This year has had a heaviness to it. It has dragged and bumped and ground it's way along instead of soaring weightlessly like an airborne kite. It has left me tired and wanting to stay low to the ground, out of the way of gusty winds and high places. Quiet, retreating, re-assessing. Not like the busy fullness of last year, this one has had a weight to it, i carry it on my shoulders.
I've watched family and friends around me suffering in too many different ways ... broken hearted twice too many times. Illness and life challenges and unplanned changes in direction and battling the head winds ... and i've had to stand by helplessly, hoping everyone finds their course again, hoping for gentle landings and healing and new beginnings and for things to come right again.
I watch the news on the Middle East and think how sometimes I only see grey, and not the black and white - not wanting to take sides ... i think of history and the pain of generations and how hatred and misunderstanding can so easily grow and become entrenched until it's such an integral part of a place, a people, a culture. How history can define us and how hard it is to break free. How i see no sides but only suffering and violence and I think of the children and the mothers and the tears and the losses. On both sides.
Sometimes when the weight becomes too heavy, it's time to run away for a little while and that's what we did. Just for a week, just up the coast. A few hours driving but a world away. Our first vacation in over two years. Long overdue. Quiet gardens and soft rain, gentle beaches and a slow soothing week away. For me at last a chance to stay completely unplugged (by choice), just time for early morning walks and bidding each day goodnight on the beach, feet bare and sandy and counting shells. Books and naps and ice-creams and windy waves. It was good for the soul. Just a reprieve. A chance to put the weight down for a little while and then, when it was time to come back home, the weight felt just a tiny bit lighter than before, or maybe my shoulders stronger and able to take the load again.
Sometimes that's what we need, a reminder of what is beautiful and quietly blossoming in the world. A chance to breathe and collect ourselves again. To remember the good that people are doing in their own ways everywhere, the unexpected surprises, no matter how small ... the lovely words being sent out daily into the ether from all corners of the world ... the books and poems and songs and blog posts and funny quirky jokes on Facebook. They restore our faith, they help us take deep breaths and carry on.
Sometimes we just need to sit quietly on the edges of a water too big to fathom, so that we remember that we don't need to have all the answers, all at once (or ever!), that not everything will make sense, that sometimes we're so confused and lost and we wander blindly but then we turn a corner, unexpectedly, and find something light and new and wonderful. Sometimes on that beach we see the beauty in the sunrise and a white shell fresh from the sea and it's enough just to be sitting there, salty air and cool breezes. Just that.
Wishing all of you many moments of lightness and airborne kite flying, and a lot less of the heaviness in the months ahead.