on community

solitude is easy.

breath comes easier, faults are quick to hide, and thoughts are rapid to run.

community is frightening.

community means letting go of expectations, acknowledging your shortcomings, and expressing love and gratitude in the face of uncertainty or discord.

solitude is easy.

the ego can take over, drive your every move, fuel your every thought. pride can run rampant, pain ascribed to everyone and everything else.

community is powerful.

the ego must take a backseat, allow another to shine, uplift and encourage those whose thoughts and words might seem majestic, powerful, in comparison to your own.

solitude is easy.

wounds can be nursed, grown, fostered. fears can be blown up, empowered, magnified. your beauty, your spark, can be easily shuttered, drawn behind closed doors, muffled in the lone thud of a heartbeat.

community is strength.

wounds are exposed and healed, what was once a mountain rendered a mere splinter of fear. your beauty, your spark, is joyously met in a celebration of difference, change, and possibility.

solitude is easy, is known, is comfortable.

community is challenging, is encouraging, is vast.

in solitude, we wither, we fall away, we lose ourselves.

in community, we thrive, we grow, we find ourselves–

a snowflake adrift in a storm, a water droplet thrown forth in a river, a ray of light beaming to the earth.

in solitude, we are easily broken.

in community, we hold fast–

immovable.

on noticing

when he was first born, i noticed everything.
the wrinkles around his fingers, the tiny grunts while nursing, the exact way his leg kicked when he was happy.
as time went on, i noticed broader, larger things.
the wrinkles passed away and left, in their place, the way his mouth moved just before he was about to have a fit, the way the corners of his mouth pulled up–just a bit–before he was about to burst into laughter.
as time goes on, i notice less.

my mind is often cluttered.
clean the house.
write something. anything.
make food.
prepare for the rest of the day.
going.
going.
going.

i’ve stopped noticing.

rocking him before his nap today, i took a moment to pause. his nursing quieted, his body stilled.
he’d fallen asleep at my breast–an occurrence that is increasingly uncommon.
while i’d normally hoist him up to my shoulder and lay him down, for the first time in a long time, i paused.
i paused to slip my breast from his mouth and watched as he settled back against me, his fingers–both baby and little boy fingers–gripping my shirt and arm, his little body at peace in my arms.
i noticed how beautiful it is, how wonderful, to be able to bring peace to another human being, even if it is just in sleep.

being a mother is an honor and responsibility i am often flustered in and frustrated by.
i feel ill-equipped, ill-prepared, and wish i could just figure it out.
why, when he napped 3.5 hours yesterday, is he only napping 1.5 hours today?

why, when he was happy playing by himself yesterday, is he clinging to my neck today?

and the answer–
ever elusive–
is simple:
he is human.
he is a small human, doing his best to navigate a world that is just as often strange and frustrating for him as it is for me.
and i, his mama, have the joy of holding his hand through the process.