I really cannot imagine where to begin, thus my silence over the past week. How to say thank you for so many comments and emails, so many extensions of comfort and hope. I felt a little silly at first, posting a request that felt a little audacious in a way. I felt a little guilty for needing it, all the reassurement, but in the end, after reading all the responses and crying (yes, crying) at most of them, I realized I did, in fact, need them. I needed to hear all those things that I knew, but couldn't accept on my own. I needed to be reminded that this isn't the end- not even close.
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly I forget that things will be hard, and better, and worse, and infinitely amazing; I forget about the ebb and flow of it all when I'm in the thick of it. This year has been so full that I often forget to breathe and process it all, to take it in one bit at a time. Last year scientists did a study revealing that butterflies remember their lives as caterpillars. I can't tell you how much I love the thought of that - the transformation without the complete rejection of the past. I love the importance of refusing to forget how we get where we are - wherever that is.
I am certain that there will be a handful of times in the next year, heck, in the rest of my life, that I will need to go back to those words you all sent, to remind myself of the most fundamental elements of what it means to live a life. I am also certain that every time I read them I will wonder why it feels so hard to tell myself these things, and how amazing it is that I have others around me to bring it back into view.
Lastly, a list: things one might take time for in order to push up over the hump that is a bad day in order to make a good one:
long walks around a city as it welcomes spring, a trip to the Saturday market for local veggies, cheese, and bread, roast chicken and potatoes, small glasses filled with daffodils in every window, open windows and cool breezes, napping in said windows when the sun is up, trips to local thrift stores and the perfect find (in my case a very old glassbake mug in yellow with an orange design of farm animals - advertising for the NW WA fair in Lynden, WA), an hour lost in the maze of a used bookstore, card games in bed with popcorn and movies, coffee dates with good friends, a day spent cleaning and reorganizing, and the surprise of miniature croissants and strawberry jam as breakfast in bed.