Friday, March 26, 2010

Sift and Simplify and Littlebig Things

I love simplification. Back up. I love the process of simplification. To me, that means things got a bit crazy in the first place. Can you imagine never knowing how it felt to slow down, to feel your breathing become softer than before and then to notice its rhythm, appreciating it almost musically? How would you know... how could you notice unless you knew its opposite? Simple times are learning times.

Crazy times. They are teaching times. So much input. So much complexity. Survival even. Though I would rather not live in crazy times forever, I honestly appreciate what they can offer; crazy times offer the assurance that life is multi-faceted, porous like a sponge and able to soak up one twist after another. Crazy times are like a magnet for more and more drama. Though I romanticize it a bit, it can hurt to see how bad or confusing life is capable of being.

What if crazy times never cease and simple times never arrive?

Here lies a piece of human beauty: we can sift out stimuli, if even momentarily, and emotionally simplify. How do you do it? I would like to hear what others do to find that peaceful island, that calm place in the middle of the raging sea.

I am not trying to say that I am in the midst of too much overwhelming craziness. Sure there are some things but life is pretty dang good. Still, I want to sift and simplify.

I have noticed little things that in their powerful placidity have the ability to  shame the noisy and tumultuous to be tame, and to leave, head hanging. These little things, as I call them, when thoughtfully considered, are not little at all. They may be common, they may be quiet, but they are potent and formidable, to the point of banishing all those "crazy-time" contributors.

Before I enumerate them, try and notice this subtlety in them - I would purport that the adversary (AKA Satan!) has tried to exploit all of these things in some way or another. Which to me is just another simple reminder of their inherent power and sanctity.

Here are some that I see:

Parenthood. How many people run and hide from this one, believing it to by synonymous with said crazy times!? NO!! There is nothing like being a mother. Nothing in the world. Its amazing to feel your heart start to grow the minute you realize you are going to be a mother. Little doubts (I still feel like a kid myself! I am too disorganized, too selfish, too whatever) are quickly obliterated at the realization that NO ONE is able to love this little one like me. Fear blasted into dust by the love that you have for your child. I remember the moment I stopped focusing on the fear and focused on the love in my heart. At that moment, this confidence permeated my senses. I knew what to do. I was 21. But I knew how to care for my baby. When number 2 was on the way, I had another moment of doubt. Could I love this one as much as I do the other. All I had to do was meet him to know that my heart had grown another cavity just for him. Laughter dissolved the fear that time. How silly to even entertain the notion that it could be otherwise. Number three, I was in the zone. I knew by then what hearts can do. Now number four is coming and I feel like a runner who has just passed the five mile mark. Yeah, its been an exertion but here I am still running and I am loving it. It feels great and those endorphins are kicking in. So much more could be said but I will let this segue into the next littlebig thing...

Sleeping babies and kids. I have probably taken hundreds of pictures of my children sleeping but no picture can capture how utterly angelic it is to see your baby sleeping. Trusting, innocent, divine, even their little faces are almost sculptural, the little lip shape, the slope of the nose, the sound of slow breathing. Heaven on earth.

Hugs. Not the awkward social kind where you are friends with someone but one or the other party is unsure at the meaning of the hug so you slap their back and half smile and then get the heck out of there. Nope. I mean the kind of hug that my husband gives me. You breathe each other in and you just know. You're home.

Here I will generalize a bit, as the specifics of this one vary from day to day. Nature. Sometimes its the rain that brings the calm, sometimes its the tiny bloom on a plant, sometimes its the full sun, others its the dappled light of tree filtered sun. Sometimes its the blue sky and other times its the purple sky. The ocean or the silence of snow between mountain pines. I see nature as God's living art, and being able to look at it, smell it, see it and hear it are like little gifts that truly do crowd out of the din of crazy times.

This week I will open the windows. I don't have a TV but I will shut the computer down, turn whatever digital distractions there are off and I will breathe in love and life and exhale worry and fear.

3 comments:

Myra Johnson said...

Beautiful...simply beautiful...
thanks...

McKenzie said...

wowzas stac, this was beautiful to read, and definitely put some of my future mommy doubts to rest. love you!

Myra Johnson said...

OK, here's one of our littlebigs.

With everyone rushing around trying to get ready to go in the morning, little 4 year old Amanda rushes into my bathroom saying, "I have to go potty!" For one thing, it's just cute seeing her little body sitting there. But then, to top it off, with the sense of rush that everyone's feeling, she calls to me with that soft, sweet, unrushed voice, "I just really love you Mommy." It made me just pause, breath, and turn to her and say, "I just really love you, too, Amanda."

aahhh..sigh.. life is good...

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