March came in with a bluster of sustained wind and strong gusts, dropping the temperature 40º in the course of one night. The house trembled against the gusts, and I laid in bed, my stomach hollowing with each shudder of the posts and beams. All night I breathed and drew my breath to the earth, to the roots of trees.
On the first of March I woke tired but thankful for the stillness after the storm. Thankful for the space that comes after struggle.
Subsequent nights have been calmer, the mornings warmer. On Friday I woke at 5:30 and watched the dark of night soften into a blue twilight, the mountains shifting in shades of blue from persian to azure to lapis and finally to a dusty french blue before reaching the lightness of day. It was only 20º at 6:00, but when I opened the door to let the cat out, the air whispered of spring and I lingered in the doorway listening to the clear notes of a chickadee calling fee-bee.
Those simple notes. Can I describe to you how they woke me up? Can I tell you how the day before I felt struggle, for no reason except that that I did? And how this one moment at the door, when the air felt just a half ounce heavier and smelled just a few degrees warmer, when the chickadee whistled two clean notes, how in this one moment my chest flooded with space.
Struggle and space. Breath in and out. The cycle can happen so fast.
Sometimes I want so much to do something good that I forget the goodness of caring for myself, of tending to my heart. Sometimes I want so much to do something good that I feel only the struggle of trying.
Then I remember the medicine that is always at hand:
Waking early is good medicine.
Reading poetry is good medicine.
Letting myself be inspired by others’ creativity is good medicine.
Being in awe is good medicine.
I come back to breath. I come back to grounding, to the lessons offered up by trees, to the strength of roots.
I come back to the stillness after the storm, to the chickadee and the texture of early spring air.
I come back to the tending of my heart, and I know how fiercely beautiful this world is.
And I know how wonderfully beautiful it is to see it.