I have a conversation with my inner eleven-year-old.

(This one is a little crazy, but hopefully you've come to expect it from me.)

It's a writing day, and I have a storm inside.

In the early afternoon, the strong sun withers my sense of balance. I feel hot and dry and sad. I wonder what is going on.

I pay attention, close attention, and realize that there is a five-year-old inside of me who doesn't want to work. She only wants something exciting.

Something really, really exciting!

But this is a work day, dear, I tell her.

I would like a pile of shiny things, she says. Lots of money! An exciting movie in a theater somewhere. Or a hot tub in the woods, or a bonfire with all my favorite friends, back in our other home. I would like driftwood on a forested island. American Idol. Some nachos smothered with cheese wouldn't go down so badly. I would like a feast! A tub of ice cream. Our book to be a best seller.

Ahhh. I see, I say. Well, that's understandable. But I don't think we can just order that up. We write the words, we imagine the stories. We get to spend time with Timothy and Prema and Isaac, these amazing new people, the ones in our book. We don't get to demand success.

She is silent. A little sad, a little sulky.

I go on. We are monks, remember. We hear the small things. We dream it up. We create-- because work full of delight is like a sunbeam on a dark day, because it is what we were made for, because it is worshipful and simple and good.

So, no gallon of ice cream? she says.


Then what do we get?

We get to be happy that we wrote our words today. We'll take a little nap. Wake up, have a cup of tea, look over what we wrote this morning, we get to be dreamers, we get to listen to YaYa take her violin lesson on the roof, smell Kid A burning the chocolate for the brownies he's trying to make. We get to hear Solo shrieking with laughter, plan the school day out tomorrow, doodle in our notebook, write some more stuff, go for a scooter ride.

It's more boring than I thought it would be, she says.


Being a grown up.

Hmmmm. Maybe. They trump it all up, make it sound flash and bang. You just have to learn that the real stuff comes more quietly, with a lot of silence, on soft feet, or tire wheels in the evening.