Alright, so the whole
thing hasn't happened, though I do feel I'm slowly
leaking out the things that need to be released.
I'm home from Virginia's open arms and
settling back into routine.
Today was spent cleaning and sorting.
I baked. I slept. The Monkey is with his father,
and this is my first night alone post holiday.
After all the busy and loud, it seems far too quiet again.
Still, I acknowledge peace and try to savor it-
Though staying in the moment is a challenge for me.
I fussed over a homemade pizza tonight,
blending dough with herbs, olive oil and hot water until
it was a warm, malleable lump in my hands.
I loaded it with sweet pepper and artichoke,
feta and wine-marinated olives. Pesto. Tomato. Spinach.
It's in the oven, rising, as I write this.
I was so lonely earlier.
I went to the store to buy ingredients for dough.
I thought, as I often do, backwards.
It's been such a blur, this holiday season.
How strange that it ends so far from where it began,
so full of sweet and so full of bitter
and even some of the seemingly sweet things somehow...
I was leaving the store, bags full and chest hollow,
when I saw this woman.
And she, too, was alone.
I waited for her to turn as I didn't want to draw attention to
myself or the fact that I was taking her picture,
but she held my attention for the better part of five minutes.
Five minutes, because that's how long it took her to make it
to her van, to unload her two bags of groceries,
to put her cane in the back seat, and to get inside.
Her steps were baby steps.
Her moves, although delicate, were deliberate.
She didn't smile.
I noticed that she didn't frown either-
she looked focused.
On each step.
On each baby step.
It took her far longer than it does most to do the simple
things she did in those moments, but she did them just the same.
In her time.
On her own.
And she drove away,
having never asked for help,
having never rested,
having never complained.
I sat in my car and the tears welled up.
Tears that cleared some of the dust, I suppose.
... And I laughed at myself.
I needed her, that elderly stranger in the parking lot.
I needed her today.
Thank you, I thought.
For the perspective.
Patience has never come easily for me.
I guess this is going to take time.
It will take time. I don't know how long.
I'll shuffle and maybe stagger,
but I'll find my way to where it is I'm going.
I'll get there on my own,
because I need to get there on my own.
I may not smile everyday,
but I'll try not to frown.
I'll try to remain focused.
I want to be resilient.
To be strong.
I want to be better than I have ever, ever been.
I want to focus on the pride that is there,
surrounding my independence,
rather than feeling only the loneliness that is also there,
because right now my walk is a solo one.
In my heart, I know I'm mending in many ways.
In the deepest parts of me,
laugher bubbles up a bit quicker than it did before.
In my mind, a bit more acceptance and self-awareness.
In my eyes, a bit more insight, as I notice
more and more all the good around me.
And in the kitchen, the smell of supper.
The dough, rising....
So am I.