Why Five? @ Basement Study, doing the thing

Yesterday, I wrote a little post about my morning and in it I referenced Paul writing to the Corinthians and suggesting this idea of “wonder if Paul knew I would be reading it on the first of March…” When I wrote it, it felt a little trite. Like something I would have written in a grade school autobiography.

(PS – I thought that because it is quite literally something I would have written in a grade school auto biography)

But I kept it in the post bc not only am I doing VERY little editing but it felt right. And, today, I am further convinced of something as to why it feels write. I mean right.

So, I did the same thing as yesterday – “got to work by 9” (this time with a little spare time to make an egg and toast for me and the man vs. yesterday’s plate of fruit. go me.) I did my brain dump, made my daily goals and lit some incense, thanked the divine for what felt like a massive spike of patience and kindness in my heart (I did not forcefully put a single dish in the dishwasher! Which is my petty little outlet for fatigue and self pity!) and anyway I did talk out loud to the supernatural world about some things on my heart.

Though I didn’t forcefully put a dish in the dishwasher, I was *really* tired and I got quiet. I would like to ultimately level up to like singing maybe? That might be buddha level, but we shall see. I just want to be softer and more gradual. Feels like, smells like, more patience.

Anyway. I sat with my whiteboard and blue marker and wrote the words that came to me. “fill my cup”… “patience”… “warmth sun forgiveness”… “Titus” (weird, I thought) and then the numbers 3… 6… 9… 15… 12… 13… 14… 67 (quite a jump) and then F I V E with an underline.

So why five like that. (and just like that… the Google timer for 5 minutes – the time I took to write thus far – goes off.)

Surely that was not why. I am mid thought… Plus I was feeling rushed. Not really an enjoyable writing experience although I do think I have done quite nice work on my punctuation and grammar.

<sighs>

<slows down>

I traced “fill my cup” to scripture and found this passage where Jesus basically says to a bunch of guys “you stupid idiots, you gotta wash the inside of your cup first. obvi.> The idiots had washed the outside of their cup but, missed the “greed and self indulgence” that was crusted nasty on the inside of the cup.

Convicted.

So I went on… traced “patience” to scripture.. Ah, good old Proverbs. “listen to advice and accept instruction and you will gain wisdom” + “from wisdom comes patience” = listen to advice, Erin and you’ll gain patience.

If the advice I got was to clean the inside of my cup and the promise was that in doing so, I’ll receive more patience, then how do I clean the inside of my cup?

“Warmth… Sun… Forgiveness”

I sat with it. I searched my photos for “sun” and got these wonderful pictures:

the sun beyond dolphins at Bonita Beach, FL…. the sun behind Lucy playing cornhole in Lake Tahoe… the sun breaking through trees on a Christmas Day hike, on a hike in Oregon, on a walk in my neighborhood… then there was the sun up between buildings in Washington DC, out in the country where I was walking my dog (RIP Ranger) off leash, ohhhhhh the sun aligned perfectly on Cannon Beach, above mountains in North Carolina… and then, my favorite sun of all – in the gardens in Ojai (pictured below).

I sat in my basement study feeling the warmth of the sun in a space with no window. I remembered that scripture about the faithfulness of the rising sun. You can bet it will happen… time and time again. And with that, came a wash of forgiveness that comes when you are acutely self aware of where you want just a little knick of support; a little tweak in the mental game.

And though I still don’t know “why five”, I do feel certain that I am headed into the rest of my day with my head screwed on mostly straight.

Going back to Ojai will be for sure one of the first three post pandemic trips I make. I absolutely cannot wait to show David.

Reality Check One Two, One Two @ Waiting on the Coffee, Sitting on the Couch – Webster

I was so excited to sit and write a post that started with something like “everybody agrees how bad I am at Mario Kart makes zero sense given how good (actually I would say stellar) I was driving through Idaho’s curves”.

But the reality is this post is coming by way of early morning time to write due to household cat management. It’s not really an inspired moment of reflection on our road trip home. (Trust me when I say, I have a lot to share on the days in between now and the post I wrote sitting on the couch on the front deck of our house in Bellingham.)

As I am writing this, I am interrupted by our resident cat coming *out of nowhere* and screeching as she pounced on new comer cat’s paw curiously poking out from the bottom of the basement door. Cat. Management.

We have this circus cycle of cats to litter box, cats to outside, cats to basement rotation going on as we (please dear God make this work) acquaint and blend our combined three cats.

Kids are blending fine. So fine that they apparently do not sleep and I hear both sets of new sisters rounding out their “all nighters” upstairs. Good. Grief.

Personally, I am recognizing this cat wake up call this morning as an introduction to being in front of a computer screen at 5:30a as I plan to work early once the kids are back in school so I can break mid day for a couple of hours to do the whole lunch, “what are you learning”, “let’s do science” thing.

The lunch part of that equation is especially important as the teens “free feed” which, you know, makes everything harder (per a cat article on how to introduce new cats…) The weeks we did an established lunch time during quarantine seemed to work out well.

….Except now I am not sure what meal you call what they eat at noon… per some quarantine inspired song lyrics I wrote, “dinner is breakfast, and breakfast is dinner, and lunch is all the time….”

All of this to say – The reality checks will happen. All nighters will meet all day zoom school starting Monday. The cats will eventually cross actual paths. My work schedule is going to have to get serious.

And with those upcoming cruxes (life is really just a climbing route), there are plenty of other new, less challenging, realities: that I am deeply charged by when all 5 kids are together, the humor David and I find in our combined calico of cats and kids, and the confidence we have in our current phase… being in the same bed every night. These are rich, live-giving things.

I, of course, have a short list of observations and sentimentalities to explore and share. I, of course, have things I am learning and leaning into. Specifically, this notion of “being the generous and just queen” and handling blips a little better… like when my stepdaughter assumed my chimichanga was hers and asked me to remove the toppings. Rather than being a generous and just queen “oh! I thought you had your dinner, here, let’s split it”, I forfeited my longed for Mexican, nearly cried and let that moment mean more than necessary.

I had the hardest time falling asleep that night processing how I wished I had assumed my power as the woman who will be showing this young girl how to be kind and fair and generous. Then feeling the relief that I get to try again the next day. Then the wash of “man, why did I act like one of the kids”, with then the relief of “now you know”.

Ah, the cycle of process and growth…

I do need to acknowledge the role of fatigue and hunger in those moments; causing me to not handle things as well as I did the winding roads in Idaho. It’s just plain science that I will have moments where reactions are human reactions and not the strategies of well rested royalty. It’s just, I suppose, a reality check to self care and to fold in and to communicate gently.

Anyway. It’s been a couple of days so I have a lot starting to bubble up and work itself out in words and phrasing. But it’s time to wrap it up and have a little coffee time with the husband.

…It is such a neat season to be paying attention. //

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According to Ellen (who did not sleep and is walking to Starbucks as we speak with Aria), I am waiting to knock out some cats with my Captain America shield.

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Scene from last night while three pizzas, 30 toasted raviolis, 1/4 watermelon, a quart of strawberries and salad were put out on the buffet. :)

The More I Sit Here @ Deck Again on a Good Hair Day – Bellingham

The only thing about the house here in Washington that is like a thing is that we are up high and can look over and down onto our neighbor’s backyard.

Gordina – a house back and over – has a lovely garden with an enviable rosemary bush raised up in the pnw sun and veggies all year round under tinted weathered prayer flags. She doesn’t live right behind us though.

A young family does.

I look over and see chairs in random spots, that their gymnasium was moved, toy miniature everything galore and actually I think like 3 slides. On nice nights when we are all living that pacific northwest life, eating outdoors or with windows open, we are within ear and eye shot of each other.

I write out here. Sit out here. Close my eyes out here. Work out here. And I have noticed lately that their baby is probably teething. Or growing. Lots of baby cries.

But the more I sit here, I am also noticing how extremely patient the mom is. Sigh.

Deep breath and smile.

I think she must be a really good mom.

She must be – I can tell by the lack of anxiety in the air that she doesn’t let the fact her neighbors can hear her child carrying on put pressure on her to “fix the child”. I think she knows deep down she simply has a baby and they – simply- are crying.

Unlike most mothers I know who hush their babies to the self detriment of their own sanity, I am pretty sure this mom is like cool with reality and knows she is not annoying me.

Additionally, I have been out on the deck a lot lately. August in Washington is like perfect satin jambinos after a salt bath soak and a face massage; so relaxing and happy stupor inducing. The more I have been here, the more I notice when they are not in their yard.

I wonder sometimes if it is nap time. Or if she is cooking.

I wonder if they went for an outing and I picture them at the bay or on a hike or at the market.

Maybe they went to Target and, if that is the case, I send prayers and helpers.

One of my favorite things about being a spiritual mom is remembering I can send helpers. A woman I studied with a couple of years ago in yoga teacher training told me I was a white witch. I thought nothing of it but then when I close my eyes and bring a person to the center of my mind (like my friend right now who is waiting to give birth) and send supreme love and guidance and comfort and help and support and strangers to offer pieces of gum or cashiers to smile in just that way – I think maybe I am magical.

Wouldn’t mind it :)

Sighhhhhh… the rental lady just left here and the papers are signed to list the house to rent. David looks handsome and is probably getting ready for me to fix dinner. I am super excited about progress on perfecting pizza dough. So we are doing greek pizza tonight. But with goat cheese and not feta. Yum. Can’t wait.

The breeze is so nice, I just want to stay in this cradle of an afternoon sun forever.

But. Kalamata olives are calling my name.

One more glance back and over the fence. Smiling. Hope she is doing good with her little ones… wherever that mama is…