Wednesday, December 31, 2014

three hundred and sixty five

When you break a year down into days, it doesn't seem like much. Three hundred and sixty-five is not very many, especially when you think of all that can fit in the half-of-it during which we are awake. This year, and each day in it, spilled over with what filled me, us, the schedule, up.

2014 began and with it came a ring unlike the others. Boyfriend turned Fiance. Girlfriend turned Bride. Certainty now had a public symbol, one I wore on my left hand. Rings like these bring in a rush of everything: peace, joy, purpose. There's planning to be done and beauty to maintain and tradition to honor. Through the rush, we kept our eyes on each other. Through the pressure building, we held each other's shoulders up. Our hands did part to do the work, but they always came back together. For this, I am humbled & grateful.

I haven't written about our wedding day just yet. One would think - and I did, too - that marriage would be my main reason to speak, before and once it happened. But actually, I've been having some difficulty fitting our day, and especially our relationship, onto a page, inside some alphabet and letters, marked with the dirt of grammar and structure and limited time. The sound of clicking keys, pen on page, pencil led a-marking; I love them all. But none of them can tell you what it meant to marry my husband, and what it means to me to be his wife. I suppose if you could crawl in here, camp out in the deep reaches of my soul, breathe the fresh air he moves into my spirit; maybe then you'd grab an inkling. But it would still lack. He doesn't fit in a sentence, paragraph, page, poem, book series, library, planet. When time rushes on, we keep our eyes on each other. Though pressure likes to build, we hold each other's shoulders up. If I have to pick between anything and him, I choose him. When I do have to go away, I bring what I can of him with me.

This year has been good and blessed, but each day has brought its own version of groundwork. You can not build on sand, and so we've found ourselves sifted. Sometimes a little, sometimes all at once. We've watched our community both rally and reel, as birth and death, each in their own turns, take breaths. We've felt our grip on each other tighten, both with gratitude and, if we're honest, fear of loss. I've locked myself away and opened my heart just as swifly; so fickle is my hope, for humanity, for myself. I've been gracious and I've been rude; I've been a mama bear and I've bitten my tongue, and I've acquired a taste for the mouth-blood earned by restraint.

Even more, I've watched my family and friends navigate these days, dark and light as they are. This year, in its fullness, is done now. The good things, the anchors, we keep in celebration. The bad can not be reversed, though some reversals would save us. What we didn't do wasn't done. What we live for will find our hearts mended, if we live well; our buried desires will stay where we put them, for now.

What did come from this latest set of three hundred and sixty five? Every time the morning unwrapped itself, it became something. Each day is a package full of moments, and we caught things in the snare of time well spent. Sure, some things have slipped, but if you look at your net you'll see it is glittering; most of what you need is right here. We miss those who are gone (oh god, do we miss them), but so much of what they gave us is found when grace, in turn, finds us. Grace finds us in the still-here hands of those we love.

2014 was the year of the knee-bend.  Humility, gratefulness, turmoil, beauty, prayer: much of what was experienced kept our limbs on the ground. As we carry on with what 14's days gave us, we send a kiss into the wind of what took place, as we ready ourselves for another year.

It only takes twenty-four hours to spin the planet. Just think of how much change could be headed our way.  So much good to be found in this next set of days; let's help each other look for it.

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