Sometimes when you need to clear your head, it feels really good to go for a long, meandering walk through the neighborhood.
In a similar way, it can feel good to write, just write, not compose or prove or delight or convince or entertain, but just write, to get things out.
Since Shawn has been working at home, it is harder for me to find space in the day to write. There is plenty of time to waste, and I waste it like a champ, perusing Midwestern house after Midwestern house through our new realtor's website. I have 58 houses cataloged away now as "my favorites," but (ironically) I don't like most of them much at all, and there is only one that Shawn and I are both mildly excited about, and even that one bears little or no resemblance to my "dream house."
So today, no houses. I made a pact with my eyes, which were burning and stinging by the time I quit last night, that I would not look at a single house online today.
It is strange that I cannot find a peace to write in. It is as though I have other obligations that I must manage before I write, and I do, but I don't (manage them). I feel slightly insane as I tiptoe around the house, trying to keep quiet so as not to bother Shawn at work in the dining room. I keep washing tupperware in the kitchen sink, starting laundry and forgetting it, wiping off the counter in front of the coffee maker, letting the dogs in and out, wiping their feet, giving them treats.
We are currently installing a prefinished oak floor in our bedroom. This means that our mattress and box spring are in the living room, leaning diagonally against the sofa while the foot-board from our bed leans on the love seat. Topsy-turvey is not my favorite. I derive a great deal of pleasure from rooms that are put together, neat and aesthetically pleasing. Order and aesthetics bring me a sense of peace. Perhaps this is why I so rarely feel peaceful. I am trying to be a trouper, but most the people around me would probably not know that.
It is cold for March.
That's what the boys keep saying. It's bitter cold. Of course, March is notoriously cold, and there is nearly always a blizzard during college basketball's March Madness. But still, it does seem especially frigid, icy.
Yesterday was a rare sunny day, bright blue above, gorgeous. But other than yesterday, the sky has been white-gray, the air full of drifting snowflakes, very soft, even when the wind blows. It is quiet, except for the roar of the wind and the sounds of teenagers coming home from school at 2:45 p.m.
The thing about March is that the days are noticeably longer. I love the light. I love the whole half of the year when the days are getting longer rather than shorter, just because they are. There is an enchantment about the evenings in March as I stand at the kitchen sink (I spend so much time at my sink) and look out the window which a month ago would have been black beyond, simply reflecting myself back at me through the cobwebby screen that I ought to pull out and clean. But, as if the thawing of God has begun to spread divine fingertips of spring across the land, my evening view is now pastel. Sky that hung white-gray and snowy all through the day, just before twilight lightens to pale, crystal blue as the delicate, white clouds separate, glowing with peach and golden tinges of the setting sun all around their edges. The gentle colors bathe my eyes in healing hues, and I feel as though God is swathing the world with bandages, comforting our community after the crime, stroking our souls with His beauty to let us know that He is here and He cares.
With our bedroom all in disarray, Shawn and I are sleeping in Shannon's room where the spring pastels continue. Pale pink, white, ivory all envelop us in walls, ceiling, fluffy pillows and comforters. It feels good in this room, innocent, simple, uncomplicated if flowery. Schubert loves to get out of his crate in the morning and nestle with me amongst the bedding while Shawn lets me sleep in and later brings me a mug of tea to drink while I read the Bible with the sunrise streaming through the windows behind me.
There is so much, so much. And yet, this morning, wrapped snug in a rosy comforter that was inexpensive to begin with and then laundered too many times, I felt so thankful, so very, very thankful. God is good, and spring is coming, and even if I have to sell my house and pack and throw a graduation party and move halfway across the country, I have moments when I can be still, feel beauty and enjoy the presence of God.