When the first morning of vacation began with a tumble of little bodies into our bed instead of my usual quiet cup of pre-dawn tea, the first thing I thought was, “I’m not gonna get much writing done this summer.” It was hard to shutter the construction of my thoughts for a season but it was also refreshing to forget about self-imposed deadlines and worming my way in front of the computer before my husband could claim it for the night. Those 10 weeks were full, brimming with outdoor adventures and lots of indoor lounging. Ultimately, I didn’t regret taking a break to enjoy life with our young family. I know these days are brief and memories must be caught whenever life pauses long enough for the butterfly net to snag a laugh, tousle or hand that still wants to be held. There will always be days for writing but the days of having a little boy asking for his back to be scratched as he wakes up or a little girl wanting her worries to be calmed in prayer at bedtime won’t linger long. Like Mary, I have been treasuring them up in my heart, right up to the last day of summer when the chaos of a school routine fell upon us once again.
What caught my eye wasn’t the tangle of yellow sunbursts growing where they had been planted, but rather the one that had managed to grow by accident, a few feet away, in a crack where the street and curb met. Just as tall and just as vibrant...life in an unexpected place. I was so taken with it that I ran back to the house to grab my camera (by now, I should know that taking my camera everywhere with me is a must.)
The kids were full of stories to tell and the walk home felt shorter because of their exuberance. As we passed the errant sunflower, my daughter paused to admire it. “Look how beautiful, Mom!” When she asked why the neighbor had planted it in such a strange place, I explained that the seed had probably been moved there by the rain or by a bird picking through the dirt. “Well,” she replied, “that seed just decided it had to grow anyway.”