I’m Here, Instead of Tryng to Be There

Michelle was over in Eckland doing the shopping for Easter dinner. Benny had taken the girls out to the park. Pat had snuck off somewhere for a drink. I’d ripped off my size-too-small-jeans and slipped into a pear of old sweatpants. I’d brewed a pot of coffee, then poured a steaming cup. The house was blessedly still. The burgeoning spring sun streamed in through the grand old windows, working its hardest to warm the recliner that sat in its path. I had room to breathe. 

Tick tock. Tick tock. 

And for the first time all week I could hear the persistent ticking of the grandfather clock. Oh, how I still loved the sound! It reminded me that the stillness of the house also granted me something else – time. 

Tick tock. Tick tock. 

I had been tasked with orchestrating the annual McKowen Easter Eggstravaganza. 

Tick tock. Tick tock. 

But could you imagine time for myself? Time to pull out the half finished paperback I’d been trying to finish for weeks. I paused for a moment, contemplating my options. To the right, the warm recliner beckoned. To the left, Michelle’s bin of egg hunt supplies sat prominently on the kitchen table. It read “McKowen Eggstravaganza” on the side in her neat, crisp printing. It didn’t beckon. If I were to personify that bin, then I suppose it would probably look at me expectantly, maybe even a little accusingly. 

Tick Tock. 


Michelle. Always so damn organized with her labelled bins and Easter dinner shopping list sorted into sections according to the arrangement of Eckland’s supermarket shelves. But could you imagine time for myself? I gave the Easter bin another glance. Shrugged. 

Tick Tock. 

I turned right, sank down into the soft leather of the recliner. Closed my eyes. Took the damn time to be still. Took the damn time to just be. I thought about Easter and spring. I thought about rebirth and about renewal. I thought about the guilt I felt for eating some of Maddy’s chocolate bunny – the left ear – and how ridiculous that was. I took a sip of coffee, felt my muscles relax. I felt myself actually existing in my body. Present, instead of rushing. Here, instead of trying to be there, wherever there even was. And then I thought it was time to be grateful. 

Tick tock. 

Grateful for a nose to hold up my glasses. 

Grateful for arms to hug my girls. 

Grateful for a spine to twist and a throat to laugh. 

For ears that hear and eyes that see. 

For a brain that thinks and a tongue that tastes. 

For a core that is learning to work again.

Grateful for feet to stand on and for legs that carry me where I need to go. 

Grateful for a body that grew and carried two babies. 

Grateful for a body that was their home, and still is my home. 

Tick tock. 

The grandfather clock chimed three o’clock. Michelle would be back soon, bags of groceries in tow. Benny would return with the girls. Pat would skulk in the back door, smelling like beer. The Easter bin still looked at me expectantly. And I pulled out that half finished paperback, and read for the sheer joy of it. And tomorrow, I’d eat that Easter dinner for the sheer joy of it too.

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