“It is always hard to believe that the courageous step is so close to us, that it is closer than we ever could imagine, that in fact, we already know what it is, and that the step is simpler, more radical than we had thought: which is why we so often prefer the story to be more elaborate, our identities clouded by fear, the horizon safely in the distance, the essay longer than it needs to be and the answer safely in the realm of impossibility.”
― David Whyte, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words
the week is full of crazy weather, lots of reading and time spent
with the dog. i feel almost like i have a toddler again,
one who must be watched 24/7.
i pile him into the car one day for a walk beyond the ponds,
and we soon find ourselves on the shore
of the Puget Sound, salt water spray in our faces.
he begs to be let off leash to explore on his own, and i promise him
”someday”, but for now i keep him close by,
allowing him to chase birds, wade in the water,
and dig in the sand. both of us leave content,
and he sleeps all the way home.
the wind kicks up in the middle of the night a few days later,
waking all of us at once. outside the open window, huge branches are falling
on our roof, and in our yard. I hear cracking across the street from
deep within the watershed, and imagine trees falling like toothpicks.
i stand at the back door watching as the tallest of our trees
sway back and forth to loud music i don’t like. i bring the dog downstairs
to sleep with me on the couch.
the house is cold, and daylight takes forever the following morning
with no lights to turn on. i light candles, feed the dog in the dark
and scan the yard for any damage, while he builds a fire.
i watch as the neighbor spends hours on his roof, cutting up
limbs the size of trees and dropping them below
where a fire burns all day and way into the night.
the lights come back on after a candlelight dinner of take out.
no damage, no one is hurt.
i pick the word courage, to guide my life and my intentions for the year.
i buy a brand new journal, but have yet to write in it,
afraid i might jinx the flow of the day with resentment,
instead of the courage i seek, to make changes. the blank pages
stare at me each morning as i smooth my hand over them
before closing the cover, telling myself tomorrow,
i will start tomorrow.
“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor - the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant "To speak one's mind by telling all one's heart." Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences -- good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as "ordinary courage.”
― Brené Brown, I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame
do you pick a word or two for the year?
have a lovely week,