Categories
Living Life

Silence

The silence of winter starts to settle before the calendar turns the page on the seasons. As we sat in the hot tub yesterday evening, we observed the heavy cloud cover. A mix of misty raindrops wanting to become snowflakes made the clouds feel close, like we could reach out and pull them closer for comfort, for warmth.

I noticed the lack of noise as we sat in the dark, our silence comfortable and still. No more summer insects chirped, their songs hushed by a series of frosty tipped mornings. The heaviness in the air also drowned out the sounds of the distant interstate. No voices traveled from nearby yards as the families now stayed inside once the sun went to bed so early each evening. Too early.

Mid-fall nights so easily give in to early-winter days, the seasons speeding by before we’re fully aware of the happening. Sometimes I try to sit with it, try to feel the exact moment in which I’m living. Too often I worry about the future, the unknown, the big picture, so to sit with the quiet stillness of the present feels uneasy, even more uncertain than those curious days yet to come.

Here’s what I know about this present thanks to the silence and peace of last night:

We are not alone.

Even in the dark of a mid-fall night who pretends to be like one of mid-winter, someone is with us. Even when we don’t quite know what tomorrow holds, how we’re feeling now, or what to make of the past year, someone is with us. Maybe they’re sitting across from us, hair damp from the falling mix of rain and would-be snow. Or maybe they’re 600 miles away, catching a glimpse of the moon peeking out from the quickly-moving clouds, wishing they could be with us, reach out, anything. Maybe they’re a memory which pops up to remind us that we’re never alone. No matter what, someone is with us.

Time keeps moving.

Every day, the sun rises, even on days in which it sets too early and we’re left wondering if we’ll escape the darkness. The sun rises, the calendar changes, and we’re one step further away from that day. One step removed from our deepest of griefs, our happiest of memories, our confusion, our promises. We’re also one step closer to whatever remains. I didn’t say that time heals everything; it just keeps moving.

Healing looks different for everyone.

My healing looks like a long run on a Sunday afternoon, attempting to outrun my grief on the slow rolling hills of southeastern Ohio. The healing of others might look like a snuggle on a Saturday night or climbing into bed sometime in the middle of the darkest night because you know it’s the safest place on Earth. Laughing at a movie, a meme, a video, your dad’s wonderfully punny dad jokes. Throwing yourself into not one but two sports at once; giving your all on and off the field, the race course; a 4.0; a moment with your mom. Date night; family traditions; carving pumpkins for children who should be old enough to wield their own knives, right; sitting silently in a hot tub on a cold, dark night. It looks different for each one of us. We’re doing our best.

We will spend many more chilly nights in the hot tub, listening to the sounds of silence, thinking about the present and the future, trying not to dwell on the past. We will continue to heal, each in our own way, as time marches on, taking us step by step away from that darkest of nights. New seasons wait just around the corner of a calendar page. We will fall into them, together.

Silence
Categories
Living Life

Hope

I didn’t pick a word for the new year.

I didn’t make any resolutions. I didn’t even really make any goals.

I haven’t done any deep cleaning despite the Internet’s obsession with all things Kondo. Well, that’s not true. I put the existing “donate this pile” pile into a bag and placed it in the back of my car. After doing so, I felt momentarily inspired and decided to deal with the Purse Issue.

What’s the Purse Issue? I don’t change purses all that often, but when I do, I seem totally incapable of getting rid of the old purse. What if I need a solid green boho slouch bag? Or any of my floral print fabric bags from my handmade phase? Houndstooth? And what about my many camera bags despite the fact that they’ve been used beyond an inch of their lives?

The bags, originally contained to one large-sized tub, overflowed to the floor of the storage side of our basement. You could also find every single reusable bag from every single professional conference I have attended since 2009 in this heap. I have five reusable bags in my vehicle. My husband carries about ten in his. I also have two in the purse I’m currently carrying.

I didn’t need these bags.

So, I packed them all up in a box. They also now sit in the back of my car. Holiday weekend and snow, they’ll stay there until Tuesday.

But no, I haven’t made any grand plans for the year.

2018 taught me that plans, even the best laid ones, mean very little. I made so many goals last year. I even followed through with a number of them, starting a new job, running two half marathons, and losing the weight I put on during the emotional difficulties of 2017. But all of that changed in one minute on a September night.

I don’t know what this year holds. It started off on a difficult note, threw a little death our way, and the rest of the year seems a little bit if-y as to whether or not we can avoid more of the same. On the other hand, I’m making some great strides professionally and my sons make me happy to be their mother on the regular. (You know, mostly. They’re human, as am I.)

So no, I don’t have goals, resolutions, a word, anything. Instead, I’m holding on to a little hope. For what?

I guess we’ll find out.

Hope