Eye of the storm

Every Tuesday, the writing community of Two Writing Teachers hosts Slice of Life. All are welcome to participate by linking up posts or commenting on other participants. 

It’s quiet in my house. Our Easter guests have gone; my children are off with a friend, pretending that sunshine = Spring even though the thermometer says otherwise; my partner is at work, getting ready for a busy week. Even the cats are sleeping. Me? I’m sitting at the kitchen table, wandering through students’ notebooks, trying to get a handle on what they already know and where they need to go next.

It’s a patient little quiet here. I love the whirlwind of holidays and visitors – the cooking, the stories, the laughter – so I always feel a little bereft when my extended family leaves. The house has already settled back into its regular creaks and groans with only the discovery of an occasional missed Easter egg or some leftover confetti to remind me of what was reality mere hours ago. I’ve done a lot of laundry; most of the week’s food is prepared; much of what needs doing is done. I should tidy some more, but it can wait. Right now, I am still.

Tomorrow we will all be back to work and school. Texts are already flying about who will carpool where and when. There’s a Spec Ed meeting tomorrow morning before school and a Department Heads’ meeting to attend tomorrow night, then Parent-Teacher conferences loom on Thursday. When I think about the week ahead, I know I need to make decisions about mentor texts, book talks, poems to share, feedback, and more. I can feel the weight wanting to settle on my shoulders, but I’m not quite ready for it. Not yet.

I don’t know where this calm has come from. I know I am in the eye of the storm, but right now my kitchen is warm and my work feels useful. Right now, the quiet envelopes me and I am breathing in its unexpected serenity.

May I remember this when the storm returns.

Update: Everyone returned; chaos ensued. I spilled both water and flour on myself, one after the other. The older child had to write a speech; the younger did not. For inexplicable reasons, I decided that I really needed to pot some spider plant babies. And we had four loads of laundry to fold before bed. We are back in the storm. I’m trying to hold on to the calm.

34 thoughts on “Eye of the storm

  1. This is EXACTLY how life goes, and I commend you for recognizing the calm and savoring it while it lasted. My favorite part of this is the whim to pot the spider baby plants (-“squirrel!”-). Makes me smile at the many times I stop to do something so seemingly random while other things are more pressing. Yet there must be a need for it.

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      1. That’s what I call productive procrastination! You get something done, but it’s not what’s supposed to be getting done 🙂 I can spend whole weekends that way!

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  2. My folks experienced the eye of a hurricane passing over them when they lived at Hatteras on the Outer Banks of NC. My mom always told me the quiet moments in life were like the eye of a hurricane. Now, you may want to stop the analogy there. Not sure if we want to measure the winds or determine the category of life storms. Have a beautiful week!

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  3. My kingdom for this description: “It’s a patient little quiet here.” I feel like I know that sweet spot, the unhurried calm you describe. Quiet that demands nothing more of us than simply taking note of it. The update though is the perfectly placed wake up to all of us who may have fantasized this dream state might last forever.

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  4. I love how you embraced the quiet and serenity after your busy weekend. The line “It’s a patient little quiet here” spoke to me, too. What a great slice of sweet idling and then that update at the end just hit the gas! Happy chaos!

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  5. Love this imagery “The house has already settled back into its regular creaks and groans with only the discovery of an occasional missed Easter egg or some leftover confetti to remind me of what was reality mere hours ago.” Way to keep writing!

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  6. HAHA The chaos is fun, but the quiet is so important. For me, you’ve described what home should be: the calm within the storm. Even when the whole group is together, it’s somehow more peaceful for me. I like knowing where everyone (or at least a large group of them) are at the same time.

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  7. I felt calm reading this post (after the chaos of blog commenting problems). I love the way you personified your house. I’m sorry the chaos has returned; we all need more calm.

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  8. I can feel the weight wanting to settle on my shoulders, but I’m not quite ready for it. I love this line. You captured the feeling at the end of every weekend during the school year. I hope you find the calm again as we are back in the eye of the storm.

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  9. Your writing expertly creates a mood that matches your description…the calm, the memories of the last few hours. My favorite part about this piece is the line, “…the cooking, the stories, the laughter…” Well-chosen nouns, and probably the most important elements of our celebrations.

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  10. These quiet and serene moments are hard to come by. But I’m glad you got some quiet time in! This piece reminds of that part in the movie, Twister, when Bill and Jo are in the center (the eye) of the tornado and she looks straight up and sees the white sky amidst the storm raging around them. You’re in that quiet spot, even though you know the chaos will come sometime. I hope you find the quiet again sometime soon! Thank you for sharing!

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  11. I am laughing out loud at the update-the surprise of it! I was smiling so calmly with you in the serenity you had just found. I especially appreciate that you “needed” to pot the spider plant babies just at that moment. Of course, we always find more to do when everything is in upheaval. You write so vividly, and I feel caught up in that flour/water/speech storm at the end!

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  12. Amanda, I always feel a low after a wonderful weekend or event. The quiet came through loud and clear as I was reading your post. That is the time to savor, linger over, and remember before the pace picks up. I am glad that you had your quiet time. Enjoy your week.

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