I stomped the snow off of my boots, convinced my kids to do the same and we stepped inside. Familiar smells, smiling faces, harmonizing songs and biblical words welcomed us into the room and invited us to find a seat.
It had been three weeks. I used to come every week, and then after my second baby it dropped to every two weeks. Now I’m happy when we can make it at all. The fighting, chaos, nagging to get them dressed and ready and packed with a non-messy snack and quiet items to keep them occupied. It’s exhausting. When we are able to make it there and I spend the entire time trying to keep them quiet, my anger and frustration building to the point that I miss all the words, songs; the entire experience – well, it hardly feels worth it.
And then there are days like today. Of course they were aware that there was a treat waiting for them at home due to a whole week of hard work. It may have also had something to do with me just getting over a cold and getting eight hours of sleep the last three nights…But…The air was fresher when I stepped in for some reason. I was aware of the smiles on so many faces, the openness that trickled into my skin as I breathed in deep throughout the first song. Behind the colourful stained glass windows the wind threw up semi circles of snow as if waving to all the hopeful souls around me. There was a feeling of hope. Of openness and hope and acceptance. I wasn’t worried about impressing anyone, or doing things correctly or….I really had no worries at all.
In all honesty, it could be my desperate need to find adult company after spending the entire week struggling with the curiosity of children. I didn’t speak to anyone, except during the lovely moment in which we are called to offer each other peace. But I was with like minded adults within the confines of four walls, saying the same words, singing the same beautiful songs, all together as one.
Through all the poop the world is experiencing these days…we are all still the same. We all have needs and hopes and…we grow and suffer and hurt and love. And we will all grow old and our bodies will slowly break down and we will all be faced with the mystery of what is beyond one day. I feel hopeful. I feel at peace and I hope that everyone else today finds a moment such as mine in which they don’t feel alone. In which they can feel hopeful about our future and the future of our children and maybe share a greeting of peace with someone near them.
I wonder why I don’t try to go every week if I can leave with such an overwhelming, bursting heart. And then my girls push each other down in the snow. The oldest puts snow down her sister’s back and I reenter our front door with two crying little girls. I remember why.