“Mommy,” my five year old daughter quietly calls to me, “Here. I have a heart for you.” She holds a tiny heart-shaped leaf between her little fingers, sweetly twirling the stem back and forth.
I wonder, “Where did this come from?” We have a tree that has bigger, heart-shaped leaves but this one was so tiny. It fits so perfectly in my daughter’s hand.
“Take a picture, mommy,” She asks. Holding both of her hands in my left hand, holding the camera with the other, I snap one picture.
“Let me see,” she asks, coming onto my lap as we sit on the couch. I breathe in the smell of her. I feel her warm skin-kissed skin against my bare arms. I feel her body resting in my lap.
“It’s beautiful,” she says.
As I look at the picture, I pause. I see something I hadn’t noticed when I was taking the picture. The exact position of my poetic wrist wrap in that very moment of taking the picture happens to reveal the word “heart”. Here my daughter is holding a heart-shaped leaf. Here I am with my heart-focused wrist wrap. Here we both are – the front of my actual heart touching the back of her heart as she sits in my lap.
And I think, “THIS is how I want our summer to go.”
Our hearts touching, our hearts beating wildly and happily. Our eyes noticing the sacred in the ordinary. Our hands touching sweetly. Our minds resting, our bodies playing.
And in that moment, I made a vow to myself. I know that there are plenty of things I HAVE to get done. I have planning, creating, working, organizing, and big stuff that needs tending to.
But I said to myself, “THIS is my vow to myself this summer: To Linger Here. To be playful. To be present. To laugh and be spontaneous. To write quietly in the morning – for my own heart. To go on family adventures and be about nourishing connections.”
This summer, I will spend it connecting fully, listening deeply, and playing wildly.
While soooo many things are left undone – a website to update, a plan of offerings to create, a book to write, new gems to offer on my shop, workshops to plan for my work at Georgetown University – I know this:
If I do not take the time to pause, if I do not take the time to linger and connect and laugh – all of my “working” will be ten times harder..and even WAY less productive. Why?
Because pausing nourishes. Pausing restores. Pausing rests the nervous system. Pausing settles the distracted mind. Pausing connects. Pausing promotes creativity.
AND if I don’t take the time to soak up the presence of my tribe – my family, my dear friends – I will live with regret. I will look back at this summer and regret it. I’ll hold that in my heart and quite possibly, ten years from now, when my kiddos are bigger and doing their own thing, I will sit sobbing in a therapist’s office about how I “wasn’t there.”
I don’t want that.
And sometimes, we have to start with “what we don’t want.”
And then we embrace what we DO want.
I have lived each season of my life deeply listening. Listening to that “Voice Within” that guides me – even if I don’t want to hear it or it doesn’t make “logical, reasonable sense” – I listen. That’s the voice that took me to Guatemala and El Salvador. That’s the voice that took me to Boston. That’s the voice that said, “This is the one” when I saw Brian. That’s the voice that told me “It’s time to make a nest for little ones.” That’s the voice that calls me NOW to linger, laugh, and truly BE DELIGHT.
So I want to continue listening to that voice. What DO I want this summer?
Spaciousness. Vastness. Focus. Laughter. Holding. Connection.
THIS is how I want to spend our summer living. THIS is the definition of delight to me.
This is how I Want our Summer to Go:
This is how I want our summer to go.
This is how I want to linger – pausing, noticing, breathing, settling, connecting.
No rush. No hurry. No pushing, pulling, prying, trying, reaching.
I can feel the vastness.
I can sense the spaciousness –
in my heart and in my day and our family.
I can hear the laughter.
I can feel my daughter’s skin-kissed arms around me.
I can hear my son’s excitement as he jumps in the pool.
I can feel the grass between my toes.
I can taste the fresh tomatoes from our garden.
I can hear the crickets at night.
I can see my children climbing high into the evergreen tree behind our house.
I can feel the dew on the morning grass.
I can feel the sweat and heat on my body as I walk with our puppy.
I can taste the ice cream from our old stomping ground in Boston.
I can sense the deep delight lingering in my heart.
I can see the loving, quietness about me as I look at my children.
I am spending this summer making memories, not regrets.
I am spending this summer pausing instead of rushing.
I am spending the summer deeply listening and playing wildly.
This is how I want our summer to go.
I’m not doubting there will be tense moments. There will be times when I will be pulled back into “I have to” and “I should” mode. There will be times I will get frustrated and we’ll all need a break from each other.
But, I am spending this summer deeply listening and playing wildly.
THIS IS possible for you, too.
I know – you have things that HAVE to get done. And we are sooo used to hurrying that we don’t know how to pause.
But it can begin right now, today.
Pause and ask, “How do I want to FEEL this summer?”
And let your imagination take you into the deep longings of your heart, body, and mind. And then…trust it. Trust that image. And follow it this summer with wild abandon.