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  • Elaine Fletcher Chapman

A Rare Sunday Morning

Even the dog is confused. It’s Sunday morning and I’m at my desk instead of preparing for church. I have a good part of the day before me. There are several lists in different rooms, items that need checked off. There is laundry, housekeeping, and bills to find and pay. I have yet to remove the hula hoop and slip and slid from the front porch since August when my grandchildren visited from California. Plants in the kitchen need watering. My study is still a mess. 

The weather, cloudy and rain in the forecast.

My husband plans to spend the day with his mother: taking her to their “home church ” for services and lunch afterwards. It is a rare Sunday for them as well. She’s all but lost her sight and hearing. I think, “they need time together…alone.”

And this is when my thinking travels to California where my children and their families live. Today they are traveling to their father’s sister’s house to celebrate her birthday with their cousins. I am not sure if everyone is going but it makes me happy they will be together. I miss these people so.

I know they will laugh and share memories. I am sure they will miss their Dad who died an unexpected death several years ago. So perhaps their time may be bittersweet. All speculation, really. That’s what I do. Speculate and think about what they do: work, surf, ballet, soccer, swim, hike, play music, share meals. I cannot reconcile the physical distance between us. I spoke with a spiritual director recently and he said pray that ” You get out of your own way so you don’t miss the opportunities when they appear.”

Okay, I think I get that. Meanwhile, I begin a new poetry sequence. Meanwhile I become my own publicist. Meanwhile I learn software for social media. Meanwhile we  prepare for a poetry reading and art exhibit. Meanwhile I teach meditation. Meanwhile I edit a friends’s poems. Meanwhile I make Brunswick Stew.  Meanwhile I practice yoga. I embrace silence. Set up a new alter. Morn the losses from the wild fires, the shootings, the on going discrimination against people of color, gay and transgendered. Meanwhile I scramble an egg every morning for the dog. Meanwhile I have a stack of books to read. Meanwhile I keep several notebooks and plan to offer a course on Why Keep a Journal? and a Pop-up Workshop: Walk the Labyrinth, Write a Poem. Meanwhile I call and text my brothers, a friend or two.

I say to myself, “Just this.” And I begin this rare Sunday with no  formal obligations, no formal plans. There was a time when I dreamed about this sort of day. I say to myself, ” be present to this moment.”  I pause…  find the dog asleep in the bed and say, “Want to go to the beach?”

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