I just typed the word "content" above. I used it in its adjective form. Emphasis on second syllable. Content. Satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else. I did not mean the noun form of content, emphasis on first syllable. Content. The subject or topics covered in a book or document.
As I typed, the thought struck me: I struggle with the adjective every day even though I spend my days and late late nights dealing with the noun. I write and edit content for a living. And yet I struggle to be content.
I am convinced that this word was given us by a woman, a Middle Englishwoman, struggling through a day of nursing and spooling thread, of hemming and bending over kettles. She was all pondering the Latin past participle continere, and thought, this grind isn't so bad. I mean, it really contains my day, my family, my life, me. I'm contentus, that's what.
She had found the secret. That girdle-rocking woman toiling away on the English moors discovered that contentment was a state of being contained by all the things that occupy the mind and weary the body, of being held by all that pushes the bounds of the heart until the last specks of sunlight, until the dancing doubt of night rushes in.
What does it look like to be contained, to be bound by the content of your life?
I am terrible at contentment, this incurable case of antsypants that ails me, these real estate woes that plague me week after week, these deafening fears about the great what ifs of my children's futures, these first world entitlements that cloud my view of what really matters.
This week we give thanks here in the land of plenty and I will think on at least a million and four things for which I should be thankful, if only...
But I am contained, I am hemmed in by a God who cares and who has eternity in the palm of His hand. I am not reaching beyond that which is in my power to change. I am not perseverating on minutiae. I am choosing to be contained and therefore I am content.
*** Leafpile with our neighbor gals. I enjoy how Baby Girl is off in the distance like a frankensteiness rising from the leafpile crypt.
And then here is my other child, looking a little indignant about autumn.
More to come on this crafternoon with Baby Girl Angel