Last night our home was filled with howling laughter, catch-up conversations, Christmas carols, holiday gifts strewn across floors, tissue paper and ribbon, and family-favorite food placed on tables just so. It was our annual Christmas dinner for my family and it was an extra special event because it was also my dad’s birthday.
This morning, as I relived the evening while vacuuming, washing counters, and reorganizing the fridge, I thought about something meaningful I might share with you because I knew I needed to choose rest over writing. Not thirty minutes later I received an email from a friend with a poem she thought I might like. And I did. It’s beautiful. And perfect.
As you enjoy these words from poetess, Ariana Brown, please remember to be gentle with yourself during these last weeks of 2022. It’s been a full-on year.
For everyone who tried on the slipper before Cinderella
For those making tea in the soft light of Saturday morning
in the peaceful kitchen
in the cool house
For those with shrunken hearts still trying to love
For those with large hearts trying to forget
For those with terrors they cannot name
upset stomachs and too tight pants
For those who get cut off in traffic
For those who spend all day making an elaborate meal
that turns out mediocre
For those who could not leave
even when they knew they had to
For those who never win the lottery
or become famous
For those getting groceries on Friday nights
There is something you know
that you guard with your life
your one fragile, wonderful life
wonder, as in, awe,
as in, I had no idea I would be here now.
For those who make plans and those who don’t
For those driving across the country to a highway that knows them
For the routes we take in the dark, trusting
For the roads for the woods for the dead humming in prayer
For an old record and a strong sun
For teeth bared to the wind
a pulse in the chest
a body making love to itself
There is every reason to hate it here
There is a list of things making it bearable:
your friend’s shoulder Texas barbecue a new book
a loud song a strong song a highway that knows you
sweet tea an orange cat a helping hand
an unforgettable dinner
a laugh that escapes you and deflates you
like a pink balloon left soft with room
for goodness to take hold
For those who have looked in the mirror and begged
For those with weak knees and an attitude
For those called “sensitive” or “too much”
For those not called enough
For the times you needed and went without
For the photo of you as a child
quietly icing cupcakes your hair a crackling thunderstorm
Love is coming.
It’s on its way.
Copyright © 2022 by Ariana Brown author of We Are Owed
P.S. –My new audiobook, Self Care for the Wisdom Years, is now available from Sounds True. You can find it, here.