By Beck

It’s been a confused couple of days, weather-wise – for much of the day, we have clear blue skies and rather intense heat (a balmy 24c!) and then all at once the sky turns dark ominous grey and we’re in the middle of a thunderstorm. The rains don’t help, though -the bush to the north of us is on fire, and the trees here are heavy with dust and shriveled and we are on, it goes without saying, an severe fire ban. The short battering rainstorms aren’t enough to raise the level of the river, which is low and brown and brazen birds sit on the newly exposed riverbed and cry out as I walk by.

It’s easy to feel like that as a mother sometimes – used up, burnt out – and earlier this week I had a fairly melodramatic O Woe Is Me session: the kids always need new shoes, supper must always be made, homeschooling my kids is HARD, the house is a mess and for some reason it’s MY job to clean it up, and on and on, this moaning litany of how dreary everyday life is.

Water bombers fly overhead everyday right now, going north to the fires that rage and burn.

In November, when my youngest child collapsed in front of me, I thought I was seeing the end of everything, thought I was seeing my whole life turn to ashes in front of me. Over the next couple of days, I couldn’t look at her enough, hardly able to believe that she was still here, still safe and sound and it took me months to finally shake off the shuddering horror of all of it. Now we walk by the dried-up riverbed and the brazen birds fly up, sunlight glistening on their wings as they soar upwards and she peals out laughter, like a bell that rings daily to remind me that this everyday life is something that is ephemeral and passing quickly, a brief and common miracle. And it’s raining again right now, water falling on the simmering ancient forest, rain falling on the birds flying away to someplace I don’t know.

6 Responses to Upwards
  1. Nicole
    May 20, 2010 | 6:15 pm

    Sigh. That was lovely and wrenching. Everyday life can be dreary, and sometimes that dreariness is comforting, sometimes not.

  2. Omaha Mama
    May 20, 2010 | 7:04 pm

    Wow. Lovely and sad and everything all at once. I’m glad that you still have your words, no matter how dried up you feel. I so enjoy reading what you write.

  3. ed
    May 20, 2010 | 10:48 pm

    this was moving. you set me up. you started talking about the weather like you were making small talk and then you hit me with that river image, a symbol of life on this planet. the last sentence of the fist paragraph felt like you were opening up. then your child and time racing the rain falling. what a treat. what a deep read. thanks for this little gift this evening. i won’t read anymore blogs tonight. it can only go downhill from here.

  4. JoAnn Hallum
    May 21, 2010 | 12:14 am

    Goose pimply. THe last line. Wow. It’s like unfinished business, impossible unfinished business. Where do the birds go?? We need to know, it seems like we must know…but…we don’t.

  5. Sock Girl
    May 21, 2010 | 9:48 am

    Lovely post.

  6. Sara
    May 25, 2010 | 7:49 pm

    Another really good post, Beck! You’re awesome.

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