Day 2 - Drinking Tea
"How to be happy when you are miserable. Plant Japanese poppies with cornflowers and mignonette, and bed out the petunias among the sweet-peas so that they shall scent each other. See the sweet-peas coming up.
Drink very good tea out of a thin Worcester cup of a colour between apricot and pink.."
- Rumer Godden
May 2 in Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy" talks about savouring the small things when life gets messy. She speaks of "the soulcraft of creating and sustaining safe havens" - of making yourself savour the tiny authentic joys amidst the chaos of everyday life, and to weave together creativity, domesticity and spirituality into a rich fabric of life experience.
This was helpful to me, and right on target. I wanted to today to be "perfect" in lieu of the rocky start yesterday. Even after declaring the intention of this exercise to get into the flow, I was still adamant on making it into something - something productive and positive. But I didn't have the energy to "accomplish" the goals of the day. I didn't have the physical stamina to pick up the toys strewn all over the house, let alone consider the bootcamp workout cued up on the TV. But what I could handle was a cup of coffee, a quiet moment with a jigsaw puzzle (thank you Paw Patrol), and a chance to set better intentions.
Life is so very messy. You don't know what you're in for when you have children, despite the cliches and adages about it all. Every plan gets thrown to the wayside. Ironically, however, parenthood has made me a time control freak. Where once I would awaken and indulge myself in the sensation of a day wide-open with possibilities, my brain now clicks into gear the moment my eyes open with lists and tasks and schedules and duties. And even knowing that one slight shift in expectation during the day, like a late nap or a sick tummy at school, can quickly turn all plans inside out, I still try to navigate my day with as much control as humanly possible.
But today, volunteering at school lasted less time than expected. That meant more time to amble through the grocery store, which meant time to chit chat with friendly store attendees and patrons, and to amuse myself with the colourful cereal boxes, and meander through the wine aisles, and even drive the long way home along the lake to watch the sun kiss the skin of the water with freckles of diamond light. I gave myself time to notice the buds on the trees and the thick fuchsia petals on the magnolias and the scent of cut grass and honeysuckle. And before heading down for a meeting at the school to petition our MLA for support on a new playground, I sat with my mother, who despite being with me almost daily to help with the kids I almost never seem to get enough time to chat with. So we did. Briefly, but I savoured it.
And then in the evening, when Papa took Violet on a date, I cuddled Lucy without a screen in front of me, and I drank tea. Good tea. From a cup that says on its side "Do what makes your soul shine." And for whatever reason, that simple indulgence changed my chaotic, "unproductive" day into something special and memorable and meaningful.
Now I just have to get the hang of posted every day. Or not...maybe not.