Progress is slow. At times it feels as if we move backward or in circles. Actually I know we do. We can call it many things — retrograde, regression, repetition. Today I’m calling it, returning. I forget sometimes that movement is not forward. Returning means coming back to where we once were. But from the ruts we have run with our incessant circling, it is impossible to see without climbing out.
We went to Home Depot yesterday because the kids are psyched about Christmas- they are bubbling with spirit and it tickles my face the way it does when you take a sip of something effervescent. Like bubble water- our favorite.
When I got out of the car, the kids were already inside with Daddy because I told them to go ahead. I move slowly these days. As I stepped out of the car, just out of reach of the rear tire was a snail, poking along on the asphalt. I watched him for a moment and wanted my daughter to see him so I left him there knowing at his pace we would be back before he would even make it past the parking space markings.
We gathered our Christmas things and checked out, made our way back out to the car. I had already forgotten about the snail, but Minnie spotted him as soon as she rounded the corner to open the car door.
“Look, Mommy! It’s a snail!”
“Oh my gosh I almost forgot about him!” I told her. ” I saw him on the way in and wanted you to help me move him to somewhere safer.”
He hadn’t made it but a few inches from when we went inside. So she scooped him up and we took him over into the grass. I named him Gary and we went home. Some days are like that.
And today is a complete standstill. A pause where we stop the world and say thanks and so I’m grateful for the slow pace of today. And I’m grateful that even a snail eventually reaches it’s destination. I’m grateful for those who have traveled alongside me… those who waited for me when I fell behind. It taught me to be patient and to ask for help, help which I have been graciously heaped upon me hundred-fold by the people I love. So this is only to say thank you for what each of you bring to my life and to the world. I’m simply happy to be alive on this crisp fall day.