The house is quiet and full tummies rise and fall after a big Sunday lunch. Cool sheets surround warm bodies on a hot, August Sunday, but I patter in my kitchen and pull warm cookies from the oven. I find a peaceful catharsis in baking. I always have. I spatula-scrape peanut butter and chocolate chips off metal and carefully place onto my Pfaltzgraff. I feel just-under-the-surface full. Not Sunday-lunch full, but like any moment, I just might burst into tears, or maybe laugh until my sides hurt. Full to the brim with some sort of deep longing. Some sort of exquisite pain. Some sort of undeniable peace. A sustaining comfort. An unbridled joy. I question the calendar days. No, it’s not that. It’s just life. This beautiful, sometimes heart-rending, sometimes joy-filled life.
In the last eight days . . . two weddings, one funeral, the daily housewife life, an adventure with a longtime friend who’s expecting her baby boy just any minute, a stay-cation with this gift of a family, some wonderful girl time with amazing friends, jumps on a trampoline, a new church service, evident sadness on mothers’ faces who are sending their once-little kids off to college for the first time, funny shows, the tops of pines swaying against the blue Georgia sky . . . don’t you have this life too? The way it sometimes just seems to slip, day into another day, and then, WHAM!, it’s all of life and what it’s made of all at once? The constant ebb and flow. The giving and the letting go.
How to live a life of faith and grace in grief? How to live a life of faith and grace in beauty? In a marital spat? Hurt feelings? Loving friendships? Watching your children grow at warp speed and just wanting to put them in a bottle and place a mound of bricks on their heads?
The only thing I know.