There is an expression I find myself thinking a lot: "There is a lot on my plate." It simply reminds me that when I find myself being presented with lots of things to "take in," I need to take small portions. Pause to digest.
DH doesn't like that metaphor, so I don't say it out loud much. And for certain things it would be inappropriate, truly. Like for matters of life and death.
The lives of people in our spiritual community are like that right now. Touched, even ravaged by cancer, lymphoma, multiple sclerosis, ALS. I can only feel from a distance, powerless. Emotionally there are some dishes I am finding I have to turn away from, in order to be present to my own life and our family. It hurts to admit this.
Our neighbor, Joy, passed two weeks ago now. Before I could even take that in fully, and fully express regret to her husband, our family was on their way on vacation. This past week we were eyes and ears, looking at our new community, trying to stay optimistic and open.
Eating, drinking, breathing, trying on a new life. Finding a different kind of joy and acceptance, in an ecoregion just different enough from here to be very different.
It is reassuring to me to know that we'll remain connected to the ecoregion of Southern Appalachia. Here we are on the southern and eastern fringe. There, we will be on the southern and western fringe.
Where my son was born, in western New York, we lived in the Northernmost reaches of Appalachia. The cultural evidence was a secret there, that folks did not want to hear spoken aloud, much.
I like the familiar. I also like rural places. Rural people make me more honest. Maybe it was time we were moving on... I realized coming back home this weekend, just how cosmopolitan our "digs" here really are....
Trader Joe's found us, so it must be true...