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The Apple Slice

03.06.2015 / LIFE

Here’s what I want to tell you today. I want to tell you that, if my words are causing vibrations that are running opposite to the truths you hold – sound waves striking dissonance or resistance or choppiness in the good and worthy balance you’ve been working toward, close this browser.

There is a difference between being actively challenged and being passively influenced.

The first is to arrive with a softened heart and an open mind, but with searching eyes and tuned-in ears, both promising to look, to see, to listen, to hear. What am I reading? Why am I reading this? What does it mean for me? Is this a truth I am going to believe? Is this is a perspective I am seeking to adopt?

The second is quite the opposite.

The first happens, for me, when I am quiet, and contemplative, and the toddler is napping and the dishwasher is humming and I would really, truly like to read something that makes my soul stir.

The second happens, for me, in another manner entirely. It’s hopping on my phone to Google a recipe in the grocery store and I find myself habitually opening Instagram – oh, I’m sorry, I’m totally in your way, let me move over here by the oranges – and gracious, that stir fry photo she just posted looks way better than the sauteed kale I’d planned for, and yes, I have snap peas at home, maybe I should pick up some water chestnuts and sesame oil?

Except that, most times, it’s not about stir fry at all.

I’m in the bathroom now, and the toddler is loudly splashing, and the dogs are barking and the day has been long and hard and kind of heavy. And your sunlit corner loft, the one by the fiddle leaf fig tree and the sheer curtains, book on lap, bustling city below? That looks pretty nice right now. I want that instead. I want to trade the truth I’ve arrived at – that this life of messy all-in suburban motherhood is precisely what I want – for a single slice of your life that looks appealing when my eyes are glazed over and my heart is tired.

We know we’re not supposed to grocery shop when hungry. We know the result – a cart full of empty choices that make us salivate but will not nourish. And yet, we do this every day, right here. We blink at the screen, our thumbs scrolling down, down, down. Another sunset. Another macaroon. Another fiddle leaf fig tree.

We are starving, our hunger insatiable. And we mindlessly, accidentally, subconsciously fill our grocery carts – these beautiful minds – with empty choices that make us salivate but will not nourish.

I’m in the bedroom now, and the toddler is asleep and Ken is out of town and the day has been long and hard and kind of heavy. And your date night, the one with the candles and the poetry and the guitar solo he sang for you? That looks pretty nice right now. I want that instead. I want to trade the truth I’ve arrived at – that love means service and comfort and taking out the trash – for a single slice of your life that looks appealing when my eyes are glazed over and my heart is tired.

I’m sorry, I’m totally in your way, let me move over here by the oranges.

I’m in the kitchen now, and the toddler has thrown a tantrum, and the day has been long and hard and kind of heavy. And your smiling family portrait, the one in the orange grove where you’re wearing the chambray dress? That looks pretty nice right now. I want that instead. I want to trade the truth I’ve arrived at – that my family is precisely the gift I need and that our struggles are uniquely suited for us – for a single slice of your life that looks appealing when my eyes are glazed over and my heart is tired.

I am Eve, trading gardens for apples.
I am Erin, trading here for there.

Now for then.

When for if.

And so, here is what I want to tell you. If reading the book of my life takes you away from the path you believe you are intended for, and the truth that you have arrived at, then please, put me back on the shelf.

Next to the apple.

There might be a season where messages of slowing, or minimizing, or lessening, might be encouraging for you. And yet, perhaps this is your season of more. Perhaps this is your season of tasting and seeing and knowing it is good.

If so, I’ll be here, and you be there.

I’ll wave to you.

We have both been given gardens.

Our own Edens, worlds apart but sharing the sun.

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