24 September 2014

chop wood, carry water

Three weeks ago, I was dirty, sweaty, smelly and beside myself with joy. 

Right now feels like that too.

My kids are at school, my belly is full, my dishwasher runs, the heater at my feet is almost too hot and this sleepy, sloppy chair couldn't be any more uncomfortable. 

And in the way I often do, I've sunken into this chair in search of the little red, common threads that hold these things together. 


I went for a walk one morning while we were camping. 

Halfway through the walk, I stopped at a dock to do sun salutations overlooking the lake. I remember thinking thank you with my arms held high, drinking in the utter bliss of that single moment in my life. I felt it over and over again that week -- sitting around the campfire, washing my feet in the lake, systematizing my little camp kitchen, watching my kids play cards with new friends, scrubbing dishes in the dark, and waking up to the sunrise. 

While we were in Chelan my life was simple. There was nothing to do, but to feel my dirty feet on the earth beneath me and to be there. My daily chores made me happy, and to breathe fresh air all day and all night, was heaven. I feel weepy just thinking about it. 


I woke up early to pounding rain, an hour before my alarm and just shy of sufficient sleep. While it was still dark outside, I scratched out my morning pages. No rhyme, no reason, no structure, no syntax, just words on loose-leaf pages. I read for a while, then went to work out. My kids were ready and dressed when I returned home, and we traveled together to school. 

My friend, Tohnia and I walked and talked and even cried a little in the rain. We hiked up hills, breathed fresh air and moved our legs. I stopped to pee in a port-a-potty (gross), and then we walked more. Tohnia gave me a book and a hug before we parted, then I returned home to a hot shower, a warm lunch and my space heater.  

This week, I've had meetings, met with clients, packed lunches, scrubbed toilets, folded laundry, made dinner, chauffeured children and on and on and on. And right now, I'm sitting here -- still. I've sunken into my chair in the midst of a crazy busy week with so much before and so much to come. Right now, it's just me and my laptop, and I have that feeling once more. So content and connected I could cry. 

Chop wood, carry water, my friend Elly often says. 

Elly speaks of the daily chores and the simple, constant things we do as we move about our days and our lives. We chop wood, we carry water, and we stay connected. I love that. And as I think about that lake and about that walk and about this day, I can almost feel the common thread between the tips of my fingers. I feel connected, awake and alive.