The clouds were horses, kicking up their great feathery tails across the blue sky. I watched those skipping mares as I hung the laundry on the line. Change is coming, they seemed to say. Change is coming.
I felt it.
The sky was warm and comfortable like blue jeans, faded around the edges, and the grass stuck to my feet in little bits because the lawn mower had beaten me to the backyard. All around was the scent of the wash, fresh and clean, and the song of the robin in the trees.
It was hard to believe that tomorrow, it would rain. Tomorrow, things would change.
I looked out at the horizon and thought about all the things I needed to do before it rained. The laundry was only half done. The yard was full of rakes and shovels and the pile of mulch was not much smaller than when I started that day. There was trim to be painted and a shrub to be trimmed and…
…and suddenly, I was so caught up in the change to come that I was no longer here. I was out on the horizon, where the storm clouds mount and gather their arms. I was so far ahead, wrapped up in the change to come, that I could not appreciate the blessing and goodness of this.
Change is coming, but it is not here yet. Here is where the blessing is that God has for this day. Here is where my home is, for a little while longer, and here is where my children sleep and my husband smiles and my neighbors call. Here is where God has put me.
Even though I know I am moving on, I am not there yet. I am here. But my temptation is to look so far ahead that I forget that my feet are not where my eyes are. I am not there yet.
I think to myself that this is why God leads me step by step. He knows that if He gave me a larger vision, I would look so far ahead, I would miss everything in between.
He wants me here.
So I dusted off the mixer that has been decluttered to some remote corner of my kitchen cupboards and made cookies when I should have been painting, and I called the kids around to have one when the chocolate chips were still gooey and warm.
“Mom made cookies?” They were incredulous, because Mom has been so far over there that she has completely forgotten about things like homemade cookies and afternoon tea.
Who has the time to make cookies when they’ve got a house to sell?
Not me. Not unless I remember that I’m still here, and sometimes, kids need a mom who makes cookies when she should be painting.
I found a bit of myself in that plate of cookies, and I reeled her back in. This is still where I belong, I thought to myself. Here.
Every few years from now until my husband retires from the chaplaincy, we will move. We will get orders for some new location and suddenly, our home will start to slip away to make way for a new one. The temptation for me will be to slip away with it, to close out chapters before they are complete simply because I know the title of the next one.
I should know better. The best parts of chapters often come at the end, and I don’t want to miss a word.
I don’t want to miss a cookie break with my kids, or a conversation with a dear friend on my faded green couch in the middle of a living room full of chaos. I don’t want to miss the lilacs that bloom in my front yard, or the opportunity to bring them in in great big bunches that fill up my home with spring. I don’t want to miss a quiet evening on the deck with my husband, when the sky becomes a canvas and the colors spill out over the water.
By evening, the laundry was in off the line and the clouds had covered up the sun. My tea flushed and steamed in the rush of cool air, and high in the evergreens, the robin sang his evening song to me.
Things are about to change, he said to me.
I knew it.
But for now, I am here.