A Dwindled Dawn

Morning without you is a dwindled dawn.
~Emily Dickinson in a letter to a friend April 1885

Adjusting to our children being grown and moved away from home took time: for months, I instinctively grabbed too many plates and utensils when setting the table, though the laundry and dishwasher loads seemed skimpy I washed anyway, the tidiness of their bedrooms was frankly disturbing as I passed by.

I need a little mess and noise around to feel that living is actually happening under this roof and that all is well. That quarter century of raising children consisted of nonstop parenting, farming, working, playing – never finding enough hours in the day and hardly enough sleep at night. It was a full to overflowing phase of life.

Somehow, life now is too quiet, and I am dwindling.

Though now I know:
despite missing our children here, they have thrived where planted.
And so must I.

Each morning is new, each dawn softens the void, and each diminishing moment becomes a recognition of how truly blessed life can be.

Dwindled Dawn

photo by Josh Scholten

“Morning without you is a dwindled dawn.”
Emily Dickinson

My adjustment to our children being grown and away from home has been slow: I instinctively grab too many plates and utensils when setting the table, the laundry and dishwasher loads seem skimpy but I wash anyway, the tidiness of their bedrooms is frankly disturbing as I pass by. I need a little mess and noise around to feel that living is actually happening under this roof and that all is well.

Now it has been three days since my husband went out of town for a work-related conference and I’m knocking around an empty unbearably oversized house, wondering what to do with myself.

I have a serious case of the dwindles. The cure will be arriving back home tonight, and another fix arrives on an airplane a week from tomorrow, followed by two other remedies arriving for shorter summer visits in a month or so. I realize, like the fading of the dwindled dawn, these are cycles to which I must adapt, appreciate for what they restore in me, and then be willing to let them go.

But now I know: time without you diminishes me.