“You can get lost in the music for hours, honey,
You can get lost in a room.
We can play music for hours and hours
But the sun will still be coming up soon.”
My family had just finished an ordinary Saturday lunch with our chairs pulled up around the island in the kitchen when I first heard this song by The Head and the Heart. We have a dining room with a table designed for meals together, but with the fridge and the pantry so close, the kitchen is where we spend the majority of our waking hours. As the song started playing over the kitchen speakers, my two boys had climbed down from their chairs and started chasing each other with their oversized foam swords swinging in the air. They have worn a path, like a pacing, wild animal, from the kitchen through the swinging doors in the dining room and back to the kitchen. The sword fight inevitably ends up with one, or both of them, trying to squeeze through the small space separating the chairs from the makeshift table in the kitchen. The space under our dangling feet must have the allure of safety because they hide themselves there and fight off their pursuer like they were saving the Alamo.
“This is one of my favorite songs,” my husband halfway yelled even though we were sitting right next to each other with our hands both raised to protect our faces. I pretended to give my full attention to the song but was distracted, not only by the foam swords but by the sticky substance on the countertop near my son’s plate. I was daydreaming, wondering if it was syrup from breakfast or jelly from lunch. The sink was full of dirty dishes and the dishwasher needed to be emptied. The compounding pressures of daily duties were beginning to mount. The muscles in the back of my shoulder started to tighten as I began to realize that my lofty expectations for Saturdays are typically unattainable at this stage of life.
The world’s not forgiving of everyone’s fears.
The days turn into months,
the months turn into years.
So just for a moment, let’s be still.
At this point in the song, my wandering thoughts drifted to the family that had owned our home for over twenty years before selling it to us. Their children’s heights are recorded on the door frame of our kitchen and we can’t bring ourselves to paint over the marks. They also had two boys so adding our children’s heights to the wall seemed fitting. I’m guessing their boys chased each other through the swinging doors in the dining room and had meals together in the kitchen on Saturday afternoons when their parents were feeling too exhausted to set the table in the adjacent room.
I still remember the large pictures of the blonde haired, elementary-aged brothers hanging on the hall when we first toured our home. I wondered then, and still do, why the pictures were not updated as I knew they were both grown and had children of their own. There must have been something meaningful about that age of their children that their parents did not want to forget; something I was missing under the pile of dirty dishes, sticky countertops and other tabled chores from the previous week. Possibly, these pictures represented a more simple, albeit chaotic, time in life for their family when they were most likely all crammed together in the kitchen. Maybe things changed as their kids grew older and preferred time alone or were constantly occupied with academic, athletic or social engagements.
The world’s just spinning
a little too fast.
If things don’t slow down soon,
we might not last.
So just for a moment,
let’s be still.
The repeating chorus and the aim of the song began to shake me from my list checking stupor. Knowing the origin of the mystery sticky substance was losing importance and I decided that the dishes could soak. I grabbed my husband’s hand, scooted our chairs together until they touched and then rested my head on his shoulder. We put the song on repeat and let the messiness of the moment saturate our hearts. Time seemed to slow down as we quietly sat, motivated by the lyrics of the song, Let’s Be Still, to thank God for the abundant blessings He has provided at this stage of our lives.