It is cold today, cold enough to see my breath when I went on my walk at lunchtime. It rained most of the day yesterday, beating the leaves off of the trees so the dark branches are etched against the sky like iron. I love this time of year, the wind brisk and damp and the leaves skittering along the sidewalks and roadways like forgotten pieces of paper. The smell of wood burning, the damp earth as potatoes are harvested, the drive to work just as the sun is coming up-I am hard pressed to say which season is my favorite. This one, I think-the one I am in now, at this moment, in this place.
I have no words of wisdom today, no thoughtful reflections about the changing of the seasons, no cause to take up arms about-not just this minute. What I have is this time, this little window of time in which to look out the window and simply be grateful. I know it won’t last-I am not nearly evolved enough to feel the constant gratitude that is most likely a tool for better living- but for some reason, that knowledge simply makes it feel that much sweeter.
Last night after the kids were all in bed, I was laying on the couch reading, both dogs piled on top of me like especially heavy blankets, and for some reason I though to simply look around. The house was quiet save the tap-tap of Steve on the computer, the purring of the cats, and the occasional whumph sound of the heater firing up. I was filled with this sense of well-being and comfort, of peace. It has been a few months now that Steve has lived with us, and in those months I have become comfortable with his presence there. It was such a huge change, and things were really hard (and just might be again) for me in the beginning; however, without me being aware of it, it has gotten easier for me. I can lay on the couch and read and not really care what he is doing, yet am glad he is there. This isn’t something I had hoped to find, or thought I wanted or needed or, let’s face it, deserved-yet here it is, some unexpected gift.
But this peace isn’t only to do with Steve; he is part of it, but by no means the whole. It is the whole panoply of my life, with all of it’s ups and downs and in betweens, that has me pretty much amazed and awed and humbled. There have been times, just as I am sure there will be again, where I just really didn’t think I was going to make it. Days when it took all I had to simply get out of bed and keep moving forward-and yet here I am. Amazing, isn’t it?
The weather might signify an ending of sorts, the beginning of the dead season, but it feels like a beginning to me. It is getting dark earlier, and I love to come home and see the lights shining through the chinks in the curtains, knowing that just behind the door there is warmth and peace. This time is mine, I think-mine for love, and for healing, and for gratitude. My time for rest, and for peace. My beginning. I don’t know what is in front of me, beyond this: I will go home tonight and make dinner, stroke fevered brows and dispense bitter medicine to my two ill boys. I will read to Owen and cuddle on the couch with Hannah and will maybe then take a hot bath. I will talk with Steve about this vacation that we are planning-like Ms. Moon says, we can still plan, and save a little at a time, and who knows? And I will go to bed feeling like I am the luckiest, most blessed person in the world, and for today, that is enough.