I’m writing this while wearing my daughter’s reading glasses. This might be a new low in my realization the “late thirties” are creeping in. People tell me “40 is the new 30”, but all I’m seeing is an endless list of charges on my Care Credit because I had to break down and take myself (and my alternative health insurance) to the doctor and the dentist. Apparently an optometrist will be next.
Or I could just keep blowing up the scale on my word documents. That works too.
The problem is, I can see fine, but the edges seem a little blurry. Just enough to make me squint and cause more wrinkles on my forehead. And since I spent eight years teaching middle school and am raising four kids of my very own, I already have enough worry lines there, thank you very much. But it’s just enough of an inconvenience to irritate me. As a longtime fan of procrastination, I don’t need another excuse for why I can’t make a deadline or finish a project.
So I’m wearing the glasses.
And I wish there was a pair I could slip on and see only the good and great and glorious in this world. Because right now, the edges of everything seem a little blurry.
When a mother can’t even take her child to the grocery store without a tragedy occurring, I’m pretty sure there are no safe places left.
However, I’m reading the Mitford series right now, and it’s become a retreat for me when I feel the world closing in. I like to nestle in with Father Tim and his cast of hometown characters anytime I’ve read something disturbing, or had a bad day, or yelled too much at my kids. I read Mitford slowly, savoring the simplicity of it, while I plow through other literary works that are, perhaps, more complex but not as thoughtful. The town and its people and Father Tim’s unwavering faith speak stability and comfort to my soul that was wired to be soothed with stories.
Except right now this fictional priest is in the midst of caring for those who are downtrodden and forgotten, overlooked and ignored. Behind Mitford, deep in the woods along the creek, is a nest of horrors and poverty where no man, woman, or child should live. But they do.
And this sleepy little town, part of a sweet series of novels classified “inspirational,” hits my core with the reminder that rose-colored glasses don’t exist. You can wear them all you want, but the edges will remain blurry, and when you take them off, you’ll have to shake your head a bit to find some clarity.
Even then, it may evade you.
There are times we need to see only the good, to soothe our souls with the illusion of comfort. Then, there are times we need to acknowledge the blurry edges creeping in, times we need to realize what’s happening just on the edges of our periphery.