As today fades into a dark gray hue, I’m left thinking about how different today was, only one year ago.
Last year full of San Diego waters and the glory of being able to attend mass in a national Basilica, all while watching the flowers bloom around me. I’m reminded of a vacation that I knew would also remain a special part of me. My heart would remember the warmth of the sun and the love of my parents as we kept moving forward.
And today, I am moving forward. There is no warm sunshine to guide me to walk a little slower and look around, but there is still love. There is the joy of my family surrounding me, my pets at my side while I do homework, and the love we all share. There are lots of scary sights ahead, but there will always be the hope of what my today will look like a year from now.
Rain builds anger, growing colder, harsher, and faster as we continue trudging into the wind.
The rain appears to be warmer as it continues to seep into my jacket. It gave off appearances of fresh, summer rain that always refreshes and leaves the world a greener place.
But this rain is tough. She knows that she is needed, but isn’t yet ready to be welcoming and bring forth rainbows. The world needs her harshness to be able to turn the landscape from a land of browns and grays, into the spring of greens, pinks, and blue skies.
Her time of beauty will come, but for now, she only makes appearances in the grays and moody skies.
My stomach begins to ache as my shoulders shake, an immediate reaction to the unexpected joke and reaction, all caught on camera.
As tears cloud my sight, I’m reminded of how much I missed my family. I missed the five of us being able to be present and comfortable together.
I missed the drama, I missed the snark, I missed the laughter, and most of all, I missed the love that this house can explode with when we are all together.
The dread I felt over this giant family Zoom call was immense, so I’m relieved with the feeling of love and comfort that is left behind, long after the “end call” button is clicked.
I flit around the room, moving from one side to the other, trying to convince myself that I am in fact cleaning, rather than just taking a glorified trip down memory lane.
But as I began to shift books slightly, finally throw out that old packaging that was buried in my bag, return my headbands to the rightful location, and move my backpack into my closet, I feel better.
I feel better in part because this is something to check off my to-do list, but also because this is something that makes my space feel more like me. It enables me to remember why I kept that hockey game ticket stub, what I was doing when I left my markers, and how on earth that old card resurfaced.
It is peace and it is chaos, both mutually existing with equally valuable locations on my shelves.
I push the key into the ignition, turning slowly. The car comes to life underneath my fingertips and the radio sounds.
A smile comes to my face as I relish in the feeling of being able to drive. It seems as though it has been longer than two weeks since the last time I drove, but the dust collecting on the exterior side of the window tells me time is still passing, even as my world has come to a halt.
My world seems smaller, with far more confusion and far more turmoil than the last time I pressed the gas. I can turn up the radio, change the station, and change what is allowed to enter my mind. The minute I leave the car, this certainty fades.
But I do remain certain of this:
I am not in control,
I am not responsible for the actions of others,
I am not able to change anyone other than myself,
& God will provide for all that I need.
I can easily rest in this.
I can hear their feet, gently brushing grass and bark aside. They move swiftly, allocating all their might into finding the best bugs and plants to eat. They cluck softly to one another as they move as one body, with all eight members in tow.
Their leader, a gentle giant it would seem, tries to guide them all to safety. He uses his low grumbling to let them know what is okay and when they’ve gone too far.
Eli holds power-as figure heads often do-but the real power comes from the seven hens, all with minds of their own. Strong minds, albeit pea-sized, that are the heart and sole of the flock.
I roll over, sleep still clouding my eyes, to try and find the light that should be filling my room. My vision is still fuzzy, but I am awake enough to know that I shouldn’t be at this hour. The trees standing guard outside my window seems to shake at me, warning me that it is far too early for me to awake.
I roll back over, even as my body creaks and protests. The time is brightly illuminated on the screen, and I nearly moan when I see it. I don’t have to be awake for another six hours and I begin to recognize the weight of each of limbs. As I begin to wake up, my mind doesn’t clear. It remains fuzzy, but lets me know that today is going to be difficult.
The watercolor paint seeps through the thin page. I try, albeit unsuccessfully, to get the pink paint to appear brighter, more vibrant, but eventually relent.
This has become a calming part of my day, one that I can depend on to center me, as I sit next to the window and allow myself to be bathed in the warmth the sun provides.
The light watercolors are messy and hard to control, but prefer to instead forge their own path, regardless of my plan. Giving up
I let the potting soil run through my fingers as I try keep it from escaping it’s new pot. The feeling is grimy, but it helps to motivate me.
As I take the plant out of the old pot and gently put it into a new one, I’m reminded of how delicate these lives are. They are all depending on me to supply them with water (and not allow them to dropped so the dogs will eat them), but when put outside, they are completely independent. But, when I bring them into my room, my personal space, they rely on me.
The sun heats my jean-clothed legs and I relish in the feeling. Closing my eyes, I can smell the salt sticking to the air and making the wind biting at my face even sharper. The ocean water laps around the boat meekly, as though it’s going to scare us off. My shoulders begin to bend with the bouncing of the sail boat until I’m unsure where I start and the water ends.