Within the Tension

It arises like a spark inside- that feeling that change is coming. The feeling of fall.
For a while the days flew by. I’d blink and the day would be over- where did the time go? Maybe it was the heat. Instead of making for long, languid days, it forced us to plan activities and errands in order to stay indoors where the air was cool. We did endless loads of laundry as our clothes became mired in sweat and dust and dirt.

Now, the change of season is upon us. Sunny, crisp mornings call for long walks up and down our street, taking our time, collecting acorns and berries and seed pods. I love this time of year when a hint of fall is in the air. Stepping out of the shadows into the sun, a delicious sense of warmth seems to arise forcing the chill out to the very edges of my skin, the hairs on my arms lifting in a delightful shiver.

We walk down our street and Casey repeats his ABC’s after me, experimenting with the sounds as they roll around his mouth and tumble and pop off his lips. He stops to lay in the grass and looks up at the sky.

“Bwoo,” he says as he points upward.
“Yes,” I say. “The sky is Blue!”
“Gwass,” he says, rolling over and pointing at the grass.
“Yes, grass! What color is the grass?”
“Geen!!” He beams with pleasure at knowing this simple fact.

It’s leaps and bounds. Every day he seems to know something new, say something new. I am in constant awe of him, in awe of how wonderful this life we are given can be. I love the marvelous sensation of rediscovering such simple joy in all the common, daily things I previously overlooked or took for granted. Playing with Casey, walking around with him as he explores the world outside is like having a memory that I can’t quite fully access. The players are blurry. I can’t quite remember where the plot takes me but my body tingles as it recalls the sensation of magic and curiosity, of being excited for whatever was next and not being afraid. It’s healing to find my way back to that place.

I couldn’t have predicted that motherhood would suit me so well, yet I am more at peace within myself then I have ever been- more accepting, more forgiving, more joyous in simply being. It isn’t always easy pickings but when the going gets rough, I’m trying to find better, more effective ways to communicate what I need, both with others and with myself. I find it’s a journey of yin and yang, of push and pull, of stop and go. I don’t think there is a mastery in motherhood because it is always changing, the relationship with your child or children always evolving. But there is a sense of mastery in being able to live within the tension of motherhood, manage the ebb and flow and inevitable frustration of constantly being on a learning curve. (Isn’t that really all of life?) It’s easy to admit when we feel on top of things, harder to talk about when we feel as if we are falling behind, and, underlying it all, a constant fear of what will happen when we are not able to protect and keep ourselves or our children any longer.

And so I allow myself to be embraced within the light of childhood as much as I can. I consciously force myself to slow down and take in the moment, allowing Casey to embrace and explore his own moments, take his time with each new discovery. I try. Sometimes, I get anxious and bored and angry and scared but I just keep on trying; take a deep breath and accept the tension of motherhood. I let the rough days roll on by; slog through the laundry and the dishes, the tantrums, the mess. I embrace the good days allowing the light of childhood to envelope me within its magic. In between, I turn to my mat, my breath, my art, my pen and most if all my family to help keep me grounded and whole, while i find the balance necessary to exist within the tension.
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