Blog | Lindsey Smallwood

Shalom on the Line

#wholemamaLindsey SmallwoodComment

Hey hey to you all!

This summer I am joining in with some writing friends to participate in #wholemama, a season of being a community who remembers what matters. (Hint: It's not finishing my summer bucket list or losing a jean size.) There are hashtags and love bombs and Fuzes - oh my. What looks to be my favorite part is we plan to write in response to a weekly prompt and share our thoughts with each other and all of you.

In an attempt to bring more joy into my week, I've decided to write my weekly #wholemama posts as poetry. Not elegant little ditties like Luci Shaw or Emily Dickinson. I'm talking about straight up Dr. Suess-style stuff - except without all the wockets and zazzles. Singsong rhyming poetry was the first thing I loved to write as a kid, it was my drug of choice in the hormone filled junior high years and it's still a simple pleasure in which I find delight. But I rarely make time for it. 

Until now.

For the next eight weeks...

I'm setting aside Tuesdays for writing in verse. 
Hoping to be clever, truthful and terse. 
Here's hoping for something uplifting to you
Now onto the prompt without further ado...

See what I did there ;)

This week's topic - Yearning for wholeness, peace & Shalom. 

Last weekend we went to go hiking
and sleep in a tent by the shore.
Though we left for just 24 hours,
we came home with laundry galore.

Dirty Pack 'n Play sheets and blankets,
campfire smoke on our shirts,
the towels we used as a doormat,
bloody shorts from where Bobby got hurt.

Back at home it turned into a mountain,
peaking as tall as my thighs.
It grew even more when I realized
there were clothes in the hamper, besides.

We live in a tiny apartment,
with a washer hidden by a door.
No dryers allowed in our unit,
just a small drying rack on the floor. 

As I stared at my laundry volcano
erupting out into the room,
I cursed our dorm-style living,
awash in self-pity and gloom.

"Someday I will live in a house,"
I said in my downhearted funk.
"With a beautiful washer and dryer - 
a whole room to fold all this junk."

Sleep deprived from our trip in the wild
and longing to head off to bed, 
instead I began to fill the machine
as the small voice inside of me said: 

"It's a grace gift, your tiny apartment,
where you live with your husband and sons.
It's a grace gift, this pile of laundry, 
evidence of adventure and fun.

It's a grace gift to have all the water
you will need to finish your chores.
It's a grace gift, this moment of quiet,
as you pick your things up off the floor."

As I stood in front of my washer,
I remembered anew and again - 
There is a peace that comes in letting go
of "I wants" and "Someday whens".

Instead - sweet joy in taking time to see
the riches already mine.
As I hung our camping laundry
I found Shalom - there on the line.


Friends, where are you finding Shalom - peace - wholeness these days? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. 

Oh, and in case you missed it, the rhyming verse fun started last week with my #wholemama rap - check it out here