About a week ago I issued a mild rant on Facebook about how shiveringly cold the stores all seem to be during the summer months. Like, I had been grabbing a few groceries and stopping for farm supplies and maybe caught pneumonia. My fingers were numb, you guys, and dark blue. Full disclosure: Being out and about immediately following a sweaty run makes it all worse, and I had forgotten to bring along dry clothes and warm layers, but still. Facebook complaining is fun. Everyone agreed with me on how bitter cold the stores are. I felt vindicated.
Then this past Thursday morning, I prepared for the situation. I set out for my sweaty miles and subsequent errands with dry clothes and a cozy zip-up jacket in tow. I felt like the smartest adulting adult in town, prepared for the arctic retail world.
Around noon that day, I walked into Sam’s to grab desserts for a party that night. (I have not even told you all about Handsome’s birthday week!) As I entered, the woman attending membership cards and such asked me whether the jacket was a return, or did it belong to me. I launched into a detailed, flowering, and informative discourse about how cold I had been last week, about how in fact my teeth were chattering, and how happy I was to have remembered a jacket this go-round. Obviously, she was about to agree with me, right, and complain a little about the air conditioning or the heat then say good job for remembering a jacket and dry shirt?
Instead, there was an awkward pause, so obviously I filled it with more words.
“It’s just so hot outside, you see, and so cold in here.”
She was non-plussed, just looking at me, not blinking really. Just standing there in her reasonable, climate-appropriate clothing and blue vest with pockets.
“All. you had. to say. is that. it’s yours.” She spoke this plain sentence so carefully that I could see it being diagrammed in the (very cold) air between us.
“Oh, ok, yes, it’s mine.” My voice wavered, having lost all the storytelling enthusiasm from a moment ago. I won’t bother lying to you, friends, it hurt my feelings a little. Did she not agree about how cold it always is in there? Or did she not care? Did I smell bad from sweating profusely? Did I remind her of a mortal enemy?
Which is why I haven’t been blogging much. I have scads of amazing stories to tell you guys, truly amazing ones, stories way better than this, but I literally never know where to start or how to stop or exactly how many details you want. They are all important to me, but what do you want to know?
Do you care about the exact contrast between orange butterflies and hot pink zinnias? Or do you care to read about the drifts of basil I am loving or the hyacinth bean vines that bring everything full circle, or the honeybees? Do you crave to know about how the horses drive me crazy in equal proportion to how much I love them? Or how much my heart is breaking for our friends whose life is recently turned upside down?
Do you want to know how my fitness experiment went in August, or could you use some killer salad ideas? The Book of Joy probably warrants a straight up Lazy W podcast, I am not even kidding you about that. And all the millions of ways that God has been tending to our needs and desires just astound me. I am shivering more from the thrill of all that than from the cold grocery stores lately. This gradual build-up of strong summer energy and the full moon last week and the beginning of a new season of life, parenthood, sibling relationships, books worth reading and why running is actually really important to me. My gosh, the reasons for not writing have nothing with having nothing to write about.
Meanwhile, my paper spiral notebooks are overflowing with daily entries. The farm is thriving. Our marriage is enjoying a burst of life and flavor that make me crave that bubblegum with a juicy center. Gratitude seems too pale a word for it all. And the days slip past too quickly, even with the yet unanswered prayers keeping us grounded and humbled. Thank you for listening. Don’t forget your jacket, ok?
“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.”
~Allen Ginsberg, quoted in On Being a Writer