"Part of me wonders if our stories aren't being stolen by the easy life." - Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
It's a Friday afternoon; low clouds and soggy skies have lingered all day. I'm flying solo on my chair with my blanket and my heater (in August) and a laptop in my lap and a new book nearby. How long has it been since it's rained and I've melted like this in my chair? This summer has been amazing, but I feel thankful for today.
I met two clients this morning. Each woman is growing stronger. Each is standing taller. Feet grounded. Shoulders back. Head high.
In a coffee shop around the corner, I met up with a third woman -- a new contact. The two of us, an unlikely pair with mutual interests. The two of us in the field, as she put it. For two hours I shared time and tea with this woman whom I didn't know before today. Disparate lives intertwined, swimming in the deep end of the pool, she said and smiled at me with warm brown eyes behind stylish glasses. She flipped long hair away from her face and a tattoo peeked out at me from the sides of her neck; she held my hands.
"It is willingness to be seen," she quoted a teacher from her past.
"Dance?" I asked.
I returned a book to the library after we parted -- a week overdue. It was worth holding onto Meg Wolitzer lovely, rainbow covered story for a bit longer to begin and to finish. Curled beneath my blanket, I witnessed six lives intersected and was drawn into their stories. She wrote a great book.
I had lunch in this chair and sat with my daughter in this chair and met with my sister from this chair. I asked questions, took notes and left our conversation with action items and marching orders from this chair. A fourth woman. A fifth.
" Mom, when will you be done?" Maya whined somewhere in the middle.
I was planning to get up and go with her when the phone call ended, but she and Paul just left to run errands and to pick up her brother. So instead, I've been granted more time to settle in and cozy up in one of my favorite places to be: in this chair. And this Island. And this life.
How differently I feel than when we arrived. It's been four years and one day. IT'S BEEN FOUR YEARS AND ONE DAY?!
To be stripped and undone. To reconsider and reassemble. To say yes, to say no. To get up from the lap of my chair and lift my eyes once again. To draw in and feel my feet beneath me. To fall down, to try again, to grow stronger and to dance. To hold my head up, to ask for help and then to receive it. To see and to be seen. To live another day and then tell someone about it. It hasn't been easy, but it's getting easier.
And the stories, I am finding, they are everywhere.