9 and a half years and still going…
And almost a whole decade of the thunder after the lightning.
It was the clap after the show, and all the rumbles that follow…
The sound so thunderous, and those waters reflecting all that glory.
And there was the five of us — standing next to the engulfing waves, making imprints on soft sandy beaches, and counting…counting all the time it took for thunder to accompany lightning.
And then there was that lapse and those seconds of silence…
And there was her — and all those feelings of being squeezed – wrung out and sucked dry – of time, energy, and whatever else which might consist of “her”.
Turns out that it wasn’t easy, and not always glamorous, this thing about building real homes and raising real kids, and you just won’t believe it when others say that motherhood is a breeze, and that children stay cute and keeping them is like a walk in the park, because raising real life requires dying real deaths.
So that day they made it to the beach, exited all the domestic chaos, all the burning of pots and all those feelings of failure.
She saw all that shimmered and was lost in all that glory, she forgot the missing pairs of socks and the thoughts of losing her mind.
It was right after another round of cooking bonanza, of endless rounds of scrubbing burns and clearing the floors, and the crazy hours of driving, and the endless instructing and teaching of maths.
It was right after the last of the lego piece had been picked up, and the youngest had been put to sleep, not once or twice but five times, for which of those five times she had bopped her head right back up, smiled her widest and said “I’m not sleepy, Mama”.
That woman had left her house in a hurry.
In a hurry she exited the frenzy and not having put herself together – not having her hair done and not having her heart made.
And with a bag of emotions and a heap of complaints of not having enough – of time and energy and life — she looked at the five of us, and into the joy – of seeing hearts relishing the sun on their hair and the wind on their faces and realised — that it was for them that time had been given for. And it was in Him that insane moments made complete sense.
They caught the glitter of the lightning strikes, and counted the time it took for the sound of thunderclaps to reach the ear.
She slowed to learn that they weren’t concurrent.
And for every desire for the instant and the immediate — life is a process, and everything precious a seedling.
And that family is spelled T.I.M.E and that building what matters most take the most time of all. And it was for all these that time has been given. And that is enough.
Daughters held hands and took shelter behind her worn out frame, waiting for the roars as they hid and counted – this frame that had bruised and been broken, and the decade of giving, a whole body leaking of milk and love and dreams and time and life…
And how the clap you are longing for doesn’t always happen with the show of your life.
She stood that day towards the waters and saw all that shimmered, lose sight in the glory and run her fingers through the sand. She knelt low to worship high.
And for all of life that takes real work, that requires not her peripheral hours but her prime heartbeats – they made complete sense.
That when she feels dried up because she’s given out, that is when to fill life up with heaven’s claps. And all those wonderings – if the whole of her life, with missing socks and missing her calling, can be engulfed in the waves of His glory – things that truly mattered, approvals that are eternal.
Kids running into the waves. Laughter erupting and feet stampeding into the sand. Memories imprinted.
Memories made in the minutia of sprawled toys picked up from across the rooms, and of umpteen times disciplines were given and instructions told.
That was when she heard the breaking of heaven’s clap, and the light that reflect all that shimmered on the water…
And in all of it all – she saw the majesty of the hand that held it all.