We went for a walk yesterday through the orchard. It’s hard to call it that–it still looks like a motley collection of twigs stuck in the ground. It doesn’t quite have the feel of a real, mature, fruit-bearing orchard; though it will, of course, become that with care and time.
Eldore Rex joined us one month ago today.
I wasn’t entirely happy with his birthdate–11/19/17. It was, I believe, because the numbers are all odd. Or maybe it was because our previous address was 1120 and I was hoping for 11/20/17 subconsciously. At any rate, he was less than an hour and a half early for the 11/20 birthdate, a fact that in hindsight I’m not too concerned about, seeing as it kept my “labor” down to around two hours instead of three-and-a-half hours, a story that will be recounted in more detail in his birth story, should I ever have time to sit down and write it. Anyway, the point is that here we are on December 19, and Eldore Rex is one month old today, not tomorrow.
Our life moves in seasons.
Here we are watching the passing of the last month of spring: the arrival of summer; the deepening of the greens; the growth of the fruit in our infant orchard; the lengthening of the days and the prolonged singing of songbirds as a result. The robins begin with the sun, at around 5:30 in the morning, sitting in the trees outside our bedroom window. I have seen much out of that window over the past month.
Words really do get stuck. There is something in the act of opening the computer and sitting down to write that makes them absolutely congeal in my brain. What was a coherent string of thoughts becomes a gelatinous mass of random one-line thoughts. What’s for dinner? We should take the library books back. My back hurts. What’s that noise? What will the weather be like tomorrow? I should message so-and-so back. Where’s Anselm? What was I wanting to write about again? What time is it?
It was raining outside that day, but it was warm. I was determined that we should take a walk that day, even in the rain. Rather, I thought we should take a walk because it was raining. Because we never take walks in the rain. Is it different in the rain? How different? What shall we see that we don’t see when it’s dry outdoors? You don’t know unless you begin, do you?
We took a walk in the rain precisely because we don’t usually. I am ever looking out for those things we don’t do that we perhaps should. It’s something of a hobby–perhaps more like an obsession. My avoidance of uncomfortable things is a never-ending mystery and I investigate it with the tenacity of any detective: Why am I avoiding this? What would happen if I didn’t? I wanted to walk outside in the rain because I never do it. I never do it because it’s uncomfortable. I know that those uncomfortable things usually yield the most surprising and satisfying results.
I think that’s also why I push through these stiffening, uncooperative thoughts, and try to put down here what words I can. There is something in the exercise alone that’s worth it. I always feel better for it.
A while back I began telling the story of my long wrestle with the word rest. And it is a long one, with many steps and milestones, I think, so that I stopped with the promise that I would continue in another post. It only took a few months, but here is that post, at last.
In the last installment of thoughts on rest, I–mother of two-under-two, with copious amount of Me Time but a heavy case of Burnout–was beginning to get the inkling that everything I thought I knew about rest may be wrong. According to the Internet and other mothers I asked, the solution to my exhaustion was to carve out more time to myself, but I already had carved out several hours for myself and was more exhausted than ever.
There had to be another solution.