I am currently taking a class on the Personal Essay at the Loft and the following is an essay I wrote based on this post. In doing this, I've realized that some images really do stay with us and can provide new insight and meaning with time.
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At night, I climb into bed desperate for sleep but cannot quiet my mind. I review the day for things I may have forgotten and make mental lists of things still to be done. I fight with myself. Should I get up? Should I write things down? I never do. I simply lie there while my mind sprints ahead towards a finish line that seems elusive.
Morning comes and my mind runs in place, waiting for the starting gun. I pour a cup of coffee, grab my Blackberry and make my way to the couch to check my e-mail and respond, to read and return texts, to scroll through several hours of news feeds. I have this one hour to myself before children and work lay claim to my time and this is what passes for quiet - too much information, too many plans.
I wake the children, my mind takes off and I spend the rest of the day trying to keep pace - always feeling that I’m failing. There are so many details to hold and such little room for error.
When my son was five, he found an inch worm and watched it with intense interest for close to half an hour. He stood in the sunlight, transfixed by this tiny creature, and I sat nearby watching him with the same sense of awe. At one point, he called me over and we watched together as the inch worm chewed its way through a leaf. It moved slowly, requiring us to be still. We watched as it took bites, saw the uneven path it left in its wake, marveled at the way its body changed colors as the leaf moved through it.
Let me be like the inch worm. Let slow ripples of movement send me ever forward with purpose. Let me travel across a leaf in awe without once asking if I have reached the end. Let me be like the inch worm and I will make peace with the ragged path I leave behind.