~ awake in this moment, at home in the world ~

Unexpected Bliss

June 17, 2008
You’re lying in bed on a Thursday afternoon nursing your eight-month old, trying to convince him that now really is the time to nap, after having awoken him three times this morning while running errands.

Your four-year old trots into the room with his favorite fire truck and begins driving it up and down your shins, making an assortment of beeps and whirs and siren sounds.

You almost tell him to stop, but then you realize it feels kind of good to have these little rubber wheels rolling across your body, and this is actually the closest thing to a massage you’ve had in four years.

Before you know it, you have an entire traffic jam of little-boy vehicles stacked upon your arms and legs, and your older son is telling you to hold still or you’re going to upset the whole roadway. But first he wants you to make your feet touch somehow so the roads can intersect.

And you’re still trying to convince the little one to fall asleep, contorting your body into ever more impossible shapes in an effort to get your chest to land somewhere in the vicinity of the baby’s thirsty lips.

Except now the baby has spotted the red car carrier and has begun lunging across your body toward it, nearly leaping at it, even though older brother is shrieking that baby brother definitely cannot ever touch that car carrier, or in fact touch any of the vehicles that now completely encircle us on the bed.

You take a deep breath. You sigh. You give up and give in to the moment.

Suddenly, that favorite line of Mary Oliver's poetry - the one you first heard in the Colorado mountains lifetimes ago - bubbles up from within: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

You smile, and you muse over the many surprising twists and turns of your life that brought you to this moment. You think, "This is not at all what I expected, but it’s everything I ever wanted."

And you settle into wild and precious, perfectly unexpected bliss.