I am reading on a Sunday morning and my husband is sitting in the chair next to me meditating or sleeping – I can’t really tell. I love mornings like this. Slow, light-filled, quiet. I love indulging in the open time, ignoring the chores we’ll have to get to so that we can be comfortable here in order to just be comfortable here.
One of my children moves around upstairs. I know because I hear their feet clomp out of bed and I can tell by the paces which one it is. They all wake in a daze, like their mother. They stumble about for a few minutes, their faces scrunched and their brows furrowed because they are slightly offended, if grateful, that the sun came out so bright again. Soft dropping steps make their way down the stairs. I see his hair first, all spiky and unkempt, bouncing down on the other side of the banister. He doesn’t really look up, just finds me via intuition and buries his head in my chest to be held first, before anything happens. Embraced into another day that wants him in it.
And I do. Want him in it. The earth does, too.
Burrowed in this moment is my son as he is today: two front teeth missing and an obsession with Minecraft; and my son as he was just, like, I swear, three minutes ago: a hairy bundle all squished in my arms with a scowl that made me love him more; and my son as he will be: a man I don’t dare to predict, but love to his very core.
And energy can’t be made or unmade so the light that fills the room now falls between the leaves of my favorite tree in the backyard of my childhood home, where I sit and pretend I am romantically wistful in my twelfth year like it’s possible. The same light fills the last day of a woman on hospice who will leave behind a grieving collective and untold secrets. It hits the backs of people carrying signs because they don’t know how else to carry their anger and hurt and bitterness and hope: their grief. The light that brings my day to me now as a quiet servant, is a tactless warden in my cold-tile bedroom in North Carolina where I open my eyes dissatisfied that another day has come. It’s a cruel gatekeeper to a beggar wanting in – into the friend circle that calls themselves a tribe or the relationship she can’t make work or the liberty and justice that was promised in his history books.
My son curls up next to his father and this is heaven if I ever could imagine it while hell seems too close outside our little haven on the sofa. In the streets of cities across the country, fires burn and nobody can say yet whether these are refining or destroying, but some can say they’re scared, some can say they don’t know where they’ll get their groceries tomorrow. Some call it a reckoning and others call it a disgrace, but some of us just call for help from Whoever Might Be Listening.
Help us heal and to be brave.
Help us to disturb the so-called peace and preserve the so-callers to our highest ability.
Help us to address our planks before attacking slivers.
Help us in these light-filled moments loaded with history and anguish, with hope on pins and needles, in these moments where the sun shines on happy children and forgotten alike, on the funerals of the oppressed and the oppressors – often in the same casket.
Help us to forget our swords on our way to our brother and re-member each other instead.
My other children join us and the day gets noisy. Requests and demands, squabbles and reconciliations, disappointments and protests. We make our way through messy days after sun-kissed mornings and I try to remember all that’s held in a moment.
That this is never all there is. That it’s always packed overfilling with our fire-singed memories and our highest ideals. That it is truly a miracle any of us can carry it, yet we do; every person a universe of experiences they do and don’t recall and we’re all here carrying it at the same time
I try to remember that we go from this moment into another hoping against our heavy cynicism that the light will carry Justice from wherever it exists and drop it here, now, too, like it carries a Sunday morning I can indulge in with my boy, joyful and eternal, even while the earth groans in labor and I don’t need a preacher to take in the sermon of this dissonance.