Photo: Have you ever gone about your regular day and then encountered a wonderful bit of whimsy? I was returning my neighbor’s pie plate to her and happened to walk past the workshop where her retired husband is constantly at work. There, my eldest was standing utterly transfixed by this gorgeous piece of work. This dollhouse was handmade by my neighbor for his daughters some 30 years ago. Now, he’s sprucing it up for his grandkids. I’m in awe of the man’s craftsmanship. Again, I’m so grateful that we live in a world where there is art and artists.
I’m not sure why I thought I was going to lead our team to a decision and then have leave to simply walk away from it all. Perhaps I did it to ensure I made it to the end. (“one more week. You can do anything for one week.”) Or maybe I did it because I’m a writer and I love deadlines. (“June 3rd is the day. This is happening.”) Either way, I should have known better.
We made our choice on Monday. I can’t write anything about what happened in the room. I can only say that I’m deeply grateful that the Holy Spirit and I are on the same page. I’m feeling satisfied. Where it would have been nice to have experienced the feeling of elation afterward, I am feeling very sober about it all. We’ve made a decision that matters a lot to our little community of faith. It will matter for a long while. It will alter the course of this place we hold dear.
That was the point, of course. That was the inevitability. The only guaranteed outcome of this journey was change. I knew this intellectually. I now know this as a reality. They are different knowings. It’s often physically jarring when the body finally lines up with the mind.
Change is uncomfortable. Hilariously, change is uncomfortable no matter who makes it happen. Change imposed by some outside force feels egregious. Change you make yourself, even when it’s for the best, is still scary and often inconvenient. Sameness and expectedness are so comforting. Who willingly steps away from that? The bold are sometimes just the foolish.
My Quiet Thoughts are about the sober moment that happens just after a decision is made. Sometimes it’s a brief moment, sometimes it lingers, but a person paying any reflective attention will know that it’s there. This is what it’s like to lead and to serve, to weigh and measure and come to a conclusion. I think I’m surprised by the fact that it’s just as sobering to come to the conclusion that you want as it is to come to the conclusion you don’t want. Indeed, if we’d all come to the choice I vehemently didn’t want, I would have had powerful feelings to lean on and momentum to make new choices. Instead, I have what I have, and the having means more work.
More good work, sure. But damn, y’all, good work is hard.
My break is coming soon. That’s a blessing and a curse, too. The boys will be out of school on the 19th. Camp starts shortly thereafter. Busy again, but a different kind of busy. My biggest prayer is that I can successfully get this busy over and done completely before camp starts up. Otherwise, there is going to be a week or so when I’m going to multiply my gray hair exponentially. Hopefully not. I need to pivot to other things.
I don’t really want to write this, but I think this is going to stay a Monday/Wednesday blog for a little while longer. Not forever, but at least until the Fall. This lets me reclaim a little bit of my time: time with the boys, time with my fiction, time with my house, time with this new job. I haven’t even started my consultant job yet, but that’s going to need time, too. I think that I’ve been around long enough that you won’t miss me too much, right, Dear Reader? High-quality posts two days a week isn’t a terrible thing. If it’s utterly unforgivable, let’s have a chat. Maybe Wednesdays can turn into something else. If I’ve learned anything for the past 15 months, it’s that I must be open to every sort of idea. This summer can be full of all sorts of bloggy experimentation!
It’s a hot day here in Massachusetts! 80, but not humid. New England summers make the sufferings of the forever-winter totally worth it. Our garden is flourishing. A new grill is coming (long story). These are the long days, Dear Reader. Enjoy them, knowing that they, too, are only temporary.
It’s a Friday for wishes! Have I done wishes in a while? Jeez! No! Wow! Well, this Friday I wish you more wishes! …ok, that wasn’t clever… The Husband’s dad jokes are rubbing off on me.
Dear Reader, I wish you sunshine. The kind that doesn’t burn, but soaks deep into your bones and stays with you. I wish you the kind of sunshine that invites you to stay outside and listen to the birds and enjoy your book and think your thoughts. I wish you a song to hum while you’re doing dishes or picking up things around the house. What song is on your heart right now? What won’t let you go? Who sings to you in your dreams? I’ve heard Grandy’s voice a lot lately. I wish you a slow moment to do something with the fullness of your heart, mind, spirit, and body. Lean into your garden. Fold a bunch of clothes. Walk through your favorite park. What do you feel? What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you know? Moments like these often bring me to tears. Sometimes because I’m so grateful or I’m so awed by something. Sometimes, it’s because I’m still mourning or because I’m still lonely. Give yourself a moment to feel something you’ve been pushing down. Let yourself know what season you’re really in. I wish you good food: something marinated and grilled, something put over fresh greens from the farmer’s market. I wish you good drink: something light and crisp and sweet and cold. I wish you a squeeze on your hand, and a kiss on your cheek, and someone telling you that you look marvelous. You do, Dear Reader. You really do!
Why do I tell you that you are loved? I tell you because it’s true. That really is the long and the short of it. You are a loved person. You are beloved. You are loved deeply. You are loved profoundly. You are loved by people who tell you often. You are loved by people who have never told you so. You are loved irrationally. You are loved because you are loved. You are loved because you are deserving to be so. Know these things deep in your heart and in your soul. Know this. Then share this. Tell someone else that they are loved this weekend. Tell them this because they also need to know.
Until Monday, shine your brightest, do good things, and take good care.