I’ve written here once in 2019. I’m not certain what I’ve been waiting for. Perhaps it’s just another lesson in the possibility of beginning again. It’s always there.
This morning I took a peevish walk. The rain was cold and steady. I carried my unopened umbrella in my right hand, perversely refusing to open it up. Instead allowing the cold rain to pelt against my old blue raincoat stretched tight around my backpack so that I looked, I’m sure, like a bright blue sausage.
I’m so tired of the rain. I long for winter. For the hush and stillness of snow draping the pine trees and blanketing the yards. For the bright crisp air. For the puff of breath dissipating in the cold. For the blood red cardinal against the brilliant and shimmering white.
I like to get bundled up. To wear lined pants tucked into knee-high boots. To layer gloves and mittens, hats and scarves. I like the weight of my coat on my shoulders as I take tiny steps down the ice-covered sidewalk.
Peevish enough that I almost missed world of ice melt in the puddles alongside the road. Peevish enough that I could’ve missed the pine needles. Plumped with water, they created a carpet through the cemetery, and by chance I stepped upon them, and I stopped.
It sounds silly, but I realized I could begin again. Almost home, I could begin this walk again. I could enjoy the steady drip of rain, my bangs damp, my toes cold against the ends of my shoes (why wasn’t I wearing boots?).
I could begin again. And I did.
Yesterday was the 29th anniversary of my marriage to Eric. We are nothing if not a study in beginning again.
29 years ago, I married a man I had known for two months in a hotel room in Owensboro, Kentucky. We were about as ready for marriage as a couple of toddlers. Less ready, perhaps.
I look back with gratitude for the multitude of mistakes we both made because mistakes kept our humanity intact. I’m grateful for the uncertainty because it kept us open and soft because certainty kills the desire to begin again. Certainty hardens hearts and lives as surely as we reach blindly for it.
There were days, weeks, months when the last thing either one of us wanted to do was hold on, but we did. Listen, I know that holding on, hanging on isn’t always the right thing. I have friends who hung on so long their fingernails were coming off and their hands were bloodied. Sometimes letting go is braver and better, for sure.
But I’m grateful for those days when holding on morphed into a long embrace. I’m grateful that we kept beginning again.
After all, beginning is always available.
So here we go.