When a storm barrels through the pieces of your life, it is hard to imagine what life will be like once the pieces settle, descending to earth like fractured snowflakes, heavy and jagged, one unlike the other.
For the first time, I am aware of being alive. I have a perception of time that the blissful ignorance of a life before this one could never give me. I understand how precious and fragile it is, and how ruthless and unyielding in the same breath. I have felt my greatest joys this year and greater sadness than I've felt in a long time. I am understanding now how one can exist simultaneously in a state of contentment and grief; precariously undulating between the two, recognizing the impermanence of both.
I love deeper.
I dream bigger.
This year, I promised forever to my soul's mate in the warm sunlight of spring, and held his hand as we said goodbye to his father just two days short of seven months later. And so it followed, a joyful spring surrendered. Summer bowed it's weary head and fall ushered in with heartache, covering the earth still warm from the sun's glow; time moving forward, mercilessly and dutifully as it had done season after season for thousands of years, ad infinitum. I watched my best friend's daughter learn new words, her eyes lighting up at every bit of new-ness while taking in her new world. And I watched as my father looked at me, straining to remember my name. I celebrated new milestones with my husband - new opportunities that will pull us in exciting directions. I mourned the end of many dreams, and the loss of things I never had to begin with, and selfishly, I cried in frustration that life would not bend to my will. In many ways, this year shook to the core what I thought my life would be just a year ago, and today I am left to make sense of all the pieces - new or newly broken - strewn about the cracked floors of a dream, of a life that is reluctantly and relentlessly changing.
And still, I hope.
If we are lucky, we live to feel the world shift around us. My world shifted the day I married my husband. And again many times this year. The shift is a realization - an epiphany - that life is just this way now, not that way, and you're still alive and you're still happy, and you're different but you're okay.
I wonder what will fill my mind as I think of this year. I wonder who I will be, who we will be. And at the same time, I am aware of the futility in wondering.
"Most people are afraid of the dark. Literally when it comes to children, while many adults fear, above all, the darkness that is the unknown, the unseeable, the obscure. And yet the night in which distinctions and definitions cannot be readily made is the same night in which love is made, in which things merge, change, become enchanted, aroused, impregnated, possessed, released and renewed." - Rebecca Solnit
"The future is dark, which is the best thing the future can be, I think." - Virginia Woolf