The magic of women and the sea.
Of exposed hearts and smooth stones, warm waves and squeezed hands.
Of magic mirrors and red nails, midnight tea and soft words.
Prayer ribbons and snapping wind, deep unease and jittery fear.
Of profound wisdom and steady eyes, aches and tears and adolescent agitations and demeanors and teenage-girl giggles.
And of extraordinary, exquisite beauty and soul encompasing hugs.
It's taken a full week for me to be able to breathe.
I rolled headlong back into the pandemonium that is life-with-little-kids. There were things that got forgotten about while I was away (book reports, baths, appropriate bedtimes) that had to be remedied.
And then I had to do that thing where I listen really really hard to see if I can hear the almost imperceptible beat of a good family rhythm. It's like being in a dark forest and I can just catch snatches of it and I'm wandering sort of blind and I think I'm getting there and then....whoops! the band moves! and I have start all over again.
But I did the necessary things. An attempt to restore temporary order.
Clean. Wipe. Tidy. Organize. Vaccum. Chop. Wipe. Sweep.
And I did those other necessary things. Like hang out with a naked baby for 3 hours and just tickle and read books. Or take everyone out into cold, beautiful wide open spaces even though they whined.
And I did all this because this morning, I was able to crawl out of bed, make coffee for Stephen, and tea for me and when he had closed the door behind him, I turned out all the lights, climbed under a blanket and sat in the dark, warm, softness and watched the sun rise.
And I was finally able to breathe. Quiet, slow, measured breaths.
Just breathing. Not thinking - that will take another week. Or three. Or maybe I'll never make it to the thinking. But whether I make a conscious effort to untangle all the good and hard and sacred pieces from those days on the North Caroline shore or not, it will steep in parts of my body I don't look at too closely and gradually permeate my soul.
And that there is the magic.