Both of my girls both trudged off to school for the first time, together, in a long time on Monday morning. We have been in hybrid mode all of January, and they have been on opposite days so it was strange to have such a quiet house after they left.
After Claire left she sent us a “sunset alert” text and the rest of us went out and stood on the cold driveway in our bare feet and watched in reverence the sky layered with pink and orange clouds stretched far and wide.
Lucy leaned her body into mine, snuggled close, and described the sky to me in awe and reverence for all that beauty, and all was right in the world. (For some reason she seems to be able to see sunsets and sunrises, and I’m so glad, even if it’s just in her mind conjuring up what she believes is there).
We do Relief Society visits each Monday morning (this just started last week). Women are awesome. And I know I’m biased, but I believe we have some of the best of the best in our congregation.
Dave and I had an impromptu parenting advice session with Claire, sitting on the counters in the kitchen, over whether she could go to volleyball or not, (this newest death is pulling her feet out from under her and she didn’t want to bring her team down). Is part of the problem with depression and anxiety these days that parents help too much? I think it’s got to contribute. Gosh I love these kinds of discussions but I feel a pull to work on changing the locus of control a little better somehow.
It is interesting how life and parenting have so many ups and so many downs. Some moments are so filled up with joy and some are so dark and hopeless. I know that’s the way of the world…adversity in all things…beauty for ashes, everything working together to help us learn. And as I notice nature lately I can’t help but think that it, too, has the moody beauty of the deep darks contrasting the sparkling lights. Below is one night and then the next day:
I keep thinking of this quote a blog reader shared back in this post:
“The work of the mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other and to be stretched large by them. How much sorrow can I hold? That’s how much gratitude I can give. If I carry only grief, I’ll bend towards cynicism and despair. If I have only gratitude, I’ll become saccharine and won’t develop much compassion for other people’s suffering. Grief keeps the heart fluid and soft, which makes compassion possible.” – Francis Weller
(Thank you, Kim!)
I love to think that we are being “stretched large” by all the darkness and light that intermix in our days.
Life is filled up with sunrises like that one we saw on Monday. Literal and figuratively. And I’m just so grateful for a God of second chances and new days.