Sometimes when Husband comes home from work and asks me how my day was, all I can do is quote The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, in particular the description of Mr. MacGregor’s rubbish heap:
“It was a mixture.”
Mixture, as in “any combination or blend of different elements, kinds, qualities, etc.” Mixture, related to the Latin mixtus, meaning “to mix, mingle, blend; fraternize with; throw into confusion.”
I spent yesterday sorting poems. Oh my, was that ever a mixture. I think I was hoping that they would magically rise up in formation and show me just exactly what I have here with all these poems. Sometimes I just want to know, Poems, where are you going? What are you for? No answer. Not yet.
And then, much more importantly, we have the mixture of this world we live in. Perhaps with emphasis on “throw into confusion.” The horror of Boston. The comfort of knowing how many good, courageous people stepped forward to help. Then, the disappointing news that the Senate failed to pass any (even very small) changes on gun control. Sometimes it feels like the world’s gone mad. And meanwhile our own lives go on — for most of us, nothing has changed drastically in the last few days. We go to work, get our kids out the door to school, feed the dog, run the errands, sweep the floor. We get to live amidst a million small miracles: automatic coffee machines, hot water from the tap, stores full of food, a safe walk down our neighborhood streets. Sometimes it’s hard to reconcile one with the other.
I was talking to another mom at school drop-off today, and we agreed that it’s always hard to find the balance between taking one day at a time and planning ahead (or at least being open to) what’s coming. For me, this is true in poetry and in life. But, as usual, I go to poetry for comfort. This time Robert Frost’s “A Prayer in Spring,” which a dear friend reminded me of yesterday.
“And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here”
Keep us here. And yet, yes — we do all need to be working toward whatever uncertain harvest awaits (and I’m sure there’s a poem about that somewhere, but I’m running out the door to a doctor’s appointment… #mixture).
Whatever your mixture is today, may it be good to you.