Honeysuckle in the Thicket

Let’s just start up again, casual-like, and talk about the garden this summer, and how the gnats are just so awful they’ll make a person mad, and let’s mention once more that the kids are growing up so fast (like weeds!) and we never saw it coming.

Because it’s all true, and sometimes the gnats really are all I can think about, when they’re swarming thickly in my face while I’m pulling thistles from garden boxes with a gloved hand. But in an unclouded moment, my mind wanders to where we’ve been these last 18 months, (the last four years spent moving into this place, really) and I finally come to rest on the right word: transition. I look forward and wonder what settled looks like, if it really exists. We can talk about that too, if there’s time. 

For now, the strawberries are putting out runners that promise even more plants next year, and my sunflower seeds have sprouted. There is a garage and workshop that’s taking shape next to the house, and a new bedroom and a second bathroom coming soon inside. (We give special thanks for this and hope it reduces much yelling and pounding on doors.) This week we’re stepping out into uncharted territory with two adults working away from home while O spends a couple of days with his grandmothers, and we look ahead to the fall when he will be learning in the home of wonderful friends four days a week. 

Between now and then, though, that boy turns 10, the new ceilings get painted, we read Harry Potter aloud at night together, we pack lunch boxes for work. We also begin a cancer journey with a dear sister, which lends a heaviness to the summer that no one could have anticipated and brings into sharp focus the preciousness of all of these normal things and the moments we have together. 

We have this one brief lifetime, made up of little snippets strung together into something bizarrely beautiful, unique and unrepeatable; a gift from God that we offer back to Him. As much as I’ve tried to writhe and punch my way out of the suffering bit, it’s there that I encounter Him best; it’s in my pain and disease that He comes close and changes me with his touch and words, with healing ointment made of spit and dirt.

To you and to everyone I say keep going--we'll make it through. Life is honeysuckle in the thicket, and it is so hard and so good and so beautiful and so wrong all at once and everywhere. But He is also everywhere, and He is with us. Take heart.