Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I'm waiting for the pendulum to shift, for the tides to turn, for life's equilibrium to balance itself out again. I'm waiting for February to end, for sick children to be well, for parents to feel the weight of their worries become lighter. I'm waiting for good news, for laughter, for joy and celebration. I'm waiting for the color and life to return to the gray and tired landscape of our home and our hearts.

I am tired of waiting.

In Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, there is a character, May Boatwright, who is the very essence of compassion. When the burden of other's sorrows becomes too much, May heads to a wall she has created, her very own "wailing wall." There, she commits her worries to ink on paper, and buries the tiny scroll in a nook or cranny in the lengthy wall of stone. She sings, she prays, she meditates, and eventually, she seems to heal.

I think of May Boatwright when the burdens become too heavy, when the pendulum seems to be stuck. I think of her wall, a place for her to lay down her sorrows, a ritual for sadness. May discovered a powerful tool to express her burdens, but she never discovered the antidote. Because she, like Atlas, could not unyoke herself from the weight of the world, she eventually drowned in its sorrow.

And so I seek the antidote. I cling to whatever promises to keep me afloat for the day. Yesterday, it was the simple pleasure of sharing iced coffee with Leo, only Leo, in the quiet moments after his nap and before Pax has awakened and Aidan has returned from school.
Today, it is this photograph, taken about a week ago on a day I was clinging to a different promise - the sunshine, the unseasonably warm 60 degrees offered in the middle of the gray and tired days of February...

...because it is in the smallest pleasures that we find the antidote to carry us through, t0 shift the pendulum and bring the sunshine to our backs, the warmth to our hearts, and the laughter to our faces.

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