“Nama! I wanna ge’ up!”
I sigh and roll over. It’s not 4 a.m. like it was yesterday, but it’s still dark. And there will be no quiet time again this morning.
I feel around on the bed for my robe, swing legs over side, and scuff the floor until my toes find slippers.
I step across the hall, and her smile spills sunshine.
“Nama!” She raises her arms.
I lift her out of bed and hold her hand as she walk-scoots down 14 steps. “Dark,” she says.
“Yes, it is.” I nod weary. My spirit’s been dark the last couple of days. Overwhelmed and discouraged.
Pulled apart, dis-membered and very, very tired.
Spent in the giving and the giving up.
And when is it my turn? Who will give for me?
It happens so fast.
Maybe it was the ashes scene in that movie that broke me to tears, and I remember a blue urn.
And the ashes fall heavy, and my breath comes heavy, and I think of time that sifts like dust.
Maybe it was the time change.
Maybe it’s just because the visitors knocked, and I invited them in for tea.
My spirit’s like a balloon, sometimes full and light and on top of everything–and other times deflated and defeated, flat like the pancakes Grace has requested for breakfast.
My shoulders sag when I flip the kitchen light. I’d forgotten that I was so tired last night I couldn’t touch one more dish.
The scent of garlic and tomato greets me. Dried goulash bits stick to white plates. A lone slice of garlic toast cradles in blue bowl. There’s a glass of leftover milk and one of orange juice. And a bowl of yesterday morning’s uneaten barley cereal.
And my mug–the one that reminds me His compassions never fail. That His mercies are new every morning. It holds cold brown.
I glance out the window and see a new day dawning all wrapped in pink and gold mercies.
Lillee’s playing with the cats in the living room.
I must go outside for a moment to smell and breathe Jesus.
The air dances to the music of chirps and trills. I hear a duck quack somewhere over by Lake Abby, and a couple of geese honk overhead. A train whistle sounds in the distance. Traffic, lights on, travels up and down the highway. If I close my eyes, it sounds like a waterfall or rushing river.
A robin stares at me not eight feet away, orange breast barely visible beyond my feet. I turn my camera ever so slowly, but it flies to the tree to greet the sun.
My heart flies with it, and I give it all up again.
And I remember that He gave it all up.
He gave it all.
The ashes swirl upward, light into the light.
I feel my spirit re-inflate as the bird puffs its chest and breaks out in song.
I raise my arms, and my spirit climbs on top of the mess within.
And His mercies, they’re new again.