In Front Of You

Whatever is in front of you is your life, so please take care of it.
— Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

God knows I’m trying.

This morning, this is what was in front of me:


Between when TJ got home at 12:45 am and when I went to run at 6:45 am today, there was a really loud noise that none of us heard. Why did the tree fall? Was a squirrel sleeping in it as it began its descent? Were the chickens startled on their roosting bars in the coop nearby? What if the tree had fallen in the daytime just as I was walking to the mailbox or the boys were bringing in the garbage cans or the girls were taking their baby dolls for a walk in the stroller? What if the UPS truck had been smashed? What if our van had been? What if the tree had landed on the power line and we woke up to no electricity this morning?

Life is so many questions and so few answers. The only answer I have about the tree that fell is Thank You. We are all still here.

This one, who got braces a week ago and who turns eight tomorrow, is also in front of me:


It may not always be helpful for me to list the swirling questions that fill the head of this mom trying to mother this daughter. But she’s mine, and on purpose. I am committed to loving her and taking care of her. God knows I’m trying. I find comfort and strength in the words of this yoga chant that my friend Barbara, who is ten times as old as Story will be tomorrow, sent me for my birthday a couple weeks ago.

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Happy Birthday to my Beautiful, Magical, Wonderful Story!