Whatever you look for, you will find. This I know for sure.
And I have been on a beauty hunt these past five surreal months.
I watch the creativity of our new normal unfold.
Birthdays seem more precious as we celebrate them from afar.
Cookies left on doorsteps.
Post-it wishes on front doors.
Birthday banners hung on porches secretly at dawn.
Hearts and chalk birthday wishes abound.
And the exquisite irony and beauty of the BLM marches...we are masked as we shout out “I can’t breathe”...and none of us can breathe as we march forward.
As horrible as this pandemic has been, it left our country at home, scared and isolated. And yet we still took to the streets to protect our brothers and sisters of color. That is beauty of the highest degree.
What happens to one of us happens to us all. We are all connected.
And there has been a shedding inside me as well.
Over the past few months, I let go of so much that I carried.
Back in the day of young babies, we had no iPhones. We had cameras. And I did not just take one picture of my son eating a corncob, I took ten. I did the same with my daughter.
Mike and I have moved three times in the past two years and boxes full of photos moved with us. They were so heavy it took two of us to move them.
We carried them out of storage and I sat with them and went through them. This process took weeks.
I filled two photo boxes for each of my children packed with their childhood and class pictures. And full of the love story of their parents and who we were in our youth.
Then I handed them over as a reminder to each child of how much they are loved.
I kept a little box for me of moments. And many duplicates were thrown out.
I was instantly lighter as I handed over these boxes to my son and daughter to root through and share with their friends. Or many just to look through on a quiet day...or to share with their future babies.
I also returned things I was carrying that were not mine to keep.
I had so many pictures of my stepfather (who I adored) from his youth as he made his way from Italy here to the U.S. They became mine when my mom died.
I packed them up with so much love along with a hand stitched quilt from my step dad’s mom and returned them to his son that I am most connected too (he had six sons and two daughters).
When my stepfather died, my real dad cried. He was such a good man. I wonder what he would say if he was here now. I can hear a stream of curse words in Italian in his soft voice and see his blue eyes blazing.
I scanned all of his pictures and immigration documents prior to shipping them off. I painted a picture in a journal. That man will be with me forever.
I still have one hand stitched quilt from his mom. Handing the other one over was hard, but so right. I gave my step brother the one that was like new.
Yes...such a shedding here...and I am lighter and freer for it all. And somehow, the more I let go of, the more I kept inside my heart.
That feeling of freedom makes me want to let go of so much more. For that, I am grateful.
Till next time, please stay safe out there.
Wear your mask.
Wash those sweet creative hands.
And keep that loving heart of yours open.