Sometimes I feel words gathered right there on the tip of my tongue, ripe and ready to roll off the second I open my mouth. And then, in a singular moment of awareness, I choose to leave my mouth closed. I don’t swallow the words so much as allow them to slowly dissolve. I can feel the unspoken weight of them and for a moment, the grateful recognition I did the right thing by leaving them there.
In the company of others, both home and away, I feel best and most at peace with what I didn’t say over what I did. The criticisms I didn’t express. The gossip I heard and didn’t forward. The sarcastic retort I didn’t let fly. Maybe even the personal regrets I forgave myself for rather than divulge.
Speaking or not is a choice. I know my heart never swells with pride when I’m unkind – no matter how privately or how far out of earshot. I can add or subtract. Escalate or encourage. My words can increase the almost universal angst we’re all feeling — or abate it — even for just a minute and ever so slightly. Offer hope, or join the melee. So much travels by word of mouth.
Circles and cycles. Bud and bloom. Belief and doubt. Celebration and grief.
Move inward, out. Outward, in.
Still. Sacred. Spiritual.
A revolution, a resolution, a plan, a path, a prayer.
Start here. Or there.
No destination in mind or notice of arrival. Back where I began, here I am returned. Again. Both renewed and changed by the experience of the walk itself, a guarantee that no matter how familiar the path, I am in fact a different person than I was the last time I walked it.
Spring too, here again. Another spin around for both of us. So familiar, but so new and ever hopeful. Both transformed and transforming.
From the one to the many. From the many to the one.
The daily news hangs heavier and heavier in my heart. Day after day. After day. Each notification, each headline, tweet, and post adds to me feeling powerless. There’s an ache in deep parts of me that never quite recedes. Honestly, I’ve been feeling more hopeless these days than hopeful. There’s no recourse in the short-term. No way to help or stop or become part of the solution. Because the problems – and there are so many – feel too big. Too insurmountable. Too often entirely out of my control.
Still, there’s no giving up is there? No giving up for the people who minute by minute struggle far more than I do. No giving up for the planet and the people far younger than I who’ll need to live on it longer than I will. The list is long, the worries are many, the fear, ever-present.
It’s imperative to stay informed. The need-to-know has never been more crucial. Reliable information helps inform my vote, my financial support, and my prayer.
But I need some good news too.
Have you any? Good news, I mean. Have you any good news to share?
Flowers blooming? Gone for a bike ride? Found a friend? What made you laugh? Who did you spend time with? See something new? Different? Unusual? Did your daughter make the team? Your mom come to visit?
What moved your heart? Please. Share.
I wouldn’t want you to think any of this good news sharing neutralizes or diminishes the serious state of our country and world.
But it may help keep us sane. Or more open to possibility, ideas, action … and hope.
I just saw my son for the first time in almost three years. Mother’s Day was magical. Our electric bill went down this month. The peonies and lilacs are just about to burst.
And yesterday afternoon … I saw an owl. Up close. Its head on the swivel as it’s known to do. Eyes alert. Focused. Full circle aware of the world all around. Ready and on the hunt for some sustenance.
In the morning kitchen, evening memories linger. Too tired to wrestle with dirty dishes, I’m more likely now to leave it all be. Gathered eggs nest in a basket on the counter next to the remnants of last night’s dinner and a pile of plates. Just lately, I’ve come to love the quiet calm and purpose I find in a morning kitchen. Despite whatever state of chaos I might find upon my arrival, I’m so happy to be there.
I’m done with the guilt I’ve given myself over the years – choosing bed over tidying up. Yes, it’s lovely to brew coffee in a clean kitchen, but there’s delight in a warm bed after a satisfying meal too. I don’t mind the morning mess, and finally how I actually feel is taking precedence over how I think I should feel.
There’s hope in a morning kitchen, a kind of promise to the day ahead as the room’s set to rights. This morning I lit a candle on the counter as I began to clean. A long, white dinner-party taper lit simply because I like candlelight – even in the morning – and especially in the kitchen. The act of lighting – a prayer – a pause – a moment of appreciation and offering, lighting whatever world-weary darkness may be on mind.
I’m home in the morning kitchen. There’s a flavor of peace. Leftover nourishment. Contemplation out the kitchen window over a sinkful of hot, soapy water. I watch the bounce of a bluejay from feeder to branch. The trot of a turkey hen across the yard. The greening of grass.
When I arrive home again at day’s end, the comfort of a clean evening kitchen will greet me. I’ll no doubt light the candle again. Feel happy again. Home again. Content. Right there in the kitchen.