I’m a high school teacher, and towards the end of the last school year, I had a day that was categorically awful. It was one of those days that strained my patience, my creativity, my charity, my energy. If someone had offered me a job doing anything else, even sewer repair, I’d have taken it: THAT sort of day.
And when Scott came home, he got to hear every detail. I unloaded over the dinner table as the boys watched Veggie Tales (a singing cucumber is preferable to hearing mom skate on the edge of profanity). " I NEED to go running tonight," I said. "I’ve got to get this out of my system." Then I thought of the long, exhausting evening routine that would have to come first: the cleanup, the baths, the bedtime stories.
"Why don’t you go do your jog now, instead of waiting until the boys are in bed?" asked Scott.
Oh, dear God: How I love that man.
So I headed back to our room to change into my running gear. From behind the closed door I could hear the boys’ feet thundering down the hall, and the bumps and wails and clatter of toy trains that is the typical soundtrack to our evenings. I could hear Scott supervising and breaking up squabbles and I just lay on the bed for a moment, in the room drenched with the evening sun, trying to get my breath to slow. I felt caged in by frustration.
And then I noticed the Madonna and child figurine on my dresser. It was sitting smack in a ray of sun, which lit it up like a spotlight. It was breathtaking, actually, that sunlight hitting the side of Mary’s face and the top of Jesus’ head. Even the fact that I could see a thick layer of dust on the mirror behind them didn’t matter to me. It was a perfect moment, a little epiphany when I desperately needed it. It felt like a miracle.
When I say that, I don’t mean that Mary deliberately made the statue blaze in the evening sun, just to cheer me up. I don’t think it works that way. But there was a miracle there all the same. The miracle was that I — in my pissy, nasty mood – noticed the beauty at all.
Copyright 2010 Ginny Moyer
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