These days, I’m always tired. I’m worn, I’m stressed, I’m lost in busyness.
This part of being a parent is not my favorite: raising littles drains my brain cells away. At the end of the day I collapse, exhausted.
Needs must – caterpillars call for food, their chomping slowed and waiting, bare sticks left in a little caterpillar tree.
I drag myself up and go, putting on the muddy boots that have lost any hope of ever being “rain” boots again. Down the steps, down the hill, one foot after the other.
I ignore the people jogging, walking, riding bikes with their kids. I’m full of people already, of small children and their needs. My needs come first now, and my first need is silence.
Not true silence: bird calls split the air, cicadas drone in chorus. Somewhere a bullfrog begins to bellow, silenced only by my footsteps. But it’s silence just the same.
Silence from people – silence from yelling, screaming, crying, talking talking talking and never stopping. Silence. A space for my brain to think.
There’s a curious closeness to nature, settled gingerly in the bushes avoiding blackberry thorns and slicing grass edges. I am not walking through nature: I am in it. Immersed. Part of it, mud and all.
I splash here and there, checking little branches for tiny striped bodies. I cut snippets from this or that one, husbanding the wild milkweed into putting out new growth.
I tsk over aphids and strip leaves harboring one precious ivory pearl of an egg. A monarch egg. A promise.
I’m not walking as much as searching. Searching for peace, for hope.
Now and again I’m surprised by nature’s gifts: a bumblebee tucked into the flower trying to sleep. I automatically apologize – then smile at my own politeness.
He wasn’t so polite – I wave my hand a little trying to lessen the sting. He’s gone, off to find another flower.
I stop along the edge of the pond to take a picture. The sunset is rich tonight, glowing in amber and orange. I regret all the sunsets I’ve missed, locking myself in a dark room and waiting for the migraines to relent.
But tonight, tonight I’m here. I’m watching. Tonight I’m present. Tonight, I absorb the color until my soul glows in the beauty. Tonight, this is my sunset.
Twilight comes, and dusk crowding after. Green and black stripes are impossible to see now. I give up, and just walk.
Home, heading home. Bringing home my catch, coming back to peace and quiet. A light calls me home, beckoning with swirling paths of moths in the humid air.
I needed this. This brief space of peace. A few moments of just being.