above all

Lately, there have been days calling only for a sweater and days calling for coat and hat and gloves. Back and forth we go, back and forth. I’d like to say I’m Zen about it, that I’m unfazed by the pinging and indecision of Mother Nature, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. I’d happily take another month of cold temperatures with hopes for snow though, if I’m honest, the sprinkled days of sunshine and easy breezes tease me, have me dreaming of flowers, my knees growing weak with the thought of honeyed air. One or the other, please.

On a walk two weeks ago, my daughter and I pass two trees in full bloom, pink pompom blossoms against a heavy, grey sky. The juxtaposition of spring tree and winter sky feels odd, somewhat alarming, I pull my hat down further over my ears. Immediately I worry for the trees, feel certain that they’ve bloomed too soon. A day or two later, I tell my yoga student who happens to own an orchard and small farm about the pompom blossoms, about my worry. He tells me they’re fine, they’re fine and I believe him, let my worry unravel. But then I pass a tiny junco on the side of the road, his white and grey body tiny and frozen. I can’t bear it.

Not unlike the pinging of Mother Nature, I find myself in a similar rhythm this week, a rhythm of back and forth, back and forth. The morning writing feels gentle and sure but a few hours later, everything (because six hours later, 7am words have become everything) feels fraught and deeply uncomfortable. It’s not comfortable to be uncomfortable but I stay with the feelings, note my inner critic’s arguments with attempted detachment. I am not these feelings, am not my inner critic, though they are both real. I am other. In the evening, I fill the tub with warm water, add bath salts, send a message to a dear friend who will understand, then rest my head back and close my eyes, soak.

The wrestling with inner critic and the blob-like state of an idea I’m trying to shape live alongside the experiences of everyone else in the world. I know I’m not alone in being uncomfortable, recognize the luxuries which afford me my current discomfort, am not blind, am only human. In my immediate circle, one friend moves through a divorce, another sits with her frail, aging husband, yet another waits and loves her dying mother. Juxtaposition. My discomforts feel small in this moment. Perspective. 

I understand the need to take things slowly, to follow one’s own timeline, to be here and then to be there. I understand, though maybe don’t fully embody, not yet… hence the uncomfortable waves, cresting and falling. I bow to Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom and her intuitive trusting of cycle and flow and season, there’s a full moon this week, another reminder. I vow to be patient, to take one day at a time, to allow the process of writing (and life) (and love) to lead me, to worry less about early blossoms but still to mourn the little junco. All things in their time, all things in their time.

Above all, be alone with it all,
a hiving off, a corner of silence
amidst the noise, refuse to talk,
even to yourself, and stay in this place
until the current of the story
is strong enough to float you out.

~ David Whyte, from “Coleman’s Bed” ~

P.S. I’d love to spend an hour writing with you. Join us next Wednesday, March 15 for a sweet hour of writing in community. All you need is a notebook and a curious heart. Details here. xo

16 thoughts on “above all

  1. I totally understand! This in-between time-I’m at a loss
    All my bulbs are coming up and today we have snow and a winter storm warning
    Decide, please!
    I start my day just fine, but the in-between time, not so much. Trying to remember

    The quieter you become the more you can hear- Rumi

    Not necessarily working for me, my brain is shouting – move, do something

    1. oh, that’s a beautiful line from Rumi, such a good reminder… thank you for sharing! maybe write it on a few post-it notes and hang them around your home ❤️

      and we live in a world that encourages constant moving and doing so no wonder your brain is shouting that at you. but Rumi is wise… listen to him :)

  2. Thank you – I needed this message.

    During this period in time, when winter is almost over and spring is almost here, we are all impatient for one to finally end and the other to begin. Patience seems to be in short supply; my creativity seems to have stalled, and I am tired of getting dressed for the cold, pre-heating the car, and scraping ice.

    I know the warm weather will arrive when expected, but it has been a brutal winter here. (I just read an article that this has been the darkest winter in 73 years, with fewer sunny days on record, so it is not our imagination.)

    Your message and that quote have brightened yet another dreary morning.

    I am sending hugs and warm wishes until the warm breezes blow again.

    Thanks, Connie ❤️

    1. The darkest winter in 73 years?! You must *really* be ready for sunshine and warm breezes!
      All of this can be hard on the spirit, eh? I’m glad you’re here today; thanks for sharing with us. Stay cozy for now; maybe take this time to give yourself extra doses of rest! The tide will change… xo

  3. Such a timely post for me. My blossom tree has been budding like crazy this last week, and now is covered in snow and I was worrying about it too. But snow, it looks so pretty this morning and it’s so rare here now, makes me smile. Hope you ‘settle’ soon xx

    1. I’m imagining your latest snowfall on the blossoms… must be lovely (though odd, right?!). We’ll both trust that the tree will be fine :)
      And thanks on the settling part… yes, feeling it, getting there. xo


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