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Finding Spring's Promise

The calendar says spring is only about a week away.

Hah! I'm not buying it. What about you?

One of the reasons I remained in the Research Triangle after my divorce many years ago rather than return home to Long Island was that, well, it's just so darn cheerful here. Seriously: Strangers smile at each other. Neighborhoods are beautifully landscaped. And the skies are blue—even in winter.

Except this year. When I really, really need the blue.

I'm normally one of those weird folks who actually enjoys the occasional rainy day and who tends to recoil from an overly bright sun—I did live in England for a year, after all. But the gray skies and drizzle day after day, week after week this winter are more than I can bear.

So when an emotionally taxing weekend with my memory-impaired elderly mother was followed by the sun poking its head out from behind the clouds for a few hours a couple of Mondays ago, I simply

had. to get. outside.

Have you ever hopped in your car and started...

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Beauty in the Breakdown

Fear is a powerful thing. It can color your every thought, darkening every corner of the mind, extinguishing hope. Around this time last year, I encountered such fear in myself, recognizing it for what it was, acknowledging it, and letting it sink into my bones.

You see, just weeks before, the person I love most in this world was lying in a coma following a cardiac arrest and we didn't know if he would return to us or how different he would be if we were blessed enough to get him back. Throughout the 10-day ordeal, I took each day as it came, refusing to believe that the supreme being who'd taken my father in such a similar manner would take this incredible man, too. So, I stood strong--breathed in, breathed out--and kept going.

But, once he did make it back, and I brought him home, and I lay awake all night listening for his steady breathing, and I knew he was safe--that he was truly going to be okay--the fear that had been masquerading as calm all along finally showed itself for...

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