portrait of a life: unhurried wonder

39F06E73-C1BC-434F-BE31-7E0C8B6DD7A9Daisy sleeps by my side while The Incredible Dr. Pol plays on Disney+.  Typically, she likes to watch the farm animals and barks at the TV in greeting, but the time change is making the both of us a little extra sleepy and Daisy opts for a Sunday morning nap instead.

Lighted in the living room is a candle created exclusively for my favorite bookshop, Commonplace Books in Midtown.  The candle is called “Unhurried Wonder” and the smell reminds me of the warmth found in your favorite book.

I completed the challenge to myself of writing every day in the month of February, and my new goal is to write once a week in March.  Since the ending of the challenge, I’ve felt a little rushed.  Things have felt a little tight, like I am trying to control things beyond my ability to orchestrate.

The name of the candle and the scent it fills my home with reminds me to pause.

Unhurried Wonder.

The word “unhurried” strikes me.  What does it mean, what does it look like?  How can I daily cultivate a life that embodies this?

I am not sure but I have a strong desire to find out.

I’ve been feeling tired lately.  A little frustrated and a lot stretched.  My soul feels a little tumultuous lately as it churns several decisions and pondering and questions.

Life has felt like lines, lots of lines drawn up around an intensity I feel inside.  An intensity to create, to explore, to learn and dive deeply into unknown things with nothing to accompany me but blind faith.

But the lines get stronger, sturdier, and with them is the guilt.  The unease.  A terror as I see the intensity spill over them, like watching a toddler color outside the lines.

Do we not think that a toddler’s out-of-the-lines coloring is a masterpiece?

So, why do I look at the spilling over of my own soul as something tragic, possibly even something sinful?

The lines look like standard and expectation, a certain way of determining what makes a life valuable or spectacular or successful.  The lines look like the assumed perspectives of others.  Why do I care so much what others think of me?

Coming home last night to a note taped to my door from a neighbor telling me that I am cruel for leaving my dog outside all day without food or water… I felt like a hurricane of emotions, so tempted was I to go to my neighbor’s house at 10:00pm to tell her that Daisy is one of the sweetest things in my life and does she not know I let her outside to play?  To explore, to bask in these sweet warm days we’ve been having, and that there is not been a single day that I have left Daisy without food (an expensive formula designed specifically for Daisy’s sensitive coat and belly) and fresh water and a large dog house and the shade of my large tree?

Following the advice of my mother, I wound down and tried to get a good night’s sleep.  This morning, as Daisy sleeps next to me and occasionally puts her head over my hands, pausing my typing, I realize the strong reaction I had last night comes partly from an intense need to control people’s perspective of me.  I cannot stand the thought of anyone thinking of me as anything less than astounding.

What a terribly frustrating thing to control.

I cannot determine people’s perspectives of me any more than I can control the weather, but, just as the weather changes and I adapt my wardrobe to its seasons, I find myself constantly adapting myself to the changing seasons of others’ perspectives of me.  (But, how could I truly know what someone thinks; am I not just adapting to my own perspectives)?

This morning, reflecting on this, I drink coffee from a mug my friend gave me, text my mom, watch a show from TV that was bought for me by a coworker, get slightly frustrated as my dog keeps putting her head on my keyboard, sitting in a home that is filled to the brim with the memory and sentimentality of people who love me dearly.

Why do I clamor for anything else?

I sit in unhurried wonder this morning, realizing that it is okay to let the lines disappear underneath the shades of my wanderings and wonderings.  It is okay to let go of the self-perceived opinions of others so I may make room in my heart for the love of family.

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