Early Morning: Taking stock on the cusp of a new year

Sliver Moon Sunrise II
Sliver Moon Sunrise II (Photo credit: puliarf)

It’s quiet outside this morning, and the slim sliver of cream-colored moon, its remainder a charcoal disc, lounges in a straight line with two bright stars in the eastern sky. Last night was yet another bad night in a month-long string of bad nights (where, oh where did my lovely easygoing baby go? Is this payback for seven easy months?), but I have to choose between half an hour more of sleep and a little quiet soul food time, here on the deck in the cool air. I need this time, as much as I need the sleep.

Today begins the Big Three first days of school. Nicholas goes to preschool this morning; Julianna has meet-the-teacher night after dinner. Tomorrow it’s Alex’s turn, starting second grade, the big sacramental year. And Thursday it’s Julianna’s turn at last. She’s been asking for the bus a dozen times a day since I got her off the summer school bus for the last time.

As quiet goes, it’s not really all that quiet. We’re too close to a major artery, and even at 5:45 a.m., even as far from the city center as we are, a smattering of cars runs up and down it. And if I focus on the quiet, I still can hear the interstate. But it’s quiet enough for now.

I feel scattered lately, my drive and focus splintered in dozens of directions. For several years, I’ve spent a good deal of energy trying to make sure I consistently increased my blog traffic. Watching what topics people responded to, tackling bigger and more important topics. But I wore myself out. I realized I was spending so much more time on this outlet than the numbers justified. I feel bad, now that the numbers are down along with the posts, and I feel like I’m letting you all down. But I had to let go. I miss the numbers, the knowledge of how many people I was reaching, but my family is most important. Who knows? Maybe in the next couple of weeks I’ll discover new energy and focus. But maybe I’m simply shifting priorities on a larger scale. In any case, it feels right and proper, and for the first time in several years, I don’t feel addicted to the stats meter.

The sky is getting brighter, rendering the moon faded and the stars (planets?) dull. Reminding me that the clock is ticking forward. My skin tightens against the whisper of a breeze.

So many things in my mind: the phone call from a family starting down the road we’ve walked with Julianna for five years. Julianna triumphantly and enthusiastically shouting letters off a sign at her aunt yesterday–lower-case letters, no less!–the IEP meeting tomorrow, and how to work out babysitting–another lost day of writing and oh, my goodness, I have to focus today; I can’t keep putting off the writing forever, those deadlines are looming larger every moment, and writing’s going to have to wrestle back to #1 for a week or two. Don’t think about how much there is to do.

Maybe it’s time to leave this deck, light enough now that I can see the sycamore grove pale yellow-green and brown for lack of rain, leaves turning fully two months before they should. The eastern sky glows wispy salmon now, and the stars are gone, but the moon still hovers, a ghost of its former self. God get me through these next couple of weeks, and I promise I will somehow make time regularly to get out away from the noise, and simply be with you again.

Just Write