Dust like this blows around sometimes. I get that. And sometimes you get so used to the dust that it becomes normal, and the thought of it settling is unsettling. Thinking clearly isn’t always easy. Neither is figuring out how to do the right thing. Sometimes it’s easier to let the dust decide our fate.
One of the days between the move and the fire, I visited my grandkids. Their energy feeds me, sort of like the Borg, only not as creepy. I didn’t know there would be a barn-destroying fire in a few days, so the dust blowing around me was the kind your sandals kick up on a dirt road, just enough to get your jeans a little dirty.
Mae asked me, as she does every time I visit, “I find da Buddha, Grammy?”
The Buddha is a 1-inch thin stone with a seated Buddha carved in it. It’s a “worry stone” and I keep it in my purse.
|Well-worn worry stone|
Mae has a ritual in her pursuit to find “da Buddha”: She draws in my notepad; cuts a piece of dental floss and flosses her front teeth; counts all my coins; lines up my debit, grocery, gas, and credit cards in her hands like she’s playing poker; blows her nose; asks to write in my checkbook (“No.”); shakes up the child-proof pill bottle and asks what’s in it (I’ll never tell); squirts lotion on her hands; puts Burt’s Bees on her lips; and powders her nose (and face and the baby’s face and Luca’s face) before finally…FINALLY….
“I find da Buddha!” she exclaims.
Usually, she puts the Buddha back in whatever recess of my purse she found it in, but the last time – the time before the fire – she held it in her hand and pretended it was an airplane. She ran around the house exclaiming, “Flying Buddha!”
Mae is madly into princesses, and she was wearing one of her several sparkly pink jammies that have a princess on the front. Claire is madly into super heroes, and she was wearing her third outfit of the morning: Thor. Luca was sitting on the floor playing with a ball maze, sucking his thumb to help him strategize. Audrey just sat on the floor, contemplating whether she preferred princesses to super heroes. She’s not quite 1, so she has time to decide.
When I left them and drove back to my new home 60 miles away, I thought about these last 6 years as a grandmother, and the dust settled a little. I thought about my resume, the book, the blog, and about when I’d get in the pool at the Y again. I strategized “normal.” I envisioned my life as calm and cool and collected.
Two days later, there was the fire, and the dust kicked up like a V8 Chevy racing down a dry southwestern Minnesota country road. That kind of dust on the prairie goes nowhere without wind. Without wind, the dust is like a scene from “The Matrix,” suspended in air. It filters out the sun and drifts back to the ground slower than flowing maple sap.
Some things can’t be settled in the mind in a matter of minutes or even days, no matter how badly we want them to. But given time, dust will settle. The laws of physics make it so.
Flying Buddhas and super heroes also make it so. Determination and patience make it so. Being kind and friendly make it so. Eating well and exercising make it so. Even going to Costco makes it so. Think about it: life is going to do whatever it needs to, but you still need a 32-ounce jar of pickled herring, right? And an 8-pack of tooth brushes, a 5-pack of toothpaste, and a 6-pack of dental floss to share? Windshield wipers and a cordless mouse? Retail therapy can help get you through the dust, too.
Dust happens. Dust settles. Dust will happen again.
How do you settle your dust?
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