I walk with tears in my eyes down to my favorite viewpoint, and I pray. “God, it’s been a year and a half. I should be over this by now. I shouldn’t still be weeping about it.” But I am. I’m just tired, I tell myself. And that is true. Or maybe I’m PMSing. That may be true, too. But both of these statements serve only to minimize my tears and the feelings that are prompting them. I know better. But I still do it.
As I walk along the sidewalk with tears falling, a quiet voice stirs inside my mind. You’re weeping less often than you used to. Yes, that is true. Grief takes time. I expel a breath of frustration. I’m tired of grieving. I’m tired of being tired. And I’m tired of learning the same old lessons over and over again. I want to be done with it all already. I want to have arrived. Instead, literally and metaphorically, I’m walking the same old ground to the same old viewpoint.
When I get there, I plop down on a bench and look out over the Sound. The water is calm today. The sun seems to be playing hide-and-seek with the clouds. I stare out over the steely gray water and breathe, deeply. This view never fails to restore me, to calm me, to reorient me.
A falcon flies overhead, its huge wings flapping slowly, rhythmically. Later, a hummingbird darts into view, soars up into the sky, and disappears only to pop up again a few moments later beside a holly tree growing out of the hillside. I watch him soar, disappear, reappear half a dozen times, a smile tugging at my lips.
Nothing has changed, not externally. But I am calmer now. I still feel sad, but I am able to see that I feel happy, too. This has been one of my deepening convictions these past five years: that you can feel more than one emotion at a time. For years I had thought in terms of either/or: either you’re happy or you’re sad. Either you’re grieving or you’re rejoicing. Either you’re sorrowing or you’re celebrating. Now I know otherwise.
Friends, the rest of this post was published over at GraceTable. Join me there?