The view from here

The sky is overcast and gray but all the sounds around me are a dead giveaway.  It is spring.  There are birds singing in every direction.  The rooster crows every five minutes and his teenage counterpart tries to follow along but can’t get the job done just yet.   There is a girl with an electric shaver trimming her goat to perfection for the dairy goat show in two weeks.  There are 5 week old goat kids frolicking with two human kids at their heels.  There is the constant clucking of the proud laying hens and the frantic hustling of the two dozen pullets who can’t yet lay and get a pecking every day to remind them they haven’t yet arrived to a productive adulthood.  Our ten year old son is inside at the stove, he just popped over to me in my chair in the grass to ask “Can I make you an egg?  Please!?”.  How could I say I’d already had toast and wasn’t hungry?  He is mastering the art of frying eggs.  He is proud of the fact he now makes them even better than his mama does (could have something to do with the focus he brings and the constant multi-tasking of this mama!).

kids shaving

Our epic water emergency of last week seems, for just a moment, a distant memory and life is calm and peaceful and instead of make another list for something, I sit and watch.  There are way too many weeds in the driveway.  I ought to pull grass from the base of the fledgling raspberries so they can grow.  The seed potatoes are still sitting in the garage.  Pretty sure they aren’t going to grow me new potatoes in there.    But there are peonies to watch.  The splendor of those blooms of theirs is unparalleled.  They have to be one of most glorious flowers in the Pacific Northwest.  Staring at the peonies wins over the other tasks that practically call my name as I sit in the grass.

peony

I should be calling the flooring people for the repairs that will need to be made inside where the water flowed down the hallway.  But all I can think about is the irony of the fact that though we were without water for a spell (which felt no small thing whilst 6 kids were throwing up), we had the luxury of a friend with a truck and a big heart, who toted 5 gallon buckets of crystal clear spring water from the artisan well that flows 24/7 down the hill from us.  I have no idea how it works or who put the spout there.  But the water is amazing and free for the taking.  In spring time it sometimes pours out over the road, it is such a plentiful source of abundance.  The reality that the bulk of the world has no access to water like that and drinks daily from filthy rivers or mud-puddles seems so gravely wrong to me.  I told Audrey last week, the most common cause for death for children five and under around the world stems from drinking dirty water.  She said, “Wow, I’m glad I just turned six!”.  But it is a painful reality.  One that I can’t ever get far from my mind, especially when I drive past that water.

What are we supposed to do, us born into a life that compared to most of the world, is chock full of abundance?  Take constant inventory I guess, and find ways to give more, love more, bless more.  Hold loosely to things, not in a disrespectful way but it a way that reflects the truth that says people matter more than the stuff.  While its tempting to bemoan the mess that waits inside for me, I’d do best to count myself incredibly blessed to have books that line shelves and boxes full of hand-me-down shoes for my kids and coats in every size (despite the fact that said items are piled in disarray at the moment).  Clothing and a safe home and water and food enough to share, the things that I easily forget to be thankful for.  But take one away for a day or two and I’m quickly reminded how the basics are really all we need. The continual tension is good I suppose, it is right and when it leaves, that’s when I should worry.

For now, I’ll just soak in a few more minutes of enjoying my view from the grass.