Two to Start Us Out

Hello, 2019.  It is much nearer the beginning than the end, so I can still say that, right?  I miss this space, and I think about it often, and I feel frustrated that I can’t seem to sit down and put my thoughts and story back into it.  So I’m going to start with small bits.

Here are two small portraits of our week.  The first is our living room table a few days ago, and it is totally representative of how my brain felt for the first few weeks of January—all.over.the.place.  I found myself—totally unsustainably—somewhere in the process of six books at once.  This has never worked for me.  I have been reading books for a very long time.  I know this about myself.  And yet I found myself in this place where all these library books came available at once (and were therefore due at once), and I have a book club to read for, and I need some new recipes, and…  My inability to settle down into anything just reflected the fact that 2019 had not settled down into anything either, with Jason on furlough and snow days and delays and early releases and all the other activity cancellations that resulted and…  January was scattered and made my head spin.

So finally I returned the library books, mostly unread.  I sat down and re-read Dinner:  A Love Story in its entirety (and again laughed out loud and again cried) and made a list of the recipes we still need to try.  And I settled myself into The Ministry of Ordinary Places, which has been profound and, hopefully, prophetic for me, with a little bit of The Reading Life on the side, because it’s lovely.  And then on Monday Jason went to work, and Henry went to school, and Lucy and I fell into our lovely, quiet routine, and my head stopped spinning quite so much.

And it helped that, after a week of frigid temps and snow and ice, the sun suddenly broke through and we had two days of absolutely spring-like weather.  Per the second picture, we spent an hour at the playground both days, my kids swinging and me reading, and it was like the angels were singing—not only because it was warm, but also because not so long ago it felt like I would never get to this place, where my kids don’t need pushed on the swing or caught on the slide and where they play together like real people who like each other.  We’re emerging from a cocoon and have discovered we have wings.  Kind of like spring is coming.  (Even though I keep reminding myself that snow will be coming long before spring is actually here…)

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