Its been a week.
It feels like everything and nothing at the same time. And while it feels like some kind of rhythm is slowly revealing itself as the days stack up one on top of the next, things still seem completely strange and surreal. Life looks familiar on the surface... my decaf with almond milk in the morning, the time puttering and working in the studio, moments laughing and cooking with my kids, the spring buds on the trees... but something about it doesn't feel like my life at all.
I'm back to practicing daily gratitude. It's a touchstone that feels important right now. All those years ago when I started filling notebooks with the small bits of wonder I was grateful for, before it was the trendy thing Oprah was encouraging us all to do, it felt like the natural way to help me root deeper into my own joy. I've had this lovely blank journal sitting on my shelf, and seeing it as I rummaged around for things to create with, it seemed like the perfect time to dive back in. The invitation was clear: Five things every day. Another solid rhythm. Another sure thing when certainty is in such high demand.
That's how I'm feeling about schedules and routines in general. To me they're not a means for production or a measure for earning one's keep, but a tool for predictability, stability and care. We do our work in the morning (whatever the kids want to do, and I'm fine with that). We get outside in the afternoon. We rest in the evening and come together at the end of the day for laughter and maybe a game of some sort. It's the small things too. The new grocery list on the counter catching everyone's requests, the sound of the dishwasher at 7pm, a clean kitchen before we goto bed. These are holding us, providing comfort and more space to breathe.
Getting outside has been absolute medicine. Once off the main path we go for miles without seeing another human. We are discovering new trails all over our area and the light through the bare trees has been warm and welcoming. There is treasure tucked everywhere, and the kids are back in their pursuit of cache. Maybe we will finally plant the one we intended, the box we bought in a little army supply shop downtown Mystic on a family road trip years ago, somehow also a capsule for this time.
Yesterday we stumbled upon a tiny small pox plot deep in the woods, unmarked and almost just a whisper of something very old if not for the small identifying sign. The light was beautiful and the stillness felt sacred - we have come through such things as humans before.
I'm struck by the thought that this will be the defining moment of my kid's childhood. An indelible moment at age 10 and 16. It will be - already is - the stuff of legend. What I hope they will most remember was how we rallied together as a family and got each other through, how we tried to make a difference for others. How others showed up and came through for us. How we laughed even though there were tears, and how we gained something important we could have never received any other way.
I said to Alex on the ride home, I hope we learn the lessons, talking about us as an entire species. After reading this hard truth and then bursting into tears. I hope something good comes from all this suffering. And, kindness and love and generosity are absolutely all around and keeping me afloat. Thank you Colleen for gifting me these perfect colors and words. Breath and layers and all.