September 11. This day of chaos. Of catastrophe. It’s more about the calm now, isn’t it? (see how I’m working in all those Cs?) It’s hard not to reflect today. To feel a little bit slower or more thoughtful. There’s a kind of serenity in depression, I think. At least you know you’re not alone today. I’m in my house by myself for the first time in God knows how long. It’s like the feeling just before you dip your toes in a warm bath (not that I take baths), knowing you are about to find a moment, just a minute or two, of calm.
Our house has been full. First the 4 of us, then our au pair, then another au pair is living with us for nearly 6 weeks (long story), my parents stayed with us for 5 nights (8 in the house) and then David’s parents stayed nearby, along with a friend who we brought in to photograph the birthday and photos of grandparents and the girls. We only ever seem to have photos taken moments before we leave–oh look, it’s nana and papa on the couch with the girls and they are never any good. Hopefully we got some good ones this time.
It has been craziness and commotion for days. Even without more than an activity a day, just the process of moving here or there was, at times, overwhelming. We had about 35 people here on Saturday to celebrate Brenna’s 3rd birthday. I kept it as simple as possible–not much food to prepare that day–and it was lovely. I had texted Inja’s husband Brian to see if they could attend, but hadn’t heard back. The doorbell rang and Inja and her family was there. I literally started crying because it meant so much that Brian brought her and the kids. My parents got to see her, which was lovely. I think I’ve finally accepted this balance Inja has of living in the present with her quick-witted responses and her “removedness,” which isn’t a word, but hopefully you understand. Anyways, it was wonderful to see her. I asked our photographer friend to take a photo of us and said to her, “now you have to smile because your mom never says you smile.” Next thing I knew, she put her hand over my mouth and pretended to kiss me, which of course, was popular in making your friends laugh when you were 12. This was good.
There was this a moment during the party, when I sat down to eat and looked around at our friends and family scattered all over the deck and yard, immersed in conversation, watching the kids play on the jungle gym or in the yard, eating and drinking, enjoying. And I was keenly aware that the moment was good. It’s like dipping your toe in the bath again–there’s just the recognition of a life affirming moment. I love those. You know the saying “We don’t remember days. We remember moments.”?? (Cesare Pavese) I believe that. Sometimes I get scared that something will happen–that I will die. That David will die. Or someone else I love. I’m so thankful that if I had time to look back–5 seconds, 5 hours, 5 months–that it would be full of beautiful and touching moments.
Isn’t today a great day to reflect on those moments? Not where you were when you heard or how you felt when the walls or the people fell, but those moments that have come since that make us thankful to be alive.
Hugs and love to you today.