Hi Friends, I spent last week in Canada cuddling with my newborn granddaughter. My friend Christi Snow of Honey Aplenty is filling in for me today while I regroup. She has some lovely thoughts on the poetry found in everyday things. I hope you enjoy.
While growing up, my family of ten children never went on fancy or exotic vacations. The rest of our lives were busy and chaotic enough. Every year we would stop for a moment, and travel to a simple, beloved place — a beach on the Texas Gulf Coast. Yes, we have heard that these muddy waters and seaweed sands do not compare to those in Florida or California. Still that never stopped us from loving it.
My Mother would say there is something for all of us. Room for the boys to run. Sun for sisters to tan. Waves to ride. A bit of fishing. Sand castles. Hermit crabs to chase at night. Shells to gather on long morning walks. For me, I often wrote and wrote, convinced and convicted that in the quiet came inspiration. Poetry to me was the purest form of written art; here it came easily and I was quite certain I could hear God’s voice as the waves folded and folded.
So last week it was a gift when my parents planned such a vacation and I got to come along for a few days with my own three children. It is a deep joy to see your little ones love what you love.
Even as I watched the welcome and farewell of the tide, I kept feeling something was missing. Something was different. I was not writing.
I had brought pen and paper, but it never occurred to me to remove it from my bag because I was too busy watching my boys splashing in the surf and keeping my daughter from eating sand.
Should I be sad? I was not writing; not doing what I loved. For a second, I was not sure what to think. Shouldn’t I feel regret? Was this waste? Was the poetry gone forever? Motherhood is watchful and rarely restful in any traditional sense of the word.
Then quite by accident I caught myself laughing and smiling. It was my children. The way my oldest grinned as his uncle pulled him through the waves, the realization that my daughter’s eyes were a deeper blue than either the ocean or sky, and hearing my middle-boy chatting about his appreciation for this big pool as he held his aunt’s hand.
Poetry. One definition describes it as “the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.” (dictionary.com)
As I sat petting hermit crabs with my son, I had an epiphany. Here is the poetry. I may not be writing it, but I am living it, even during the nose-wiping and diaper-changing. I am part of it, this beautiful composition of life with its sometimes unexpected rhythms. Today, it is so beautiful.
I ache until the very depths of who I am and bow at the beauty of it all. My thoughts fly sky-high and beyond. All that remains is a whisper of thanks for the found grace. Ah, yes. These moments are Poetry, aren’t they? Grand compositions full of eternal potential.
Is there any poetry more beautiful than the laugh of a child? The sound when love is given a voice.
One day, I may again sit quietly on a beach, listening to the waves. Words will find their way to paper in the form of verse.
For today, I will never regret experiencing the poetry all alive.
I heard these wise words from a fellow mother once: As a woman and a mother, you can do it all – just not all at once. For me, that means sometimes what I love is set aside for what I love most. This is not sacrifice. It is only loving something more; greater waves crashing a song I never could have written myself.
Yes, here is something for us all.