I was surprised at the response to the last post of mine - which I considered a quick collection of random words and images.
“…it looked as if a tornado had hit our living space. Found tiny pink socks in the crevices of our sofa, a very soft crowned green frog peering down on me from top of the hutch, cotton stuffings strewn all over the rug from a fresh toy doggy kill, mandarin orange wrappers under the coffee table, perched glasses filmed with egg nog, empty chocolate boxes piled in the corner and some turkey stuffing in a kitchen counter corner. There was one completed puzzle – perhaps an attempt at order in the midst of chaos. Beautiful! Another tornado, please.”
I wrote it after meandering through my house “the morning after” a two-day family gathering. What I saw warmed my heart – and it was in the little things.
Why the immediate response? I wonder if this moment represents a major tension in life, we yearn for order and control and fail. We want things to be perfect – and I don’t think there is anything wrong in creating order. In fact this year, I felt that I could have been much more organized beforehand - and I hope to institute some changes for next year - like preparing more of the food the day before so I can truly enjoy the children and grandchildren.
But it is in the chaos of life - in our case two little ones demanding and deserving attention and a black, soft-haired Charlie who bustled around underfoot creating his own chaos - that we find the poetry.
The best moment was watching the adults try to assemble a Christmas puzzle with one little person watching them keenly interested. Then, this little person leaned over and picked up his own puzzle piece. When they didn’t notice him, he leaned in further and further until he was right up on the table picking up his own pieces and playing with them - something his father would never ordinarily allow but who was much too absorbed to notice.
Finally right on top of the table, he began to assemble his own little puzzle. Suddenly he began to chirp. “Tweet, tweet, tweet.”
I looked at him a little puzzled. “I am a bird,” he explained. Aah – he was feeling the freedom of being perched high in an unusual place - usually forbidden.
Then he held the two puzzle pieces high in the sky. “I can fly,” he said. And it was as if he was lifting off… “Tweet, tweet, tweet.”
I took two pieces of my own and lifted them high – and we flew together through the sky.
I could feel his rush of freedom, delighting in the moment – flying through the sky with only two puzzle pieces to hold us up.
It was poetic moment – rich with symbolism. Who knew puzzle pieces could sprout wings? Who knew the miracle of connection could span so many decades? Who knew that the power of imagination can become a path?
Order is wonderful as a beginning, but the resulting chaos of life is what we will truly treasure.