more sound pollution, put a seed of resentment in my heart. Around two am, in an exasperated slippery huff I accidentally fell down our steep stairs and exclaimed something very loudly that translated my great disapproval.
This morning I woke up sweating, and that seed of resentment had grown into a shrub. Everything that was even remotely frustrating became a branch. And the grumbling, arm flails, and outbursts it produced were the blooms.
What is more, my kids are going through an “argue with mommy about everything” phase. It felt like all I did, all morning long, was deal with whining, complaining, messes and spills. Today I wanted to get out of the heat and go on a walk, but Harry kept spilling things, and needing to be changed, and the boys kept arguing and fighting…to the point that I finally just sat down and gave up.
I was sitting there in the living room in a catatonic state, absorbing the heat, as Finn asked if he could use the blender.
Then I wanted to scream, “NO!” But the arguing and whining and heat had all been stirred up so thick there was no way past it’s froth. I just sat there, immobilized.
It was somewhere between complete defeat about the children and death by stagnant air that I spoke to God. It was not a kind prayer. It was not while I was feeling put together or thankful or in any real great need. It was in my selfish, resentful attitude about everything around me. I didn’t want to tie a knot at the end of my rope. I wanted to be placed gently and neatly back at the top. Without any humility I spit,
“Would you please just meet me where I am?”
And then I began seeing my surroundings with new eyes. I realized that Finn argues because he needs independence. I had him make a list of all the things he wanted to put into the blender. For the first time that morning he didn’t argue or whine. He smiled and immediately started concocting a list, eager for the responsibility. He rushed away from me saying, “I’m going to make a video!”
I got up and looked out the window. We have the shade of 10 trees outside. Nine lilacs and a dogwood. I sat in my hammock and swung my own breeze. The sunlight dappled through the leaves in orange and green sparkles. I looked over at Jude the Obscure. I had put him in a spot where my mom told me he would not do well. But I wanted him near me, so I hoped there would be enough sun for him this summer.
There he was, that familiar yellow and peach, opening ever so slowly, wondering if the new world he was in was safe. I went to him and took a whiff. Lemon, sugar, and peach. The heat had brought me my favorite scent.
We made lime, orange blossom, matcha green tea shave ice with the blender. It was surprisingly tasty. It was the perfect amount of sour and sweet. It was something Harry could spill outside. But best of all…it was COLD.
We made a big mess, forgetting the ants and the need for clean clothes. Delighting in summer: as hot and stagnant and sour as it may be, still sweet in so many bright ways.
I am writing this in my courtyard grove, with my favorite rose, and a lunch I let Finn make. Harry just came to me covered in blue marker, and before I go clean up and let the cycle of motherhood’s sweet and sour continue I am taking a moment to breath in the small gift from God I received today.
He met me here, in my own hellish mood, and gave me a glimpse into the eternal.
And as strange as it may sound…the house really has cooled off! It’s now a bearable 78….next to the window with a fan in it :)
And for kicks, here are two more things delighting me: a curbside treasure my parents saw and said, “that’s a Bridget chair!” Then squished into the roadster and brought home for me.
Aaaand…drumroll please….after many years of trying to grow hollyhocks, one finally bloomed! All the slug bait and beer traps (yes I said BEER traps), and hose detangling, and transplanting to sunnier locales…was worth my delighted surprise at finding out its luminescent pink and yellow color. So pretty!!