hope blooms

My dad called me as I left work today to keep me company on my drive home. He’s buying a property in the hills of North Georgia. Ten acres of sunshine to build a cabin on, a place to watch for shooting stars.

He drove there this past weekend – to walk the property lines. It was his first time seeing it all done up for spring time. There’s a long row of daffodils, he said. Then a long row of iris. Then a long row of hyacinth. There are blueberry bushes. And there’s more still left to bloom.

You would have thought he found an oil well, the way his voice lit up as he described the budding scene to me.

But that’s the kind of man he is. The kind who identifies all the birds as they arrive at the feeder – gold finch, indigo bunting, mourning dove, chickadee. The kind who counts his deer encounters as he winds through the trails at Cheatham Hill Park. The kind who ad-libs songs on my voicemail on Friday mornings.

The kind who sees the hope in the jonquils. And calls just to make sure I see it too.

two young girls picking jonquils
Me and my sister, picking jonquils.

they say you’ll be okay

Why doesn’t anyone ever say, “You won’t be okay.”

You won’t heal. Or recover. Tomorrow won’t be better. The worst is not over. You won’t be okay.

Some things just break you. Some moments, destroy you. Some people, consume you. And you’re not just okay.

And that’s… that’s okay.

Those things, those moments, those reckless people. They define us. Shape us. They twist us and coil us like hot metal after a high-speed crash.

And we’re not okay after that. We’re not okay. We’re totaled.

But somehow we keep going. Each day the same. Not okay. Still going. We don’t heal. We don’t get better. But we just keep going.

The sun rises and sets. And our chest rises and falls. And our eyes stare blankly into the night. Just don’t stop going.

You don’t always have to be okay. Just be. Be hurt. Be angry. Faded. Sad. Destroyed. Degraded. Lost.

It’s enough. All you feel is already enough. You don’t have to be okay anymore.  Just be.