At 8:30 this morning, I decided to consider the morning a success having gotten both girls to school. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to lower the bar to the ground, especially when it’s twenty below zero. Twenty below! I still can’t get over it; just breathing through my mouth hurt my lungs and made me cough.
At noon, I was walking in that same deep freeze with Greg, who woke last night wondering if he was going blind; I knew with one look at him that it was pink eye. I remember that same experience, the shock of waking with eyes plastered shut one morning last April.
We sat and talked quietly in a conference room at KSV, both of us crying, crying for different reasons maybe. We discussed selling the house. I want to be respectful of him and not record too much of his or our current process here, but I can say that what I wrote here early this morning felt, feels, true: I am out, out, out beyond sense, beyond logic, beyond reason, beyond even what I might want to want.
I’m just done fighting. I have to be. It’s like that line from “Falling Slowly” — “You have suffered enough / at war with yourself / it’s time that you won.”
Laying between the girls in Aviva’s bed in the dark, after battles and baths and snacks and books, somehow I wound up talking about Ecclesiastes.
A time to die and a time to be born. A time for cold and a time for warm. A time for fighting and a time for making up. A time for sun and a time for rain. A time for breaking and a time for repairing. A time for hurting and a time for healing…
It was so beautiful.
Aviva listened as I described my image of those who first wrote down those words. “Are the Bible and the Torah the same thing?” she asked. I told her how they are related — the Torah is the first five books of the Bible, which is kind of like a big chapter book. Ecclesiastes comes later but is part of the same big book. And then I said how they, our Ancestors, understood that God made enough time and room for all of these things, and that the writers, or those who were inspired to write these things (I did not, mind you, get into a whole thing about how the Bible was written) did not say that some were “good” and others “bad” — they didn’t write that being happy is good and sad is bad, or fighting is bad and making up is good. There was, is, simply a time for all of it.
Aviva got quiet and fell asleep, while Pearl and I continued the most moving call and response. She just totally got it.
“A time for hitting,” she said. “And a time for being gentle,” I replied. “A time for exploring,” she whispered. “And a time for accepting,” I said.
A time for snow and a time for sun, a time for being with friends, a time for being alone. A time for sleeping and a time for waking. A time for playing and a time for working. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to laugh and a time to cry.
On and on we went, until Pearl’s sweet voice was replaced by her steady breathing, and I lay there in the dark between my daughters, looking up at some other child’s alphabet quilt, knowing that home is where they are, where I am, where God is, where there is a time for every purpose under heaven.