To Be Blessed
We didn’t kiss at midnight. He was asleep by 9 pm and I stayed up to watch “Passengers” with my parents. At 11 pm, I joined him, writing end-of-the-year thoughts down on my cell phone’s notepad, under the covers, so the light from my screen wouldn’t wake him.
I didn’t wait for the ball to drop before closing my eyes on 2018. Maybe that’s anti-climactic. Maybe I’ve become dull in my thirties. Instead of fireworks, I ushered in the new year to the sound of my husband breathing. I fell asleep, listening to him sleep. And I have no regrets.
Because I’ve walked the pier in St. Andrews, Scotland, in my graduation gown. I have held a starfish in my hands. I’ve seen my words on pages that turn. I’ve stared out at hundreds of people before opening my mouth to address them in high heels and a black dress. And I can still feel the thrill run up my spine as I recall these moments, but they don’t compare to his soft, steady breathing. It is not fire or adrenaline, but something longer-lasting.
What is it that Mary Oliver says?
Sometimes I need
only to stand
wherever I am
to be blessed.
Or to close my eyes and listen. As I get older, it is the simple not the flashy, expensive or planned that causes me to marvel. I walked into the living room at my parent’s house today and saw my mom lying in the middle of the floor, covered with blankets, next to my four-year-old nephew who had spent his afternoon creating a “fort” for them. My mom is a grandmother of five who is recovering from cancer, yet she got down on the floor with my nephew and pretended to take a nap. It made him so happy.
I looked at the two of them and marveled. When I am patient and still, I start to see peace everywhere. And I begin to understand the kindness of God.
Listen to this sketch