Here and There

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cultivate Quiet

I didn't hear the sermon because I was teaching Godly Play but I heard that somewhere in there was the suggestion (instruction?) for advent, for this week, was to cultivate quiet. I want to do this. I could be doing this right now, both children are asleep, but I am here on the internet thinking about doing this. Stupid.

Teaching Godly Play on the first Sunday of advent was meaningful and I felt myself entering the mystery of Christmas.

As I was preparing for the story I invited my own self to journey to Bethlehem along with the Holy Family, with the angels, the Magi, the prophets and all the rest. I was reminded of that riddle about all the people on the road to St. Ives. All the wives and kids and cats. I'm sure everyone was making a racket. The journey to Bethlehem then and now is noisy and crazy too. But if I stop and notice it, there are indeed moments of calm. I don't have to make them happen, just notice them.

We're on the road to Bethlehem and something incredible will happen there. It's night and no one is crying, no one is screaming or grabbing. There are stars. Look up! Nod and feel that bizarre connection--like a magnet, between your quiet right then and that huge timeless quiet of the skies.

Quiet. Quiet. Be quiet. Be still.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ah, comfort through poetry.

Song for a Fifth Child

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

--Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two

I'm adjusting to life with two kids. It's different than I had thought it would be. Funnier, crazier, WAY harder. Up all night off and on with the baby doesn't really mesh with the hours of a toddler. As someone who only feels fully competent with adequate sleep it's a struggle for me to wake up at 7:00am, only 15 minutes or so after actually falling asleep again after caring for Maggie. I have to pretend like it's normal and natural instead of hideously wrong. Lily breezes in: "Good morning!" and I reply, "Good Morning!"

But then Lily will say something like "What a LOAD on baby sister's bottom!" in amazement and again: "What a LOAD!" and I will laugh and forget that awful "Can it really be morning?" moment...for a moment.