let go of the story.

It's time to take another step, on the familiar path, into the life that still falls open to precisely the same place each day. thank you.

I don't know what it is about these days lately, but it always brings my heart to its knees, at some point or another, with nostalgia as thick as honey.

It's a good thing. It's a bad thing.

It's a good thing.

Truth is, if "it" were ever left behind while I move on, along with the cracks and scents, I would miss it.

I am convinced that there is truth to be found in contemplation. I like attempting to unravel the mysteries of my life, one at a time, and I like the fact that there are mysteries about my life that even I cannot place in the proper little boxes.

My past and my present collide only in this space and it makes for a mind-spinning blend, especially when the hours of today creep slowly into tomorrow's. I should know better than to stay up so late in a house that is this quiet. But honestly, this is where my dreams are born.

Is it possible that the girl who grew all hippie-ish and opinionated and proud is the same girl sitting in this chair? Can this girl, so pensive and tender-hearted and stubborn and searching, really be the one who knows the walls of her life by heart?

I am so different, and so unchanged. I hope the years have sanded off the edges and shined me up as to make the eyes of my heart clearer. I hope I have learned.

For now, I am warm from the setting sun and puppies at my feet. My fingertips still smell kinda
tangeriney. It's time to climb the creaky stairs, tiptoe past the open windows and fall into my bed where the moon shines brightest. Life is a dance. On a good day it's a smooth ballroom glide when everything is going as you think it should be.  Then there's the fast paced quick step that comes when things fall out of balance and you're moving your feet as fast as you can just to keep up. trying not to stumble or fall, thinking about sitting this one out and waiting for the next song. I had a quick step moment last week, I'll be honest. I didn't handle it well. I cried for two days.  I couldn't really talk about it.  I was a little angry.  I wanted to run away.  I questioned the universe. then I rallied. I am my mother's daughter, there is no doubt about that. But, I have a certain strength that she doesn't have. My Dad was one of the most unemotional people I knew. Mama, the complete opposite. I guess I am somewhere in the middle.

Sometimes I wish I didn't feel things so emotionally. I wish I didn't dwell on things, worry myself stupid about things I cannot change.

I once read that is fine to feel what you feel...but learn to let go of 'the story'.

Oh, I am good at the story!!!

Sometimes, the story plays out in my mind over and over again. Changing and twisting and creating. I usually write the story before it ever happens. I often live out the scenario before it has even taken place, or for that matter, ever will. or I torture myself with it when it already has.

Let go of the story. Just. let. it. go.

This time I tried hard not to write the story in my head. Instead I hoped and prayed.

 Still, I found it hard to write about the usual stuff. Strangely, I have been busy enjoying all the things that bring me peace and happiness. Working in the garden, walking my puppies, planning a trip, taking photos, reading and knitting in the evenings to keep my fingers busy. spending time with the ones I love. I have also been looking harder at the future. Something has changed in me. I can feel a shift. It excites me. It kinda scares me. I try not to think about it too much, because when I do my knees want to give way.    

For the love of Pete, I have always been prone to worry, but lately it has gotten out of control. Even if I have nothing to base it on, you can almost always find me cooking up a plate of trouble with table service for one.

Why you ask? All I can tell you is this, I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around the meaning of life, these days. I'm pondering the meaning of it all. I can't escape it. It follows me to bed and, come morning, to the shower, where it knows it has my undivided attention.

I used to think of life as one big gift, tied up in ribbons, in the colors of my choosing.

And I still do think life is a gift. I know life is a gift. But maybe it's more than that pretty package.

Maybe there's more than the idea that we were put here and ensured that we would be happy and carefree and protected and blah blah blah. Maybe those things fall more toward the bottom of the  agenda. I'm second-guessing the notion that there is no genie in a bottle granting wishes and poofing away all of my problems. That it is his soul purpose to make me happy.

So, it seems, that life is one big gift. And today I choose pink for my bow. Make it double-width, if you please. I will unwrap this gift and find a whole fresh new day. But I will also find a soul-stretching so real that it feels a little like falling in love for the first time. or like the flu. I will find no promise that tomorrow will be perfect. I will feel the tugging to lay down my pride, my smart ideas, my selfishness. I will find a home that extends far beyond these four walls. I will find compassion. I will find redemption. I will find sorrow. And joy that spills over the edges. I will find love unquestioned. Faithfulness big enough to steady me and keep me dancing through all of my days. and if I'm really lucky, more stories with a happy endings.

Blackberry Gin Fizz
Adapted from Bon Appetit
For 2 tall drinks
1/4 cup fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (4 liquid ounces or just shy of 3 shots) gin
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from two juicy limes)
Club soda

2 sprigs sweet basil or 2 thin lime wedges (for garnish)
Purée blackberries and sugar in a blender until as liquefied as possible. Strain purée through a fine-mesh sieve or tea strainer into two tall or collins-style glasses; discard seeds in sieve. Divide gin and lime juice between glasses and stir to combine. Add ice to glasses then top each with soda and a sprig of basil or wedge of lime. (Might need another quick stir to combine.) Share with someone you like.


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