|This is how I want to remind myself to be: looking up and all around me. It's easy to forget to do this simple act of noticing, but it is so renewing.|
Spring: it's a time of frenzied work and preparations. Everything ends and begins all at once; responsibilities and opportunities overlap. School is drawing to a close, baby animals are being born, baby plants are growing deep roots, weeds are rising exponentially taller each day.
Always, at this time of year, I find that the things I love can begin to wear me thin. There are so many commitments, experiments, people and experiences to immerse ourselves in, that I find myself frozen in the midst of them, standing immobile next to a several-foot-high pile of laundry.
How can I say no to the opportunity to have small animals for my children to care for, making them friendly through twice daily bottle feeding? Can the garden go unplanted? And what of the budding photography business? It is not easy to turn people away when photography is so dear to my heart.
And so dinner is ready at 8:30 and I pray with friends in the midst of a living room sprinkled with dog hair. Is your life like this? I know I am not alone, and that is what helps me to persevere. I know in one friend's house, there is an artist-child like mine, who leaves trails of paper and un-capped markers in her wake. In a different friend's home, there is another preteen boy saying the same words that make a mom's heart tired. Still another friend has 4 more baby goats to feed than I and another has a garden that beckons to her as she walks away to do other work that must be done.
I cannot see how to remove myself from many of the commitments I have made, though I will remind myself from time to time, that indeed, I am not "every woman." Thus, I do not need to do every thing. Instead of being stuck in the icy world of self doubt and pity though, I am learning to be sure to notice the things around me that I love. These are things that are intertwined with my busy life and commitments, and are reminders that I do not have to be fully exhausted and tired. There are moments I can linger in for just a bit, taking a bit of time to treasure them and to be renewed and thankful.
I am sure you have a running list like this, though you may not realize it. It is my intention to notice not just things that would make beautiful photography, but moments, and the way things are at the very moment I am in.
... the way tiny droplets of water gather evenly all around the edges of a baby cabbage plant in the cool of the dusk.
...how raindrops puddle on the leaf of a lupine.
...the sound of geese flying by in the evening
...milking a goat by the light of the stars
...the way clouds pile up higher than the mountains they sit upon
...seeing my children peacefully playing together
...having my oldest kids sit next to me just to talk
...being given flowers all day long
...the way a lupine flower curves when resting in a plastic cup
...smelling lilacs in gardens everywhere and especially in my kitchen
...finding worms busily working as i plant a pepper plant
...the way a baby goat will use a person as their own personal playground
...how the crescent moon shines through the willow and cottonwood trees at dusk
...the feeling of the breeze sweeping around the corner of my house, trying to push my hat off
...the swing of my 7 year old's pony tail as she walks a horse into a barn
...finding my son has climbed to the top of an outbuilding or the middle of a tree
...watching my daughter sit on the swing with a baby goat
...the click of the shutter of a camera
...the green glow of a light on a tomato plant start at ten o clock at night
...my husband's dimples and five o'clock shadow
...holding a tiny hand in mine when walking down the steps to the garden
...the glow of the sunset on the clouds to the east
...the cottonwood tree on the way into town that I always think I should take a picture of and which will probably cause me to crash one day if I am not careful.
These are some things I love today.
What things do you love?