“Every house should have a cat, not only to add to its dignity, but to mentor its owners in the grace of comfortable repose” ~ Blue Cotton Memory
For the very first time since I became a mom almost 30 years ago, I haven’t ever had a week where I’ve done nothing but rested. Vacations are wonderful, but as most of you know from experience, vacation with family is still work – making breakfast, pouring milk, cleaning up, washing and drying beach towels – all the daily stuff still needing to be done. It’s just home work moved somewhere with a beach view.
The last two weeks, though, I couldn’t lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. I had to rest if I got tired – literally doctor’s orders.
I planned ahead for this rest. My vegetables and herbs were planted. The flower garden was put in order, and my zinnia seeds tucked into the ground. The hammock was hung, the outside umbrella put up, the outdoor cushions cleaned, porch swept. I ordered books – not books designed to really made me think – but books like D E Stevenson where, according to many reviewers “nothing really happens” – and I put up my favorite teas.
I then settled in to do nothing but read, drink tea, rest.
“Mom, what’s for dinner?”
One of my sweet daughter-in-laws brought dinner one night. Toward the end of the first week, one son’s friend wanted cooking lessons on how to make my chimichangas, so I sat at the counter giving directions while he cooked.
. . . . and then two days ago I made beef stew and the aroma of home reached into the boys’ rooms, hinting of good things to come.
I’ve listened to the rain, the spring breeze in the morning sunshine. I’ve watched my spiderswort open in the morning and close at 5 p.m. The peonies are opening, and the hydrangea bush we’d transplanted in 2011 and almost didn’t make is full, ready to bloom beautiful blue soon. The zinnias seeds are about two inches above the dirt. The birds and their babies are settled in to their routine – their songs surround my home.
I’ve stretched myself to walk the length of the soccer fields – because our school soccer season hasn’t ended. No camera – just watching. The summer holiday began yesterday for my boys – but the soccer season isn’t over – and each game, I’m there – just watching and enjoying.
I needed this pause. I’d been feeling for quite some time that I just needed a stop, a rest, a grace-filled pause (not at all like the pause I had when I was hospitalized with pneumonia in February). This is a pause where I’ve been able to just breathe.
In this pause, the boys stop, sit a spell, and talk. They paused because I paused.
In this pause, I’ve untangled my humor, my laugh, my pluck from a strangling vine of sluggish exhaustion.
There’s always a silver lining to a cloud – this pause, this breathing, this stopping and steeping in graceful repose was the silver lining to this surgery I had two weeks ago.
One of the things I’ve always admired about cats is how they manage to find the best resting places – and stretch themselves out or curl themselves up – always graceful in their repose, never any rush or work-ethic guilt. Maybe that’s why God created them – to show us how to gracefully pause in a savoring, stretching kind of way.
I want to weave that into my daily – this graceful repose, this learning how to stop – to pause in the swift current of the daily.
At my check up the doctor released me to lift that gallon of milk.The boys are so relieved. I’m thankful for the lesson.