Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Our Separate Shells
We sat under a tent by the ocean. I read by lantern light while she listened. I in my oyster bed, mom in her argonauta. Each in different shells of life, we connect with the wisdom offered in this tiny book written nearly 60 years ago. Lindbergh takes us through the phases of our life's relationships. I get a glimpse of the future in her life; she can remember the past through mine.
I want to expound on what I've read. But I before I do, take a look at this portion. It reminds me of recent nights on the beach reading and talking with my mom. It calls me to pay attention to the need in me to relax.
page 94..."Evening is the time for conversation. Morning is for mental work, I feel, the habit of school-days persisting in me. Afternoon is for physical tasks, the out-of-doors jobs. But evening is for sharing, for communication. Is it the uninterrupted dark expanse of the night after the bright segmented day that frees us to each other?
Communication - but not for too long. Because good communication is stimulating like black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after. Before we sleep we go out again into the night. We walk up the beach under the stars. And we when tire of walking, we lie flat on the sand under a bowl of stars. We feel stretched, expanded to take in their compass. They pour into us until we are filled with the stars, up to the brim.
This is what one thirsts for, I realize, after the smallness of the day, of work, of details, of intimacy - even of communication, one thirsts for the magnitude and universality of a night full of stars, pouring into one like a fresh tide. "
This selection touches on something I recently read by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. She was talking about how, as mothers, we need to focus on winding down in the evening hours, facilitating an environment in which our family can relax at the end of the day. She acknowledges how difficult this can be, especially for a mother who is with her children at home all day. Yet endless busyness will inevitably lead to the fragmentation of our souls. So what do we do? I have a couple of ideas I want to try and see how the mood in my home might change. Retreat is something Lindbergh stresses. I'll share more in my next post.