I’m flying around the house barefoot, my unwashed hair still swept up in a 6am ponytail as I start the end of day sprint to the finish line - a laundry basket on my hip, taco meat sizzling on the stove, and a toddler under my feet. In passing, my eyes resignedly noticing the dog hair in the corner, the finger prints on the window, and the marker on the table. The big girls are in the playroom, and behind the closed door they’ve jumped into a new realm - a very real one - of princesses and villains and magic and mystery. I half hear the tragedy and adventure unfolding while I wipe and fold and stir and sweep away the day.
I have an air pod in one ear, and I’m trying to soak in the profoundly beautiful and heart breaking conversation between two of my favorite authors on the other end. I mentally note the disparity between the depth of their words and the mundane reality of the moment I’m living.
I’m trying with every ounce of my grown up brain to sink into the depth of the conversation pouring into my ear, to talk lovingly to Bonnie at my heels, to be enchanted by the drama unfolding in the playroom, and to just not burn dinner. It’s strange how my world has shrunk so drastically in the last six months, and yet I’m still moving so fast. Multitasking, distracted, disconnected. And too much is whipping past me, I’ll never soak it all in. My brain is skimming rapidly over the surface of an ocean of ideas and possibilities, thoughts and emotions, experiences and connections, and hopes and fears.
I feel like I’m on a speed boat that barely touches the top of the water. I want to jump in, but I’m going too fast. I see beautiful places blurring past me - waiting to be discovered, explored, known and made into home. I want to sit and watch those little worlds unfold in the playroom, to scoop up the little person tugging at my shirt and cover her in kisses, to follow and chase the flashing ideas that pop like lightning into my head, to delight in my husband and the marriage we’ve made. I feel the spray of the water wetting my skin, and I crave to be in over my head. To swim ashore and feel the sun on my face and the wind at my back. To make a home in my own life. I can’t stop, though. I have to keep moving - live off the spray and the pretty blur. Submersion is impossible. Going ashore is a dream. I’m jostled and chapped and endlessly speeding forward. But toward what?
But toward what? Just the thought downshifts my speed. I look up to the horizon. Wait. Where am I pointed? What is my destination? Why am I moving so fast? There is so much to see right here. I can’t take it in. I’m passing it all by. I’m missing it. I strain my eyes ahead of me. I must be going somewhere that matters more than this. Otherwise…why? I squint and strain to see what’s ahead. But there’s nothing out there. No land. No life. At least that I can see.
The boat stalls, and the spray that was sustaining me evaporates from my skin. I see now that I’m burned and chapped and tangled from my speed and the elements. The silenced motor still vibrates my insides and hums in my head.
I’ve stopped. I can see my surroundings.. They are big and glorious and miraculous and terrifying and mysterious. I can see now that the only way to experience everything around me is to jump in over my head. Hold my breath and leave the boat. Motherhood and marriage and God and people and even myself -- that's the beautiful blur I was seeing. And it's all just waiting for me to jump in and swim ashore. Anchor here. And find home right where I am.
And there's a miracle in anchoring right here. In stopping to be right where I am. It makes no sense, really, but it actually takes me where I’m going. You see, staying in the boat, and speeding by with no clear view and no home under my feet? It never ends. The destination never materializes in front of me. I’m chasing a mirage and missing my life. But the miracle comes when I drop anchor, jump in over my head and come ashore to my own life, drenched and exhausted from fighting the waves to get here. Then I can stand on firm ground. Then I can soak in the awe and beauty and mystery and glory of my life today. And then my tomorrows can begin to materialize in front of me.
In this moment, today, stopping the boat looks like turning off the stove, pausing my podcast for another time, picking up the toddler, and cuddling her in my arms while I sit outside the playroom door and let myself be transported to their world. Dropping anchor means looking my husband in the eye and telling him I love him, saying yes to one more song at bedtime, and going back to my podcast when the house is quiet because it's important to me. Swimming ashore means putting my phone away, saying no more often, making mistakes, and accepting help. And standing in awe of today means taking a moment to pause and praise for being delivered to this enchanting shore.
So, I’ll anchor here. I don’t have to live off the spray and the blur. I’ll jump in over my head — leave the boat and swim right to this beautiful place. I’ll submerge myself in unknown waters to come ashore and be home. I can put my feet on solid ground, and be surrounded by beauty right now. I can plant seeds today, and watch them grow into my tomorrows. And I can walk forward in wild freedom knowing that there will be good fruit there. Because I anchored here.