I have a lot to do, so I go to the park.
It’s not because I am procrastinating, which I am prone to, but because being outside alone is my reset button. And I need reset.
I like to be up before my children. I like to have the kettle filled, the porridge on.
My youngest daughter likes to catch me before I rise, to peel back the duvet and greet me with 2 words: move over.
She makes herself comfortable, it’s one of her favourite things.
If I could curate my perfect, introvert’s start to the day, it would not go like this. Yet I live with other people, whose preferences (morning-related or otherwise), rub against mine. My daughter closes her eyes and bends her knees, she is in her happy place.
Later, I text my husband asking him to please, stop putting keys in my prayer bowl. I make a space beautiful, he makes it functional. (He lives here, too).
In the park I breathe deeply – morning sunshine and cherry blossom, birds singing, no one talking to me. I am in my happy place.
Yet in my mind I see the girls up in the branches of the tree they like to climb, I see splashes of red rolling down the grass banks, I see them pop up on their favourite ‘mound’ and disappear again. I am usually here with these little companions, getting grass stains on their school uniforms, thwarting my best-laid plans. Another kind of happy place, I suppose.
“It’s a good size for small keys”, he texts back later.
We like to read books about eccentric, fussy curmudgeons whose lives are disrupted by love – by unexpected friendship, by neighbours and community.
But aren’t we all disrupted and disrupting? Learning to move over, filling our bowls with keys and with prayers.