This. Life. Now.

Since winter returned to our town, an outdoor rink has been set up in the park across from my mother’s house. This afternoon, two weeks after my mother died, I’m watching the skaters glide effortlessly and gleefully over the ice and realizing that I’m used to my life feeling more like that than this.

Not even sure I want to dig around the murky depths of my brain to imagine a word picture for “this”, I can at least say it’s not effortless or gleeful. Picture the opposite of effortless and gleeful and you might have a bit of an idea what these days and weeks have been like and what the near future promises to hold.

“This” involves a lot of tension and stress, worry and hard work, sickness and grieving, loneliness and depression, deadlines and expectations. “This” is something you only expect to see in the movies, never in your own life. And things don’t turn out in real life as well as they do in the movies, in case you were still living in that unrealistic bubble. Sorry for breaking it.

“This” means feeling as if you may never land gently, as if you will never again be whole, and sometimes as if everyone depended on you and everyone will let you down. “This” is knowing that you desperately need the strength and peace of your faith and at the same time seeing that your life and emotions are so much like a tenuous high-wire that one wrong circumstance could send you grasping in another direction, any direction.

“This” is so unlike skating.

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