Outside is foggy and damp, cool. The autumn leaves are bright, falling occasionally like leftover confetti. I had some serious writing goals for the day but they require uninterrupted thinking, which isn’t going to happen today. The interruptions are friendly, and welcome, but also on a furious pace. I’m trying to roll with it. Working through a list of goals that require less focus. It is good to have a relaxed day with my kids. It’s just that it is precisely times like this—when the magic is everywhere in pockets and flashes across an ordinary day—that I want to write the most.
Youngest is doing science experiments in the kitchen. I’m not sure it’s knowledge about chemicals and reactions she’s collecting as much as it is texture and color, fizzing-to-overflowing and glowing stuff and generally the experience of it all. She has moved beyond the instruction book to pure improvisation, singing each step as she works, recording her work in a flowered journal, sharing each concoction with whoever is close by. Oldest and Middle and I, we all had a turn in a darkened closet, exclaiming over the glow of zinc sulfide.
A morning like this, it seems so obvious that there is no need to be anything more than ourselves. No matter that this is something that needs to be learned over and over—the moments the knowledge comes easily have such a glow to them. That is our rest today, and there is a fullness to it, even with the frustrations.
And now it is night. It is quiet. Several test tubes and jam jars filled with the best of this morning's experiments have joined the row of treasures already on the kitchen windowsill. I never did get to the writing I intended, although in the end the words that needed to get out found their way out. I don't know that I'll ever know quite how to manage the ebb and flow of needing to be with people and needing to be alone. There is so much filling and emptying with each, and it is so easy to feel caught in the waves.
The days you remember you can float—those are my favorite.