Last week-end, for a second, I almost thought it was summer, with its faint-feeling air and all the sun and wind. I worked in the yard and I soaked it in, because I don't care that Fall is everyone's favorite, I'll take spring, every. single. time. By six o'clock, March unhitched her whimsy and the sun blew away, funneling my day-dreams into another space on the horizon, leaving me with the unforgiving truth that it can always get so much worse.

But hey, at least we had the weekend.

and sunshine.

 My actual days are buzzing with all that March brings.  Did I mention that the spring cleaning insanity has begun?  I have already completed week one? Will soon begin week three?  These spring start dates always catch me off guard. Still, it feels good, today, to have a foothold in the moment. I have spent these past weeks re-orienting myself to the weekday/weekend division. Still re-acquainting myself with the start of daylight savings. Adjusting to light at dinner, new routines, rigamarole.  Re-learning how to create my own sunshine. and ideally, acquire lunches, cleaning and laundry along the way.  Remembering to brush what needs brushing. My evenings are thick with planning.  afternoons, a field study in de-compression.  My calendar is suddenly as dense with graffiti as the side of a New York City abandoned building.  Though what it shares in over-crowding, it lacks in character. I'm considering switching up my chicken scratches to digital digits. Gardening is still mostly in the planning stages, but it won't be long now.

Storage rooms have been cleared. Closets, exhumed.  Rooms have been buried in various piles, more times than I can count.  Entire day's have been given over to the excavation.  Another two (or twelve) evenings are still owed. The piles remain fierce.  And deeply unkempt.  And so it is that these last seasonal snaps will have to do. For while I haven't seen white glove in weeks months, haven't walked a straight line since mid-September, haven't had a day of rest invade my frame in recent memory, they're all more appealing than untamed hours and neatly filed folders.  Besides, determination's got me off on the right cleaning foot more than once.  I see no reason not to let it work its magic, once more, then I'll work on settling a little calm over my chock-a-block days. They'll settle down, soon enough.  This life will not.  It's full-to-bursting by design, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

You might imagine all these bits are the best part, a party in a storage box. You would be close.  Also, wrong.  Because while the doing is nice, it's the sharing that is grand.

I know, I know. 

But the immediate excitement is directed toward all things spring. Thus begins weeks of seed packets, glued back together flower pots and appropriately-themed duct taped repairs.  Then re-considering. twelve pots on the deck?  Really?  Yeah, no.        

This time of the year I am full of two kinds of excitement, three-shots-of-expresso-on an empty stomach excited and tea-with-milk-and-honey-on-the couch excited. I am excited about the coming months.  preparing for summer, holidays, enjoying some of my favorite traditions. I want to be the latter.  Calm enthusiasm.  Content to just be. I am trying. I think I knew all along, in spite of these pesky fears that snake around my ankles, that this is where I will be. It is what I keep coming back to.

They call it grief. I call it being grateful. for every day. every moment. every memory.

Having been a girl who was at times forlorn and broken, sometimes forgotten and scarred by mistakes, I know the potential for happiness when I see it. I know gratitude. Still, I momentarily balk (internally) about the whole thing. It doesn't make a lick of sense. I've never been a balking kind of girl. But, sometimes, things are done backwards. That's something that I'm learning. Lessons are created in our hearts then we are nudged towards something entirely different. It's not really a test, just learning new things. revelations, shiny new possibilities. It's a chance to shake the dust off my feet and it gets me riled up. Leaves me shaking my head, and not in a bad way, kinda more like a life is crazy and I like it that way, way.

This is, the root of everything, because there was a time when I might have thought the same thing. That it goes on forever. I don't think that anymore. I know better. I understand the pull toward what feels most comfortable. I understand the deep desire to keep safe and protected. But what I feel even stronger is the hope that comes with every passing moment. To see the beauty in everything and feel my faith grow as I look at the world around me with each new day.

It took me many tears to start to understand some of this. My hope is that I won't waste as much time getting around to the truth. I won't automatically go down the pipes because I did not test well. I won't lose my faith because others don't believe the way I do. I wish I could say that I came to these conclusions overnight, but I didn't. They came slow and painful over the course of my life. It hurt to realize that some of the things I hinged my faith on were false.

All of this, all of the wrestling and the arguing and the "I'll be good if you just....,"  have been part of my journey. I tried to be prepared, always, for what came next. I reeled my heart toward exactly where it needed to be and planted joy and excitement way down deep. So, maybe life is upside-down and maybe not, but it sure is good, and the sun coming up every morning still makes me cry.

This life, this adventure? I wouldn't wish a moment away. Thank you for riding with me. for playing along while I write it down here. I want to remember all of it. I want to remember the fear and the doubts, the laughter and the love because that's what makes life beam down ever-brighter.

just sayin'.

grilled cheese, avocado and tomato

2 slices sourdough bread
1 heirloom tomato
1 avocado
4 oz gruyere cheese
salt and pepper
about 1.5 tbsp salted butter

Start by cutting your heirloom tomato and avocado into thin slices. Set aside. Heat up a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Rub butter directly on the skillet and add both slices of bread to the pan. Toast until golden brown, the remove bread slices. Keep in mind that the sides just browned go on the inside. build your sandwich by first doing the sliced gruyere, the the tomato, then the avocado. Season with salt and pepper. Add another layer of cheese, then add your other slice of bread. Add more butter to your skillet and brown your sandwich on each side until golden and the cheese has melted.


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