"You cleaning out the desk?" Jane says. Crouched over a bin of hand-me-down shoes, I look up at her too-tall twelve-year-old self perched there in the stairwell making her even taller. I smile, the sloppy grin of tired endurance.
"Yep," I say. "I finally cleaned out a drawer."
"Huh," she says.
There at the shoe bin, stapler and office supplies sprawled at the perimeter, I wonder how life can be such an intertwining of circles -- shoe bin, sewing table at my wrist, book with the torn dust cover leaned against bin, three-hole-punch littering tiny white dots at bin's edge. And somewhere there up the stairs, the old herculean desk I'm trying to empty and sell, tasks shattering down, thunder claps of urgency.
"I finally decided I just need to clean out a drawer a day," I say. "I've been so over whelmed I just can't even start."
"Yeah," she says, "better to just do a drawer a day than to do nothing at all and keep reproaching yourself."
"Yes," I say. "Just, YES. I can't seem to get a purchase on it, so -- a drawer a day."
"Good job, Mom."
"Hmm. Thanks, honey." We smile, that softness that releases crinkles at the corners of the eyes. And then we sigh, but really it's more like the very beginning of the next breath, and it's long and deep and patient endurance fills in all the cracks.
6309. We celebrate the birthday of our country and all the blood shed on our behalf with lovely picnics and family and friends.
6310. I steal away one lunch hour to meed a friend and visit as if heaven itself had opened to to invite us in.
6311. Craig and I enjoy a lovely dinner with a local pastor and his wife.
6212. I catch coffee and errands with my momma, errands really just another word for long streamers of conversation cast across the morning according to whatever the mood will lead. We both end up with wonderful finds at an estate sale.
6213. A dear, dear friend from college visits us with her mother and two children. She brings all the fixings to turn our pleasant picnic into a jaunty feast we will long remember. The children play, and we visit as if 20 years had not passed between us.
6214. I find breadcrumbs of encouragement in each conversations and more as I visit with the children and better yet with Craig. Somehow nourishment fills all the cracks and even burdens and urgencies fail to crush me with their weight.