What a lovely morning I have had so far! Last evening, I had the best dinner out with my mom, all my brothers and their wives, my husband and my brother who celebrated his birthday yesterday. I was so contented when we got home that I went to bed at a reasonable hour, and thus woke at around 6:30 this morning. It is going to be hot again today, so I spent about an hour watering my flowers, checking my garden for progress and just enjoying the sounds and smells of a lovely late spring morning.
Then, I came in and just looked at my sleeping children. My oldest boy, nearly 14, still shows the little chub I used to have, but only when he is asleep. During the day, the little boy is mostly hidden. But this morning, I could see him at 3 years old, at 7 years old, and strangely, what he'll look like at 20 years old. There is something so mysterious about the sleeping face.
Then on to my 12 year old daughter. Soundly asleep in her typical caddywhompus way - legs bent up as if she were sunbathing, arms askew. She has slept like that since she was itty-bitty, and I remember trying to straighten her out, thinking she looked very uncomfortable. This morning I don't even touch her, barley making any noise at all, because I don't want her to wake up and wonder what I am doing, staring at her in her sleep.
On to the boys room. They are awake early, too, but have such sweet sleepy faces I just have to stay awhile in their room and have a quiet conversation about the wonderful sleep they just had, and what might be good to have for breakfast. Now they are already out riding their bikes, as the other children still sleep.
The little girls' (not little, but 11 and 7) room is half empty, as the 11 year old is staying with cousins this week. My seven year old is sleeping in her older sister's bed, to feel less alone.
On to my room. I get the pleasure of my littlest daughter coming in every morning around 3:00 am. A whispered, "Mom, can you scoot over, please?" alerts me to her presence as she climbs over me and settles in. She is like a little puppy, melding into my very form, and no matter where I move, she scoots into me. After I get up, she sleeps quite a bit longer, and she still looks like a baby.
I used to feel put out when the little one's would come in my bed. I didn't sleep as well, and woke stiff and sore. I would always let them because I felt they needed it, but I didn't realize I needed it. Now I do. I need those sweet hours of quiet closeness. I need their closeness to be so absorbed by me that when they are all grown and gone, I can still feel it.
After all that, I went into my icon studio and practiced mixing my paint for the flesh tones. I used to buy them from another iconographer, but now I am going to mix my own. It went well, and I am one step closer to being ready for my class. Glancing out my window, I could see my St. Francis statue, my shade garden, the blue and mirrored decorations I have in the woods to reflect light, and I just had the most complete sense of satisfaction. My icon studio is my haven. My icons, candles and incense remind me to pray when ever I am in there. My children are all close, safe, and comfortable. I am working on my icon writing skills, after spending time in my garden, and have a steaming mug of coffee and a biscotti sitting next to me. My dear husband comes in just then so say goodbye as he heads off to work. A soft kiss, a tight hug, and he is off. I just cannot think of anything that is missing from my life at this time. Thank you, dear Lord, for this consolation, this lifting of the veil to show me just exactly how well loved I am.
Thank you for all your gifts and blessings, and for assisting my in my daily struggle with moments like these. Your abundance overwhelms me!