"God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
~ 2nd Timothy 1:7
My physical steps are labored, on the steep uneven sidewalks of this seaside city, under burdens of books, work accoutrements, and this anguish that can tether even the strongest soul to the hard pavement. But with each day's worth of measured strides, with each planting and pushing-off of my feet on the bricks, I am sensing the depths of my strength. I look at the skies, even at night, and begin to ponder the concern and uplifting love that is around me, that is presented to me. When I can't find healing imagery within, my friends provide the healing words and gestures. When I have not been able to cook with my usual alacrity, I am breaking bread with dear souls who invite me to their tables. And so many, with such astonishing abundance. It makes me spin. I wonder if all these good people know who they are talking with, but I can do nought but to trust. To be loved is an even greater wonder for me than to love others. Pangs of abandonment cause me to flinch. Ultimately, I believe, we all get to serve one another and it must never be about keeping tallies.
And in the numerous conversations, I get to be thankfully distracted from what grieves my heart. It is the gift of the present, and I am able to view my life in the healthier context of being part of a great many lives. No person's life is perfect, least of all mine. Ironically for these times, I find myself in the familiar place of pointing others to hopefulness, and in the process there is the sprouting seed of encouragement within me. My profoundest wishes and desires are released into the universe, and now detached from me. It is all so raw and paradoxical, but now impossible not to notice this is the eve of the feast of the Epiphany.