Hope, Despair, and the First Swim of the Season

Can you feel the buzz and beam of spring? Can you sense the cultural and human need for a shift … for something to break loose? I can.

Spring is bursting here, from treetop to garden soil, and I’m aflutter with updates:

  • My cousin from Boston came to visit! Can you tell we’re related? 🙂
  • River and I got our first swims of the season in–first in the Little Pigeon River in Tennessee, then right near our house in the South Toe River in North Carolina. Cold, but life affirming!
  • Revision, revision, revision! Shown in the collage is the beautiful mess of Chapters 1 & 2 in Part Two of my novel.
  • Paintball, paintball, paintball! Brad’s at it again, competing in Division 5 Speedball with his team, POSTAL. They played hard in Nashville but didn’t get to advance, so it’s back to practice. Most important? They had fun!
  • Long Covid continues to profoundly influence my life, along with the co-infection of a secondary untreatable virus affecting my organs. Next month, I travel to Chapel Hill for a work-up at the UNC Long Haul Covid Clinic. I’m told I’m a “complex case” and “lucky to get in.” I get it. Thanks to Des, for providing this health update on my behalf.

And soon enough, kids will break loose from school and families will break loose for vacations and friends will hit up something on their bucket lists…all while the world keeps spinning.

Also, all while … I keep asking this question: How do you live a life with one foot in despair, and one foot in longing? Every time I look at my child’s face, that is the question that I ask. He is proof of my longing, my hope. As for proof that justifies despair: our planet and the media remind me every day.

I want to rise up together and feel our planet as it hurts and as it thrives. What does that mean where you live? How do you honor the expressions of loss and the expressions of abundance in your native ecosystem? Get grounded. Sit on your porch, go out on the sidewalk, look out a window. Pick up a pen. Freewrite. Then hit reply or leave a comment below and tell me what you discover.

(And by now, you know I’d also ask you to freewrite answers to the same questions for your fictional characters, who are of course, also, living on a planet and reacting to it. Dig deep. You might just surprise yourself with what you can grow!)

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