b ~ I have measured out my life with coffee spoons

When we want to know the truth,
–to be certain we have the exact right answer–
we reach for rulers, yardsticks, and tape measures.
Standard means by which to quantify and compare.

Yet we all have our own methods
by which keep to track of progress and growth,
ways that show how much time has passed.

There were years when it was all
dirty diapers and baskets of laundry.
Now we measure in pick-ups and places T must be.
Homework, lessons, tests, practices…
Kindergarten a shimmering memory,
graduation a speeding locomotive

T grows and grows and yet
there are not those corresponding
pencil marks on the wall,
but rather journal entries written
from a mother to a son for the past 15 years.

These days when I am stressed
and tired from the week,
all I can see are
crates and boxes that must be sorted through,
threatening to crash all around us.
Depressed, I become obsessed with
weight and word count.
Wishing for less of one and more of the latter.
Money (or lack there of)
becomes the ruler
against which I compare everything.
And I wonder:
Surely there must be more to life than this?

This week I heard
“What is an ocean but a multitude of drops?”

This week I saw
‘It’s easy to look at what is achievable
in a day and always come up short.
But it is just as easy to underestimate
what you can accomplish in a year.’

This week I started to make sense of it all.
Learning to use the seasons, sunshine and smiles
as a means of looking back.
Rather than focusing on
the apparent lack.

Funny to think that the same teaspoon
that I need when baking,
could be used to measure my life–
if I broke it down into small enough increments.

How many laughs, how many tears?
If I could, would I count all the
knitting projects I’ve finished
or the stitches needed to complete them?
I could easily count the books I’ve read
by looking at the list I’ve kept for the past decade.
Maybe I should concentrate instead
on the books M and I purchased together,
remembering the reasons that we bought them
and brought them into our home.
Might those moments be the truest,
most honest account of our days?
The days that bleed into each other
are so easily dismissed,
but they are ours in abundance.

Still there are those special occasions
we look forward to with fervent longing.
Each year the very thought of
the Fair, Summer Camp,
and our October vacation at the beach
makes me giddy.
Then Thanksgiving quickly comes.
That blessed day without presents or pretense,
when we have the opportunity to sit around the table
and see how we’ve all grown and changed,
and yet what among us has remained.

I capture these everyday events with photos
and blog posts week after week.
Lingering over those simple moments
that contain beauty and wisdom.
They have become an unexpected unit of
time, measurement and space.
Stacked one on top of the other,
making a mosaic of my life.
Its beauty only becoming apparent
when you pause long enough to
step back and take it all in.

About andi

Writer, editor, wrangler of small boys and dogs.

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