Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Myriad Messes

Lush soil pools into the palms of eager toddlers.  More dirt spills onto the tabletop than the containers for transplanting seedlings, brimming with the promise of smooth-skinned eggplant, tasty tomatoes, dark green zucchini, broad basil leaves, and sweet Mediterranean melons.  The bare wood floor seems to sprout a dark brown carpet under the footfalls of enthusiastic tykes.  I pull out the vacuum and vroom about the kitchen.

Joey tips a spout.  A stream of water pours into an advancing puddle, which threatens to overtake the available space on the table.  He adjusts the watering can and soaks the soil engulfing tiny sprouts, instead.  I blot the liquid spread with cotton cloths and ring water into the sink.

We return the trays to the covered porch, where sunlight slashes slits onto the baseboard, and keep them in a well protected location.  Ezra chases bubbles that Joey creates with a sticky wand.  Bubble solution trickles down the canister, crosses over fingers like cars over speedbumps, and drips onto the gray porch boards.  Inside, Ezra takes a turn and spills soapy solution on the floor.  Miniscule bubbles froth and foam as I wipe them up. 

Tension tightens my shoulder blades, then froths and foams inside like the bubble solution.  Motherhood is constant motion; there is never enough time to finish the tasks at hand.  Taking time to teach my sons life virtues and skills saps my own patience now and then.  It reminds me of the human propensity for messes.  Do you ever feel tension mounting and patience dwindling, friend?  Do you ever feel that there are more messes around you than not?

Each day holds ample opportunity to make a mess.  Sometimes, we moan and groan and make it worse.  Other times, in quietude, we clean it up.  Either option has varying results, depending on our bearing.  Sometimes, just pausing and reminding ourselves of the direction we want to take can make a huge difference.  A difference that, when internalized, can also impact the world.

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