So August is over and I have to admit to being a little relieved. August yells too much.
Everything yells. Back to School! Get on board! Buy your supplies! Come on, get excited! And yet.
The garden yells. I am ready! Eat me before I rot! Pick me! Pickle me! Can me! I am going to fall off and waste away if you don’t!
My flowers yell. Water! Then they subside into wilting gasps. Water please. Please. Please…. And even with loving ministrations that only forget them once in a while, they fade away.
My house yells. I have dirt everywhere! There’s fly poop on the windows! There are spider webs in the curtains! There is fur on the fans!
There are picnics and family reunions and a frenzy of things to do. Now! While the weather is nice!
The insects even yell. Have you heard them? Its like they have to get in all their decibels really quickly before the Long Cold.
My children yell in sheer barefoot delight, and that is the only yelling I don’t find wearing. As long as it is outside.
It’s just too much yelling. I find it hard to stay serene with so much racket. My diary reads like a sprint through August. I am not sure whose fault it is, but it’s time to slow down a little before I have heat stroke. How about you?
My friend has a wedding anniversary in August. They have been married 25 years, I think she said, and hardly ever can they manage to celebrate until later when life slows down, and how her mother consented to an August wedding, she has no idea.
Still. There was a day when I was doing bushels of tomatoes and it felt so surreal because I knew my sister-in-law was at her mom’s bedside in the hospital, watching her suffer in acute pain while she waited for a diagnoses. Cancer.
Sometimes something yells so loudly that all the rest seems relatively quiet.
I do have some defenses when life gets so urgent. I fix my coffee exactly how I like it, and
if I am fortunate if I got up early enough, I get to drink the whole cup in quietness while I shore up my soul for the day. Some days I have to reheat a couple times, and it is still in the cup at lunchtime. I just try not to think about it.
I go on walks by myself whenever I can. Even a half hour is rejuvenating. Sometimes it is the only time in a day that I can think an entire thought to myself and I spend the first 15 minutes just trying to get used to the sensation.
I stop what I am doing every day after lunch and read my little people a story. I need it as much as they do. Sometimes I even fall asleep. One day I woke up at 4 o’clock and felt oddly gratified that nothing yelled that entire time. That was the day Gabe took the boys along to Ag Progress.
We are not supposed to let the urgent dominate and squish out the really important things. I struggle with that. We had a speaker at church recently who talked about about redeeming the time. It comes down to priorities and soul care, first of all. Everything else flows or gets stopped up there. He suggested that the best question is: What does God want me to do right now?
It might not be the house or the tomatoes. What is going to keep my head above water, cleaning the ceiling fan or taking a breather to quiet my heart? Being a self-confessed Martha, I know what yells loudest, and I know what He wants me to do right now, too.
Here’s to a Serene September!
3 thoughts on “Tyranny of the Urgent”
Your description of August is spot on! I’m grateful for the prospect of more white space in my life this fall, although summer with all its humid goodness is a blessing too.
I just wanted to say that because of this post I made the choice to sit on the porch this evening when the hubby left for work again at 6:30pm. The boys took a dust bath, the baby let the breeze tickle her bare skin, and I drank in the cool, evening calm while I read my book. The ironing and dishes will keep until tomorrow. My hubby is always telling me to seize the moment, whether its for soul care, quality time, of rest. Its not my strength, because I usually say, “Just as soon as I finish this.” Thanks for inspiring me today. 🙂
Some places there aren’t really seasons. They grow food all year long, and they can have picnics anytime. Not so much refreshing, but not so much frenzy either. Also, I really liked to read about all the yelling!