Pace

Old men in long raincoats, walking hunched through a soaking drizzle. The rhythm of a morning home alone with a twenty-month-old wunderkind (okay, maybe I’m overstating his powers, but the kid can hum “Ba Ba Black Sheep” spot-on). Afternoon tramps home from J’s school, which can swing from an all-out sprint (punctuated by manic log-rolling down steep embankments) to a dawdling ramble in which I must restrict the climbing of light poles to one per block. Then there’s Cadillac Jack. I never saw his face (you can just barely make out the cowboy hat in the picture), but I spent several miles following him through busy lunchtime traffic, and I declare, the man never sped a tick past 25 mph, even on a 45 mph street.

Gabriel and I started attending a parent/child class at a nearby Waldorf school a few weeks ago. It’s two and half hours of snack making, free play, handiwork, snack eating, song-and-story circle time, “nap” (G even gets a foot rub, if I can entice him away from the pushcarts long enough to park it on his mat), and outdoor play (rain, shine, or driving snow). At first the gentle reminder to refrain from mommy chit-chat was mildly annoying–most mothers/fathers who caretake fulltime do these sort of groups, in part, because they need adult interaction–but now that we’ve been through a couple of sessions, I see the point. (Note: I did a parent/child Waldorf class with Jonah in Missouri, but since most of my time was spent redirecting him from dumping and rolling in the toys or spinning like a whirling dervish through other childrens’ play, I can’t say I experienced much of the industrious tranquility the environment and its participants work toward.) The very deliberate rhythm of the morning is settling. I’d even go as far to say it felt a little bit like I’d just attended liturgy; by carefully attending to our domestic tasks (there’s a very communal feeling to the work), I was better able to recognize their inherent worth. I should add: I spent the afternoon that followed this peaceful morning trying to shake the stink cloud I wrote about in a previous post, Dark Turn of Mind. Enlightenment is so darn fleeting.

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