Thursday, January 13, 2011

On. And on. And on.

I rather loathe this time of year--what seems to be an everlasting winter. The inversion hanging heavy in the sky. The light at the end of this bitter tunnel so very distant.

And yet, here it is: January. Which will eventually bleed into February which will eventually end. Eventually.

But until then I'm left trudging through the days. And that is precisely what I'm doing: trudging. Slowly making my way from here to there.

So much of life is like this: moving from one place to the next, journeying so slowly. Looking to the next milepost until I reach it. Then looking to the next and the next and carrying onward.

Except, lately I've been thinking that this mile is so much longer than the others. I feel myself lodged in January. I am stagnant in a way I never expected. I am ready to move on to the distant post but I never seem to reach it.

* * *

Tonight I went to my yoga class. I moved my body so gently. I breathed. At the end of the session I lay on the floor listening to the soft, simple notes breathing with me. The instructor told us to, "imagine [our] thoughts settling as sand to the ocean floor." So many thoughts. So many worries. Sand upon sand upon sand sifting and settling. My body sinking and drifting and floating down with each idea. I felt myself falling somewhere safe, as snow into the backyard of my childhood.

* * *

A good friend (and yes, I have so very many good friends--I am rich with an abundance of good people in my life) told me after dinner the other night that I simply need to get out of my own way. How right she was. How perceptive of my doubts and concerns for things I cannot control, for things that may never happen. She recommended I read this by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

Among the many truths I found in Elder Holland's address, this one idea keeps brushing against the edges of my mind:

It is the plain and very sobering truth that
before great moments,
certainly before great spiritual moments,
there can come adversity, opposition, and darkness.
Life has some of those moments for us,
and occasionally they come
just as we are approaching an important decision
or a significant step in our life.

* * *

Sometimes I imagine the people my arms might hold one day: my husband, my children, even my grandchildren. I imagine what it would be like to hold these beings close to me. To have them fill up my days, my thoughts, my time and energy in a way that will leave me questioning who I ever was before. These thoughts fill me with longing and dread; the act feels both foreign and familiar.

* * *

So often I've written here about waiting. About enduring. About how life is beautiful and rich and full. And yet, here is a piece of truth I must also admit: sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it feels empty and difficult and not what I expect or want. Sometimes life is so lovely it hurts. At other times it hurts so much it is ugly.

* * *

Each day on January's calendar will eventually show signs of wear: a list checked off, an X through each square day. I'll tear the thin sheet of paper from my desk and move on to the next clean month. Eventually--and I know this--eventually it will happen.


Alice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alice said...

I love this post friend. January is totally sucking rocks for me too. Waiting is so hard. SO HARD! (And this crappy weather surely doesn't help the matter).

As always, thank you for sharing your thoughts and the reference to Elder Holland's talk. I love the quote you picked out, and I can't wait to read the rest. :)

(that first comment was mine. It was a hot mess of typos :)

Melissa said...

What a beautifully writeen post! Sometimes life is very hard and ugly (I'm going through that right now), and all we have to go on is the faith that it will get better.

Best wishes to you for a better February!


Jen said...

I was sitting in the Marriott when he gave that speech, and I consider it one of the best of all time!

Love the yoga note.

I am just glad the sun has finally come back, because I was really feeling some SAD with all those clouds for awhile.

Stephanie said...

I'm sorry January sucks. I'm glad you found some good in all my ramblings. I'm thrilled the talk was of some use to you. I am pleased beyond measure that you are my friend.