Learning about showing up / by Christina Rosalie

A week of waking up, stumbling to the shower, making my way to the coffee pot and out the door just as the pale fog is lifting. I drive along the dirt road, the gravel slick with mud from the evening rain, and watch each how the leaves are turning. Now, at the end of the road all the maples are golden. I want to hold my breath. I want to slow things down enough to be able to drink up the beauty of the early morning light falling on the backs of grazing horses, and the mountain rising up tall and humble from the patchwork of trees like an old monk seeking alms. I want it to go slow enough to remember the breath of my sleeping son, eyelashes long and delicate in the first light of dawn.

I turn at the end of the road, onto the highway full of cars and make my way towards the brick school building where I work. I love it there, as much as I can. Some days my heart feels tightly wound like the pieces of an old pocket watch, and I tremble thinking of my little boy at home. Thinking of how my life now is like a grapefruit, torn up into sections of bittersweetness. But I’m growing used to the rhythm of this—getting up, leaving, doing what I am good at, and returning in late afternoon. Often I come home to my two guys sitting in the back yard in our two lounge chairs, side by side, sun splashed and handsome. I try to shift gears, feeling an internal lurch: longing for down-time, for solace, and then throwing myself full-throttle into the daily act of devotion that is raising a child and loving a husband. Some days DH and I reach out and touch, hold each other, drink each other up hungrily, and laugh. Other days, we have nothing to give, and in our emptiness we starve eachother. We bicker and get snappish. We hold on to little things, and forget how much we love.

But I am learning to be patient with time. Learning that things will come to fruition and fall into place if I give them space to do so. Like the morning poems I’ve been writing. I start with a handful of scraps, a few random lines still drenched in the half-consciousness of dreams. If I’m patient and I return to these lines later in the day, I find small gems I rarely expect. Things I’d never think of if I wrote later in the day, when impatience and busyness saturate my pores. So I’ll keep showing up next week. Showing up at the page. Showing up at the now of my life.