Upside-down

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The day I posted on Facebook, asking if I could borrow crockpots for my daughter’s high school graduation party, was also the day I sat keening on my stairs. Anyone who saw my post would believe that the day was filled with hopeful party prep and not with the almost-animal sounds of a person whose floor fell precipitously from beneath her feet, again. In reality, both were true.

One day is a large container. It can hold a wide range of events, emotions, thoughts, and actions. Yesterday contained music and dancing with littles, my third day with the Headspace meditation app, coffee, a blackberry smoothie, bursting pride, and soul-shattering worry.

There was an impromptu drive and dozens of text messages. There were raised voices and multiple episodes of The Office.   There were tears with a neighbor and a hopelessness that had no words. There was leftover chicken pasta salad and a long walk with the dog. There was traffic and a stop to light candles at a grotto. There were prayers, and there were many hours of the day in which I could not utter a single word in prayer. Today, I still can’t pray.

Yesterday, my heart pounded with fear, and it swelled with pride, all on the same day. Yesterday, my computer searched for nacho bar party ideas and rain sounds to quell anxiety, all on the same day. Yesterday, I put shirts on hangers and brought my dog through the drive-through to get coffee. They said she was “quite a sophisticated dog,” and I laughed. It was true yesterday, and it still is.

As I sat in traffic at one point during this one long day, I noticed a branch that had broken and was hanging, upside-down, from a large tree. It reminded me of a picture of the human heart a nurse friend had circulated recently, and I took out my phone to capture it. It was broken and beautiful, silent and without bloom. It was not as it was supposed to be, not how it was designed. It was left hanging there, still a part of the tree but not quite.

One day can bring the unexpected, as we have all heard a thousand times before. But it can also bring such a mix of joy and pain that our hearts can’t quite absorb it all. Yesterday took a toll on me and I haven’t quite recovered, and who knows what today will bring. I’m quietly letting in light as my heart tries to find its rhythm once again.  My life lately is filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and it feels precarious and not how it is supposed to be.  Today, I just need it to be okay.

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