One At a Time

Seems I’m down to one post a month this year. Oh well! There’s poetry in the rhythms we settle into. One at a time. I hear that a lot these days. My son, who is two, extremely cute, and busy exploring the world of speaking, says it to us constantly, in a little voice that emulates the careful tones of the grown ups who say this to him when he’s rushing through a million activities at once. One at a time Kenzo. Like today we visited a city farm down by the Thames. Arriving hungry after a long walk, we sat down to lunch. He ate one bite of scrambled eggs and said cheerily, “I’m finished! Let’s go see animals now!”

One thing at a time.

I say it so convincingly to him, but really I am at the same two year old level too. Eager to rush through to get to the next, exciting, tidbit of day. Infinitely distractable.

The upside of this is I have the boundless capacity for enthusiasm shared by toddlers the world over. The downside is that I struggle to stay with things long enough to finish them, let alone digest them. There are many creative projects swimming in my brain waiting to be finished, crying out to be stayed with for a little while as my reality right now. So they can nourish me, as giving time to our creative work, whether this is writing, collaging or rearranging a room, always does. This is what Pema Chodron writes so well about… How necessary, and how hard, it is to stay with the present, to be in reality, to be aware of, without surrendering to, the desire for next thing, for fantasy and speculation in past and future. To pay attention to what we need to do to be nourished for example, and refusing the many distractions that invariably surround us. Back on the farm, I put some egg and toast on the fork and fed it to my son. Eating, he remembered that right now he was hungry. He ate the whole plate. Then we got on with seeing some animals. One at a time mummy. And so it is.

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