I broke a promise despite the advice of mentor whose wise words I take very seriously. She warned, “Never make a promise you can’t keep,” but I did anyway.
I promised you, faithful readers, that I would publish my writing at least once a week. I had grand ideas to continue a series of essays on redefining the vocabulary of faith, big plans to interview other writers and thinkers, and every intention to share my notes from the road on the journey across the country from Connecticut to California.
But (yes there’s a but)…the details and responsibilities of parenting and partnering overwhelmed me. The transition of a cross-country move required careful attention and an extra dose of TLC for those I love most. Creating a comfortable nest where they could find solace and security amidst the vulnerability of change meant that I was making more trips to Ikea than any one person should make in her lifetime (and I love Ikea as much as the next person)–not to mention the extra runs to the supermarket for milk, a staple I always manage to forget.
Then there were new school tours, and new patient visits at the pediatrician’s office, and well…you get the idea. I had more to do than hours in a day, so I prioritized. And as is often the case, writing time ended up on the bottom of the list.
Now that we’re beginning to settle into our new life and I don’t get lost every time I step foot out the front door, I’ve begun to carve out time for exploring. On a recent expedition in my new city, I realized that unfamiliar surroundings both inspire and terrify me. And I have something to say…a lot of things to say, actually.
“So today’s the day,” words my ten-year-old recently exclaimed, that I will write about it. I hope to do so regularly, but instead of making a promise I can’t keep, I’ll promise to keep trying and to begin again everyday, thankful for grace. Today I will share a poem by the same name which I wrote earlier this week. In the meantime, thank you for reading and commenting, and for not giving up on me!
The fog that obscures the view on most days
lifted this morning of my wedding anniversary,
the day I pledged my undying love to the one who walks beside me,
and offers me grace upon grace upon
I left my house on the hill where streets
are lined with leafy oaks and luxury cars
and neighborhoods that boast excellent public schools
fully intending to pamper myself,
even though I do not deserve it.
I stopped at a bakery on the corner
of an unfamiliar street where the aroma
of baking bread wafted while I listened
to new neighbors speaking in tongues I could not comprehend
but understood to be the language of life.
Bread in hand now, I wished good morning to a man
on the street who sat with his worldly belongings
feeding a tattered dog out of the palm of his dirty hand
before I entered the salon, greeted by friendly Thai ladies
who washed and polished my feet like new.
Thank God for second chances I thought,
rounding the bend still clutching the baguette,
its earthy scent luring me back to the man on the street
whose gentle eyes showed mercy when he said, thank you sister,
taking the bread from my outstretched hand.
Uphill and homeward bound I was born again,
baptized at the source of Love eternal
who asks nothing more of me than to go
and do likewise.