Yesterday was a crazy day. I spent the day remembering just how heavy rocks are as I moved several to redo a garden bed. I moved rocks through mud. This muddy footed mama loves working in mud. It makes me feel real. As the afternoon rolled on, I promised the rocks and mud I would be back soon. I cleaned up and went outside to meet my yoga students for our afternoon class. They greeted me with the news of Boston. It all felt so unreal.
I watched as my husband loaded our three children into the car to take them to the park, and I remembered our car radio was set to NPR. My children would hear of bombs in Boston, too close to home. They would hear of a child lost. They would hear of too many injured. I ran to the car and told my husband to turn off the radio, and in hushed voices and the spelling out of words I let him know what had happened.
Too frequently I have to turn down the radio when my children are present. Bombs in Boston and daily in the Middle East, shooters in schools, and seemingly endless tales of war. Sometimes as a parent it can be a lot to hold. We hold this information, contain it within ourselves so that our children feel safe. So that the world they step out into each day is one of magic and beauty. We contain it within ourselves so that we preserve their childhood, for just one more day. But sometimes it can feel like too much to hold. Sometimes our hearts break under the weight of the information we are holding and we wonder, Is their any magic and beauty left in the world?
Last night, still holding, still listening to the news on the radio, I drove home from the grocery store. As I drove down our backroads, I heard something coming from outside that competed with the news from Boston. I unrolled my window and stopped the car. I heard spring peepers. A chorus of hundreds or thousands of small brown frogs that sing out in the evening to herald the beginning of spring. The sound of peepers has always been one of my favorite sounds. As I sat on the dark road, feeling the cool air rush in, I let go not of Boston, but of my fear that there was no more magic and beauty in the world. This is what I am protecting for my children.
There will come a day when I cannot keep the world's news from them. I know this. But when they hear of news that breaks their little hearts, I want them to be able to go and roll stones through mud or to hear peepers in the night to know that they are real and that beyond their fear, there is still magic and beauty in the world. The peepers last night taught me that this world is indeed beautiful and the events in Boston reminded me that our time here is so very precious.
Click here to listen to spring peepers.