Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tire swings and quiet moments


It's not often that we catch our daughter in a moment of repose. The world is too big, too exciting, too explorable for her to sit still for more than a fraction of a second. If I ask her to come and sit on my lap and tell me about her day, she comes running, gleefully, and touches down like some winged thing. And then, before I have a chance to wrap my arms around her, she's off again, a bird of prey soaring away with something snatched in her talons. She's a will-o'-the-wisp, materializing in unexpected places, and then slipping away before I've fully realized she was there. She's a pioneer, pushing every frontier, striking breathlessly through liminal spaces, a tiny human-shaped vessel going where none have gone before.

And yet there is a quiet place in this little dynamo. There is an eye to the storm, a still center about which great energies revolve.

I glimpse these moments and I imagine a strange alchemy which converts energy from her recently wind-milling limbs into conceptual fuel. The propellent ignites from a spark in her synapses, and her mind goes questing, boldly travelling her internal infinities.

Or perhaps there is repose both inside and out. Perhaps in these moments her mind empties itself of the myriad distractions of this world. She finds calm. She finds peace. She finds simplicity. And she quietly refills her psychic reserves, safe in sanctuary, before launching back into the wide world of possibilities.

I'm pretty sure I'll never know what secret conversations she has with herself in these moments; I think I like it that way. Because as I watch her and imagine, mystery and possibility fills my head, too.



10 comments:

  1. Neal, I just found your site through the National At-Home Dad Network. I am very impressed by this awesome blog! I am new at being a stay-at-home Dad and blogger myself, so this is very inspiring. Our first child, a daughter, was born three weeks ago. I may not have quite the following you have yet but I was happy to plug your blog on my own, and recommend my friends and readers add you to their list. Keep up the great work! All my best to you and your family...
    -Mark McNulty (The New American Dad -- http://mark-mcnulty.blogspot.com)

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    1. Mark, thanks for reading! And congrats on your new addition! Nothing like a little bundle to humble and inspire you. I'm off to check your blog.

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  2. love this post. great pics. well said.

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  3. This is just the beginning. This is how ideas are born. And it's foreshadowing too.

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  4. This is such a darling post- love it! <3

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  5. So beautifully said, and a perfect way of describing little ones at this stage of life. Now I want to go hug my daughter. The preschool teachers may find that a little weird, though, so I'll have to wait.

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    1. My daughter's in bed now, and there's a bittersweet tug at my heart knowing I have to wait until the morning to give her a hug. And the fact that I'll probably tell her, "Go back to you bed, I need five more minutes."

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  6. I just came across your blog after a dad blogger friend of mine shared your miracle of life drawing. LOve your site. I have been laughing as I read the conversations between you and your daughter.

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    1. Toni, thanks for visiting! I appreciate your kind words. It's taken me a while to catch up with some of my blog comments, but I'm off to visit you, now, as well.

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