A Little Golden Book of Recovery: On Saturday Mornings We Play in the Garden

Then, I tell her about the store up the road. That there is a freezer there with rows and rows of sausages. That there are more stores than I can count and that each one has sausages. That there are factories and factories and factories that do nothing all day and night but make sausages. That there are plenty of sausages for her, all she wants. All she could ever want. I tell her just the little I know about what is in the sausages and that it’s pretty gross! I tell her this is why I got turkey sausages for her this time. Because turkey sausages are supposed to be a little better for her and that I want to take care of her. That I will. That I do. That I can.

 Then I tell her that there is not just enough but more than enough of anything she may ever need and that she gets to have her needs met without shame of having to manipulate. She gets to have her needs met. She doesn’t have to earn that or be afraid it is not so. 

“Now, I want to tell you something else,” I say.

This is hard for me and I don’t know really how to put it into words because it’s sort of a new thing for me to know. I tell her that even past stores and factories, there is a Source of it all and that this Source or God or whatever is THE Source of all and so there is an unlimited supply and it is all for her! All of it. Always. That she doesn’t have to worry about being provided for ever again. That I’ve got this, me and the Source. I’ll be the grown-up for her and I promise to take very good care of her. 

She smiles her fool face off. I can feel it coming off of her in waves. She is like the sun. 

And of course she gets the “God” thing. She is the God thing. All little ones are. 

So, pancakes. And sausages. Yummy. 

“What now?” I ask. I put the tray in the kitchen and peek into my Saturday Morning cabinet. Bubbles? Jump rope? Sidewalk chalk?

One big sheet of paper and the markers are chosen and it’s back outside to the garden. 

She wants to draw flowers. Before I can stop her, she has picked many more than I might have thought were strictly necessary and piled them on the table. 

What gets drawn and colored is surprising to me. Not flowers as much as a mosaic of vivid colors in unexpected shapes and sizes. Cool.

She sings some, “I may never ride with the cavalry! Shoot with the infantry! I may never ZOOM over the em-in-eey! But I’m in the Lord’s army!” I laugh. Oh, Lord! She’s gone religious on me. 

She sings more but these are songs made up on the spot to color by and never to be heard again. 

She talks nonstop between nonsense songs. The puppy at the park this week? The one with the blue eyes? Remember?

And then I do. There was a puppy and, yeah, now that I think about it, it did have blue eyes. I had noticed something special but she is teaching me how to actually see the eyes of others through her eyes.

She grows quiet after a time. The sun is hot now. The kind of hot you can hear. She may be listening to it but I’m pretty sure our playdate is winding down. 

She curls up close and I hold her. God, she’s so little. I stroke her hair and she shivers. Her ears are like pink frosting roses on a birthday cake. I love her. I will not let anything hurt her ever again. Not even me.

There is a reason the word “sound” is after  the word “safe,” I think.

Safe and sound. Safe and sound. 

She is happy. I put her back inside my heart where she lives and thank her for spending time with me. 

I will keep our playdate again next week but I will carry the awareness of her with me every day until then. She is me, of course. My “wee me.” 

Our Saturday mornings in the garden for the past year have changed not only the way I treat myself but also how I see others. From frothing politicians to angry mobs in the streets, so many wee ones with a fist full of fear behind their backs.


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