Finding Serendipity in Snotty Noses
The first day begins the same as any other.
The baby wakes up coughing and crying at 5 a.m. His nose is stuffy. He nurses, stopping every few seconds to inhale through his mouth, like a swimmer doing laps.
A swimmer. I used the same analogy yesterday to describe my dive into the new year. It's just like author Robert Moss says: Life rhymes. I'm reading his book, The Three "Only" Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence and Imagination. He writes:
"Everything that enters our field of perception means something, large or small. Everything speaks to us; everything corresponds. We travel better in the forest of symbols when we are open and available to all the forms of meaning that are watching and waiting for us. We travel best when we can manage that sense of rhyme and rhythm that Baudelaire called 'a poetic state of health.'"
I want to believe. I want to believe that guidance is everywhere, and that the world is winking at me through its patterns and motifs. But what about confirmation bias? What if I'm just a lazy writer who over-relies on the same tired metaphors?
(What if the universe is a lazy writer who over-relies on the same tired metaphors?)
The toddler wakes up at 6 a.m. and shuts himself in my bedroom with the iPad. I sit at the kitchen table and bribe the baby with one toy after another, trying to keep him happy so he'll eat a few bites of oatmeal. He clamps his mouth shut in protest. I scatter Cheerios across the tray of the high chair, which buys me time to scribble in my journal. This is what passes for Julia Cameron's "morning pages" these days.
In the evening I try to feed the baby dinner. Again he clamps his mouth shut. I toss him some Cheerios and crack open my laptop to transcribe the morning's writing.
Nobody warned me that having children would transform the winter holidays from a peaceful respite into a month-long marathon. Now that they're winding down, I feel both relieved and dismayed. Christmas provided a festive distraction from the monotony of our everyday routine. Now we're back to runny noses, oatmeal and too much screen time. I spend my few free moments seeking serendipity, hoping to find a bit of leftover magic.