Chaos and overwhelm once filled my vision gray. When the rolling waves came, walls suddenly felt charcoal close and skin glowed steely pale.
Stuffed animals and laundry piles often reached for me with their long dark tentacles, and I panicked, and then the breathing deeply and the closing eyes and remembering truth, and life again would fill with color.
Today, I walked into our basement, and saw the reality of an utter disaster. No way around it. A royal piece of work.
I panicked and saw the tentacles of all that mess shifting under foot and wondered how all that happened between yesterday afternoon and now, and I started scheming a plan that would make it all better, have mercy.
Then I looked more closely.
At pieces of an alphabet puzzle placed ever so carefully on musical instruments and doll laps.
At the zoo on the kids’ table. Lions escaping the entrance. Patient zoo keeper faithfully shoveling the animals’ business. Monkey dangling from a spring green vine. Zebras munching grass happily within their red and yellow flower-festooned fence.
At the Playmobil scuba diver surrounded by his colorful cast of supporting characters. Woman in bright green reflective vest, yellow-haired king, mother in her blue nightie and the ice cream man with his serving apron and its purple, yellow and pink ice cream cone.
Everywhere a riot of color and joy. Like paint explosions of wild, splattered, free.
When the kids return from school, we’ve got ourselves a great mother-daughter project. And later tonight or sometime tomorrow I may feel the crush of another mess and want to hide under a blanket or throw it all the heck away.
But for now, I am thankful I can enjoy this raucous spectrum of life color spilling across every surface like birthday streamers and balloons.
Today for you may color fill a gray space. May your soul know more joy and less fear. May you find delight in the zoo that is your life.
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This time is so short; enjoy it and the colors. Color me Purple! I love you and your perspective on the little things in life!
Thank you, Auntie. I must know — when are you purple?
Loved this Ashley. Good advice, it’s all in the perception.
Thank you, Uncle Don. Doesn’t perception change (nearly) everything?!
I can’t imagine how you could have painted a more vivid picture than you have here in word and images! Simply brilliant Ashley! What I LOVE here is that your first glimpse is “chaos” and “overwhelming mess”….and then, with a couple deep breaths and a slow close look around, this is a child’s world, full of characters moving in and out of their daily lives, going about their business, living out their relationships with one another and the animals they love. It’s a joyous raucous intricately envisioned circus of life, in your very own basement! And soon it will be time for everyone to leave the big tent, head back to the box or the shelf, so that it can all be reenvisioned afresh! Absolutely beautiful Ash! xoxox
Thank you so much, Mama — I love your words here. A beautiful mini post.
Thank you, Ash!! As my Mamma reminded me the other day when I was stewing on messes and little zoos all over my house she commiserated but then reminded me that I will ache to see those messes some day and miss hearing their little giggles of play. This is yet again a good reminder to be here now and not pass these days away wanting something else (like a clean house). It will come all too quickly.
Oh yes, now that you say it, I can almost imagine longing for this mess. So good to have eyes from the other side of this season, reminding us of the good here and now. Thank you, friend, and thank you, Mamma L.
oh aysh, i am sitting here in my basement that belongs to three little girls. have mercy…comes to mind! i am taking a closer look and i see barbie’s dining at tables nicely set….the boy one that they named ty :) i see sweet little drawings on my desk and a big brown dog named sam hidden among the dress up clothes sprawled everywhere. thank you for putting out my anger and making me love these creative imaginative little ones that i have been given! bring those girls over to play!!!!
Oh Kindy, I love this snapshot. Thank you for sharing it. We’ve gotta get our girls together soon to make some messes together. What a creative gaggle of girls we’ve got.
Being with you last evening in that beautiful basement was a comfort to my soul.
Bless you, friend. It was so good to be with you in the mess. :)
I love that last line & it is just what I need to hear today: May I find delight in the zoo that is ” my” life!
I’m so glad, friend. Sending love.
I find myself smiling more as I go about my “zoo” today! Thank-you for such encouraging words!
I was thinking tonight about how the looks on my face speak (betray) all kinds of stuff to my kids. To walk through the zoos with a smile — what a lovely thing. Thank you, friend.
I loved this one.. sometimes the color spilling over grey in our basements is such a metaphor for other “walls that feel charcoal close”.. I’m glad to have a new perspective.. one I can turn to when feeling like this. xo Smidge
You’re right, Smidge. Don’t we all have gray, closed-in wall basements in our souls? I’m so thankful for the color that can spring forth from the drab, scary mess.
Thank you for the beautiful color perspective. Perfect timing w an upcoming 3 months of visiting grand babies :). You are I a wise woman.
Enjoy the zoo with your grand-babies. Sending much love, Deb!
“Lions escaping the entrance. Patient zoo keeper faithfully shoveling the animals’ business. Monkey dangling from a spring green vine. Zebras munching grass happily within their red and yellow flower-festooned fence.”
That really does sound like life; a good mixture of chaos, beauty, and, uh…business.
Loved it, Ash.
I think that I will add ‘Zoo Keeper’ to my resume.
Haha! Love that, Kath — my fellow zookeeper.
It proves that there can be beauty and color in a world full of chaos. There is no mess here only the exuberant imagination and sheer joy in creating little gems.
Chaos and joy are looking much closer to me than they ever have before. :)