It’s a strange thing to observe that no matter how chaotic things seem to be, we busily organize and sort and set patterns in our lives — and experience joy in the midst of it.
Feelings are relative. Though a week ago, I was so sad to lose my home, all the familiar feelings of general complacency and satisfaction return without there being any actual change of circumstances. The facts are the same. We’re homeless, jobless, and displaced. But my feelings are just as comfortable as a sunny, fall day I may have experienced in my own home after kissing Paul at the door before work.
Aren’t we buoyant?
I’m happy to see our children bounce like we do.
My dad spends a great deal of his time at the computer, working in his home office. After spending the week at my parents’ house, the girls set up their own private offices around him, sitting primly, talking grown up, straightening papers, recording bureaucratic nothings on paper, filing papers, doing calculations on the calculator, and answering the telephone. When my mother gave them a notebook with white pages of perforated receipts backed by yellow papers that duplicate whatever they write, she said the excitement was akin to a Christmas morning.
No money was spent. I think my mom found it among a stash of things. It was a nothing to her. But treasures come to those ready to receive them. And children are so receptive — joy is always at the ready.
It doesn’t seem to matter that my children ask, “Which home are we going to tonight?” Or, “When will I get to play with my toys?” Or, “Do we have a home?” They settle in to play in earnest and happiness is found at every turn.
I find myself following suit. Yesterday morning, I produced Swedish Hotcakes in my sister’s kitchen and felt that sweet pleasantness of domestic felicity as I plopped them onto the center plate between the seven siblings and cousins. They greedily ate until they were stuffed and looked … loved.
They are. It’s important to remember these things, the love for your children and family, the closeness and happiness among you — we should meditate on them. Why are facts of health and love so often dismissed while we dwell on the other facts of work and homes?
Today, I organized my room at my mom’s house and did some loads of laundry. I lovingly folded things up and ordered the girls to — just as lovingly — lay them neatly into their cardboard boxes.
It’s nostalgic — like playing house or the Boxcar children. Creating my own little home in the midst of theirs has its challenges, but I keep finding myself being surprised by joy. I’m happy in chatting with my mother or sister, in seeing everyone in their home and being in their home.
Peace always arrives on the heels of joy.
Elsa has had three days of daily doubles in Camas volleyball. She’s already loving it. Paul secured a mini-interview with Jefferson County and a full interview on Thursday in Bend. Obtaining a job in either of those places would mean another move, another change.
A week ago, these worries were giving me headaches and causing me to stare at nothing while my kids clamored for my attention.
Today, it’s que sera, sera.
Nothing is actually different. The facts remain the same. But my feelings are vastly different and I’m very deeply grateful.