The darkness beneath my window shades this morning let me know that whether it was 2am or 5am, it wasn’t yet time for the day. I resisted the urge to check my phone and instead remained still, acknowledging the thoughts running through my mind. I imagined rolling them between thumb and finger, and wondered why some felt like balls of dough and others like smooth pebbles. Others had sharp-edged bits and felt like dried lava — too light and too heavy to be a rock or a thought.
I thought about the advice that I once gave a friend on a hard night for her, gave my phone the briefest of glances, left it sleeping and lightless and walked downstairs. Quietly inching my steps to avoid the noisy spots, not wanting my loves to wake and wonder or need anything from me, I made it Outside.
I was reminded that I’m alive both in mind and in earth as it’s only during the coldest of nights that we’re visually given the proof of breathing.
I thought about the oxygen entering my lungs, feeding my heart, feeding my brain and feeding these thoughts.
I heard a car go by in the distance and wondered at the to and the from it was headed. I thought about the other side of the planet, and how women more alike me than different were sitting outside or inside, holding a cup of coffee or already working. I imagined a young mother in France, grateful that her newborn slept while she sent an email to a friend. I thought of a woman in Ethiopia, and wondered what her morning looked like. Whether her thoughts in the dark seemed both heavy and light, like dried lava.
The way that mine do.
I thought about forgiveness and friendships. I thought about how incredible it is to have people I’ve never met, living and breathing out there and taking time from their days to make mine better after a recent event left me wondering about everything. About writing. About life. About first world problems and about how those who hate think that they are hurting the person they hate but are really only feeding the dark to their souls.
I thought about how thankful I am. For life. For my little boy; his laughter. His tears, too, because they also should be cherished, given so freely at his young age. I know that at some point, he will decide that he doesn’t want to cry.
I sat in the dark and thought about my friends, and about how incredible community is. How when I am convinced that I am unlovable, they kick me in my ass and show me that they love me anyway. They remind me of things I have done for them to make them feel the same.
I think about my grandma, and old woman me, peeking into my thoughts from last night and I wonder what they might tell me. Probably, that they are only now-thoughts and that there will be sunshine and less-cold days when I can spend more than 30 minutes at a time playing with Tucker outdoors, and that in July, we’ll face the heat and humidity that now seems so far away.
I whispered “I forgive you” to the dark, not sure who I was speaking to. Maybe to myself. Maybe to all of us.
Then, I whispered “Thank You” and knew exactly who it was that I was thanking. It was you.
And after that, I headed back upstairs, and went to sleep, only mildly rubbing the dough thoughts, the lava thoughts, and the smooth stone ones between my thumb and finger, because they were a little bit more at peace, and a little closer to done, once I realized that old lady me would simply offer me a hug and a knowing smile.
That she will remember the kindness shown to me over the past few days and that she will know that I will pay that kindness forward.
Thank you. You know who you are.