Monday night I climbed straight up the face of a mountain. It pulled at my breath and the incline made my muscles burn. It was a climb of utter desperation. My summer child care had fallen through (again) and my heart was unraveling. These children, my children, are the tiny pebbles of light I carry in my hands. More than anything, I would like to be there this summer. I would like to be the one who tells them to stop watching TV and go outside. I would like to be the one to get offerings of tiny violets and sparkling gypsum. I would like to be the one who puts sunscreen on their backs. I would like to be the one who is there every time the door opens and the door closes.
I sat on the dirt looking out over the valley. Utah Lake was glowing in the evening sun. And the tips of the mountains were still dusted with snow.
I said the kind of prayer I’ve been saying lately. Usually it just begins with a feeling that curls inside my chest. Sometimes it turns into words. Sometimes it turns into tears.
Looking at the blue sky that loves us all, I said what words I could: I’m here. I’m doing the best I can. It isn’t working. Why can’t I be their mother in the way I always imagined? Who can take care of them?
And then, in one of those coincidences that is likely just a miracle hiding, my phone buzzed with an idea and an offer and some help from an acquaintance in the ward.
Reminding me of the time so soon after my ex-husband decided to leave that I sat on the couch, staring. I lifted up my hands and said, I can hold it together, God, until 10:00 a.m. After that, I don’t know.
You’ve probably felt that way — when it hurts so bad that you can’t understand how you’re still alive.
While I was sitting and feeling my heart expand and expand with pain, there was a knock at the door. It was precisely 10:00 a.m. and on my porch was a friend with a purple carrot and an emotional reservoir that was large enough to absorb some of my ache.
And so I survived another day.
We will keep piecing together this non-traditional life, those two precious souls and I. Like Sarah Crewe says in A Little Princess, the worst thing never quite comes.
It never quite comes because our Mother and Father are in the flowers, in the earth, in the sky, in the hearts of people placed and positioned to catch us before we fall.
The temple bell stops–
but the sound keeps coming
out of the flowers.