It’s not that moments of inspiration to write have ceased to find me, it’s that I deny myself the time to indulge in them. It does seem, though, that the moments come at the most inopportune times – such as (mostly) when I am working, driving, playing with the children, or visiting friends. Times when it is either inappropriate or impossible to jot down notes of inspiration. Jotting down notes is crucial. There is no doubt I will forget what it was if I don't jot it down. This is a certainty.
Because of intermittent bouts of insomnia, and the habit of going to bed late (why bother going to bed, if I can’t go to sleep?), by the end of the work week, I’m pretty much in full sleep deficit mode. So sleeping in on Saturdays is not only something I look forward to, pretty much it's a necessity. I’ve stopped having the kids come for Friday-night sleepovers, because Corey gets up with the chickens, and is ready to start the day about the time I’m entering serious REM sleep. It works much better to have them come on Saturday night, since I’m getting up for church on Sundays anyhow. Depending on how bad the lack of sleep was the prior week, I’ll get up somewhere between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Yes, it is sad. Sleeping away my one free day of the weekend. But at my age, I have found it absolutely necessary. The only thing I really hate about this is that I miss my Saturday mornings on the deck with DJ. That has become a tradition through the years, and I seriously miss my girl time with her.
In an attempt to create my own little personal sanctuary, I’ve been working on a little patio project of my own. Even though it’s not the same as being on DJ’s deck, there is no reason that I can’t still enjoy a cup of coffee outdoors on the patio at The 409.
This morning was an “early” morning, as I got the day started about 9:45. Though I have tons and tons of chores to do today, I decided to treat myself to a little “me” time. With my coffee, cold bottle of water, and my phone in hand, I stepped out into my little retreat-in-progress to enjoy the late morning. The bright sunshine wasn’t conducive to much activity on my phone, so I simply put it down and sat.
The big puffy marshmellow clouds overhead were floating off to places unknown, and the critters were enjoying the warm summer sunshine. The neighborhood kids were still indoors, and there were no lawn mowers, leaf blowers, or weed eaters to disturb the silence. An occasional car driving down the street was the only noise I heard, besides the sounds of nature. The bees were busy feasting on the clover in my yard (do they know I’ll be cutting it down a little later today?), and another buzzing insect came by to investigate the fence panel I had installed to better define the sitting area. The birds were all trying to outdo one another in their loud chorus of chirping. Some were obnoxious. Some were subtle. Further up the street, in the woods behind DJ and David’s, the neighborhood owl, not wanting to be left out of the concert, added in his very distinct “whooooo” every now and then. Three crows flew back and forth between two trees on either side of my yard, casting a mid-flight shadow over the grass as they flew. It wasn’t even necessary for me to tilt my head to know they were flying… their squawking racket and the quick shadow let me know that they were once again on the move. Beneath my feet, the earth trembled slightly as the rumbling sound grew closer, and then the shrill sound of a whistle pierced my ears as a morning train chugged its way through town. Normally I wouldn’t even have noticed. Trains are as much a part of our town culture as anything else, and after so many years, they are hardly even noticed any more. (Unless of course one is stopped on the tracks, and you have to drive down the road until you find an open place to cross. And this only happens when you’re in a huge rush, like if you have to pee, or are running late. It’s just kind of a law, or something.)
As I was enjoying the moment, I was compelled to write about it. But I knew if I came inside for my laptop, I’d get distracted by all the chores inside that needed doing, or the kittens would distract me with their adorable frolicking, and entice me to play with them.
So I didn’t.
I consoled myself about letting the moment of inspiration pass by reminding myself that if I became so engrossed in writing about enjoying the sights and sounds of nature in my own back yard, I’d be too busy to enjoy the very thing about which I was writing. So I took a chance that I’d still be able to remember some of the thoughts I had while sitting outside in the stillness. And that I’d somehow find the inspiration later on to write them down.
In moments like those, it is easy to believe that all is right with the world. No matter the turmoil that simmers just beneath the surface of everyday living over every job, every bank account, every marriage on the rocks, every worry over the future of a wayward family member, the fear when facing health issues, the pain of loss, moments like this seem to soften the edges of worry and anxiety. It is easy (for me), to push aside the thoughts of all the wickedness and evil in our world, the greed and theft, the lack of integrity, and the downfall of our nation. I think about how billions of people all over the world fall into the light of the same sunshine as me, and gaze at the same stars as me. Do they think these thoughts, too? Do they wonder why there can't be peace on earth and good will to men all year long, as I wonder? But just for a few moments, in my tiny little corner of the universe, all is right with the world.
Of course, all is not right with the world, and we know it. However, in moments like these, before we stir from our reflection and once again assume the mantle of “being human”… if we are quiet, and listen carefully, we will hear it. “Be still, and know that I Am God.” And there is hope.