the hum and rush

Something is brewing in the air here in Georgia, everywhere it seems. Our neighbors to the south and the east are prepping for Hurricane Irma, and we are prepping for whatever is left of her when she makes her way a few miles northwest to us. It’s always hard to know exactly how anxious we should be in situations like this. Truth be told, we never really know what’s coming.

Against this backdrop of potential disaster, we are doing the everyday things required of us. My school year is in full swing. I know many of their names and faces by now, and the first set of essays will come pouring in this week. The kids have settled into their routines as well. Wednesdays have us going straight from school to ballet to the soccer field with no time in between.

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I pack snacks and water and rely on the slow cooker to have dinner ready for us when we walk in at 7pm. It’s so hard to find that balance between being sure they are enriched and active and pursuing what they want yet not overbooking us to the point of exhaustion. I rely on little things to set the pace and give us routine in the chaos – dinner at the table and nightly routines and leisurely walks to the bus stop in the mornings. But I think I need to just accept that some seasons are busy. Late November will slow us back down when soccer games are behind us and chill is in the air with earlier sunsets and soup on the table.

A longtime friend of mine created an online retreat with seven days of journals and meditations, and I have been making my way through it this month in the early morning quiet hours before the rest of the house is up. It’s structured around 7 women who made history turning their own struggles to something beautiful for the rest of us, and day 6 focuses on Anna Julia Cooper. I wasn’t all that familiar with Cooper before, but she published a book in the nineteenth century that characterized her idea of God as a “Singing Something” and a divine spark in each of us. This idea resonated with me so much – that song we can all hear if we are paying attention. I even wrote about this before in the last days with my grandmother, how it can sometimes feel like there are two tracks playing in our lives, the everyday tasks and the real melody that creates the whole dance to begin with.

It’s harder to hear in seasons of relative ease and routine, but disaster of any kind – whether it is personal or global – tends to wake us up to that song. It’s also Anna Julia Cooper who tells us “One needs occasionally to stand aside from the hum and rush of human interests and passions to hear the voice of God.” That hum and rush is loud sometimes isn’t it though? I’m realizing that I need to carve that space of silence in my days somehow or it’s not going to happen. It’s been two weeks since I’ve written here for that very reason.

I’m looking ahead at the season in front of me as a challenge to listen beyond that hum and rush of the everyday, determined to find pockets of silence in my day to write or read or think. Or maybe just listen to that Singing Something that always steadies us with the vastness of the whole perspective over the busy tasks of everyday life. There’s always something bigger when we listen.

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5 thoughts on “the hum and rush

  1. Thanks for this post, I may have to check out the book written by Cooper, it sounds quite interesting. I need something to get me reading again. Enjoy fall and how the hurricane wears out before it gets to you.

  2. Joseph H Hanson

    Does the rush ever end? At the moment I feel like I’m merely trying to survive. If we were to look at Maslow’s higherarchy of needs I wouldn’t even be on the first rung, I’m just trying stand up.

    Anyway, I came across your writing due to an article you wrote in 2015 talking about your experience processing your ex husband’s abandonment. I am going through a similar experience at the moment, except it was my wife who left me for a girl 12 years younger than me. I googled “wife left me for younger woman” your article was the first result. It doesn’t seem like there are too many men in my position, but a lot of the feelings and emotions you described are very familiar to me. Granted, I don’t have friends telling me how pretty I am compared to my exes new girlfriend. She is definitely prettier than I am.

    But here I am 32, 3 toddlers, and trying to find answers through “Google.”

    I’ve never posted on a blog, but I wanted to let you know that your writing helped me know I was not alone.

    Thanks.

    1. So sorry to hear this, Joseph. But thank you for this comment. It does actually get easier from where you are to where I am. Way way easier actually. I might be busy, but it is manageable now – as opposed to the barely standing up early days. I get exactly what you mean. I only had two toddlers, and I was barely hanging on. The fact that you can type this message right now (and even have a little humor in that) means you are doing above and beyond. Truly. There is absolutely nothing harder than managing your own emotional wreckage while parenting kids. It is the hardest.

      Hang in there. I’m happy you got a little solace from my story, but I also hope you may have read a little further to see it gets better on the other side. You’ll get there, too. I know it. Love to you and your kids. ❤

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