There are the moments of overwhelm almost every day–some big; some small. You know the ones–be they about the house, job, family, money, body, spirit—they enter quicker than you can shut the door to them and for the time they’re in residence they reign.
Sometimes I can shoo them out without too much hassle; other times it seems they’re moving in for good and that they’ve thrown out in their powerful rush my sense of center and any ability to ground.
Recently, in the middle of one of those I-Don’t-Know-How-I’m-Ever-Going-To….I remembered a moment from just after college. I was camping with my best friend in Hawaii. I was out in the ocean, I could hear dolphins when I put my ears under the water, and I remember floating there in warm water and sun and knowing, deep in my bones, that everything was always going to be OK. When I suddenly thought of that a few days ago, remembering exactly all the sensations in my body, how the shore looked, what the water felt like, I was brought to that same sense of surety. That memory erased the haggard hurried feeling I’d been unable to shake. So I’ve been playing with that since….
There was the time I was nine years old and I was in the car with my mom and sister; we were driving over the Cooper River Bridge. No one was saying anything special; it was an ordinary car ride. I know what I was wearing, what the light looked like through the windows, what buildings and shipping containers I could see; and in that moment for no apparent reason something inside me said Everything is Always Going to Be OK. I felt warm; I felt safe; I felt….OK. There was the time Sky and I were walking down our block that year we lived in New York. We were laughing, had our arms around each other, it was just the right amount of chilly, and I knew. It’s All Forever Going to be OK. Two days ago Luciana woke up early from her nap, clearly needing more. I brought her into my bed, lay down with her, and before we both dozed off I could have promised anyone: I Can Tell You for Certain- It’s All Ok. Perhaps I’ll call on that one five years from now after a horrible audition or a flooded bathroom.
I’m falling in love with memories again. So much of motherhood is presence; that is one of its biggest blessings. Yet I seem to be re-learning the power of recollection. How sometimes the present betrays you, pretends the difficult moment is all there is, and in those I can anchor to these. Not to erase the difficulty; life’s not about that to me; but to get that perspective: nothing is fixed, everything passes, and somehow, someway, Everything is Always Going to Be Ok.