As usual at this time of the morning, there is some kind of crazed circus being played out by a variety of children who wake with every dawn ready to jump, shout, twirl, kick, whine and in other ways make me count the minutes till my walk at 7am. Four out of six are sleeping the sleep of the stayed-up-till-9:30 but those two babies...my goodness. They could go to sleep at 3am and still wake ready to kick me in the head.
This week has wandered quickly away from me before I could catch it and make it do something sensible. I've had extra children in amongst my own to play and I've been weeding my lettuces and staking up my tomatoes. And all the way along I've been feeling really sad about my friend Lauren. Elphine, who happened to be around when we read all the news reports on Sunday (see the post directly below this one), has wanted to talk about it, so much so that I had to forbid her from talking or thinking about it before bedtimes so that she would be able to go to sleep. And honestly, as I wake up morning by morning, and think 'maybe I should blog' I usually choose instead to have a look at the garden and destroy slugs etc rather than clutter up the internet with anything extra. The simple domestic rites of opening the curtains in the morning, picking up toys and crayons and shoes scattered all over from the day before, making a child brush her hair, holding someone else's baby for an afternoon, pulling out and throwing away the six pairs of shoes I long to wear but never will, is it possible that these are more important, more weighty, this week?
Lauren has been carrying on writing on Facebook since her blog has been shut down. Reading her is like gazing down into a great abyss of grief, so vast, so immeasurable, that only God could gather it up and measure it. On Tuesday we started reading The Silver Chair after dinner. Jill, you might remember, immobilized by fear, stands on the edge of the precipice as Eustace tumbles over. And then, as it seems that all is lost, she sees that rather than falling, he is being blown through the air, and then she looks over and sees it is a lion doing the blowing. That is all my prayer for Lauren and her girls. That she be blown along by Jesus, that her feet not touch the hard rocky ground.