Remind Me

Remind me that I feel better when I do this.

Remind me that everything is improved with a trip outside.

Remind me that the world is more bright and lovely midday when I step into the grass rather than tuck my toes under on the couch.

Remind me that all I have to do – ALL I have to do – is to get out of the way. To be silent and wonder. To ask the question and wait. To not turn my somersaults of confusion and anxiety trying to twist myself into already knowing what I do not yet know. To not justify my every action when they are all wrong because the only right one is to listen.

Remind me that it cannot all be mine, but look at what is.

Remind me that I would be overwhelmed with more anyway.

Remind me that it is the space between: the cool air, the ghost outline of a mostly round moon in the afternoon, the pine needles oddly tinkling like the sound of icicles in the spring breeze, the new baby-green buds born on the old dogwood branches.

Remind me that those trees in my yard have been there long before my comings and goings, my doings and not-doings, and they’ll be there, watching, long after. They are neither joyed nor dismayed by the antics of people in their yard, just observant.

Remind me to be observant, too.

Remind me to rest my face in a half-smile so as not to frown as I concentrate. I want to smile at what I’m considering, because if I’m going to frown, I want to do it on purpose.

Remind me to ask people questions about their lives.

Remind me to not interrupt.

Remind me that the world is spinning, and the ozone, and gravity, and revolution, and isn’t that all amazing when I remember to not take it for granted?

Remind me to stop avoiding what is difficult, because hiding it behind my back just makes it harder to hold.

Remind me to be careful.

Remind me to be purposeful, because so often I am not, and I allow myself the ease of being carried on the momentum of how-things-happen, forgetting that I have options: agency or complacency.

Remind me that “one day” backwards is “day one”.

Remind me that my parents are proud of the adult I’ve become. Remind me that I don’t have to act childlike for them.

Remind me that there is no rush. But also remind me to do a little every day.

Remind me to spend some time cleaning out the dusty old notes, files, boxes, and unused things. Remind me to unclutter my head, too.

Remind me that I want to learn to garden. But that I can start with something familiar like lavender or forsythia, and wait to tackle vegetables another year.

Remind me to keep the pen moving.

Remind me I’ll miss it all when I’m gone: the quiet classroom, the chaos when it’s full. The young minds shooting thoughts out in every unorganized direction like fireworks. Too loud, too scary, too much, and my responsibility to reign all that flash and fire in and make it into a timed, bright show, on schedule and in order.

But I already know that when I look back, I’ll first remember all that color and light and beauty, and I’ll need to be reminded of the slog.

 

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