I’ve been writing about the day in the spring of 2012 when my husband and I had the conversation to separate, the day I took the same run for the first time, when the sensation of running both towards and away from something was so urgent I felt I might spin right off the land into the deep, endless waters.
#TBT to my birthday four years ago. We’d just moved back to MA after a brief stint in CO and I’d never been more grateful for the water. That time, when Alma was such a tiny bittle, a wee being with a life force of the ocean itself, was messy, turbulent, scorching and sacred. Life at that time had the quality of turning into a diamond. Pressure and heat and tumble after impossible tumble.
Our little family was hurtling into a new place and there was depression and addiction and mental breaks and bankruptcy and no home to call our own, no firm ground on which to stand. We did not have the luxury of discussing the quality of our marriage because we were only fighting to survive. We could not argue about the furniture because the house was burning down, as they say.
I remember looking at this picture and thinking, I look so happy. Truly, genuinely happy.
And in that very moment, I believe I was. Holding my new baby. Squeezing her impossible little body. Feet in the rocky sand. The smell of the ocean. In that moment, I was ok and grateful to be back on the east coast, to celebrate my 32nd birthday in the place my heart belonged.
I look at this picture today and think, just…hold…on.
It would be some time before things would stop spinning so dizzy. There would be moves and jobs and separation and despair and disappointment. There would be breakthroughs and celebrations and birthdays and hearts exploding with the pain of losing our marriage and with love for this gorgeous creature that is our daughter. And of course, there would be the reckoning with addiction — the ultimate fire that needed to be burned to the ground so that I could grow into something else entirely. I look at this picture and think,
And then, in the next breath, just…keep…going.