My little boy only wants Sanskrit mantras sung to him as he falls asleep. "Please Mama, sing me the Sanskrit ones?" he says, as he scoots back his 7-year-old body into my spooning embrace, finding his trustworthy bridge into dream.
My little budding woman-child, almost 11, wants to talk and talk and talk, cozied in close together under her covers in the dark of her room, telling me everything she feels and fears and longs for. She hands me all of her burdens, sometimes tearfully, and all of her hopes, and I open the palms of my heart as wide as I can to receive them all.
And then, alone in the night of my home, I wash the dishes again.
I work my way through the stack of bills.
I light a candle, sit down before the altar, and dive into the heart of flame -- noticing with awe how it rises with such bold elegance to fill its own light; noticing how sweetly eager it is to shine.
Exhausted, I slip under the luscious sheets of my own bed, softly pressing my curves into the waiting arms of quiet.
Oh these precious times. Dear God help me to treasure them. Help me to stay awake enough to keep opening to this pulse of Grace inside it all. Help me to cherish even the loneliness that surfaces here, the resistance to mundane tedium, the agitation and throb of wanting more.
Dearest Holy One, help me to stay in the wonder.
Help me to stay in the wonder while navigating the throes of density and traffic, the tight squeeze of time, the heat of hormones and the noise of squabbling siblings. Help me to stay in the wonder within this furrowed brow of fried nerves and tired bones.
Help me, please, to stay in the wonder.
Thank you Life.
Thank you for this exquisite moment, never before breathed. Thank you for this chance to love these young ones, and revel in the humbling complexity of human relating.
Thank you for the small moments, Life.
The unspeakable sensation of my son's soft, cool cheek as I kiss him goodbye at school. That vast sky of unfathomable love between his plump cheek and my devoted lips. That adorable way he tosses with confidence "See ya!" into the space as he takes off, like a rocket, towards his own becoming.
Thank you for that mastered toss of my daughter's long, magenta-streaked hair over her shoulder; that sharp, perfectly dismissive look in her eye, like a slap to my heart, as she begins to push me away in moments, needing to discover her own distinct creation. Thank you for this scary ache of loss and faithful deepening of love we discover as we transition into a brand new way together.
Thank you so much, Beloved One, for that moment when the hot water in the shower touches the waiting skin of my chest, my throat, the crown of my curly head. My loving hands to my momentary face -- so tender, this gesture.
And the moment -- oh! -- when I see this tiny, blue-feathered hummingbird land -- just for a heartbeat -- in the tree outside my window. Thank you for the creatures of the earth -- what bright joy they bring to our weariness.
And thank you Rain, for the precious gift of Green -- returning once again to my beloved California hillsides. Thank you for filling the wells; for feeding the hungry riverbeds and thirsty soil.
Thank you for this first morning sip of hot, creamy tea -- what a pleasure this gives me.
And how I love the old, white-bearded Irishman I had never seen before, who boldly lifted my chin tenderly in the café this morning to meet his eyes, saying "don't you lose that smile, dear -- it's beautiful!" Thank you for the intimate realness and casual sacredness that passes between humans in moments; the simple way this tends to our faith.
Thank you God, for the sweetness of pure stillness, of wantless wholeness, the unquestionable home of Truth that celebrates itself in the bottomless depths of my own heart.
Thank you for "thank you," for the wisdom of knowing that suffering finds no room inside a breath of gratitude.
Thank you for the wonder, Life.
I receive you; I bow.
I vow to keep finding my deeper yes to you.
I truly love you.
I truly love.
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