I’m including the dates these posts were originally published on Facebook to avoid confusion. This particular post was written a month following the end of my marriage.
Thanks for reading!
This time in my life has been full of changes: exciting, terrifying, lonely, loved. But above all, it has been characterized by hopefulness and confidence. While I’ve not shed a tear over the separation, I’ve chosen to reflect on the good times we had as a family and the acknowledgement that we, in all honesty, have been friends who consulted on business matters yet avoided the closeness that comes from sharing one’s heart, hopes, fears, joy and dreams with another. I’m not bitter or resentful though. I am thankful for the ability to self-reflect…to see where I am, envision where I want to go, and dream and plan how to get there.
The snowfall last night and today, was hypnotic. I spent some time staring out the window or finding excuses to stand in it, face upturned, and catch snowflakes on my tongue like a carefree child. I truly felt…at least for a little while… childlike, and I chose to follow that feeling. I’m not wearing blinders: I have money concerns, swear at the car when the back door gets stuck again, and get annoyed when someone cuts me off in traffic. But I stood in the pure whiteness and looked down towards the back of the subdivision where I rent. From my house, you can’t see the end of the street, and in the closing daylight the end of the street tapered to a fuzzy gray. Not black. Just gray. It was an incredibly powerful moment. I stood planted under a street light surrounded by the ice-covered trees and gracefully bowing limbs of a magnolia that were blanketed in snow: bitter cold, yet thick as my grandmother’s down quilt.
The silence was stark.
Standing at the corner of a busy road, and I knew where I was, right here and right now. I don’t mean, at the corner of Oak and Elm, say, but rather I knew for certain where I was in my life in that moment. I looked ahead and could imagine what lay at the end of the road, but I couldn’t see it clearly. The only way to know for certain, would be to go there, one step at a time.
I set off, one heavy boot in front of the other towards the end of the road. I was cold, my face catching the snowflakes blowing straight into my face. Two blocks down, I nearly turned back, but a feeling stopped me briefly in my tracks. I still couldn’t see the end of the street, but the path was not as gray. I refocused my attention from what lay down the road, to what was immediately upon me. Yet again, I was under a street light, and I could see around me. But even more apparent, was the sound of laughter coming from a yard ahead. I recognized them as a father and daughter, building a very professional looking snowman. It was as if I were looking back at times with my own children, playing in the snow, coming in breathless and red cheeked…stripping down in the kitchen to wrap up in towels and fix cocoa, ending up in a pile on the floor to watch a movie. And I smiled.
Then I stepped forward.
A half a block later, a new sensation replaced the cold. My hands. My hands felt warm, as if my small hands were being held in someone else’s larger ones. Completely yet gently enveloped. True, I knew that in reality, my hands were reacting to the cold by swelling and becoming inflamed, but that wasn’t what I felt. Walking down the middle of the road, my heart knew that I was feeling the hand of a friend, letting me know that I was not alone on my journey. The hand holding mine was not pulling, but just holding. Not releasing, but just being there without making demands. I knew in that moment for certain, that while I may be by myself, I was not alone. That I may not have a partner waiting impatiently with me on the morning coffee, but that I was not alone. That I didn’t have warm arms pulling me in close at night as a child would embrace a favorite cuddle toy, but that I was not alone. That it was going to be alright, and that I would continue on my journey. I don’t know what lies at the end of the road still, but I know I will get there one day.
And that I will not be alone.