Two bites of dinner and a bath without playing, just soaking long enough to wash away one day of sickness. And then two drowsy, barking seal babies are tucked into bed, as the sun descends. Minutes later in the bathroom, the steam rises, I hold him close, breath by breath, we wait. Back to bed. It’s quiet for now.
Relief or its presence is near. This year has been a whirlwind of change and challenges. In some ways, I expected the move to be this launch into “arriving,” whatever the hell arriving even means. Instead, we jumped and landed immediately into what felt like a dark forest. We bear scratches from bending branches and the haunting echoes make us tremble. Did we make the wrong choice? Will we make it out alive? I feel lost and in a daze as so much of the familiar in myself is plucked away and tossed in the flames. The identities and definitions ablaze and I’m a shell of who I thought I was becoming. That which I gathered and stored away, shrivels in the embers. Survival mode is dramatic, like when he wakes up in tears, gasping for breath. Again? We’re tired, so very tired.
In the bathroom, the reflection from the night light slices the darkness and the steam fills the room. Breathing slows, steady now, hush, we’ll be alright. Barking cries turn to inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale; he melts into my arms.
It’s the night before, same story, and I don’t fall asleep in between the cries. But in the darkness, the lull of the fan, I feel these words in my soul. That voice. Still, resounding, certain, and unmistakable. Yes, this is hard and you feel broken, shaken, and weary, but if you just hold on a little longer, if you don’t let go, and if you’re not afraid to lose some things along the way, you’ll see and you’ll understand.
The reflection from the night light slices the darkness and the steam fills the room. Breathing slows, steady now, hush, we’ll be alright. Barking cries turn to inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.
Also, the sun rises and the sun sets;
And hastening to its place it rises there again.
Blowing toward the south,
Then turning toward the north,
The wind continues swirling along;
and on its circular courses the wind returns.
All the rivers flow into the sea,
but the sea is not full.