Like stepping from the the cold gray into golden light, to just stop and close your eyes...
and feel the warmth of golden sun soak into your bruised heart...
I was moving forward despite not wanting too. My heart and soul felt bruised and I stood clearly in the cold gray. Our family, our life had been turned upside down and every moment was struggle and survive and move forward because that is what you have to do when life gets harder. Move forward because there are little ones that need you to keep them in motion so that they at least have a chance to catch the golden light.
I was picking my way through a mess of boxes and crates waiting to be unpacked from a camping trip that we had returned from just the day before. A camp trip that had been a desperate scramble by adults to give the little ones a brief moments to stand in the golden warmth. Two days was all that could be afforded, but it had been wonderful for them with sunshine, splashing in pools, campfires and giggles, so many giggles! Even the adults had briefly forgotten the troubles at hand and we had been filled with the giddiness of happy children, but now it was time I found the forward momentum to unpack.
"I am a flying squirrel and you are my tree." That was the only warning I had before a ball of energy hurdled through the air and smashed into me. I staggered and braced just in time and the blond curly squirrel clung to me giggling. My son squirmed and wiggled trying to climb further up the mommy tree.
"I am not a tree', I protested.I got a face full of tangled curls and it smelled of sunshine, splashes and giggles. I stood still for a minute and closed my eyes...golden still light.
"Good Grief, you are still wearing the clothes you camped in and look at you, you need a bath". Squirrel sensing danger scrambled down off of the mommy tree.
"Never", he cried.
"Why not?" Now that I could see him at a distance I cringed. Dingy clothes and brown knees and elbows and hair stiff from swimming.
"But look at you! You are covered in camp ground." He only grinned at that remark.
"Yep!" he said proudly.
"You need to wash off vacation", I stated sternly.
"NO", he cried out and marched past me like a little French protester leading his country . "It is against the law to wash off vacation! Vacation should last forever!" I started to protest and demand his little french butt get to the bathroom when something stopped me. The smell of his hair when I hugged him, sunshine, splashes and giggles and I did not want to lose that smell.
"You are right, it should be against the law to wash off vacation." I told him softly.
"I said it IS against the law!" raising his finger high in the air to make a point.
"OK, it is the law!" I relented "At least until tonight, alright? "
"NEVER!" he cried out and marched back and forth. How proud his French ancestors must be I thought and giggled out loud.
"I can live with a dirty boy for a few more hours," I told him and he ran off squealing with the happiness of victory .
I could live with the smell of sunshine and giggles even longer than forever. If only there was a way to bottle the smell of that sunshine, splashes and giggles for later. I would label it as 'Summer' to open in the cold gray months of winter and for a moment have a moment of golden still light to soak into my bruised but healing heart....
Later that evening my squirrel boy climbed onto my lap, still damp from his bath.
"Smell my head mommy", he begged. I did.
"What do you smell", he asked?
I was surprised at what I smelled, not just soap!
"I still smell sunshine, splashes and giggles", I told him. "How could that be?"
He squirmed and snuggled into a ball ready to sleep.
"I did it", he told me and closed his eyes sleepily. " Vacation is still in my head."
He was soon asleep. I closed my eyes, I sniffed his head again and again and stood so very, very still.