the best of things…

Inspired by Emily P. Freeman, I’m spending a little time with her reflection questions and considering what I learned this spring. She asks the following questions:

What was your favorite photo from May?

As the season unfolded it became clear that the normal spring we craved wasn’t just going to happen. March faded into April and so many of us sat waiting for it to feel the ways in which we’ve believed spring should feel– and it never did. In the realizing this, with May came accepting that we had the power to choose a new way to approach spring-mentality. With that, here in Pennsylvania, also came a lot of rain.

Rainy days are rejuvenating, but rainy days in the month of May are special. They carry with them a sort of life-giving magic.

Name a thoughtful moment in May.

I stood outside a closed window, in the middle of some bushes and landscape rocks, peering through at my mother. She sat slumped, vacant, in a leather recliner. She could see me, I think, but mostly I believe she saw through me. Through me, beyond me, into something that I could never reach. She couldn’t understand we were there to visit her. For over a year she’d gone without the loving embrace of someone who cares about her.

When I’d visit I would try to brush her hair, and rub lotion on her cracked and aching feet. Most of the time she knew what was happening, but sometimes she did not. Que the pandemic. I’ve only seen her “in person” twice, both times with a pane of plastic or glass between us.

This time, seeing her catatonic and missing, I had to wonder what the next time will be like. Will there ever be a time when I run a brush through her long, grey hair again and she knows that I am her daughter?

i just don’t know.

What’s something you look forward to in June?

My dear, beautiful friend is coming to visit and I cannot wait! She and her precious babies will be in my house. We will laugh face to face and it will be so unfathomably glorious!

8 Things I learned this spring…

  • My body does not heal or grow by my mind-designed time table.
  • I am most at peace with God outside of a “church”. I’d been teetering there for awhile, but finally I surrender.
  • I need to force myself to read more.
  • More about where the land I live on originated. The Native American history is something we all need to intentionally learn about. I’m trying.
  • Different doesn’t mean bad. Sometimes new and different can be better, and sometimes it won’t. Even so, holding space for the different is almost always a good idea.
  • I don’t have to do all of the things.
  • It is important to me that when it comes to publishing my work, the publishing and representative relationships I form are sensitive regarding the topics of inclusivity, mental health, abuse and sexual assault. I will not hand my work over to a publishing house, in exchange for royalties, who may choose to publish someone who contradicts those values. This was a huge moment for me.
  • My body may not look like I wish it did, but she has carried amazingly difficult burdens. She has been through so much physical pain, almost since her very beginning, and it is my responsibility to love every ounce of her.