August 16th, 2023
I’m alone in my kitchen. Quietness permeates the air–I can actually hear birds chirping in the distance–and soft light is flowing in through the windows as I sit soaking in the morning sunshine, my favorite coffee mug warming my hands. I’ve been anticipating this moment for some time. And also dreading it–dreading it because I love when my kids are at home. I love doing all things mom, and our best times are when all 5 of us are together. But kids at home does not help me accomplish all of my other life goals. Now there are some true super-women out there who can do it all–and I am always amazed. I am not one of those people. So though I will miss my kids while they’re each in school today (kindergarten, 3rd and 6th grades–all big years!), I also feel extremely grateful to be at peace and like each kid is exactly where they need to be–at least for today. And so, first thing, I am accomplishing one of my long hoped for life goals: to write.
I’ve been reading Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird, which is all about writing and it’s put my one main personal goal for this fall in focus: Just write anything, but write every day at a (mostly) set time. And it’s ok if it’s not good. According to her, no one writes a good first draft–even the most accomplished of writers. I love to write. My style is fairly stream of consciousness. I often hide it away because my stream of consciousness is not always very good. (Lamott talks about this too and says she often hopes she doesn’t die unexpectedly before she can right her awful first drafts.) For now, I am going to take a different approach and just let my first drafts be. They’re just practice. They’re just a rhythm I want to create for myself everyday.
I named this blog “Streams that Flow” because it’s what came to mind when I had to pick a url address, but also because it represents a few foundational things in my life. For one, journaling and writing is the only way I can think clearly–I’ve been like this my entire life. I first started writing regularly in 6th grade, and because I am not a verbal processor on any level I had to keep writing–stream of consciousness style–to find out what I think and what I feel (I am not great at emotions either though I'm learning).
Secondly, I love to sit by streams of flowing water. In the winter (when the bugs and snakes are hibernating), I run consistently on trail systems that wind through the woods behind our house. One trail leads down into a little branch, so to speak, where one of my favorite streams flows. I have spent countless moments there stopped by the beauty and the sometimes rushing and other times trickling sounds of moving water. It’s one of my places where prayer comes automatically, tears that need to be shed finally come, and my heart fills with wonder. Some days it’s just a place to take a quick break from movement to catch my breath, but most days it’s the former and profoundly meaningful.
Finally, I chose the name, Streams that Flow, because it clearly depicts the essence of God’s love to me. It reminds me that I can show up in whatever state my body, soul and heart are in that day–whether it’s grateful (like today) or whether I’m weary and exhausted, used up and empty, mad and sad, hurting or confused, and on and on. He prefers me to come that way: honest and even needy. And that is so comforting. Things are not always “fixed” right away or even ever; but by these Streams of Water that Flow, I have found more life, love and kindness than I ever knew was possible. And that’s what I want to write about–little moments from these Streams that Flow.