Is this all there is?

1:30pm and I’m trapped. Well, my arm is. Trapped beneath a tiny human that has woken screaming from her nap after only a half hour, then promptly fallen back to sleep when moved to my bed. Fallen asleep on my arm. Even after an arm extraction I will be stuck here, watching over her while she sleeps on a bed too large for her. I won’t be going anywhere for a while.


There was a time when being stuck here would have made me wonder, ‘Is this all there is?’. Life was busy. There were things to do. Places to go, people to see, Jones’ to keep up with.  You know the drill. The guilt and frustration a mid-afternoon lie down when there was so much else to be done, so many other places to be, was too much to bear. I could (should) at least use the time to write myself a to-do list, right? Because a mother’s work is never done. There’s the house, the yard, the job, the car needs a wash… ‘Is this all there is?’. Now I think to myself, ‘This is all that matters’.

Instead of listing the 101 things I could be doing, should be doing, I just lie here. I listen to her slow and steady breathing and stare out the window at the slow moving clouds. It’s overcast today, a shower here and there, a brisk wind that stirs up now and again. My favourite weather. I make pictures from the clouds like I did as a child. The sleeping child stirs slightly then snuggles in closer.

From downstairs I can hear her brother’s giggles, her father pottering around as he enjoys an amicable disagreement of some kind with his brother. Time passes and I notice my breathing has slowed to match my daughter’s.  We are in harmony. The housework can wait a while.

To me this is the epitome of slow and simple living. Taking pleasure in the small things. The important things. These moments have become so rare in our modern, hurried lives. We feel guilty for allowing these slow times… if we stop racing along long enough to notice them at all. Why are we in such a hurry? Where are we going? Why?

This is all that matters. This tiny person who smells like sunshine and warm earth,  with a touch of baby sweat and just a dash of vegemite, she wants her mama. And I want nothing more than to slow down and let her have me. Some days that is an easier task to accomplish than it is on other days. That’s ok. The will is there and slowly, surely, the action follows the will.

Slow living. Simple living. This is all that matters.


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