Everything, is all.

This month alone: A casket kissed. A baby lost. Hot stage lights and a Gruffalo mouse. Sprinkles on a sundae. Smoke in our hair, fevered cheeks. Buttercream licked from the whisk.

Last week, a blonde six-year-old tapes paper elephant ears to a headband and tosses herself down a set of stairs. The cushions below offer a soft landing, but alas, nothing exists to lessen the blow of human limitation. Tell me I can fly, she shouts from above.

I yell until it’s true.

Books finished:
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
The Road to Character, by David Brooks
Acedia & Me, by Kathleen Norris
The Best American Nonrequired Reading, edited by Rachel Kushner

This is the week in which an epic marital miscommunication occurs, wherein Ken tells me he ordered a new potato scrubber, of which I didn’t know we’d ever owned. The wooden one, he says. Under the kitchen sink? and I realize at once that, for the past six years, I’ve been scrubbing our children’s boots with a breakfast apparatus.

And he, feeding our family Russets swabbed with mud and God knows what else.

It occurrs to me that this is precisely marriage: traipsing dirt all over another’s best-laid plans, hoping we live long enough to laugh of it later.

erin loechner blog

A thing to remember:

Weeks ago, I visit a class on growing and caring for apple trees. In a downtown classroom under flourescent lights, we learn of permaculture guilds, of cayenne pepper pesticides. We learn the whip and tongue graft, the secrets of scions. And when the instructor is asked how long until our new Liberty trees will yield fruit, and how much, we learn this:

“That’s not ours to know. Next question?”

  • Love the story of the potato scrubber….and yes, you will have to laugh about that one, if you are not already doing so!

  • Love and prayers…..sometimes everything happens at once. Your posts helps remind me to enjoy every single moment of every day. Your writing is beautiful.

  • It always amazes me how you can express such profound wisdom in such few words. God has blessed you with a gift and I am thankful you let it shine. I too kissed a casket this past month – held the hand of my dying mother and then was forced to let go. I am sorry for your loss – the loss of babies and children hits harder than most. Beautiful post with much truth.

  • I love these posts- the little glimpse into ordinary (profound) life. Thank you for sharing them with the world! Saying a prayer for healing and comfort in the midst of loss.

  • This is lovely and heartbreaking and heartwarming…such is life. The fact that none of it is ours to know seems to be the hardest part, and also the best part. Thank you for sharing.

  • Ahh, your writing is always a balm for my soul. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • My favorite Bible passage is Ecclesiastes 3. There is a time for everything. I love the way you strung together the sad and the happy, the noteworthy and the mundane, the scary and the laughable. You mix them all up where normally we tend to categorize life into good and bad, big a little, important and unimportant events but truly, it all has its purpose and it’s place. When you string them together and mix them up as you do, you imply that each moment, the big , the small, the happy, the sad, the noteworthy and the mundane are each valuable and important.

  • Your words make everything okay. It is your gift to the Universe. Thank you.

  • My husband used my vegetable scrubber to clean dog poop off his shoe just a few weeks ago, so this one hit close to home. Thank you for sharing your beautiful writing and photographs!

  • Erin, your writing is so palpably honest and heartfelt. Though our “currently”s may not have much overlap, reading your essays feels like coming home. Also, thank you for sharing this gem: “That’s not ours to know. Next question?”

    Sending warm wishes to you and your loved ones.

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