Wallace has fallen asleep for his nap and I am distracted by an idea for a piece I want to write. I should be mentally preparing for my two precious hours with the girls. Wallace’s nap time is our focused learning time. But, instead, I’m heating up lentil soup and making notes in my notebook. So that when they come down for lunch and language arts, my head is somewhere else.
All afternoon, I am distracted. I try to bring myself back. But it isn’t until the evening, when the girls are at choir and Jeffrey and I are picking wild grapes, talking quietly together, surrounded by the smell of October, that I come back into presence. We find a nest in the tree covered with grape vines. It is oval in shape and coming apart after a summer of wind and rain.
Wallace examines the nest. I look at him. Our October baby. Last year at this time, he was nestled inside of me. This little one who is not so little any more. So strong and alive with determination. So clear eyed. So much a part of who we are as a family now.
Why is it so easy to get distracted? Why is it so hard to come back? When should I follow my distractions, my callings — and when do I need to set them on the shelf for a later moment of quiet?
Writing connects me to this world. And yet it carries me away too. It’s a strange combination. It is a calling I love but sometimes ignore because I know how it can take me somewhere else. And I want to be here. Looking at this nest.