I am here today because I have a bunch of things I need to do and instead of doing them I painted my nails turquoise (Ever left on the kitchen table) and now they need to dry and I can't do anything I need to do without butchering the paint job. But I can type! So that's something.
A friend recently asked me what I have my kids signed up for this summer and basically I bought passes to our local water parks and that's what we're doing. None of my children mentioned they wanted to do anything in particular so this is the default I guess. We're going down water slides for the summer. WHOO HAA.
Maybe it's a lesson in courage? Bravery? Confidence? I don't know but I was raised Mormon, so I will have thought of a good metaphor by summer's end. Have no doubt.
God how long does it take for nails to dry? They're still goopy. This is why I paint my nails once every 1.5 years. I don't have space in my life to sit and wait for much to happen and if I do have that time, nails drying is low on my list.
But this morning I went for an early morning walk in the park and I was pushing myself to get some good acceleration in my legs, my mind screamed at me, "STOP." So I did. I stopped. And then I saw a tree not far from me with a wide net of shade. As if my mind and body and decided to override me (whoever "me" is in this scenario) soon I was underneath the tree on my back staring straight up into a wispy blue sunless sky. "NOW TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES" my mind demanded. My shoes came off.
"AND SOCKS" my mind repeated.
"THE SOCKS" I was clearly agitated with myself.
So I took off my socks and let my feet land on the long cold grass.
With my arms wide open and my head to the sky I lied in the shadowy embrace of that huge maple. The park was mostly empty except an early congregation of birds and a park maintenance worker cutting grass in the northern field.
I sat there.
There I sat.
I thought of nothing.
Then I thought about how I had recently read about a man with an internet gaming addiction had found that in rehab on a nature preserve he started to noticing intricate things like spider's webs and the patterns of leaves and realized this whole planet is so intensely strange and mysterious that it is a true wonder why we ever get bored or understimulated. But we do because we're lonely. We get lonely and shut ourselves down because it's too painful to feel rejected or without community.
And then I realized I was lying there all alone in a huge park and I felt less lonely than I have felt in quite sometime.
I felt completely embraced.
And I came to also understand that my job is to help others in my life feel embraced. Less alone. Called to, checked on, asking nothing in return. Like the maple did for me.
But, right now, I can only do this with humans that don't desire to change me.
And sometimes that feels like a very small pool of people.
But I can start with my own kids, my husband. Even Darla Kendrick the golf-ball chasing canine wonder.
And of course, I can do it with myself.
Maybe my five year old self asked to have painted nails today. Maybe I did it for her.
Anyway, they're dry now.
So off I go.