If I don’t write a post, I’ll have broken a resolution one week after declaring it, so here goes. I have nothing to talk about. It’s 10pm on Sunday, Ryan is asleep on the couch next to me snoring, Annie is crying in her bed even though I’ve just fed her, and Ruthie is back down after having what I think was a nightmare that involved her stuffed duck. Said duck is now shoved under the bed and Ruth is reassured that mama Carrie will never let a duck, stuffed or otherwise, get my little Ruthie.
My goal for next week is to write about Christmas. I almost became a multi-millionaire, Ryan got (and still has) bronchitis, and Ruthie learned (and has probably forgotten already) that we need to give more than receive. More on that later. Hopefully. No, YES I say! MORE on that later, gosh dangit! Ugh, this is what happens when I don’t just write captions on photos. It gets scary.
Wanna know what else is scary? Me. And my thoughts, and my actions. Pretty much all of me. It’s been a couple months since we’ve been to church, due to weather and travelling and sickness, it just always seemed to never work out. And this is my conclusion: if I don’t make it to church at least one day out of the week, I start to become a little mean. I forget to give grace (to both others and myself). I start to dwell in the minutia of the day-to-day and become annoyed by it. I start to be less content and more envious. I start to close myself off deeper and deeper until it literally takes an act of God to open me back up. And sometimes that act includes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, so thank you God for giving those guys the talent of ice cream-making. And for a freezer for the ice cream, and electricity for the freezer, and spoons to eat it with, and for fingers when spoons are not nearby, and for legs to deliberately walk past the drawer with spoons straight to the couch to eat it with my fingers. It might just be the sugar from downing an entire pint, but man I do feel better. Or it could be from being thankful. They both have the same effect on me.
Update: Ryan is still snoring, Annie’s cry turned out to be a whimper and is quiet again, and Ruth hasn’t stirred. It’s been windy today and I just heard dry leaves swirl around and hit a window in the guest room. I immediately think it’s someone trying to get into Ruthie’s window, so throw the computer down, and run back there with my heart pounding in my chest ready to bust someone up.
Update: I’m back on the couch. She’s fine. I’m not, though. See 3rd paragraph.
So anyway, today was windy and beautiful. We girls spent as much time outside as we could, and, not gonna lie, I kept hoping Annie would go down for a nap so it could be just me and Ruthie. She’s cool on my chest and all, but without my little joey in my pouch, I can get down and dirty with Ruth. We found an area under the pine trees with moss and pretended it was our bed. I could have laid there next to her looking up at the sky forever. We raced to a tree stump and with a broken off pine branch complete with needles, used it as a broom to sweep off the stump, our new stage. I gave her a stick to use as a microphone and she insisted that it was only a stick. When she says things like that, it makes me want to throw all her “lifelike” toys away. We argued back and forth and eventually I gave up. She was right, after all.
At one point the wind blew so hard through the trees that we both stopped in our tracks and listened. I so desperately wanted for her to feel what that sound feels to me. It’s one of the most comforting sounds I’ll ever know. The wind.
One year in college was worse than the others. I used to internalize a lot, never talking of my feelings. Sadness was the first and most important emotion to be smooshed down in every dark crevice of my body. It would emerge as anger or too loud laughter or sarcasm or tears (during sad movies, you know, as a cover-up), but it was only shared very rarely with others. To combat it, I took many walks, sometimes everyday, on the Konza prairie trail right outside our little college town. I would run up the steep hills, I would linger near the barbed wire fence and watch the cows on the other side, I would recite poems, one in particular learned in a Spanish class, and because not many people walked the largest trail loop, I would say them out loud without fear or insecurity, and I’d talk to myself, both pumping myself up and tearing myself down. And I’d listen. To the wind.
I’d stand on the trail and listen to that wind until any mean thing I said to myself was whipped away with it.
But God meets you where you are.
Because even though I had stopped going to church and stopped focusing on what was good for me, I think He sent the wind to me on those walks that year. He sent it to push me up the bigger hills, to tousle my hair, to carry my voice with those poems, to dry my tears, and to block out any thoughts in my head good or bad, leaving me with the only option to stare at His creation and feel that I’m not alone.
Oh Ruthie and Annie, listen to the wind and hear how sweet it is.
More photos of the Konza on this blog post: http://windowontheprairie.com/2011/06/24/the-konza-prairie/
It’s almost time for bed and I feel eager for the coming week. I convinced my sister to do a bible study with me and we start tomorrow. I’m excited to dig deep in the knowledge that I no longer need a windy day to know I’m not alone. Good night!
Absolutely beautiful, Carrie. I know the Konza trails well and you have reminded me I need to return and feel the wind on my face!
I’d love to go back too. It truly is such a beautiful place!