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Solitude

August 26th, 2006

This morning, as the Kenny-man announced his intentions to start the day at 6:05 AM, after another late-to-bed night for the family, I started wondering if I would ever get to sleep more than 6 hours a night again this side of heaven.   Casey, the saint in blue-checked pjs, took pitty  on his poor, exhausted wife and took  Kenny and the Duds downstairs so I could sleep a little longer.   As luck would have it, the mind was already in a whirl, and sleep eluded my slumber-deprived brain.  

I ventured downstairs myself, bee-line for the coffee pot, and noticed that it was unnaturally quiet in the house.   Turns out, Casey took  “the boys” on a walk, and I had the place to myself…  a very rare occurance, indeed!

I took my coffee out to the end of the dock.   I haven’t sat out there in ages, I think, at least not in the morning, or by myself, or without feeling like there were 10 other more productive things I could be doing instead.   I just sat there, taking in the beauty of the morning; the wind was cool, breaking the humid air, the water was choppy and steely-colored, and sea gulls and ducks competed for  the  fish jumping in the waves.  

Did you know that solitude is a spiritual discipline?   It takes deliberate action to sit  quietly and contain your racing brain.   Any moments of “quiet” that I usually catch within a day are typically robbed by the Tyrany of the Urgent.   A Bible study leader I had once used that phrase to describe anything that captures your attention away from the solitude at hand,  and convinces you that whatever it is  needs to be done right now.   As in, “OK, I’ve got a half hour of quiet time to read.   But let me just throw in a quick load of laundry first.   Oh, I should unload the dishwasher, too.   Ok, ready to read… hm… maybe I should heat up a cup of coffee… and get a cookie… ok, find the book, settle into the chair… goodness, when is the last time I dusted this end table?   Let me do that really quick…   Well, since the duster is out, maybe I should just hit the bookshelves, too…” and on and on.   And the time is over before it begun.

This is the story for way too many of us housewives and moms out there.   But this morning, settled into the big adirondack at the end of the long pier, way too far away to even be distracted by getting up to reheat my coffee, I was all too content to sit in the solitude and take it all in.   I thought of all the joy in my life.   I prayed for my family.   I watched the show the seagulls put on with their nosedives after the fish.   I wondered who lived in the houses across the water from us.   And I breathed deep.

About half and hour later, Casey came back with our little crew, and they joined me out there in the wind and the cloudy sunrise.

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We sat together untill Kenny got restless, and giggled and watched the early morning crab boats come in.   Even Dudley was content, Master of the Dock…

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Mornings like this are so rare.   Nothing was urgent, nothing distracted us, no phones ringing, no need to do anything but sit.   These moments are the best of gifts.

2 Comments »

  1. Karen says

    I love your writing! It is so funny and interesting. Thank you for sharing your days with all of us other mommies. Even though my boys are a little older, I love reading about Kenny. It reminds me of all those wonderful milestones with my little guys. They grow up so quickly! I am so glad you are enjoying Kenny and that you had a few minutes alone today. It is definitely good for the soul, especially being by the water. Aren’t docks great!

    Karen 🙂

    August 26th, 2006 | #

  2. lisa brooks says

    The water is great but how do you find time to take it easy? I am a stay at home mom of four boys in the ages of 15, 12, 5, and 1 I have no time for myself, or any fun.   Could you give me some tips?  I think i may need some help whith findig the time to even let the boys enjoy life.   Our life is school, football, bill paying, doc appts. and doing just about every thing for my mother and father in law.ex. :???

    September 6th, 2006 | #

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