It’s cloudy. It’s morning. The house is silent. What? Silence? Okay, not quite. The air conditioner has already kicked on in response to the morning humidity. But really, other than that and the tapping of my fingers on these keys, it’s quiet.

The dogs soon startle me out of my thirty second reverie, alarming me to the presence of what? Probably our neighbor getting out with her tiny dog. Or the rabbit who likes to gnaw on what’s left of our backyard grass, leaving piles of tiny pellets the dogs first eat and then roll over repeatedly.

And then pound pound pound pound pound go Gabriel’s feet as he stumbles from my bed (to which he arrived at 6:45 this morning) searching for life beyond. I offer him some coffee. “Where daddy go? Jo-Jo doing?” I inform them they’ve left in search of cinnamon rolls. “Gaba go car too!” I convince him to get me a fresh diaper while I fetch the iPad, only to discover Jonah’s taken the iPad. I scramble for a replacement story. An episode or two of Mighty Machines on my phone will have to do. I retreat again to the hallway that has become my office, the silence augmented by conversing snowplows with Brooklyn accents discussing their plan for clearing the streets. 

Since my return from Kansas—which included attending my 20th class reunion—my consciousness has thankfully expanded (uh, not sure if consciousness can thankfully expand, but maybe you know what I mean). Somehow I truly got away. I rested, far enough from everyday life that I came back renewed. For this I must thank my family—my mother in particular, for taking care of Jonah on several occasions. My sister for hosting us so graciously at her home. My friend Dwayne for hanging with J while I traipsed around Wichita. And of course John, for taking G-duty solo for two weeks. All I mostly had to worry about was where I was going to pick up morning coffee. Which gave me the liberty to just relate—without chasing a kid or planning for dinner or being on time for a therapy appointment or finding time to mow the lawn.

It was a kind of unencumberance I guess you could say, which led to a sense of remembrance. An attention that remains with me now as the Mr. Mulch truck passes by the house a second time, searching for his delivery address. It’s as though I have reentered a larger community, expanding the circle our family makes. The attention feels like prayer.

But G’s moved on to Blues Clues and it’s nearly 10 a.m. and no one’s had breakfast. There’s no unanchoring from this world of hungry stomachs and dirty clothes. As it probably should be, whether I feel up to it or not.

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