A Season of Sweetness

I am in a season of sweetness.

A season when the most recent crises are far enough in the past
that their haunting is not constant,
their residual physical effects
on both my body and his
are less obvious.

A season when I would need to consult a calendar to remember the date of the last doctor’s appointment,
when the vomit buckets and thermometers are tucked away instead of being at the ready,
and when there are no discharge papers or bandage wrappers littering the dresser top.

On top of this magic,
my basement,
which flooded three times this summer,
caused us to evacuate for eleven days,
and led to four months and our daughter’s college savings worth of work
done by a revolving door of men with monosyllabic names and pencils behind their ears,
is finished.

Actually,
not just finished,
but dry, mold-free, and downright lovely.

Our dishwasher,
which we were told was broken on the day we closed on the house,
and has worked only rarely in the year since,
has been replaced and
works like a charm,
affording us all kinds of time and wrinkle-free hands.

Our daughter,
who was so unhappy at her middle school last year that we pulled her out mid-year,
recently rated her new school
a 1,465,643
on a scale of 1 to 10.

A season of sweetness, I tell you.

I sat today, acutely aware of this season I am in,
as I took in
the log in the fireplace,
snoozing kitten on the couch,
snowflakes falling outside,
cup of coffee in hand,
and the slow steady breath moving within me
and I thought:

I DO NOT DESERVE SUCH SWEETNESS.

THIS LIFE OF MINE IS TOO GOOD.

I HAVE BEEN GIVEN TOO MUCH.

I DO NOT DESERVE SUCH SWEETNESS.

You see, I have not had many such seasons in the past seven years.
Moments, yes.
Days, certainly.
Weeks, here and there.
But entire seasons? Rarely.
My head shakes involuntarily at the absurdity of the thought.

And so I wonder,
What does one do in such a season?

One option, I suppose, is to spend it weighed down by guilt.

As I sat today,
I thought about my friend with a pile of children,
whose toddler was just diagnosed with RSV
while the rest were at home vomiting,
the way she did all she could to attend a work meeting
in the midst of it all,
but ended up arriving too late.

And another friend, who I watched this evening
moving swiftly and calmly between
the bed where her young son recovered from surgery
and the living room where she cheerfully
decorated the house for Christmas with her three other children,
working hard to
keep things as normal as possible.

These two are living in the season I typically inhabit,
that of
doctor’s appointments, diagnoses, missed meetings, vomit,
post-surgery hovering and using non-existent stores of energy to carry on with the little (big) things of life.
Realizing that I’m basking in the blooms of springtime, while they are deep in the darkness of winter,
brought on feelings of guilt
and again the voice saying, this time with a bit more desperation:

I DO NOT DESERVE SUCH SWEETNESS.

THIS LIFE OF MINE IS TOO GOOD.

I HAVE BEEN GIVEN TOO MUCH.

I DO NOT DESERVE SUCH SWEETNESS.

Another way to spend this season is to
fret that it’s too good to be true,
going around knocking on wood,
daring not to say or even think that things are going well, for fear of waking the sleeping giant,
waiting for the shoe to drop,
spending days staring at the sky, eyes playing tricks, convincing the brain that perhaps a glimmer of a shoelace was seen.

And so it seems I could spend this season of sweetness
wracked with guilt
or weighed down with worry,
or certainly both,
but here’s the thing about seasons: they change.
I know that someday soon or not so soon, this season of sweetness will end.
It cannot last forever.
Seasons never do.
But while I’m here, in this season, I’ve made two decisions:

  1. I will not feel guilt that I am in spring while others are not,
    but instead will bring those friends flowers from this place while my garden blooms,
    which today took the shape of sending chicken soup to the one house and taking a shift with the post-operative kiddo at the other,
    things I would not have been able to do, had I, too, been in a season of darkness.

  2. I will not waste this lovely season watching, worrying, and waiting for the blooms to die, for the sweetness to fade,
    but have decided instead to recline within it,
    to rest lightly in this time and space,
    holding gratitude, but not guilt,
    awareness, but not fear.

This will not be as easy as it sounds,
for my body and mind are well-trained to be wary of and unsettled by the good times,
having, far too often, been burned by their endings.
But whether I have one day or one hundred to practice,
practice I will,
building my skills for this and the many other
seasons of sweetness
to come.