It's been dusk-dark all day, and during my run down to the shoreline, I was hit with salty mist, a reminder of the infuriated Atlantic, swirling under the power of the storm just off-shore. I have my own misery associated with this truncated hurricane, item one being that it kept me from New York City and the weekend my friend L. and I had been planning for months; two, that it handed me a difficult 5 hour drive through the state of Massechusetts.
Despite the travails of the last week, as I reflect, I notice that I tend to feel safest this time of year, the August-September bridge bringing out the eternal good student in me that yearns for renewal and a chance to prove herself again. It might be owed to my birthdate, too, sandwiched in at the end of the summer, my own personal new year, with its promise of re-birth.
Often at this time of year I find myself either on vacation or planning one, which lifts my spirits. As I get older, the real New Years' eve has taken on a terror (what will happen this year? I ponder). But the Virgo solstice feels like a time of empowerment, of freedom, of self-devotion.
I realized as I eked through my thirty-eighth birthday this week that, despite the relative challenges of my adult life thus far (I emphasize the term relative), that gratitude abounds.
Love, of myself and the people in my life, abounds.
Luck plays its own twisting role, but at no time have I ever, despite obstacles and tests, been 'hard done by'.
This is not a sentiment I reached easily. Eleven solitary hours of driving from Toronto to Maine yesterday, the last three in a caffeine-fulled, caloric-deficit state of anxiety and worry about the weather gave me plenty of time to think and reflect on life's gifts and time to thank God for them, even as I swore in my mind at the Massechusetts drivers and prayed like hell as I drove through blighting fog and torrential rain.
It was time, I thought, in the latter part of the drive, to turn the lens on myself so to speak and look at what I've saved up in the hopes and dreams department for my own life, thus far. Not just the wants I have for all those that I love, but myself--a separate entity, gripping a steering wheel like it was going to guide me to all the answers.
I only really want three things in life, just for me. Of course these things all involve others, every step we take in life really does, but they are just my hopes.
One, I want to marry M. and spend the rest of our lives together, however long we get, however complicated things are right now (my Canadian citizenship, his American one, our respective-family-and-job-devotion, our 1100 kilometre-apart lifestyles).
Two, to write my memoir, in my own voice, the way I envision it, not out of any vanity, but simply because a story waits to be told, and it will, as Capote said---haunt me until I write it.
Three, to meet and know E. and R.'s children one day.
I don't know how it distilled down to these three things in the last few weeks, but it has.
Grief has had its way of distillation, removing the sediment and leaving only the clear water in its wake.
Here in Maine, electricity wanes, trees slap the sides of houses, and darkness fills the air.
But inside I read.