Planting Seeds of Hope: in Hums and Laughter and Poetry

Another night. Another gift. Dinner was amazing – homemade hot-dog buns, homemade mayonnaise, homemade relish, homemade potato chips. Big, honkin’ Hot-dogs. Delicious.

Then while Bean was humming sweetly to himself in the tub, Scott and Ben were imitating one another sprawled out on the floor in front of the wood-burning stove. They were both exhausted from a long day of work, for Scott, and school, for Ben. Both have enough mischief in them to rib each other a little, and poke each other’s ribs a little, and do a little bit of wrestling and laughing.

Meanwhile, I had a pile of Billy Collins poetry books on my lap, as I was choosing which poems to read to the boys for Language and Literature night. To the soundtrack of a happy singing boy, and a laughing husband and son, I was caught up in the beauty of language, written by one of my favorites. Wrapped up in words and images. Wrapped up in seeing things from a different perspective, as poetry will inspire. Wrapped in warmth from the fire, the soap and clean smell of little one wrapped in a towel needing help drying his hair.

Every single thing about this evening was a gift. Today, all day, it seemed that people were more present, and more able to see right in front of them. Today, bad driving on the roads didn’t seem to upset anyone quite as much as normal. We all know that some of us are dealing with heartache. We can give one another a break. We can spare a moment of calm to let someone jump ahead of us because they are in a rush. We can smile more, and be patient with each other. We are each remembering that every moment is a gift. Today it felt like the world at large honored that. And we at home reveled in it.

After I read a few poems to the boys, Ben asked if he could read a couple poems to me from his “Where the Sidewalk Ends” book of Shel Silverstein poems. He read some silly ones, and then ended with Hug O’ War instead of Tug O’ War. And we were holding each other on the couch in a giant hug. It so described our evening.

Hug O’ War 

A poem by the late Shel Silverstein[Author of A Light in the Attic]I will not play at tug o’ warI’d rather play at hug o’ war,Where everyone hugsInstead of tugsWhere everyone gigglesAnd rolls on the rug,Where everyone kissesAnd everyone grinsAnd everyone cuddlesAnd everyone from here

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