Smiled with the rising sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singing sweet of songs
Of melodies pure and true
This is my message to you-ou-ou”
It’s funny how it clicks on and off like a light switch. One minute, I can’t figure out how to reply to a work email, or to make peanut butter toast for the baby. It overwhelms and it creates this whirring sensation in my brain. A tornado of INactivity. And then something happens, like the sun shining through the thinning clouds, and creating new light and perspective – on the dust and the fingerprints and the possibility. Then, I’m ready. I notice that my email replies are wittier and more heartfelt. So I take that time to hurry through some tasks to get my laptop up on the dusty, fingerprinted counter. If my email replies are wittier and more heartfelt, I have to ride that wave – like the sunshine bursting through the thinning and thickening clouds. I have to come here, of course. In between the possibilities, and beyond, of peanut butter toast, and love and care. Until the light switch creaks to its off position again. And I’m careful then, not to panic.
There’s been a theme lately, and by lately, I mean this week. It’s been about keeping the magical feelings alive during non-magical times. We need the non-magical times, even though they probably have their own magic, but it’s because not every day can be vacation or concerts or house guests, or even ice cream with sprinkles. It’s hard not to get greedy and restless; it’s hard not to want more. It’s hard to keep things in check and click into the right balance; it’s hard to toggle between the whirring and the white noise, the manual and the autopilot. When the light switches on and off. What causes them? How can you make them more fluid and smooth? And how can you cope when it isn’t, it doesn’t, it wont? It can’t. Somehow we manage our very own checks and balances, measuring them against the checks and balances of one another, and the greater world. Of money and time and care, and love. Wanting less, wanting more; then resting.
As we all know, I’ve had so many emotional swings with this pandemic. Petrified of the virus, and at first desperate for the kids and Cassidy to go back to school and work. Then I got so used to them here, and realized how little I actually needed/need of alone time. I’m happy for a little bit of it, like a simple walk or a bubble bath, but I don’t like the silences and the in-betweens.
Not because my mind is filled with darkness without them to light it up, but because I light up from within when they’re around. And I want to share that. The consistent fairy tale feeling can be exhausting in its extensiveness, but it doesn’t seem to go away. I’m not sure why I ever tried to close the door on it. That astounds me. You need the on times and the off times, the light and dark places, but with a low lying constant hum and song for every little thing, that IS all right.
The hummingbirds come to the feeder in the morning, the afternoon, and in the evening. No matter how often it’s happened, or if it’s the last bird of the day, we stop what we’re doing and exclaim, “A hummingbird!” It doesn’t get old. You have to remember to clean the feeder at least once a week, and always monitor it to make sure you don’t run out of the sweet food. When you rinse the feeder, dust and pollen and dead ants pour out. Winter comes and you don’t see them for months. They come back, and slow your breathing; pick up your heartbeat. Eventually it’s not surprising to see one, like it was the first time, and second time, and the third time, and fourth.
I used to be afraid of being ordinary, until I realized that none of us are ordinary and also, all of us are ordinary and that’s ok. These days I’m afraid of feeling ordinary, or feeling like we’ve been given anything but a gift, or a series of gifts. So many second and third chances, in parenting and love, in health and safety, and in awakenings and appreciation. Sure, we’ll go to sleep, again and again, into darkness and obliviousness, and agony. We’ll take it for granted; ignore as many plump baby hugs as we’ll indulge in. You know, though, when you’re running out of chances.
Cause every little thing gonna be all right
Singing don’t worry about a thing
Cause every little thing gonna be all right”