640pause

 

i thought i wanted to write to you about the ways i bring pause into our days as a family.  because i try to do that with the kids, i really do.  i want them to know that life need not be lived in a hurry; i want them to have tools for the harried days ahead of them.  but i know that the story i need to tell right here and right now is not that one.  the story i need to tell is the one about me, just me.  and, as i begin with these sentences, there’s an inner critic telling me i should write about the kids, not me.  but my heart is telling me otherwise.  and so…

 

these last few weeks, i find myself going to the garden.  and, for those of you who read my blog or follow me on instagram, i apologize for the return to this subject.  again.  i can’t help myself…the garden has become some sort of refuge for me; it pulls me and calls to me.  daily.  i feel such delight when i see it through a window, such delight when i move from house to backyard…and there it is.  flowers, glorious flowers.  cosmos and zinnias and four o’clocks and sunflowers and mixes of wildflowers that i don’t even know{and, yes, i could pull out the seed packets and figure it out, but i haven’t yet…i’m too drunk with visual pleasure}.  i had no idea how happy i would be when i allowed myself to plant fewer of the vegetables that i thought i should plant and, instead, planted the flowers that i wanted to plant.  {the kids are rather pleased with the flower to vegetable ratio as well, by the way.}

 

the other day, i had a difficult discussion with the kids at lunchtime and i felt depleted and disheartened afterward.  after the dishes were cleaned, i told the kids i was going out to the garden for a few minutes.  {and i know those of you with very little ones can’t just go outside and leave your sweet ones unattended.  but that day is coming, i promise}.  i took my camera and tripod, and stepped outside.  i went to the flowers.  somehow i knew i needed to make a photograph of me surrounded by all those beautiful blooms.  i was out there maybe ten minutes but it shifted everything for me.  i could breathe more deeply and i could think more clearly.  that break – that intentional pause – was just what i needed. it didn’t erase the conversation but it eased the difficult feelings.  it allowed for a different perspective on words exchanged and it opened my heart.

 

and so i guess this story really is about pausing with the kids, about teaching them to slow down, regroup, refocus…it’s about teaching by doing it myself, by setting an example.  i wasn’t thinking of that at the time, of course.  but i see it so clearly now as i share this with you.  actions speak louder than words, so the saying goes.  i can tell my kids they need to slow down in this highly-scheduled culture in which we live.  and i do tell them that, and i help them do it in various ways on various days.  but i also need to show them that i can do it for myself.  i need to pause too.  i need those moments alone…with the flowers, with my book in bed, with the slow shower.  i can teach them the importance of pause by embracing the practice myself.

 

and now, if you’ll excuse me, i hear the flowers calling…

 

from me to you, here and now…
michelle