"Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul."  -Alice Walker

I've been telling myself on occasion lately that I'm going to give up writing. That maybe writing just isn't as much a part of me now as it has always been. Really, what do I have to say? What words can I possibly string together that, pulled taught, light up the soul? Yep, just give it up. Like an aromatic mist, I have sprayed these thoughts around my desk, around my ideas and sparks, absolutely sure I was convincing myself it was time to let it go. I'd be okay. 

And then.


I was standing at the kitchen sink this morning washing dishes when I came to my senses. I am as much a writer as I am a woman. I am as much a writer as I am a mother. I am as much a writer as I am alive this very day. 

I walked over to Sully yesterday and pulled him to my chest. I buried my nose in his hair, the crown of his head, and told him, I love you so much. Squeezes and no, really, I love you so much. And then I went and found Theo. He was playing Wii and totally annoyed that I bear hugged him and made him wipe out in his snowboarding game. Mom. Seriously? Yes, Theo, seriously. Now hug me back like you love me. No tighter, better. Yes. I feel your smile. I love you so much, you know that? Yes, I know, he said. I think you're amazing. Do you know that? I think so, he said. You are. You're amazing. 

Yesterday morning I was sitting in my car with my face to the sun and my eyes closed. A song came on the radio and triggered my grief so much that I sat there and cried in the light.  And then I went to my yoga class. Soften to what is. Soften to grace. Yes.

And maybe bits and pieces like these are why I thought I might stop writing. Because right now where I am in my life beauty and gratitude walk hand in hand with grief and sadness, and I am afraid of it all. I am afraid because nothing is for certain.

I can see now that for me to give up on writing is to give up on being grateful for each and every breath.  Absolutely impossible. Write like you love me, I whisper to myself. Really.


Sunday morning. January 24th. Windows in front of my desk open, warm sunlight crisp as a sheet. Beautiful grey Fergus kitty sprawled long. I could sip warm coffee and browse Pinterest all day. 

And these words:

You will love what you've got with all your heart today, and you will be ready for more tomorrow. And the next day.  -Danielle LaPorte


H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald

There is a time in life when you expect the world to be always full of new things. And then comes a day when you realise that is not how it will be at all. You see that life will become a thing made of holes. Absences. Losses. Things that were there and are no longer. And you realise, too, that you have to grow around and between the gaps, though you can put your hand out to where things were and feel that tense, shining dullness of the space where the memories are.

-Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk

I finished H is for Hawk last night. As much as I wanted to devour this book in a few sittings, I paced myself and read it low and slow, savoring each sentence and pondering each thought. It was a story I was sad to finish. I cannot recommend this book enough.