So, yesterday I took a day off of the endless work of running crazyacrs, and gave myself a summer day of my dreams. It began early, before 5:00am, driving 2 of my children to begin a week long choir tour in for a choral festival. This was a first, as my children haven't ever gone away from home without a parent. It is the first time of many, I am certain, but a first, non-the-less.
After waving goodbye to them, I drove home in the most lovely early day so far this year. 68 degrees, sunny, puffy white clouds. Warm air was coming in my open car windows, tinged with a refreshing coolness. Upon returning home, the house was still very quiet, and I made my favorite breakfast of toasted English muffins with butter and orange marmalade and a cup of strong coffee. I used my favorite mug and dishes, mismatched blue and white china pieces from the thrift store, carried them outside to my little settee in my front garden, and just soaked in the day as I consumed the food. I have worked for three years, creating the space to sit and relax in the front garden, yet haven't yet enjoyed it. Today, I finally did. I have a wren nesting in my garden area. Apparently the nest now contains hatchlings, because I witnessed the parents bringing a continuous supply of insects to the bird house, followed by the sweet, tiny chirps of the grateful baby birds. I made certain my babies got their breakfasts, relished their "chirping", then completed summer school with my elementary students. Despite the negative connotations of summer school, we had a delightful morning, reading, coloring, and writing.
After a quick lunch, the children scattered to various pursuits of summer fun, and I retired to my patio, with my lunch. I made myself the most fabulous avocado salad, brought out a pitcher of mint water, my current light fluffy book (Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy) , hauled out my chaise lounge ($5 at the thrift store ~ SCORE!), and proceed to spend a very delightful couple of hours soaking up the sun, reading, eating, drinking and relishing the ability to make real a dream of a day.
Then it just kept going. The kids entertained themselves most of the day, except for the board game we played, and after dinner when we played ball in the back yard, with squeals of delight ~ we just don't play often enough around here!
Dinner was a delicious but simple chicken salad sandwich served with pineapple. The salad was made with mayo, onion, chopped pineapple, curry, ginger and salt and pepper. I toasted bread, fried up an egg for each sandwich, and assembled the sandwich with the chicken salad, fried egg, cheese slice, and lettuce. It was fabulous. (I used the fried egg in the sandwich to stretch the chicken. I wanted to put in chopped boiled eggs, but that would take too long, so I just fried eggs and it worked quite well.)
After the satisfying summer day, the kids were tucked into bed, and my husband and I retired to our patio with a candle, a bottle of wine and cheese and crackers. Finally reconnecting after a very busy week, just the two of us reviewing our days, our children, our marriage.
And this is the mercy of God. Yes, there will be suffering, but there is always beauty. Always. And I praise God for showering beauty upon me yesterday, a healing balm to a weary heart.
(artwork from my daughter, done a few years ago. I returned home after a refreshing walk, and found this on the white board)