Summertime Chaos

Every June, I have the same vision that summer signifies a smoother sailing, a leveling out of our family life. Every July, I realize how mistaken is that cliche. By July, the garden is both flourishing and struggling. The house, emptied out on sunny days, fills up again on during these all-day rains, and a shifting clutter of books, clothes, pens, gum wrappers – and just about everything else – invades every room. Somehow, the windows are all smeared disgracefully.

Chaos is part of our life, I remind myself, not a temporary phase of life-with-children, but an integral physical force in the universe. Most of all, it’s not personal to me. Nonetheless, the creative force in me rises up. Possibly someday I’ll have that inner peace where I accept the crumbles of mud on the kitchen floor. Until then, chaos and I will keep dancing our waltz. This afternoon, I think we’re evenly partnered.

That’s how I see us… against the backdrop of Nature, life, the universe, which shows so little fairness in the distribution of reward and punishment and hurts some so much more than others, but hurts us all in some way and makes us angry, sad and weary, and sometimes surprised and overjoyed by evidence of an intelligence beyond our own that’s guiding us along our way, requiring consciousness of us and rewarding perseverance with happiness and malingering with suffering, and sometimes rendering the jewel into mud, taking consciousness away from those no less deserving than ourselves….

– David Payne, Barefoot to Avalon


garlic, West Woodbury, Vermont


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