Adding It Up

What does it all add up to?

A life.

At 2:30am, Pearl came in our bed. Aviva was there already. This is usual, all of us, the bed like one body, the dogs sacked out, six beings in one little space, filling the air with humid breath. Usually, I go right back to sleep after one of our little people joins us. But tonight, I couldn’t. We went to bed early last night and I found myself just lying there. Finally, I decided to get up and do the dishes. I figured that way I could go back to sleep and when I get up for real tomorrow (today), I could pretend a dishes fairy came in the night. Call it magical. Or just sleeplessness.

I looked on the chalkboard on the kitchen wall. A few nights ago, Aviva assigned me some long division problems to solve there, all pink and orange and as dusty as my math recall skills. I did my best and came within a decimal point of the right answer.

What does it all add up to?

A life.

We caught word last night of a free dinner at the Pub in the UVM student center. It was 6:00 and Greg and I had both just arrived home – he from an energy-related talk and I from a quickie overnight trip to Amherst. A free dinner sounded grand. The girls got in the burley with the rain cover and we strolled up there, hoping it wasn’t just a vicious rumor. We saw lots of neighbors and friends from around the hood. The “free pub food” turned out to be popcorn and cookies, leaving us dinner-less. The girls were disappointed. One of them (can you guess?) was mad and said I broke my promise, which is these days one of the highest possible transgressions possible. On the walk home, the girls were fussing and fighting with each other in the burley, to the point that one of their parents intervened. It was, all in all, just not fun.

What does it all add up to?

A life.

The girls and I went to the co-op to get groceries. By the time we ate chicken soup for dinner (bless you, Deb!), it was after 8:00. Everyone peed and brushed teeth and played cards in bed and tickled and laughed and snuggled and slept.

What does it all add up to?

A life.

Volcanic ash. “We don’t understand how interconnected we are until you can’t do it anymore,” said Peter Westaway, chief economist for Europe at the Nomura investment bank.

Six hours driving to celebrate sisters. Worth every mile. It adds up to a life. A lifetime to learn how to speak up, go forth, rise and shine. A lifetime to learn when to ease up and when to push through. A lifetime to learn how to fall back to sleep in the middle of the night. A lifetime to be the dishes fairy. To see how interconnected we are. To understand that there is no there there. Only one here after another.

The two cards I drew from this deck Friday after sitting: The Hermit and the Heroine. Seeking solitude to focus intently on inner life. Passion for a journey of personal empowerment.

This is it. It adds up to a life. It’s 4:15am and the very first morning bird just began singing. One bird. The darkness before the light. A song.


6 thoughts on “Adding It Up

  1. denise says:

    A life. Intricately woven, fabulously written. Thank you for reminding me (and I always need nudging) to be right here. Right now, showing up for my life. (ps–came over from a tweet from Lindsey).



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