Friday, July 17, 2015

The Gift of Stress

I've always been a summer girl, made for the season when I showed up in the heat of June, my fate sealed when I tied my soul to a blue-eyed man in late August, the sun setting in heat waves as we drove into a future we couldn't even picture if we squinted.

Our first house was bought in the thick of summertime.
Four years later, I wore my lucky skirt and bare legs when we signed papers for the farm.

Calvin came home in August, and Ruby, one year later. Silas embodies the Indian Summer that kicks past the calendar and into late September.

My life is a landscape of summers; a soundtrack of flip-flops and fireworks, a language of flowers.

 This is my first summer under a deadline.

Though I wouldn't have chosen this timing, the circumstances carry the distinct upside of commanding my focus, meting out my self-discipline in haphazard pockets of writing, then melting me into the edges of what I would choose over and over again.


I'm writing a book, and the window is slipping down the jamb. It's happening, it's real, and there's never enough time to work. The kids are all home and there's fun to be had, but I can't do it all, so I do what I can.

My in-between reward is my actual life. For every day I hunker down, there are five days of messes and projects and errands and chocolate chip cookies when it's really too hot to turn on the oven.

There's drama and angst, but oh, do I choose it.
The watermelon was a dud, but the blueberries are perfect and yes, I choose it.
I choose bare feet tracking dirt across my floors, and I'll sweep them, I will. But I won't mop. The messes don't matter. There's big work to be done, but not today. Today, we rest. We play. We struggle into the mundane. We do it together, just like we did all those summers ago.

I won't tell you the work is easy.
I'm guessing (hoping?) this isn't the most fun part.

But I already love my book. It gave me a gift when it barged into the sacred space of my summer. It stole my heart when it forced me to find solace in the everyday life that I chose - the life I won't stop choosing.