Monday, September 15, 2014

When I Don't Want to Forget the Light

It’s important to remember the basics. The things that root us and remind us of our center. When things get to be too much and I need to quiet the noise, I go to my basics. Yesterday it was pan biscuits before church. The smell of the melted butter as the biscuits crisped up at 6:30 in the morning centered me while I sipped my coffee with the pumpkin spice creamer.

(Saint) Florence and the Machine fills the room and for the first time I notice how dirty my windows are. We’ve lived here for almost a year and can I admit I’ve never cleaned them. So I got out the blue spray and a roll of paper towels and began the process of cleaning them inside and out. We don’t like to call the room the office, so we tried library, but that sounded stuffy. Mostly we call it the reading room. It’s where the rocking chair Adam gave me for the Christmas when Katie was a little over a year and I was pregnant with Sophie sits in the corner with the windows. The long radiator is covered with pictures, books, and a silver lamppost that lights up. It’s supposed to be a Christmas decoration but we call it the Narnia light and we turn it on when the girls come around for story time.

I wiped away a year’s worth of dust and dirt as my nose burned from too much Windex and my eyes filled with tears. I don’t know if it was the chemicals, the sunlight that poured in unfiltered, or the events of the weekend. But oh, oh that sunlight was breathtaking. The way it filled the room and warmed my face, even as the fall cool air snuck into our little brick house.

 I don’t want to forget the light.


So today I root myself in the basics.

Today is brought to you by holding hands and whispered prayers when waiting in the school playground and slow walks up and down the aisles at the grocery store, admiring each and every butternut squash and sweet onion.

Peanut butter sandwiches around the counter, with Lego carriages and castles.

It’s burnt umber table cloths and burlap runners, centerpieces of gourds and mini pumpkins, and mums filling the front door planter.
Today is chicken in the crockpot with sliced carrots and celery, hand peeled and chopped apples simmering in the dutch oven with cinnamon just because we can.

It is Gungor’s “Beautiful Things”, fuzzy socks, dollar store necklaces trying to look like turquoise, and red lipstick.

The sound of the laptop keyboard as I write something just for me.

Today is Little House in the Big Woods, Murphy’s Oil Soap and Lysol.

It is the candle I burn when I pray on Wednesdays. And even now it is lit because it needs to be.

And it is the way the water and yeast mix with flour. The way the dough rises and falls and rises again, even after being punched. And in the end, though the outside will be tougher, the inside miraculously is lighter and softer.

Glory be. Amen.


  1. You are amazing and I am so glad to be journeying with you.

  2. I want to go to there. Centering rituals are the bedrock of stability. Good for you, practicing that self care and all. And you do windows. You are all that and a loaf of bread.

  3. I have been centering on prayer and the music of John Michael Talbot today. Between waves of grief, I will rest on my back and look up, to the One who is the light in my darkness. I am grateful for the beauty and comfort you have shared in this post. xo

  4. Oh yes, the restoration that comes from experiencing beauty or the touch of someone's hand who loves me or the way baking becomes a meditation. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Brenna, I really enjoyed reading this. Your day as you wrote about it sounds lovely. Yes, it is good to focus on the basics, things that stay pretty much the same, to help us feel grounded when things are hard. You are such a caring person as demonstrated by The Well each week. I appreciate you so much and am so sorry for the hurt you've experienced.

  6. Oh my how you write!! You have a magical way of transforming ordinary words into love and life! Brenna = Beautiful Life and Beautiful Writing