Sunday, January 24, 2010

Moments of Lightness

I've been having difficulty putting together a post these past few weeks. I have resisted writing because I know that whatever I write now will be tainted by the darkness that is nipping at the edges of my life. The winter has taken it's toll on me. That, combined with three deaths now, in the past month.
Three wakes, three burials, the light of three lives now missing from this world, and as always, the cold and darkness of a northern January are weighing heavily on me.

Though we speak or exchange emails about once a week, I never really recovered from the loss of the relationship I once had with my daughter that happened as she approached adulthood. This grief is a constant pain that I bear, but never more so than in this dark season.

I know that my fascination with television shows like Forensic Files and Paranormal State probably contributes to my dark moods. It seems that these dark subjects are the only things that capture my interest in these gray days.
I've been reluctant to post something depressing or excessively negative; it feels self-indulgent and I know it doesn't do anyone any good. Who wants to read things that bring you down? So I decided to write instead about the moments of lightness that sustain me as I struggle to navigate this dark sea.

I thought I should write about the smell of the crysanthemums that decorate our church, and how the light looks as it filters through the stained glass above the altar. Or, the way the winter sun feels on my back when I walk the side streets of our town on weekend afternoons.

I have my husband, who is my best friend, to rely on. I have the knowledge that my children are healthy and employed.

Although they are growing old and their siblings are dying now, I still have both my parents.
I have all my brothers and my sister, their wives and husbands, my brothers and sisters in law, and their children, my nieces and nephews, who provide laughter, camaraderie and support.

There are the mourning doves that forage at the edge of the woods behind the barn, taking flight with a whistling flurry of wings when I appear. And the troupe of house sparrows that occupy the forsythia hedge next to our garage; how their gentle chirping lifts my spirits in the early mornings, as I walk Rigby out to the back yard.

Speaking of Rigby, I have only to see her smiling, brown, button eyes or hear her contented sigh as she snuggles next to me for a nap, to feel comforted.
Her sweet face and precious spirit is a constant and powerful source of grace in my life. Although they now require a lot of medical attention, my aging cats still have the ability to give and receive an enormous amount of affection.

I have the rising and setting of the sun, the colors of deep rose and amber and lavender mingling on the horizon, and the crescent moon, like a Cheshire cat grin, hanging in the western sky at night. I have the constellation Orion, moving from the south to the west, holding his bow, foretelling the coming of spring, making a promise.

I have coffee in the morning, hot, dark and rich, and cool green tea at night.

And tomorrow, I have a new job to start. For better or worse, it will be a new experience; God willing, it will prove to be a new source of satisfaction and fulfillment.

photo courtesey of J.Choate, 2008

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's been a long December...

Wow, it's amazing how much time has slipped by since my last post! I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, so I don't do well in winter as a rule, and this one has been marked by two deaths in the extended family, to make it even more depressing than usual.
Now that the bustle of the holidays is over, I find myself looking at the clock each afternoon and longing for the night, so I can snuggle down and hibernate in my bed.
Things are about to be shaken up, though, because I FINALLY heard from the state about that job I interviewed for back in August. They offered me the position, and I have accepted it.

I will be reporting to a new job in a new office in just a few short weeks.
I am excited and a bit apprehensive. While I look forward to the shorter commute, the change of scenery and new experiences, I will miss the familiarity of this place I have worked for the past eight years. The new job is only a two-year position, but I will have the opportunity to apply for other state jobs that may become available. I had to take the risk of trying something new, but I hope I haven't made a big mistake. Only time will tell.

One of my resolutions for the new year is to get back to posting on a regular basis. I am also way behind on reading all my favorite blogs, and it is time for me to catch up. I hope you all had a lovely holiday season, and all the best in 2010!