Unfolding the day


The world is under blankets of new snow, hushed and howling at the same time this morning. I sleep in, deep sleep, wrapped in down with my warm little son. I wake up to kids already crying, sugar crashing off their Oreo breakfast, dressed in swimsuits (don't ask!) and shivering in the 60 degree house. My eldest is outside, walking our dog in the drifts, the peacemaker absent and chaos breaking loose through the house. We found out yesterday our 9 year old dog has cancer, and she is taking it hardest at 8 years old. She can't remember a time without this black dog who disappears in the dark and still snorts around the snowbanks like a puppy.

Noon comes and goes. The kids snack on chocolate grahams and bananas, and I share coffee with my sister  from next door. The snow flakes are still falling, so infinitesimally tiny it is hard to imagine each is a unique crystal with six sides. The furnace burns hot to heat the house to 64 degrees, and the kids get back in their swimsuits to have a "diving" competition off the queen bed in the warmer air.

The days unpack themselves like a string of small gifts, the ribbons cut, the paper crinkled. The dog sits warm in her corner, stuffed with treats borne of the children's grief. My husband calls from the heart cath lab, on call today, the shovelers already crowding the ER. He'll be late getting home. My first day alone with my children, and it promises to be a long one.

I sit in the middle of my messy bedroom, look out the door at the messy dining room. There isn't a clean corner in the house. Three years into cancer, one full of depression, and I don't see messes anymore. I see piles of discarded delight - the art corner strewn with drawings and paintings, crayons and safety scissors. The living room full of Christmas still. Laundry clean and folded, piled in the baskets. Dishes dirtied attest to our wealth of food.


Awake my soul to live this moment
Awake my soul,
give thanks and hold it dear now
God is here now
Awake my soul

Hush away the hurry
Put to rest the worry
Come to quell and quiet me 
In this moment given 
Slow and fully live it 
Drink up all the passing peace
~Shaun Groves, Awake My Soul~