Hiking with Juniper on a recent trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Lately I have been enjoying life without the book hanging over my head while at the same time feeling guilty for not writing more (My brain screams: Write something! Anything!) I have been running (slowly) and taking evening walks with Brian and the baby. I have been cooking healthy food and keeping up with the laundry. I have been taking beginner yoga classes. I have been doing the things I fantasized about doing when the only thing I was doing was working on my book.
I have been busy with mom things because OH MY GOD I AM A MOM NOW (when will this cease to surprise me?) and in my quiet moments I ponder the big things. What comes next? What do I want, as a soul with a temporary lease on this not-so-perfect yet phenomenal body? What do Brian and I want for our family? We sneak the conversations in when we can: In the car, on our evening walks. We sometimes make very monumental decisions over text message. We do not have as much time to belly gaze as we did when we were traveling. I feel like my path to enlightenment has a few bulbs burned out. But I say thank you every single day because, to paraphrase Meister Eckhart, if the only prayer you ever say is thank you, that is enough.
I wonder if I’m trying to hang on to an older version of myself- the version that always wants the biggest and most wild adventure she can dream up. If I truly let myself want what I want what would that want want to be? (Existential tongue twister right there). There are so many choices. Do we say screw it all and buy one-way tickets somewhere? Do we convert a campervan and visit the U.S. National Parks? How about settle down in the mountains, plant a big garden and let Juniper run around like the barefooted wild child I always imagined she’d be? At night I send my prayers into the universe. First, thank you. Second, I’m ready for what comes next, please send clues.
But in the meantime I read. I pot plants. I take hot showers and feel grateful for warm water. I kiss my daughter and feel grateful for a healthy baby. I watch my husband sleeping and I think we have everything. I try to ignore Facebook and politics. I really have to talk myself down from a ledge about politics. I start to worry about what comes next and then I remind myself not to take it all so seriously. I laugh. I still yearn and question and hope. But goddamn it if I do not laugh more than I have laughed in a very long time, lately.