Today has been a very simple day.
A friend walked into my bedroom this afternoon to find me strewn across my floor, eating banana baby food from the jar, and listening to an album titled “Love & War & The Sea In Between” (which is a very lovely name for an album). He asked about my weekend and I melted further into the carpet as we talked about families and vegetable lasagna and Ernest Hemingway. He told me I should “own” the fact that I eat baby food and I told him he was wrong to think that I didn’t already.
Later, I sat on my porch and let a tiny army of ants march around my bare feet. I pinned my hair up with a pencil, drank iced tea from an old jelly jar, and read a few chapters of a book titled “A Partial History of Lost Causes” (which is a very lovely name for a book). I stopped reading because a honey bee began to fly around my head and I closed my eyes to try and imagine what it would be like to be a bee and hear yourself buzzing all the time.
Tonight I will eat a zucchini with too much pepper, light the candle I bought this morning from an incredibly beautiful elderly woman, and drink a glass of wine at my desk. I will glance over some notes for a class and then wander once again through the perfectly smoky words of Tennyson because he is a good man to spend an evening with.
I will go to bed and it will have been nothing more than a very simple day.
But the power of very simple days and very simple things to heal and to mend and to minister has lately been very simply overwhelming.
I am finding relief in the color yellow. Comfort in a well-told story. Reassurance in lace and pickles and the sound of a train in the morning.
There is grace in chicken salad and pink azaleas and words that have only one meaning. There is renewal in patio dinners and cinnamon-sugar toast and the presence of tiny babies in a very big world.
There is tangible restoration in the power of things so strikingly modest, so wholly unassuming to instantly still the vaulting fears in my mind.
I think that’s what God meant when he said he would lead us to lie down in green pastures.
I’m laying here, on a carpet covered in hair because our vacuum is broken, surrounded by school work that needs to be done, weighed down by the fear of graduation and the daunting course my life seems to be taking. And there is doubt and anxiety and a little bit of heartbreak swirling around my head. I have shame on my fingertips and guilt in my bones and scars on my insides that just won’t seem to heal. And at times I can’t understand how anyone ever survives it all.
But because of the Jesus I find in lemons and interior brick walls and songs tied to really great memories I am taken to green pastures and quiet waters.
And it is a simple, beautiful thing.
I feel like I’m doing this all an injustice by not describing it well. But honestly I don’t know much more than the fact that tonight I will go to sleep and this will have been one of the best days I’ve had in a very long time. And tomorrow I will wake up and I will go about my very simple, very tiny life and I will be loved by a God that created even the simplest of things to remind us that in the thick of our mess we are still very lovely to Him.
And that, simply, will be just fine with me.