I was recently in Vancouver, BC. And there are parts of the city, that for lots of reasons, are less than beautiful at first glance. There is a particular street that has several factors working against it. So, I’d be justified in saying it’s not beautiful. It also tends to smell a little like a chicken rendering plant from time to time. The point is, I am a bit more challenged to find what’s good about it, than in much of the rest of the city. Until, the sun comes from behind the street, lights up the city skyline and reaches all the way to this fence. All the way to these delicate flowers and fills them with light. Which I wouldn’t have seen, if I weren’t looking. If I weren’t hoping to find something beautiful. Thing is, I had to let go of the idea of ugly before I could find the other. Sometimes, maybe it’s just letting go of an idea… maybe it’s just that simple.
So, I can’t stay inside. There’s a danger in locking oneself away. And it’s painfully cold outside. Doesn’t do any good to think about fall or spring. Because I’m in the middle of winter. In Ohio. But even in the middle of the bitterness, there is a moment. Of sunlight and frozen flowers. And I want to grab on to whatever life force is attached to it. I think I need to start gathering up moments like these along the way. And looking for more. Maybe I won’t notice the cold so much.
Letting go. Letting go. Letting go. And for so long, I have thought about it and written about it and thought about it some more. And I thought I had an understanding of why it was necessary. Flow and moving forward and all that. And today there was a new word added to this understanding. HOPE. There isn’t one reason for letting go, there are many. And today, I realized that if I don’t let go, I stay directly attached to something I see as a problem in myself. And by staying connected to that problem, I keep my focus there and after a while I only see the past. Either as good or as bad, depending. But still the past. Letting go, allows the future in. The present in. And that’s where the hope is. HOPE. There is no hope in the past. It’s done. But there can be. Has to be hope in now. And in tomorrow. There has to be. That’s where the changes take place. Dear God, please let me begin to live this.
I am thrown by change and the very weight of it. Today, I was in the grocery after work. And I just wanted to sit down. Right there in the deodorant aisle. ( I have a 15 year old son. I’m there a lot). I just wanted to sit there. And not talk. And have people walk around me. I don’t know what keeps us from just sitting down in the aisles. Of course I kept walking. Throwing things in my basket. But today, it felt good just to think about it. Wow. Hello, my name is Ellen. One small step away from visiting hours and meds on a tray.
… I heard him say the words. He looked into my eyes. And said them. In front of witnesses. On April 20, a very brave man held my hands and accepted this wonderful challenge, called marriage. I felt something very familiar at that moment, the moment where all I could hear was his voice, and all I could see were his beautiful blue-green eyes. I felt exhilarated and safe at the exact same time. I know the two don’t usually go together. But that’s what I felt. I have felt that way for the last two and a half years. And there has already been better. And worse. So much more of the former. I am thankful for both. The better is easy, right? But I am also thankful, looking back of course, for the worse. It has taught me. Enlightened me. Forced me, to dig just a little deeper. To drop. To let go. To bend. To meet someone halfway. Sometimes one step more than halfway. And to find my true self in all of it. So as dark as it can feel, while in the middle of it, Worse has an up-side. If you keep going. May I always keep going. Holding the hands of this very brave man.