Beware the tender mercies

“Mommy, I jus’ came down to get my lovey.” He trots over and wraps a striped-pajama arm around my neck. “Kissies!” His warm fleshy hand pulls me toward him and we commence our affections, G-style. He is a boy of intense kisses, smashing his face into mine. We are a family of intense everything it seems, especially emotion.

The word ecosystem is kind of the perfect term for the intricacies of family life, which I discovered by flipping on over to my best go-to gal, Wikipedia:

An ecosystem is a community of living organisms (plants, animals and microbes) in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system. These biotic and abiotic components are regarded as linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. As ecosystems are defined by the network of interactions among organisms, and between organisms and their environment, they can come in any size but usually encompass specific, limited spaces… 

“Linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows” pretty much sums us up.

“Defined by the network of interactions among organisms, and between organisms and their environment” touches on the complexity, the sometimes seeming-impossibility of living together in the world.

Segue to Tolstoy: “I simply want to live; to cause no evil to anyone but myself.”  (War and Peace)

I’m with Tolstoy this Little Lent, as the Orthodox sometimes call the Nativity Fast. I guess I’m off to a good start with those eight pumpkin bars I ate right before bed last night (I speak of the evil I inflicted on my stomach in the middle of the night).  But of course I’m prone to cause my share of evil toward others—dark moods I inflict upon the fragile ecosystem of our family. To simply live means intense self-work.

I want a tender heart. I know I’m asking for it to say so. Beware the tender mercies.

tender angel

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