I had the car packed and ready.   I was now pacing, frustrated and ready for Drew to come home from his run.  When he finally walked in the door, I said goodbye and walked right out.  I headed for the car and took off for church.  Setting up for Children’s Worship was the number one thing on my mind.    I turned right out of our subdivision and headed up the hill.  And then just like that, I was grabbed out of that tense moment and into a new one.   The song 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) drifted from the car speakers.

I heard the words.

I felt the emotion.

I saw the leaves blowing across the field.

I saw the trees bursting with many colors.

I noticed my warm sweater.

The autumn scenery was so familiar to all my senses.

It is fall again and though so many moments keep my mind in the here and now of life, it’s times like this that take me one year back.  A fall ago. The song.  The cool air.  Baltimore marathon.  The hard rains.  The suffering.  The preparing.  The reality of letting go.

It’s amazing how life continues to fly by.  So many beautiful and rich moments in this year.  So many empty and sad ones.

Missing a friend.  It’s almost a year now.  I know this happens, this marching on of time, but it seems so rare that I truly stop and acknowledge that.  Writing has really helped me this year.  I’ve been able to capture some of these moments and I’ve used words to find healing for myself.  I like to think that that is one of the good things that came from saying goodbye to Dalina.  Getting in touch with writing as healing, a gift I had long ignored.  A process of discovery and a full entry into grief as part of life.  This evening I read through some of the texts from her last days.  Her words of encouragement.  I was feeling so nervous about my first writer’s retreat with Paula D’Arcy.  I was telling her how I lacked peace and needed her prayers.

Her response….

It will be so good for you.  You are a great writer.  We will keep in touch and I will pray you can put other things aside and just enjoy being with words.  Love you lots.

Those words sink in and I find myself again wishing she was still a text away.  Wishing we could keep in touch.  Wishing I could tell her how I’ve used my words to find my way through this year.  Wishing she could read how deeply her life and death has changed me.  Wishing I could tell her what it was like to stand on that holy ground around her as she left us.  And in all of this I am so aware that I continue to look through the glass darkly.  So I continue to move into a  new space of grief where I have moments that take me back.   Songs that flood me with memories.  Words that help me find my way.  And on my way, I’ve already bumped into so many new ideas and “small stones” that continue to transform my vision.

It’s as if all of these things work together to continue to remind me, keep waking up to life.

“Don’t miss this.
Don’t miss your life.
There’s infinitely more
Than the experience of love
We already know.
Push against your borders.
Dare to move through the next threshold
To the freedom awaiting you”

-Paula D’Arcy  from The Sacred Threshold

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