Well, friends, we made it. The season of Lent is ending and Easter Sunday is tomorrow. I have successfully sat down in this chair for 40 days (give or take), chronicling the daily effort and effects of living my life with an eye towards the divine. If you've made it through these 40 days with me somehow, I no doubt owe you a drink. We will have to raise our glasses together because you guys, I think it might have worked.
What does that mean, exactly? I have no idea. I think I thought when my mom died that it was a punctuation mark of sorts, like that marked the end of life as I knew it before and now it was the beginning of a different life, one where I was sadder and looked at life through the dimmer and blurrier lens of loss. I think I thought that to try to live any other way would be insensitive, and worse, inauthentic. But I also think there was a small part of me that knew to try and do that would be like slowly suffocating. So with that and the beginnings of a sneaking suspicion that there was always something miraculous lurking quietly just out of my peripheral vision, I tried to think of a way to force my eyes open again. I thought that if I made myself look for it, if I committed to it and let you hold me to it and talked openly about it and bore witness to it, I might be able to bring it into focus. And I can say without any doubt now that looking for the thankful in my I-can't-believe-I-am-not-in-the-psych-ward life has helped me to truly open my eyes.
And you know what?
It's beautiful out there.
There are babies and children and embraces and romance and friends (great friends) and family and neighbors and mentors and the kindnesses of strangers. There are good meals and clinked glasses and hot baths and the nights where you sleep so hard and so deep that you wake up in the exact same position you fell asleep in the night before. There are sweatpants and heels and all of the beautiful things in between, and there is a hot mug of coffee in the morning to center your mind and a hot mug of tea in the afternoon to quiet it. There is yoga and practice and community and music that gives you goosebumps and those moments where you chest splits open and your soul shines out like a ray of light and you cry hot beautiful tears and feel like if there is a God, this is him holding you up. There is a keyboard and a little blog and the people who are amazing enough to read it and tell me their own stories and there are the people who want me to please shut the hell up for once but yet are kind enough to not say it to my face.
My chair here is in front of a big window and I look out onto my street often as I write, trying to find the right words to explain what I mean (and usually failing). Seven weeks ago, when I first sat down here, it was dark out there and cold and the trees were stripped bare. It was ugly. Tonight, the sun is setting in this ridiculously beautiful rainbow of reds and oranges and golds, the trees have buds and the grass is green and better than all of that: there are children running everywhere laughing.
You know what that means?
IT IS NOW LIGHT WHERE IT WAS DARK.
You see? Its not just little me with my little mid-life crisis and my self-indulgent little experiment and my little life. Maybe I'm just a metaphor and spring is just a metaphor and maybe Easter is just a metaphor or maybe it's the only story but no matter what you celebrate and what you believe, there's the undeniable truth of darkness and light, of loss and rebirth, of falling down and GETTING BACK UP. It's all of us and it's this great big life and this great big communal world and its every one of you, helping me get back up.
And maybe yet again it's just little me, sitting here on the 40th night, and saying thank you.