It rained sporadically all morning, a fine, needle like mist that pelted my cheeks as I dashed from the house to the car. We spent the morning at my aunt’s house, searching for paperwork (house deeds, car titles, insurance policies…) We found instead a marriage certificate, signed with a flourish by Justice of the Peace Anthony Owen, on November 15, 1947. We also found an (incredibly small looking!) uniform shirt, US Air Force, circa 1943, and a pair of purple silks such as a boxer might wear into the ring. There was a box filled with patchwork quilt squares, ready for my aunt’s Wednesday morning quilting group to piece into one of the many beautiful bed coverings they made back in the 1960’s. And a class ring, again incredibly small, threaded through a delicate chain so it could be worn as a necklace.
When we emerged from this time warp, the sun had come out. The maple leaves sparkled with glints of gold, and raindrops perched on their tips like diamond earrings. There was a freshness to the air and a similar lightness in my heart, as if the rain had washed away the gloom and sadness which had permeated the past two weeks. I could see light at the end of this tunnel at last.
My challenge emotionally for the coming months is to pull myself out of the melancholy pit I’ve been lingering in for most of the summer, seek out opportunities for happiness and indulge in them, refuse to allow myself to get drawn any deeper into self-pity and fearfulness and worry. It’s a bit like hitting the refresh button on the computer keyboard…the same page will come back on the screen, but with the newest, most up-to-date information. The basic facts of my life aren’t going to change right now…there is fresh loss and grief, uncertainty about the future, more work to do…but mainly there is still life, and people who love me. There are dogs to cuddle and take for a walk, music to play, and books to be read. There are vistas of red and gold maple leaves, cool autumn breezes, hot coffee and fresh baked cinnamon rolls for the morning.
A dear friend sent me a card in the mail that reads…
There’s no doubt this is hard. There are questions, “what ifs.” Hurts, doubts, regrets…
But I know you.
I know you’ve come through hard times before, and you’ll come through this one, too.
And what’s more,
I know you’ll be even stronger for it –
deeper in understanding and even more certain of your good place in this world.
Today I caught a glimmer of light at the end of this long tunnel, a moment of certainty that there was still a good place in the world.
And I was refreshed.