The riverbed

Sleeping in the Forest | Mary Oliver

I thought the earth remembered me,

she took me back so tenderly,

arranging her dark skirts, her pockets

full of lichens and seeds.

I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,

nothing between me and the white fire of the stars

but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths

among the branches of the perfect trees.

All night I heard the small kingdoms

breathing around me, the insects,

and the birds who do their work in the darkness.

All night I rose and fell, as if in water,

grappling with a luminous doom. By morning

I had vanished at least a dozen times

into something better.

I need to get out more. Explore the banks a bit yes, but also swim underwater. Sometimes the easiest thing looks like staying home in my pajamas with my two girls. Those days are true, and really where I want to be. Home is where my heart actually is, where God made me to live and breath best. Home, hearth, the warmth of my kitchen and the cold hard floors. I light a candle every morning.

The bread is kneaded by my husband, but I like to cook too. Give me a pot, some vegetables and a couple spices, and I'll cook you up something really good. I don't know how to make a plate look pretty, but the way onions start to turn lucid and caramel-like when they hit the heat makes me feel satisfied in ways that ordering take-out never does. I favor the one pot winter dinner.

So, yes, I like the rhythms of home.

I've been heading out to the river for the past few summers. The Brandywine. Something about those cold copper waters and my bare children playing in the mud brings about a peace that makes me think God placed that little piece of river here for us, exactly when we needed to have it. Has it always been here, that river? I wonder about all of the people God had in mind when he set those rocks in place.

Right now, today, there are a lot of unknowns in my life and future. I think that must be true for everyone. We don't know what tomorrow brings, not a single one of us. We hope and pray that His good plan for us is an easy walk but that's not what he promised. Instead we know that he is good. I'm ready to swim under the water because there is beauty there, and growth to be had in these open waiting hands.