Saturday, May 26, 2012


It is Saturday morning, and I am sitting at my laptop with my whipped-cream-topped coffee, when I see this Facebook status:

"I would like to kidnap somebody and take them to a nature place close to my house. Who is free to be whisked away?"

My house is a mess.  I mean, really.  A mess. There is a pile of laundry at the bottom of the stairs that seems to be only growing.  Every kitchen surface has dishes and crumbs.  You would be hard pressed to find a piece of empty floor to lay down on.  No one is dressed.  No one has eaten anything with any nutritional value.  Sh*t is generally not together.

I am torn, once again, between responsibility and the spirit of carpe diem.  I find my fingers typing:

"Oh, boy. Me and my kids?"

Carpe Diem wins.

The next hour is marked by dressing, gathering, packing, and buckling little bodies into car seats.  Relying on my memory for a few directions given over the phone, I pull out of the driveway very close to on time.  Traffic, construction...  I arrive at the park just before 11.  Thing 1 out of the car, Thing 2 strapped to my back, and into the woods with my friend we go.

All week my nerves have been rattled.  So many feelings of swirling upheaval, and no time or space in my own mind to settle.  But here, now, surrounded by trees and mud, away from the noise and movement of the city, away from the computer and the phone, I feel my jitters start to fall away.  I hear birds.  I feel the wind on my face, and see the gently movement of the leaves.

We are not the only ones in the park this morning.  Here are a couple boys jumping bikes.  There is a fisherman on the banks of the river.  A group of 3 runners hurry past.  We are not exactly in solitude, and the morning is not marked by perfect peacefulness, either. 

Nik on a swing we found, strung simply from a tree with rope.
Nik runs ahead, gets called back, needs one thousand reminders to stay close, to not approach the water, to hold my hand or climb safely on the logs.  Alexa is mostly happy, along for the ride, but even she has her squirmy fussy moments.

But somehow, the conditions don't have to reach perfect serenity to allow me to reap the benefit of being here, in creation in the spring.  The birds still sing.  The sunlight still filters through the canopy.  The river still rushes.  These things are undisturbed by the chaotic movements of a 4 year old boy.  Undisturbed.  Still growing.  Still peaceful.  And they lead by example.

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