There are things about my life that sometimes rub raw. To be honest, in these places, I’m always pinky-tender with the reluctance and freedom of surrender.
I wish we owned our own home. One where I could pick things like countertops and appliances and carpet, especially where the carpet goes. And I wish we could have grass instead of dirt. I wish we lived in the suburbs instead of the city, the suburbs where my children could walk or ride their bikes without me.
I wish my husband didn’t have to work on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve and Memorial Day. I wish that sometimes he didn’t get midnight calls. Even though I know about what he does. About how much just being there for a child who has been abandoned in heart or in body or in circumstance means. I know what it means. There is only one Water that can fill those dry wells.
And even as I am wishing. I know. I know that everyone wishes. That everyone is uncomfortable. That everyone is pinky-tender with the reluctance and freedom of surrender. And I know, too. I know, being a child of the 80s, that nothing gold can stay. Pony Boy was my favorite in 8th grade when I had braces and bouffant bangs and dreams bigger than my paper heart could hold. And I know now that I don’t decide what is golden, those things so hard to hold that make a life shine bright. Gold isn’t wishes and might’ve beens. Gold is today. The rough and the raw.
There is a baseball field on the campus where we live. It’s right behind the church where Truth goes out to bottomless well-hearts. The lines aren’t as straight but just this weekend my husband took our boys over to play ball. The girl child and I stayed back where I started laundry and swept and put things straight. It felt good for just a minute to sweep away crumbs and tiny pieces of dirt.
And when it was time to clean up and bed down, I didn’t call. I walked the 50 short steps and I stopped right behind the church. The sun was casting filtered light-yes, golden-through the tree behind me. I cupped my hands and I yelled down the alley behind that church and I called home. There was a warm breeze and I wondered. I wondered, who am I to say that this right here is not as golden as can be.