Coldframe

That retreat, that last post about the seedlings needing tending, they both ushered in something I’ve never previously managed. Something I’ve never really even tried.

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The fruit of seedlings…

Not for fear. Well, maybe a little for fear. But mostly because I have some very specific priorities, and while writing ranks pretty high on the list, it does not top out. And to date, there was no way – for me, in my life – to make it work without violating those priorities.

What have I done? I’ve built some writing time in. Scheduled. Planned. Set aside. Every day that we are home, and some that we are not – weekends optional – I leave my house. I announce that I am leaving, let all the kids know that I’ll be back in two hours. I pull the card table out of the office, set it up with its little green chair – as close to the fireplace as I can – and I leave.

Every day that we are home, and some that we are not, weekends optional, I leave my house. I announce that I am leaving, let the kids know that I’ll be back in two hours. I pull the card table out of the office, set it up with its little green chair – as close to the fireplace as I can – and I leave.

The kids are aware that there is a stranger that may lurk in the living room and that they are to ignore her entirely. They are aware that she is merely a figment of their imagination. They are aware that she might consume their chocolate, but what are they to do about a ghostly thief?

I will say that I almost didn’t pull the trigger. I am a great one for coming up with these ideas, proclaiming them to the four corners of the universe, and then letting them slip away into the recesses of memory. And guilt.

But the more I cradled my coldframe analogy, the longer I looked at my growing-up family – those for whom I spend a great deal of time waiting for to need me – the deeper I longed for this thing, the more I knew it was time.

I mentioned it, in hushed tones, to one of my retreat-buddies, who of course thought it was brilliant and lovely and about time, and even after opening the idea up to the elements, the flicker didn’t die. It was time to start.

I am a week in, and I have managed quite well. My homeschooled kiddos think it’s hilarious to watch me disappear into my bubble of invisibility. My fingers appreciate the closeness of the fire, the absence of which has often kept me from migrating to the dining room table, no matter how much I want to. My card table is feeling more love than it ever knew was possible. And I am writing. Consistently. Intentionally. And best of all, without any of the guilt associated with the intermittent checking in and out throughout the day, fielding interruptions as graciously as possible, trying desperately to strike a balance. Because let’s face it, you may not be needed – or noticed – for three hours, but the minute you decide to embark on a project (or a phone call), you are beckoned to from every single direction imaginable. The law of a mother at home.

And I am writing. Consistently. Intentionally. And best of all, without any of the guilt associated with the intermittent checking in and out throughout the day, fielding interruptions as graciously as possible, trying desperately to strike a balance. Because let’s face it, you may not be needed – or noticed – for three hours, but the minute you decide to embark on a project (or a phone call), you are beckoned to from every single direction imaginable. The law of a mother at home.

My family, at this point, is all autonomous enough to survive without me for two hours a day; they do it all the time even when I’m there. They are old enough and mature enough and brilliant enough to schedule their meltdowns and inquiries for a later time, after my return, and if they know I’m gone, they easily respect that time. There are no interruptions to field. There is no guilt to snivel under. There is no downside that I can, from where I stand, see through to.

If you ask the kids, the only thing that could be better is I would take the strange lady by the fireplace with me when I leave. Maybe someday, when I’m feeling rich and entitled and not quite so much in love with my own home, I’ll go to a coffee shop in the bustling metropolis of Colfax. Until then, this place serves great water.

And so the experiment continues. Lovely.

If you need me, I’m gone,
KJ

 

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2 thoughts on “Coldframe

Add yours

  1. Dear Krista, Good for you for setting this time aside for writing. I REALLY need to do this with my art! Thank you for the inspiration! Sincerely, Paula

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

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