It's Monday eve....and I've found myself in a dark, golden-lit French bistro.
Just me, my books, my laptop, my dreaming.
These reprieves are rare.
And as you now know, I'm content with this.
Coming off of a full weekend - that required much of my time, attention, and devotion....and being at the beginning here of a week that holds extra meetings and activities, on top of the normal duties of this time - the husband thought it best for me to steal away for a few hours tonight.
It always takes me a good while to adjust on nights like this.
The furry that unfolds as I leave the house - has to be shaken off before I can allow myself to slip into any kind of calm or quiet.
I'm there, now.
But it took the length of my meal, and a few chapters of my book to get me here.
My dinner consisted of a French dip sandwich, a pasta salad, and potato soup.
It felt fancy.
Anytime I can eat in peace...actually tasting the fare - I feel an unusual frill.
I'll have you know that when I first encountered the waiter, I considered using my broken French.
But I resisted.
I'm only on lesson 3 of my recent foray into this foreign language, so I decided to save myself the certain embarrassment - and speak in native tongue.
The waitstaff is glad, I am sure.
I'm sitting by a window.
It's a clear fall evening here in the south. Dusk has come and the sky is black and the air is still - making statues of everything in my eyesight out this fenêtre.
I'm sipping hot chocolate from a dark blue ceramic mug, and eating a small lemon pastry.
A lemon pastry!
Because if I'm going to eat anything lemony, it has to be when I'm by myself. No one else in my sphere will subject themselves to the citrus. So I'm happy to be here - with my bite of lemon and no one saying 'eww'.
Hours have passed fast.
It's just about time for me to leave my sanctuary now.
Mama's escapade is almost over.
The kids should be in bed when I return. I'll be greeted by a dryer full of laundry, a list of emails to return, and most certainly a house to pick up.
And remember....this is good.
Tomorrow we have piano and dance and soccer and other Tuesday things.
And as I shuttle the littles and tend to the goings on of life - I'll be a bit more sane thanks to tonight's retreat of sorts.
The respite was needed, taken, and savored.
I hope to visit here again by the end of the week, friends.
I hope your next few days are filled with joy in the mundane, revelation in the ordinary, grace to handle the extraordinary, and little moments of pardon - no matter how brief.