The Sun Sets Only to Rise Again
There's too much of a backstory to tell you how I got to discovering and really reading excerpts from a T. S. Eliot poem called East Coker. It's actually the second poem in a compilation of five called Four Quartets. I'm surprised that I never stumbled upon this one (maybe my memory fails?) considering I studied English as an undergrad. I'm itching to scavenge the boxes of books in my garage for any poetry books or massive bibles of literature that would house Eliot's words.
Instead, I'll sit right here.
Ah, change, circle of life and shit. Each day we are living and dying only to start the cycle again, like the rise and fall of our breath. In a moment, our last breath will become someone's first. I'm trying to find the beauty in this as I struggle with the fragility of life, situations, humans.
This year. Oh, this year. A wise man once asked me 'Who are you? That's the question you need to answer.' I thought then I knew how to respond; however, words failed to fall from my quivering lips. Because I had time on my hands, I tried (for the most part) to use it in my favor. I discovered what it was like to be alone again, without technology, to find joy in some of my old pleasures - I rekindled my love for words, both those I pen and those I read. In time, I was able to open my ears to new sounds that otherwise, I would have skipped through, normally drowning myself out with my own thoughts or overplayed lists. I found comfort in exploring new places, whether they were in my backyard or miles away. I unveiled courage in trying new things like climbing a mountain or body boarding down the shore. I unwrapped perseverance as I pushed myself to a marathon PR and again, when I was resurrected across a half marathon finish line. The quality of patience bloomed, out of necessity, in the way I handled my anger, when navigating the inviting waters (sarcasm) of parenting, and with my reactions/responses those, with hateful words, around me.
I can't say that the above didn't happen with out some seriously dark times. Like Eliot describes, the dark came in, but often my soul wasn't settled. The universe needed me to wrestle until I could be settled. With all things, this did take time; some times that seemed to be forever, but looking back, on a full year, it really was just a moment for a tall order. I didn't ride that dark wave alone; a small cast of players helped pull me out when the water got too deep; they showed me brightness, when dark; they absolutely reminded me, often, that I am loved.
So, on this day, the last day of this most unbelievable year, I will not say good riddance. I can say that I'm thankful for all the ups and downs that fell at my feet. If none of this happened, I would not have been challenged to grow. I can only hope to further develop the answer to 'who are you' in 2017.