Thickening Our Bandwidth

This evening, I noticed a garden on my father’s street that had outdone itself.

It wasn’t hard to notice. The lawn was loud with blooming. Those buds had been cinched up for so long, rained on and snowed on, walked on by candy-hungry trick o’ treaters and rolled on by snow-hungry plows.

The last time I saw the garden, I didn’t really see it. I was fried thin from a work-thick week and sourly doing laundry at my father’s since my own dryer was making a burning smell. As I tried to get ahead on emails and organize receipts, my father asked about a book we were both reading. “I am working!” I chopped at him. When I’m tired, my bandwidth is as thin and flimsy as wet paper.

This evening, though, I saw the garden. The pillowy heap of purple, the wild sequence of white blossoms on the dogwood, grass unrepentantly green. It could refill a soul battered empty.

This evening, as before, I had done laundry. This evening, not as before, I swapped out work for my book of Monday crosswords. Where’s the Red River? I asked my father. The clue was “capital on the Red River.” We talked about the Red River Valley song. My father pulled the encyclopedia off the shelf and read to me from the “Red River” entry. We gave time to investigating, time to each other.

When I’m tired and allow myself to rest, my bandwidth thickens and deepens. It is the grace of being restored.

The garden on my father’s street wasn’t hard to notice. But it was easy not to see when I was tired and compounding my tiredness by trying to work through it. It is not a restorative or grace-giving way to be.

I did my laundry. My father made us pizza. The neighbor’s garden was noticed. And Hanoi is the capital on the Red River.

The Lightning Notes is funded by kind donors. If something here strikes you, I'd be grateful if you'd consider donating. Click to Donate!