A Day's Work

I find myself on the other edge of a night - closer to the moment of surprise when, nursing Oak, I glanced outside to see the round moon caught in the cage of budding dogwood branches. The laughter of playing children grew quieter; Oak's breathing grew heavier. Settling, the world dropped its shoulders and admired its work. I, too, allowed myself to step off the balance beam and fall into a more organic alignment, simply resting with my baby, content with what accomplishment I could attribute to the time since sunrise. As the sky darkened, I felt lighter.

I am sitting in the dark on the edge of my bed, already beginning to mentally measure the obligations of this new day, which still feels like tomorrow. These stolen moments of silence - when Oak is content to lay alone, when Robby's breathing from the other room leaves a small ache in my heart from the distance - are when I want to capture the moonrise of thought that sneaks up in a moment. My spirit whispers, "Write!" My mind races with anxious questions that narrow my scope. Can I get the work done tomorrow that I wasn't able to finish today? How will our family juggle sickness, childcare, work, community...rest? So, I type what is true and trust that making just a little space is a gift I can give myself in this time between days.

I hear Robby stirring in the other room - perhaps I woke him. There is a strange intimacy in darkness that brings everything closer. I can hear his movement like the taps of my fingers. Oak's sudden intake of breath is in my chest. These moments, like the moment of holding my baby close at the end of a day and trusting that I have done enough, throw into relief the power of moving one step at a time: noticing, not hoping. I will finish typing and turn off the screen. Sleep will return, likely in ample measure to sustain me through. This will not be the last glance inward I am offered. Everything is held within me - my work is always done, and not yet started.

Tears come to my eyes as I feel in my heart the innumerable parents cradling their children in the dark, the lovers forsaking sleep for a more physical union, the workers whose work will continue until sunrise: the body of humanity laboring away, making something new.

Robby comes to bed. Happiness is a full bed of sleepy bodies to warm you. I prepare to turn in again, to slip off the edge of knowing, to let my soul rest like the eternally evolving stars.