I’ve never been a huge fan of magnetic poetry—in the throes of postpartum frustration with my lack of time for writing or even adult conversation, I even wrote a fairly bitter poem about those poor polarized word fragments. Yet we have a set; the kids love it and even my math-minded husband has fun with it. And still, I’ve always dug in my heels—the whole glory of this insane English language lies in the plethora of words at our disposal. Why limit yourself to a couple hundred options defined by a stranger?
Today, I looked at the unused words remaining on our fridge and challenged myself. Can I express something I truly feel right now using these few dozen scraps? As it turns out, I could. I did. See above.
That I chose those words, that I might—do?—believe them, that they now will live, here and on my fridge, terrifies me. That they may be true tantalizes me.
I feel like I’ve spent most of my life building something—a nest perhaps. Tucking solid things in around me and mine, weaving tangible structures for protection, support, and stability. And every time the weather has gotten rough, every time life has shaken my tree or a storm battered my nest, I’ve rebuilt. And over the years, each repair, each rebuild has grown more frantic as I fix larger breaks, coming faster and faster, one after another.
The past two years have swept away my fantasies of fixing—both in the modern sense of repairing and the older, photographic sense of making permanent.
Two summers ago I learned that no one can afford elder care and then spent a month consumed by the specter of breast cancer. Then Hurricane Irma swept into our lives, tangibly destroying first-world assumptions of security that we had thought we didn’t have. In one sense, Irma literally sent us from one nest to another; after the hurricane, we decided to buy our forever home because…well, life is short and unpredictable and now is all we have.
Then my siblings and I had to find eldercare, affordable or not, and we moved my mom. Then my husband and I moved our family, then, before we caught our breath, everything went wrong with our new house. For about three months, we thought no one could repair our nest. I certainly could not. Yet time moved on, we moved back in, and, tentatively, carefully, we moved forward.
Now…now we start to trust the shelter of our home again, feeling secure enough to hang the last few pictures and re-cover a few remaining cushions. Now life’s rhythm, though resting on a different—more fluid and yet, perhaps, more lasting—foundation, has resumed. I have begun to pick up my head and look around.
|"a powerful healing year for you"|
I’m not much of a mystic, but I think we tend to notice the astrology, numerology, and tarot offerings that we need to hear. So when I saw this prediction for 2019, I latched onto it:
In August, past the midpoint of the year, it turns out that this year might truly be a time of healing. A time after the wind rose, blowing away so much that I sheltered in, so much that weighed on me, leaving me shivering, uncertain how to move forward without a familiar enclosure.
A time when I might learn that the lightest life can also be the deepest, the strongest, the richest, the warmest—the most of everything I love.