My son puts his arms around me. “I’m ready for a rest,” he sighs. After a beat, he whispers, “I would never jomp you.”
“Jomp” is a word we came up with. On accident. I told him yesterday I was going to chomp him. But I said, jomp, on accident. The kids fell into peals of laughter and then asked me what jomping is. I said, “When I jump up and bite your neck.”
My son’s neck. His arms which furl like tendrils around me. He tells me he’s going to solve a case – my missing phone – as The Cobweb – but he adds, “I’m disguised as a scruffy little boy.” Then under his breath, “I’ll brush my hair later.”
My daughter, this morning, arms around me with her head in my lap while I sip fresh, hot coffee. Her hair is iridescent, a dark waterfall, a brilliant teal. Her body solid, long, strong, lean; tattered pajamas, developing into a young lady right before my eyes, fingers catching hold of water. She is a loaded firecracker. She is full of righteous anger. She is tender and caring. She is fierce like a dagger.
Breakfast, prepared by my eldest; the younger child set the table:
And since last night was rough, a girlfriend and I – and the kids – took off to Olympia for GIANT DELICIOUS SUBMARINE SANDWICHES!
I am a Buddhist, and I don’t know if you’d call my chants “prayer”. I call these rituals “prayer” when I talk to others as much like the word, “God”, people seem to grasp what I’m getting at.
But do my prayers, my chants, my meditations, do they matter? I am not the only one I know struggling with difficulties. I have friends who are just being torn up by life. Friends who are going through pain. I name them at my shrine. I call them or email them. I check in with them, simply to check in. They are in my heart. I offer the help I can (food, a loan, advice if they ask). Mostly though I remember them. That is all perhaps my chants really are. Remembrances. I don’t worry for my friends but I suffer with them in some way I didn’t used to. My fingertips are on their pulse but I have no prescription, no magic pill.
Watching other human beings grow, and cope with their lot with dignity. It’s today’s “drug of choice”, this world of the spirit. It is an exhilarating place. I live, because others do the same.
Tonight: hot shower, glass of water. I set white sage alight; I put match to a honey candle. Turn down a newly-washed bed. Pull a child into my arm. Put my back into my husband, the crook of his broad chest, his strong arms.
To sleep; to wake, and work again.