The Summer of the Cocoon
I wish I was more mainstream and regular, like the wild, pounding beat of a steady drum. Instead, I do not easily conform. Thus, I cannot imagine my words ever finding the thrum of viral shares, touching a heart times infinity. I do not even dream for my words to last beyond me into eternity. I am a mere woman, be it stretching small into the now. (what is man that He is mindful of me?)
Normally, my summers are taken with trips to the library for theater shows, cheap movies, swimming, and chaotic busy. But this summer, I’ve cocooned. I never went to the library shows, and they are done now. I’ve attended zero movies. I can count swimming trips on one hand, and we’ve been still. It’s felt as if the rest of the world is generally too busy to even make time for our small way of being, so we’ve waited in patience for busy schedules to open. The one steady thing I’ve done is show up for bible study, which would be kinda weird if I didn’t.
fruit to still
It started with the rain opening up the skies and drenching us with her blessings. I went to the garden each day and picked the fruit I found as the squashes produced abundantly in quick succession. But by the time we left for the beach and came home at the opening of summer, the squash was done. And so it seemed was my fruitfulness. The rain came, then we beached, still in the rain.
When we came home, my oldest, went on a road trip. I had planned to trip around Alabama in the small down days of summer, but with her gone, I didn’t want to do something she would miss, so we waited to live. We watched too much tv, played the xbox and kindle, and hid under the safety of the roof in the rain. I waited to live in anticipation that she was living.
But then the rains stopped, and I kept cocooning. One day, I realized that I was watching too much Netflix. I had to repent. Since I’ve started listening to the true voices instead of the condemning, false voices, I’ve found space to see where repentance should be. And I make room for Him in ways I’d wandered from. But sometimes, it seemed I spent too much time preparing for lessons that felt mediocre. But what would they have been had I not studied?
There is always this tension between motherhood and calling if that is what it is. Calling seems much weightier and final than leading or teaching a study. This tension that I should give all of me away to one grand thing – motherhood or calling. And studying too much for bible study feels like taking from my children. Will they resent spiritual things because I didn’t know how to adequately hold the beautiful waste in my hands? This summer, I’ve not exactly been content to be lazy, but other than studying and netflixing, I don’t have much to show for it.
slow, molasses pace
Now, that same daughter is at camp. She will come home, and brother will go to a different camp for the first time. I’ve spent more days this summer with just me and the younger two than ever before. I cannot say I’ve been this active mom that I usually want to be. When we look back on this particular summer, will it be the best one yet? Perhaps, the slow, molasses pace is just what we all needed, before the drawl of sweet tea and carpool with no more homeschool, and three in three schools. Just saying that makes me a little tired.
I think maybe my body is telling my heart something that it did not know. Whereas summer is this intense thing moms hate because of the lack of structure and the pressure to entertain, summer is for me this intense pressure to be present and create fun, quality time memories between me and my kids. It is pressure for me to be the mom I want to be. And all those activities represent fun mom to me.
the fruit of rest and the art of the cocoon
But what my body is saying is that we are transitioning, and even in the quiet, seemingly, unfulfilling summer for me and at least my oldest, we are metamorphosing. We are transitioning from a caterpillar to butterfly. We are resting up while rest is still a thing we can do before we become. We are becoming secret keepers and loving on purpose and holding treasures in our hearts. So all this time is not waste, all is not lost. We so rarely treasure the act of being, the stillness, and the rest.
Like the steady drum, school will come. One in middle school, one in intermediate, one in elementary, and I at home alone for the first time – the weight to know how my time will be filled presses in. What will I be? Who will I become? What kind of butterflies are we becoming?
I don’t know.
But when I get there, I will drink nectar from the purple, orange, and yellow flowers like the butterflies on our bushes outside, and fly and dance when the whooshing waters fall.