Our garage currently holds several containers of recyclables, yard sale items (for like the past 8 months) and a couple of dead things that smell really, really badly.

The dead things are part of a happy memory.   We took a family getaway to the seaside and couldn’t help but pick up too many sea shells and a couple of sea creatures – heroic almost, the way we scooped up that little crab while the birds circled over it.

Who balances a sand bucket between her feet filled with sea things, original sea water and sand  for a 6+ hr ride home in a too stuffed Honda Civic and two little kids?

This girl.

I know, that’s a little different.  And now each time I walk out to our garage, I almost gag and smile.  Truthfully, the pursuit of the now dead things was academic at the core – a science teacher friend asked for something cool to show her students when school is back in session.  Who doesn’t want to dissect a crab, a shrimp,and whatever else that thing was?

Rhythm at is simplest definition is  a strong, repeated pattern. Sometimes we don’t feel strong and even though we feel life moving – sometimes with us, sometimes without -we don’t recognize the pattern.  Maybe we are not meant to right now.

I recently applied for credit in which the lender asked me, if I could remember, why I was 30 days late on a payment back in 2013?  Well, let’s see, I’m chalking that one up to the fact that I had a baby that year.  Then she asked me the same for 2014.  I chalked that up to the first full year where I learned how to mother two babies at once and not one.  So many long days of those short  years where I didn’t know my rhythm.

It was there, we were there, I couldn’t always discern it in the moment.  Figuring out the pattern of motherhood is a puzzling pursuit: I’ve now decided -Beats me.  I just sway with it.

Each foray into the garage reminds me that each family has its rhythm – its movement and beat and atmosphere that defines us.  Not every minute of every moment is a happy one.  We won’t always understand the rhythm of ours or other families – and that’s okay.  We don’t have to.  Respect is an admirable goal, to always like or appreciate, perhaps just not realistic.

And sometimes we settle into a routine and sometimes we find new ones.   I’ve stood by breathless as I’ve watched women, younger and older, bravely pursue their new rhythms after illness, divorce, death.

This Holiday as we enjoy our family times, my eyes and ears are keener to the rhythms that sustain us.  I am grateful for each quiet moment where I can glimpse and value each simple beat of life and love repeating.