The Beauty All Around
As the ever faithful readers of my blog, you surely have noticed my absence over the past few weeks.
Ok,whatever, I haven’t been writing. It’s no fun to write when you have to ponder, pray over and pick-apart each and every word. I mean, yes, praying is good but praying over each word, I’m pretty sure borders on paranoia and no, I’m not paranoid, but I do know that others will be picking apart and placing wrong meanings and well…
I’m out of “p” words.
The break came for several reasons. First, I was accused of sounding angry and bitter and I am neither of those things so I started questioning my ability to write.
I’m humbled. I’m grateful. I’m hopeful.
Second reason came during dinner with friends. I can’t remember what we were talking about, but I mentioned having had a gift card (as opposed to, you know, using my own money) to buy “such and such”. My friend interjects, laughing, and says, “It’s OK, you don’t have to use disclaimers when you’re talking to us.”
And I thought, oh good grief. I do, do that. I have to stop doing that.
So, I’m taking a break.
But in the meantime, where is the outlet? Creatively, I mean? I parent, I work, I run, I lift, I study, I play, but all these words dancing in my head? Where do they go?
My family is all about creative outlets. That’s why we’re all so lovely and well-adjusted. 🙂 And when we do something, we go, well, we go—BIG—
First it was the styrofoam balls. I think my mother saw it in Southern Living magazine, I’m not sure, but one Christmas we covered them, we glittered them, we ribboned and glued and hung them. There were kissing balls and hanging balls and we could’ve started a small college fund on what was spent on tulle, but this was pre-children. Pre-grandchildren.
Next came wreaths. Now, we still love a good wreath, I mean, who doesn’t, but this wasn’t a wreath. This was “let’s cut down a few trees from the bottoms, (or what midwesterners might call the pasture) cover the floor with sheets, ribbons and berries, ladies man your glue-guns, wreaths.”
Again, at this time, no babies.
Then there was the gold and silver spray-paint phase. My mom spray painted e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Nothing was safe. One year, our little family of 30 all joined together for the Christmas feast when little bugs started marching out of these acorns that my mom had spray-painted. Forever and always, the lovely hostess that is my mother never panicked, but occasionally, I would look up to see her smacking the little critters with her napkin and then casually sliding them off the table.
Sorry, mom. You know that story had to be told.
Perhaps my favorite, was our “Homemade Gourmet” phase. It was fall and we were preparing for our Holiday baking. (I don’t use the term Holiday to be weird about Christmas, I use the term Holiday because we also bake at Thanksgiving. Turns out there are actually a lot of holidays.) Anyway, my mom (and I’m still thinking this was pre-baby because seriously, who bakes anymore,) yes, my mom ordered about 50 lbs of very exclusive lilly-southern-white-lilly flour (or something like that) and we had these industrial size bottles of baking soda and powder and cinnamon and nutmeg and we had funnels and baggies and measuring cups and spoons and we made an assembly line and my sister brought her way-cool-gotta-have-it-2:30 in the morning-bought if off the t.v.-bag sucker-uper and we sifted and stuffed and sucked and zipped and we all left home that weekend with enough ingredients for about 30 loaves of bread.
Seriously, I think I still have a few bags somewhere in my basement, which I shouldn’t write about because now no-one is gonna eat the bread I bring them for the holidays. I mean for Christmas.
And now it’s happening again. First I started making apple pies. I don’t really make pies, but Emma Claire was studying about apples and this seemed a perfect learning tool and we rolled out dough and we squeezed lemon and I gave some away, but then I kept one, and save for the small piece I shared with their Dad, I ate the whole thing.
And then it was cards. This past week my friend gave a small presentation on making cards. That was on Monday.
Today is Thursday.
As my children sleep (another disclaimer if you’re reading between the lines) I’ve started cutting and pasting and where in the SAM HILL is my glue gun and I’m not writing and the words are spinning and the leaves are turning and there’s so much hope and so much glory and so much to be grateful for and I woke up this morning and I knew that I needed to write. Something.
I had to write before we ran out of paper. And glue. And apples.
Before my skinny jeans no longer fit; worse, before my fat jeans, become my skinny jeans.
Anyway, on my way to work this morning (did yall know that I had a job ‘cause I do), I drove past, or rather through, what has to be the most beautiful spot in all of Fremont. By tomorrow or the next day, it will be gone, but today. Today it is glory. Today is miraculous. Today, I stop and I stare and I can’t take it all in and I wonder, why didn’t I see it before? Last year, I mean.
I lived on this very same street.
How is it that in one year’s time the black and white becomes color? How is it so much more beautiful? Is it because of the drought? Is it “just” science? Or is it “the telling of His glory,” kind of like the rainbow is a promise, maybe the colors are a promise? That He is here.
Still, I couldn’t see.
But now, after a year of falling completely on Him; a year of seeing the dark, and the gray and the brittle; a year of “truths that piss you off”, but that ultimately “set you free” after a year of chasing hope, running toward joy and giving thanks in all things (even the super yucky ones); yes, after a year of all of this. Now, I can see.
I see the beauty. And it is all around.