Does it count as a meditation when it is whizzing around in your head so fast that you barely catch of glimpse of the thought? Is it truly autumnal if it has nothing to do with the season, but does happen to occur in the fall? No matter. I liked the title. I’m going with it. And I do love fall…and thinking…and, you know, sharing….
I remember standing on the high dive at the public pool in Gainesville, Florida when I was about 10. I’ve never been a dare-devil and I don’t really like heights, but I was a good swimmer and my friends were jumping off the high board, so I decided to do so as well. I got to the top, then to the end of the springboard, and then…then I began to wonder if jumping was really the best way down. I looked down, then out (I’m pretty sure I could see all the way to the Atlantic ocean 75 miles away, it was so high), then back at the ladder. Where my friends were. That’s how I feel now. I’m pretty sure I have the skills I need. I’m also pretty sure that I want to do it. But the water is a long way down. And a book is a really big undertaking. Yeah. A book. I know. Now that I’ve written down what could pass for an intention, I really have to do it, don’t I? Because peer pressure is what got me off the diving board too. I jumped. I wasn’t the most graceful diver – in fact, I didn’t dive at all, but I also didn’t make a fool of myself. I didn’t ever learn to like the high dive…and maybe the book thing won’t work out either. But I feel compelled to try. So, right now I’m standing on a bouncy plank of fiberglass trying to determine what terrible woes can befall a few fictional people I’m in the process of getting to know. Or maybe the woes won’t be terrible. People are easy for me, but plot? …not so much. And unlike on a diving board, the fall is going to take a long time once the actual jumping takes place.
And in the meantime…things are weird here. They’re good: don’t get me wrong, things are going well. The kids are doing well in and enjoying school and their respective activities. We all have friends in the neighborhood, at church, and in the community in general. We’ve had a few disappointments this fall, but they haven’t been tragedies, and we’ve been okay. So why weird? I’m not sure I even know. Oh look, I came up with another line from a book to describe it. I “sit here…with a tremendous sense of things brewing.” (Elswyth Thane’s Dawn’s Early Light, if you’re interested.) I’ve, in turn, been very excited, very nervous, very hurt, and very angry. But mostly excited. Because something is brewing in me and it hasn’t been in a long time. The brew-less years were good too, in their way, but they were hard. They were about getting somewhere and enjoying the journey, but they weren’t about getting anything done. They were about getting things started: adulthood, careers, lives in new places, parenthood, lives of children, you name it! And I’m sure lots of things will continue to get started…and I hope that none of those things will be over anytime soon…. But I would like to at least finish a task. I love that I have time to work on things that aren’t about kids or housework. I might even enjoy having a clean house again, because it might stay that way for longer than the 10 seconds that it used to take Hurricane Kiddo to come undo whatever I’d done. Of course, grocery shopping and laundry are still never finished, but I’ll take what I can get! And I get to work on something other. Something that isn’t about the needs or agendas of anyone else. I’m doing something long-term, and only because I want to. I’ve never even had that kind of job. I always took whatever job was available because I didn’t know what I wanted to do anyway. It’s another step on the “Adult Road.” I always thought that being a grown-up would happen all at once, but the reality is that being an adult happens one day at a time, just like everything else. So weird…but good.
And, incidentally, it isn’t one book…it’s two. One is just me and isn’t even fully conceived of yet, much less in the writing stages, but the other one…. I’m editing a book for Kalos Press (check us out on facebook, if you’re interested) that is a collection of essays by Christians about their personal struggles with infertility, miscarriage, infant loss, and/or adoption. I am honored to be a part of the project and have been so moved by the journeys I’m reading about. Shameless plug: if you have a story you’d like to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org; I’d love to hear from you! Also, check out the other titles already available…they’re worth your time!