This morning was cool and crisp and sunny and beautifully unusual for August. I enjoyed two cups of coffee, Facebook, Instagram, Bible study, a crossword puzzle, reading and a little writing outside. I think I could have stayed in the hammock all day, but alas, responsibilities awaited me inside.
Part of the reason I didn’t want to leave the deck was that it felt almost holy to me. I’ve been very contemplative lately and my thoughts have gravitated more towards discontentment than gratitude. This seems particularly unsettling to me because there is nothing in my life that warrants such negativity. My guess is that it has more to do with this stage of life and coming to terms with the fact that our family dynamics have changed. With all the first day of school pictures posted today, I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic. This is the first time in 22 years I haven’t had a child starting school somewhere.
Suffice it to say I was feeling the teensiest bit tender as I settled in for some quiet time. But in true God fashion, he reminded me of all I have to be grateful for and filled me with such peaceful contentment. He awakened each of my senses, revealing himself to me as I sat on the deck:
The beautiful blue sky dotted with wispy white clouds glimpsed behind the trees.
The cool breeze brushing over me and the soft warmth of Sookie’s fur as I give in to her wet-nosed nudge.
The faint hint of far away ocean carried on the wind, along with a mixture of fresh earth and fragrant flowers mingled with the aroma of a steaming cup of strong, black coffee.
The sound of birds at the feeders, of children laughing at the bus stop, of singing cicadas and the muted voice of Todd as he talks on a conference call in his office.
The delicious burst of flavor as I sip my morning beverage.
I will always remember the various stages of raising kids with fondness and there will forever be a part of me that yearns for those days again. I’m grateful for those memories, but those joys have passed and I find myself discovering new ones.
I want to enjoy this stage of life, too. Even in all of its weirdness, because that’s how it feels to me. Weird. And when I start to feel melancholy over days gone by, I’m going to find my joy in the presence of God, thankful that he shows up in every beautiful sight, every comforting feel, every delightful sound, every refreshing smell and every exquisite taste that points me to him.
And next fall I’m probably going to go through all of this again.