So “Fool for Love” by Lord Huron starts playing. Immediately I’m taken back to the sandy-toed drives of my youth, up and down PCH (the Pacific Coast Highway) and through Malibu Canyon and Hidden Valley. Drives with windows down and hair blowing and best friends laughing and sisters holding hands and citrus and sea salt in the air. Music blasting at volumes that would hurt the ears of babies I tow around now. It was perfect. Back then, and right now—in this moment—it’s perfection still.
I catch myself thinking, “Man, those were the dayssss” while staring out the tiny old side door into the side yard, where three littles blitz by. It stings, not existing there, as that Claire, in that place. It stings that my life isn’t that life anymore, that I’m not sixteen anymore, that my best friend isn’t my best friend anymore. That I drive a Honda Pilot instead of that Honda Element, so perfect for wet dogs and wet suits.
…I drift into the great unknown, but I really don’t know where I’m goin’…
At my huge, cracked, soil-stained feet an infant paddles around on the floor. The blanket she’s on was stitched with love by the grandma of a dear dear friend (sister, really). The little lilac shoots coming up outside the door are from my mother-in-law’s garden, she and dad dug them up for us and now they find new life in our side yard with perfectly filtered light #legacy.
…I stare into the endless sky…
Earlier we planted half of the veggies and herbs and pollinating plants in the southwestern corner of the back yard, where the close Colorado sun makes out with my soil ALL DAY LONG. Get a room guys. We were joined by another dear friend, and the same sun gently kissed the shoulders of all our kiddos while we swung under apple trees and sipped on Nespresso and dug and squirmed at the sight of giant earthworms.
…just tell me when you’ve had enough, I’m dangerous cuz I’m a fool for love…”
All the open windows beg the breeze through, bringing me back to here. To now.
Lord Huron’s still singing my jam, the jam of windows down and hair blowing. The jam of sweet scents and good family/friends. And then I think, “Man, these are the dayssss.” I spent the first half of the song escaping to a reality and scene that I thought meant more than the scene in front of me. I missed listening to good music in my car on PCH, instead of enjoying listening to the good music in the haven, the home, I have now. Right here.
What about those wonderful monsters who all blasted past the view out the side door? The MIRACLES?! What about the fourth little miracle at my feet? What about my feet?! Thanks God, for feet! Thanks for pedicures, too. And the soil, the fertile, ripe, ready soil? Soil harboring a world of roots, worms, water, and LIFE—yes, thanks for that, too. Thank You for a life that gets to harbor the love and company and laughter of good friends with good kids. Thanks for work to keep my hands busy so I don’t escape too deeply into the abyss of my brain bits. The lilac!? The in-laws, who love me as their own. The blanket and the hands that love my children and me enough to make it (thanks Grandma Hoksbergen, for the blanket and for your grand daughter). The Sun, so close and warm.
It’d be a lie if I let you believe that every day is good around here lately. In fact, the past two weeks have brought deep sadness, head-hanging sadness. Sadness over more loss of self (when Lord, will I have died enough?) Sadness at suspended purpose. Sadness at being tethered to a home I deeply love, but also deeply need TO GET THE HELL OUT OF SOMETIMES. Sadness laced with pride at the saggy body staring me in the mirror. Sadness (and joy) over changing energies and dynamics between my husband and me.
But the good music? The melodies that spark Life and Love? It still plays.
The poppies also decided to burst open this week. (Guys, God is an artist among many other things.) And when florists see poppies, they feel things. Deep deep things. This is a picture of the arrangement I made with the garden goodies this week. Sometimes I feel like the poppy gazing up, embracing all its poppy-ness. Letting the Love fall gracefully on her orangey-red goodness. Sometimes I feel like the one with head-hanging sadness. The cool thing is—they’re both poppies, and they’re both Good and Beautiful. (Actually, low-hanging blooms are all the rage right now.) Neither one is more of a poppy; they both contribute equally to this arrangement.
…I’m humming like a revved up truck, never mind the odds I’m gonna try my luck..
If your head is hanging today, it’s okay. It’s beautiful, like PCH, dirty feet, and poppies are beautiful. If you’re resting in the goodness and able to look up, staring at it all in the face, that’s beautiful too—like old friends, lilacs, and poppies. Yesterday could’ve been a shit day, and maybe you wanted another reality, another self. Or no, maybe that’s today? Maybe that’s the last four years?
The music’s been playing, even if you can’t hear it right now. I will pray for a moment’s respite from the darkness. I will pray for the close Son to meet you, burning away the fog so you catch a glimpse of the purpose and the Love surrounding and pulsing through you. The song is beautiful now, just like it was back then. Your life is Good and Beautiful NOW, just like it was back then. YOU ARE GOOD AND BEAUTIFUL NOW. It’s all so gut-wrenchingly Good and Beautiful…
WE ARE GONNA MAKE IT!!