For the last several weeks, I’ve intersected with a sign that says, “Your story matters”. I love the brown butterfly wings, the emphasis on the word, “Your,” and how the hand-carved message is etched into aged wood. Sometimes I spill my way through each day, trying to catch the drops of moments that keep streaming down the perimeter of my life glass. There is so much that I have to do and so much I want to do. Between moments of making dinner, washing dishes, doing laundry, running, reading, writing, answering questions from my daughter and the steady waterfall of texts, emails, and phone calls, my story evaporates somewhere.
Or does my story really dissolve? The truth is, after reviewing my musts and wants, I am reluctant to eliminate a single item from my list. My cup spills over, but the contents represent what matters to me. Each undertaking offers a story. Providing a home cooked meal, tending to laundry, and washing dishes appeals the nurturing part of my story. I love the smile on my daughter’ s face after making hand-made rotis, an Indian version of tortillas. She enjoys filling them with honey and then will say, “Momma, you are the best cook.” I suspect years later she might remember her mom kneading the dough, rolling each lump into a circle, and watching how it rises, the fluff and butter smell permeating through the whole house.
The me part of my story usually centers around running, reading, and writing. I believe all of us lurch toward a home that always resides in us. That sense of whimsy, fulfillment and joy that transcends geography or people or circumstances. Running offers a refuge and shelter, not only for my thoughts, but a place for all of my restless energy to land. My work, reading and writing, are my passion. When I am in my office, filling the blank page or reading a thoughtful passage, I feel all the textures of being home. Telling my story, here or in my memoir, is what matters to me.
The waterfall of questions from my daughter corner the mundane to the philosophical. It ranges from “When will dinner be ready? to Where do babies come from? or How do I spell friendship?” Every time she asks a question, she understands the importance of learning, listening, and connecting. Most of all, this is how I connect with my daughter. The stories I will remember about our time together are these conversations that happen on a Monday afternoon in the middle of our living room.
The other part of my story, the uncertain part, matters. Those gulfs are filled with girls’ night with friends, a date with my husband, a letter to a friend, and communicating with my sister and mom and friends through texts, emails and phone calls. This steady stream of loved ones keeps me so grounded. These connections all matter.
My story matters. Your story matters. Look at how you are etching your wood. That is where it matters the most.