Tiny Miracles and Holy Shit

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Finally.

It is True Fall over here.
A blanket of yellow and red quivers on a bed of peridot grass. The air – slightly colder than my body would like it to be – drops frosty kisses on my plants and windows.
Here in California, rarely do we get to experience a season in true form. Usually it’s this hybrid creature – a mixture of all the seasons, in no particular order, splattered like paint on the months leading up to the close of the year.

I can no longer leave the house without coming back with an arm full of color-confused leaves. On especially lucky days, I also come home with a pinecone or two in my clutches. I scatter them throughout the house, mystifying a husband who does not see art and architecture in their unique form, but a sappy mess.

Oddly enough, as those of us in the state celebrate Thanksgiving, I am no more grateful today and I am on every other day. Relentless gratitude behooves a life of chronic illness. Being ill means I’m prone to anger, bitterness, and discontent. Gratitude keeps me soft, pliable. It keeps me aware of all the tiny miracles and holy shit whirring about my life like a beautiful tornado. Without gratitude, I would break and tear and wither like the trees outside my window.

Today, my goal is to further investigate the GIVING part of Thanksgiving.
We are called not only to be thankful, but to react to that thankfulness with generosity and kindness and Love. To be a fragrant offering.

So, today, may all who come near you be met with the decadence of gardenias.

Happy Thanksgiving, sisters and brothers.

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It’s My Heart Beating

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You wouldn’t know by looking at me,

but I’m sick.

Not in THIS moment. Right this moment I am eating a delicious bowl of rice in preparation for a workout. 3 months ago, however, I was writhing on the floor, every molecule on fire. 18 months before that, I was fighting for my life. Specifically not to take it into my own hands and end it. Pain. Pain. Pain. Depression.

Anxiety.

Delirium.

More Pain.

This was my world. My tiny, little, needle-sharp world.

Most days I would lurk near the kitchen window, look out, wonder what all the healthy people were going to do with their day. I became very angry with and resentful of healthy people, convinced that none of them were grateful enough for their lives. Today they would complain and grumble, spend hours worrying about things that didn’t matter, miss a thousand moments hand-stitched just for them.

During these horrific months that were just like geodes – bleak and hopeless on the outside, impossibly beautiful on the inside – I determined that being healthy is its own kind of affliction; blindness and apathy and joy atrophy.

Still. I envied them. Healthy people. Sometimes I would imagine trading places, dream about how I would spend their 24 hour day sooo differently.

I told the Lord, in one of my many pleas, bargains and wrathful monologues, that if He were ever to make me well enough again to leave the house, I would never take a minute of my life for granted.

Honestly, I’ve not been a perfect steward of the life He gave back to me. But I AM changed. I’m better. I think maybe sometimes God has to make you sick so He can make you better.

And fuller. And braver. And softer.

This life is gorgeous and brutal and fleeting. It’s NOT to be wasted. Not a smile, sparrow, or a sunset of it.

It’s ALL for ME and YOU. There’s a buffet of magic right outside your door. I swear it. I’m looking at it. It’s looking at ME. Reminding me I have eyes and ears, legs and feet, a tongue to taste, and lips with which I can kiss the love of my life.

I have no greater gifts than these.

I own nothing more precious than Right Now.

It’s just a business card, says the photo. “No. No, it’s so much more than that . . . it’s my heart beating.”