Saturday, May 4, 2013
Such quantities of sand...
"The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"
"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear."
-From The Walrus and the Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll
The last couple of years have felt at times as if I was trying to sweep the sand away from the beach (not sure why I would ever want to do that...but go with it here...for the sake of a goofy illustration).
The house has suffered the most. All of the sand I cleared ended up on my kitchen floor.
Working full time...taking classes full time...four kids...a huge dog...and a busy weekend schedule have worked their sinister magic on my life. We have come undone. I feel much like the oysters at the end of Carroll's poem...eaten up by the very thing that wooed me on to the beach to begin with!
And...also like those oysters...a large job was accomplished one. bite. at. a. time.
Finally, it is done.
The classes are over.
The papers are written.
The exams are through.
Evaluations have been made.
Something amazing has happened here...
I finished something. I ran the course to the end.
Now I'm not saying there won't be more races to run...far from it.
But this one race...the one that I began in August of 1993 (whoa.)...this race...the one I detoured from to begin ministry, a family...this race...
And now...I have this one glorious summer ahead of me...open. Cleared. Swept clean. This one amazing summer to make a beachful of memories with four lost children...who have missed their mama as she busily swept the sand off her stretch of shore.
For one sandy summer I will not be college-ruled. I can let the waves bring whatever they bring. I'll deal with that in the Fall...or next Spring...or next year. The Master's can wait a bit more while I let the sand gather here.
Ah, Summer. Sun on sand...sand on skin...sand and salt and shoes and ships and sealing-wax...
"'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
'To talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax
Of cabbages and kings...'"