A Green Ribbon

I sort of feel like I am daily spinning a giant emotions wheel not unlike the one with dollar amounts on The Price is Right. A hard pull and I watch it cycle past, waiting to see on which wedge the flapping tab will land.

Optimism. Frustration. Breathless survival. Irritation. Detached calm. Fury. Satisfaction. So many options.

Today it landed on longing.

I examined my mental state and reached the conclusion that an undercurrent of longing pulls at me.

Though I am not even really aware that I am thinking this way, it’s nevertheless there. Today, I named the feeling, and realized that it runs deep.

What do I long for?

I long for my childhood.

For my grandparents.

For camping trips to Leigh Lake and picking huckleberries in Strawberry Canyon.

For Bijou and Theo, Sally and Olive—our departed dogs.

I long to swim in the ocean.

I long for summer.

I long for calm.

For simplicity.

For a taste of normalcy in my complex household.

For fewer Code Browns and virtually no lakes of urine.

I long to help my Jack be less frenetic, more peaceable and content.

I long for change.

At times I catch hold of a sense of pure loveliness in the life I am living. But it slips from my grasp when I grapple, two-handed, with my boys and their needs.

I want to rewrite longing.

Instead of a deep, strong river pulling at me from below, I’ll think of a smooth ribbon, vibrant green, that runs through the places of my childhood, to heaven where people I love are and back down, into the ordered routines of my family’s days, and on to tomorrow.

It’s glossy and constant, my ribbon of longing, tying me to the good things of the past and spooling out into what comes next.


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