As this year winds down to a close, the heart stopping glow of orange on the horizon dazzles the eye. Colors so vibrant, such as no earthly paint could conjure, is the way nature decorates with her color selection that can never quite be duplicated by brush on canvas.
It is always such a surprise to me, when I open the front door and something like a brilliant sunrise dances into my pupils. I cannot help but take an involuntary deep inhale in, and then….I find myself holding my breath, because surely this scene in front of me could not be real?
The morning air a few mornings back, was unseasonably warm. Instead of an icy blast entering my nostrils, an almost baumy breeze wafted across my face. I grinned with sheer delight. Today, was certainly a day for a brisk morning walk.
I love when the view out your door looks like it could be cold and unwelcoming, but then the joyful surprise when I realize that I don’t need a hat, gloves or a scarf on this December morning. The thrill of something taking me off guard by the goodness of itself radiates deep down into my cozy sheepskin slippers.
This year has been something hasn’t it? There are so many parts of it that I certainly would not wish to do again. If I was asked, “hey, do you want to do over more of that pain?,” I would scream without reservation, and quite possibly at the top of my lungs, ” NO…NO…NO!”
Nobody generally signs up for gut wrenching pain. It is not usually on the “to do ” list for the day. We don’t go searching for it, then upon gathering it up into our arms, exclaim..”yay….more pain came my way…I’m so overjoyed about it!”
As much expectation as we can have about the year in front of us, there is often a looking back on the passing year that we reflect on. Questions as to how on earth I even got here, and where do I go from here causes me to feel strongly foreign to myself.
Perhaps it’s just me, but looking behind me feels like I’m watching a curious movie where the subtitles are in Italian, and I, for the very life of me, can’t figure out the plot.
It feels familiar, but I know this can’t be my life because I can only say a few Italian words, but am not fluent by any stretch. I seem to be an extra in my own life at times, and then at other times, I’m staring in a strange film in a far away land, and I feel lost and undone.
I’m finding that when my life goes “off the rails,” and when experiences come in that I didn’t expect, things seem to be as if the furniture was suddenly glued to ceiling, and the dog was meowing, and I’m wearing my clothing inside out….it’s at this time, that I realize that there is a need for quiet, for contemplation.
To accept change in my life, is not something that comes easily. I want to fight it. It’s scary when things feel upside down, and yet, at the same time, kinda exhilarating too. Such as it is living inside my headspace.
The co-mingling of the unknown in front of me, and the known past behind me swirls about like a snowy blizzard, and sets me adrift into the future. My plans…don’t know. Am I supposed to know, is it ok to just let things be, take a breath, re-evaluate, and yes, maybe dust off the dreams that have been put away?
Something, or someone can cause us to bury our soul desires, our hopes, and dreams. It happens when you are 10, 20, 50, and I’m quite sure beyond. We get burned, hurt, devastated, and so we retreat, like the turtle who pulls his wrinkled head inside his shell, and hides inside his hard exterior, waiting and hoping that the immenent danger will pass him by.
It happens, yup ” shit happens” people…watcha gonna do? It comes in unexpected ways like a tsunami while sitting and sunbathing on a beach, sipping a cool island cocktail. What was once serene and lovely, becomes uprooted trees, blown over hotels, and lifeless bodies. Such a vivid contrast.
This is our lives. This is how it goes. However… I’m thinking..this is how we grow isn’t it? This is the part where the accessories fade away, and you find out what is true, and what is not. Am I made of the right stuff that can pull myself up from desolation and disappointment, or am I going to succumb to the inevitable?
The inevitable being, giving up? There are just two things. We are either fully living, or we fully are not. It’s life and death. It’s black and white, it’s hungry and full, it’s cold and hot. I know there are in betweens, and gray areas, and grey matter and such, but ultimately we choose how we live, how we treat others in this world around us, and maybe how peacefully we sleep at night?
I find Matilda, aka, “Tillie” having a nap on one of Bianca’s poncho baskets, and my heart stops for a moment or two. Does she sense, and smell Buanca’s essence on this blanket? I wonder if she misses her sweet mistress, and wonders where on earth she has gotten to?
Christmas morning was just a few days ago. It was different. People were missing from our midst. We took a moment that morning to acknowledge these loved ones, and to pray. Thankful for the lives we had shared together. Things are different. Drastic changes have entered into our family unit….we are not the same.
We shared some beautiful moments that morning, and throughout that day. We watched” Prince of Egypt” on TV, played scrabble, ate a big delectable breakfast, and hung out in our jammies all the day long. Some days are just ” Jammie days.” There was a definite “missing” of our loved ones, but also an unspoken tenderness and understanding towards one another. I like to call this “quiet comfort.” It’s when you are known, and understand your “peeps” well enough to grant them space to grieve, to retreat into themselves, and that they know they are loved and accepted without question.
The freedom to just be in the space where you are can be the greatest gift and honor to give to those that we love, and to friends that we are doing life with. Grief and hurt can’t be hurried through, much as we would like for it to be….it is a time to wait…for patience… Now if that isn’t a contradiction of sorts… Hurry up and wait I suppose.
Expectation and hope for this new year. This is where I’m choosing to be. It will not be a constant, I recognize that, because memories erupt at the least expected times, and tears fall out of my eyes at ill opportune moments, but I will not hide… I will not be ashamed. This is what it means to embrace life, and all the challenges that confront me, and my family.
Taking these moments that we share together as sacred spaces, and respecting those we encounter is crucial. It’s so true that to judge another before “walking a mile in their shoes” is pure lunacy. To try and understand that the way people exhibit their pain is in unpredictable ways. Anger and frustration are often seen through the windows of pain.
We are a reactionary people, and our feelings, right or wrong can propel us into versions of our better selves, or over the cliff into the abyss of complete loss and despair.
The choice is mine, it’s all of ours. My hope for this year is that I choose well, and don’t base my feelings for others on their, or my past. To forgive another is to set yourself free…free to follow your dreams and hopes. I’m preaching to myself here!
This fills me with such wonder in this moment….what will be? I cannot know…but” I know who hold my future, and I know who holds my hand.”