Kindergarten is only a half day in our district, so there was no time to waste crying in the coffee. Instead, I rejoiced my way to the gym to do one mile repeats (the silence, it was golden). The rejoicing stopped right after I finished the mile warm-up and began running the second mile "on target pace", also known as the "watch out, blissfully-unaware-treadmill-neighbor, because I haven't ruled out puking" pace. Speed workouts are for lunatics. (That would be me.)
Last week at this time, we were still in Maine. It feels worlds away now, already sorted among the stories we'll soon tell about "last summer". The only remnants are the tiny pile of shells in the corner of the car trunk and the staples in my son's head. Yes, folks, the beach is not without its hazards. I told my seven year old there were easier ways to visit Daddy's old hospital, but he insisted on the dramatic way.
this fragile perfection can only last so long.
We have only so many moments of silent harmony, of loud joy, of health, of stepping forward without fear, before it is painted over with the hurdles and the brokenness and the arguing and the disappointment. I know I'm singing an Eeyore and Debbie Downer duet, which is not what you're supposed to sing when you just had a dreamy first day of school send-off with your two perfectly healthy children.
But screw what you're supposed to sing, because life isn't black and white, not enough to say "life is good" or "life is bad". Life is a mostly a canvas of good-mixed-with-bad gray; and these mythic moments, these milestones, these places of bone-deep contentment, these are the splatters of wild color. These are the hues for which you hold your breath, the colors for which you hold out hope.
But here's the rub. No sooner do the bright swirls appear on the canvas, then I am plotting how to keep them there, how to keep the silt and dust that permeates the air of my regular old life from rendering the colors dull. I know from experience these joyful colors will be dull by dinner time, when everyone is back to complaining about the zucchini.
I don't know what to do, how to live with this constant gray blurring, other than to gaze with gratitude at the colors as they come. And today, there was color. Last week in Maine, there was color. Splattered throughout this summer, there was color. So I pause and enjoy the color, come what gray.