I push the borrowed jogger stroller up our street. It’s been a challenging morning with so much whining, and I breathe deeply, letting the frustration fall as we build speed.
I think again about how difficult it is not to sink too deeply into introspection with this daily writing and focus on right here, how I don’t want this to all be about me. I want to keep my eyes clear.
I think about writing, about how I need to live and walk in order to convert the world of words I see into those others can read on a digital page.
I remember my first response to blogs about 8 years ago. After I learned that the strange word, short for web log, was something like a diary others could read, I asked Michael, “Why do people think anyone would care? I would NEVER write a blog.”
As we walk, I pay attention to the still nagging feeling (made more acute with how much writing I’ve been doing lately) — the one that still wonders why anyone would care to read about the daily mundane of a very unexceptional woman, mothering, wifing, trying to find her way.
I push the jogger by the tall white church on the corner and see signs of a funeral in progress. The street filled with cars on a Thursday at midday, a woman dressed in professional heels who quietly tries to enter the double wooden doors.
From inside, a woman’s voice finds its preaching rhythm. It is thick with experience and encouragement.
“Our LIVES are our STORY,” she says.
I let it sink in. They are the only words she speaks that I truly hear.
Our lives are our story.
Amen, I nod. Amen.
We continue up the hill to a park nearby, and Lala and I are mostly quiet, talking some about the scampering squirrels and autumn leaves. Mostly we wheel along in silence.
We approach the park, and though there are a few trees and a community garden on its east side, the park is none too picturesque with the massive water towers standing like giant behemoths at the north side.
Then I remember that this park is one made by a community that took an eyesore and turned it into a place of laughter and running feet and swinging and sliding. Lala rises from the stroller, and I sit on the waterlogged wooden bench.
She runs to the monkey bars, the pom pons on her rabbit hat swinging side to side, her smile a light beam that sears. She climbs up to the first bar, attempts to take her grip on the water spotted ring of metal.
“They’re too slippery,” she says. I dry them with a towel I’d thrown in the stroller to sop up a pool of water and watch my five-year-old girl cross one bar at a time, over and over.
Sometimes she falls and gets back up, wipes her hands along the metal uprights to give them extra grip like she’s seen her big sisters do for years. Other times she crosses from beginning to end, legs swinging, head bobbing, bark chips flying from her sweater.
And it is so ordinary.
And all kinds of beautiful.
And this is why I write.
This is Day 4 of Right Here. Throughout October, I’m joining with a community of other bloggers (over 1,500 strong!), who are writing for 31 days about the same topic. To find all posts in 31 Days of Right Here, click here or see the listing below.
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