by Ashley Weeks Cart
Lazy evenings on the porch, rocking in a rocking chair, waiting for the air to cool.
Watching the girls play in small inflatable pools, wet grass caked across bare bums, fingers like raisins, the atmosphere filled with squeals and giggles and the splashing of water.
Toes in the grass.
Skin sticky. Body heavy. Mind cloudy. Feeling no greater relief than that of an ice cube on the brow and closed eyelids.
During these moments I feel a sense of calm. A moment when the world stops and everything feels exactly as it should, however briefly.
Nothing but an ordinary day. The simplicity of the moment.
I note to James that these daily vignettes are some of the happiest of our lives. Our children so young and free from the burden of experience. Our parents alive and well. Our family life just beginning in our very own home. Even in the face of Ursa’s illness, I feel fortunate. She’s here. Her spirit is back. We are together.
I wanted to remember this feeling. For always. So I’m writing it down. So that the next time life throws a curve ball (because it will, it always will) I can hide out in the memory of these words, of these moments.
Courtland’s babysitter, a woman who has woven her way into the fabric of our lives, found out on Friday that her husband, a man of only 38 years, has leukemia. This is the very same woman who suddenly and tragically lost a child when he was only two years old. This is a woman who has had to bear much more than any one soul should ever have to endure, and yet the curve balls keep coming. And her attitude and spirit shine in spite of it all.
The least I can do is stop to appreciate all that is good and right and joyful. While I have it. While we all have it. Because it is always there, even through the clouded lens of heartache, often easiest to feel during what is disguised as the mundane experience of daily life.